About St Tropez beaches
For five decades St Tropez has maintained its status as one of Europe’s most glamorous, sultry and sexy resorts. Today’s jet set escape is a far cry from the sleepy Provençal fishing village that idled by the Mediterranean here until the 1950s when the massive success of Brigitte Bardot’s And God Created Woman made St Tropez a household name around Europe. From the moment you see the array of millionaire yachts bobbing along the waterfront you know that this is somewhere special, though behind the chic cafés, suave restaurants and buzzing clubs are swathes of unspoilt countryside.
The best beach in the area is 4.5km (3 miles) out of town at the Plage de Tahiti. This sandy beach boasts plenty of bars, cafés and a range of watersports and is popular with everyone from jet set wannabes through to families. Naturists prefer the string of beaches to the west of St Tropez where clothes are very much optional. Wherever you choose to soak up the sun’s rays you will be able to find operators offering everything from banana boat rides to waterskiing and wakeboarding.
Beyond the beach:
The waterfront around the Old Port is a fun place to hang out day and night with people watching the main activity amongst holidaymakers. Back from the sea, Place des Lices tempts with its relaxed bars. Take a seat at one of the square’s benches and watch old men playing petanque in a scene that has not changed for centuries. Check out the impressionist paintings at the Musée de l’Annonciade (place Grammont), or soak up the dramatic views from the 17th-century citadel.
The resort is not really geared to cater for young children, but teenagers may enjoy the glam. A good way to tire out energetic youngsters is by taking them for a walk on the Sentier Littoral, a walking route that snakes around the coast south of the resort of St Tropez. The path rumbles around the sea over rocks and opens up some quieter coves. La Maison des Papillons (The House of Butterflies) (9 Rue Etienne Berny) is a useful distraction for children too.
Port Grimaud (www.portgrimaud.com) is just a short bus or taxi journey away. This miniature Venice was only built from scratch 40 years ago and has become a favourite with expats looking for a second home in the sun. Boat tours take holidaymakers off on cruises that show off some of the prime real estate, while there are also bars and restaurants for those looking to stay longer.
In addition to luxurious accommodation, fabulous restaurants and one of St Tropez’s premier nightspots the legendary Hotel Byblos (Avenue Paul Signac) (www.byblos.com) boasts a luxurious spa. If you want to really pamper yourself then this is the place to head with standard massages backed up with a range of therapies from all around the globe.