Saint-Tropez on the Côte d'Azur

Many visit Saint Tropez for a day when on holiday in Provence – Côte d'Azur. This legendary village between Marseille and Nice welcomes visitors from all over the world. Luxury yachts are moored in the harbour and expensive cars drive around. This village is also very expensive, you will pay a lot for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine in some restaurants. Saint Tropez has been called the gathering place for the rich of the earth, a meeting place for the beau monde. You may see famous people wandering around the village. In the past, the likes of Brigitte Bardot, Pablo Picasso and Alain Delon have visited the village. If you leave the harbour and walk through the old streets of the village, you will suddenly find yourself in a completely different environment. There are charming squares, small beaches and Provencal markets. Originally, Saint Tropez was an ordinary fishing village and it still is just that during the winter. In the winter, the fishing boats are back in the harbour. In July and August, it is very busy in Saint Tropez and the access roads are always full of traffic. It is better to cross into Saint Tropez from Saint Maxime or Cannes. Spring and autumn are the best times to visit Saint Tropez.

Old town of St. Tropez

St. Tropez can roughly be divided into the port area, the old town and the suburbs. In the old centre you will encounter fewer tourists than in the port area, you will only see tourists here in the shopping streets. The old town exudes the atmosphere of the past with its narrow streets and charming squares. The streets are full of pastel-coloured houses and galleries. In the old town, the most famous shopping streets are the "Rue Gambetta", "Rue François Sibilli" and "Rue Clemenceau". The shopping arcade "Passage Riva" is located in between these streets. In the Rue Gambetta there are fashion shops, quaint boutiques with antiques and pottery and other charming shops. In Rue Sibilli you will find shops that sell luxury items and designer brands such as Louis Vitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Dior, Versace and Gucci. The famous "Sandales Tropeziennes" are also sold there. At the end of the tourist season, almost all shops hold sales. During La Grande Braderie, a weekend at the end of October, the discounted items are sold in stalls on the street. There is a market every Tuesday and Saturday on Place de Lices. On the Place Aux Herbes there is even a market selling vegetables, fruit and fish every morning. You can also find antiques, curiosities, sandals and pottery at this market.

Shopping in St. Tropez

  • Rue Gambetta
  • Rue François Sibilli
  • Rue Clemenceau
  • Passage Riva
  • Place des Lices
  • Place Aux Herbes
  • Louis Vitton
  • Dolce & Gabbana
  • Dior
  • Versace
  • Gucci
  • Sandales Tropeziennes

The port and beaches of Saint Tropez

The central spot in Saint Tropez is the port. During the summer huge yachts moor at the harbour and celebrities relax on the deck of their boat or on one of the terraces on the harbour. Tourists walk along the famous quays "Quai de l'Épi" and "Quai Suffren" to admire the boats and their owners. The Rue du Portalet lies at the end of the quay, at the exit of the port towards the Mediterranean Sea. This is a pedestrian area with restaurants and lively terraces. There are several small beaches in Saint Tropez where you can relax or go for a walk. You can go swimming at "Pampelonne Plage", "Plage des Graniers" and "Plage des Canebiers". These beaches are also home to popular beach clubs such as Nikki Beach, Club 55, Thuti Plage, La Serena, Tahiti Beach, Bagatella Beach, Byblos Beach and Loulou.

Eglise Notre Dame de l’Assomption

The Notre Dame de l'Assomption is a terracotta-coloured tower that rises high above St. Tropez. The church is a Baroque-style church from the 18th century. The church also houses the bust of Saint Torpes who goes along during the annual procession. It is often thought that the name Saint Tropez comes from the word "tropical". However, the village is named after the saint Torpes of Pisa who was beheaded in the time of Emperor Nero. Legend has it that his body or just his head was placed in a boat. The boat drifted towards the Mediterranean Sea and washed ashore on May 17 at the place that is called Saint Tropez these days. Every year, on the anniversary of Topes' death, there is a pilgrimage to Pisa. May 17 is still a public holiday in Saint Tropez. On this day there is a procession through the streets with women in traditional costumes. On May 18, there are parties and people dance in the streets to Provençal music. The festivities are called "Bravade".

Specialties of Saint Tropez

Like most places, Saint Tropez also has its own culinary specialties. The Tarte Tropézienne is a well-known speciality. The cake is made of fluffy and sweet dough and tastes like oranges. It is filled with cream. This cake originally comes from baker Alexandre Micka and was made famous by Brigitte Bardot. When Bardot was in Saint Tropez for filming, the baker let her taste these cakes. She suggested that these cakes should be called "Tarte de Saint-Tropez", in the end the baker decided to call them Tarte Tropézienne. This cake is known throughout the Côte d'Azur. On a hot summer's day, everyone craves ice cream. You can buy ice creams in many places but the most famous ice cream Parlor in Saint Tropez is Barbarac. Glacier Barbarac is sometimes called "le temple de la glace tropézienne".

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Monuments & Museums in Saint Tropez

  • Musée de l'Histoire Maritime: the museum is located in one of the towers of the citadel. You will learn about the history of Tropéziens who have sailed the world's oceans.
  • Maison des Papillons: In the butterfly museum there are the most beautiful butterflies from all over the world. It took centuries for all species to be mapped.
  • Musée de l'Annonciade: a museum of modern art with works by Matisse, Picasso and Derain.
  • Musée de la Gendarmerie et du Cinéma: This museum shows the film history of St. Tropez with plenty of attention to the celebrities who have visited Saint Tropez.
  • Various monuments such as the chapels of Sainte Anne, Miséricorde, the Lavoir Vasserot and the fountain, the gate of Maison du Maure, villa La Hune, etc.

Citadel of St. Tropez

The citadel is located on top of a hill and was built in the 16th century at a time when the city was still regularly attacked by pirates. The citadel was surrounded by solid walls and had a defensive tower. Cannons stood ready to dislodge the enemy. It is quite a climb to the top of the hill but once you reach the top you can enjoy a beautiful view over the bay and the surrounding area. You can also go inside the citadel, where there is a museum about the maritime history of St. Tropez.

Place des Lices

The famous Place des Lices square in Saint Tropez is home to a large Provençal market selling food, artwork and souvenirs on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Petanque competitions are also held here. The huge plane trees provide shady spots, which has been captured in a painting by Signac.

Events in Saint-Tropez

Would you like to visit Saint-Tropez when the city is hosting an event? From May onwards, there are all kinds of different activities and parties to visit in the city. In particular, sailing competitions and other sailing events steal the show in Saint-Tropez. For example, the sailing competition "Giraglia rolex cup" in June and during September and October you can admire the most beautiful ships at "Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez". Visit the "Festival des Nuits du Château de la Mouette", a unique experience where you can listen to concerts of classical and world music in the palm grove of the castle grounds.

  • March: Festival Armen
  • May: Harley Davidson Euro Festival, Les Voiles Latines
  • June: Les Bravades, Giraglia Rolex Cup
  • July: Classis Tennis Tour, Festival des Nuits du Château de la Mouette
  • September: Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez
  • October: The big fair of Saint-Tropez, Porsche Paradis
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