The seaside resort town Saint Tropez is still very popular with the tourists, although the jetset and the in-crowd have long since left it behind. Set on the lovely blue water of the Bay of Saint-Tropez, this modern version of a medieval town is most popular for the line of yachts along the quai, and the facing line of terrace cafés, divided by a parade of strolling tourists and slow cruising expensive cars (photo-7 being a typical example).
Nearby: | Cannes 76 km | Cavalaire-sur-Mer 18 km | Cogolin 9 km | Draguignan 48 km | Frejus 34 km | Garde-Freinet 20 km | Grimaud 10 km | Lavandou 38 km | Maures Mountains | Plan-de-la-Tour 23 km | Roquebrune-sur-Argens 40 km | Sainte Maxime 14 km | Toulon 71 km |
Behind the cafés, the small streets and old buildings are picturesque, but they're more popular for the multitude of shops and restaurants than historical significance. There are endless possibilities for buying gifts or items of proof that "you've been here".
Movie stars and other famous pretty people do pass through, 'though not so frequently as yesteryear. The most famous, of course, are insconced in the fabulous private estates set along the coast, protected from the curious eyes of all but those with the means to rent helicopters and light aircraft. Our late Princess Diana, for example, did spend the night in a local discotheque this August (1997), but it was closed to all but her private party.
The town's Office de Tourisme, located along the center of the main drag, is very active. The multilingual staff is friendly and helpful, and they have their own Internet web site. Excellent maps and informational brochures are available 7 days a week.
Place aux Herbes
This lively square has been a center of activity in St Tropez for centuries. Located one street behind the Quai Jean Jaures, past the Office de Tourisme, the Place aux Herbes is a busy little enclave of vegetable, fruit and flower stalls, and a favorite stop on our occassional Beyond visits.
Some of our photos here date from 1997, and our original text here we wrote about the same time (Beyond has been online since October 1995). We've found our text of St Tropez, and a few of the other Beyond towns. plagiarized on several other websites. While "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" (C.C. Colton [1878-1832]), we do find this outright theft objectionable.
Fête de la Bravade
A bravade (or "act of defiance"), originally a procession in honor of a town's patron saint, is now a colorful Provençal festival. The St Tropez bravade, every May, is one of the most famous, dating back to the 15th century. A bust of the patron saint is carried in a procession through the town with a guard of honor, with gun salvos, Provençal singing and dancing.
The beaches of St Tropez are mostly away from the center, and require transportation.
Nearby Beaches. A few beaches are located nearby to the west of the town, within reasonable walking distance. East of the town, the Plage des Graniers is in a little cove past the cemetery, a long walk or a short drive away. Further east, out the route des Salins, is the Plage des Cannebiers.
Cape Beaches. Out on the cape east of St Tropez are the beaches Plage de la Moutte and Plage des Salins.
Pampelonne-Ramatuelle Beaches. The most serious collection of beaches are along the Baie de Pampelonne, south of St Tropez and east of Ramatuelle. You'll need to drive out the D93 road from 3 to 6 km, then turn off to the left on one of the beach access roads.
The hills a bit away from St Tropez are fine, but the area immediately surrounding the town is pretty grim, and not pretty, especially in the summertime. The roads are lined with billboards, garish commerce and neon signs. During July and August, the route national N98 between St Tropez, Ste Maxime and almost to St Raphaël is a long narrow parking lot. As you sit in traffic, overheated, you have a view of other cars and trucks, pedestrians, people vainly trying to cross the road between campsites, cyclists, signs and hordes of other tourists.
In Saint Tropez? Yes, in Sept 2002 there were a couple of cases of people being bitten by foxes, in a housing estate area of the town and at the Malheribes quarter of Gassin. In both cases, it seems, the previous occupants of rental housing had been feeding local foxes. When the foxes came around for their usual hand-outs, coming right into the kitchens, the new occupants tried to chase them away, and met a bit of agression rather than the expected fear.
Saint Tropez is located in the heart of the Esterel and the Massif des Maures, still nicely wild in spite of the seaside resort towns. There are actually far fewer foxes now that a few years ago, and it is still legal to hunt them here.
Office de Tourisme
Tel : 04 94 97 45 21; Fax: 04 94 97 82 66
Quai Jean Jaures
Tel: (33) 494 97 45 21; Fax: (33) 494 97 82 66
Open 7 days, Sept-June: 9h00-12h30, 14h00-19h00
Open 7 days, July-Aug: 9h30-13h00, 15h00-23h00
Market day: Tue, Sat, Place des Lices
Fish Market: daily (except Mon during the winter), Place aux Herbes
Fête de la Bravade: May
Fête des Espagnols: 5 June (celebrates the town's defence against the Spanish in 16th century)
Fête de St-Pierre: 15 June (patron of the fishermen)
Fête des Vendanges: beginning Sept (grape harvest)
Foire: 16-18 Apr, 26 Aug
Transportation Saint Tropez
- The nearest airports to Saint Tropez are
Toulon-Hyeres - Tel: (33) 494 22 81 60
Marseille-Provence - Tel: (33) 442 14 14 14
Nice-Côte d'Azur - Tel: (33) 493 21 30 30
La Mole - Tel: (33) 494 49 57 29. The La Mole airfield, 20 km west of St Tropez, has regular flights to Geneva, Bale-Mulhouse, Munich and Nice.
- For Saint Tropez area bus lines, see Beyond's Bus Schedules Page 16: Var Department for downloading Var bus-lines map and schedules (link for PDF files).
Bus lines serving Saint Tropez:
Line 7202 - Saint Tropez, La Foux, Cogolin, Grimaud, la Garde-Freinet, Les Arcs-sur-Argens (Les Arcs is on the main rail line Nice-Aix-Paris)
Line 7601 - Saint Raphaël, Fréjus, Saint Aygulf, Les Issambres, Sainte Maxime, Saint Pons, La Foux, Saint Tropez
Line 7701 - Saint Tropez, La Foux, Cogolin, Grimaud, la Garde-Freinet
Line 7704 - Saint Tropez, Gassin, La Môle
Line 7801 - Toulon, La Valette-du-Var, La Garde, La Crau, Hyères, La Londe-les-Mures, Bormes-les-Mimosas, La Lavandou, Le Rayol-Canadel, Cavalaire-sur-Mer, La Crois-Valmer, Gassin, La Foux, Saint Tropez
Line 7802 - Toulon, Hyères, La Londe-les-Maures, Bormes-les-Mimosas, La Môle, Cogolin, La Foux, Saint Tropez
- Department 83, Var Buses
- See Beyond's Var Department Bus Schedules for downloading the Var bus-lines map [Plan du Reseau] and bus-line schedules [Horaires] (link for PDF files).
Schedules for the Var bus lines are on the www.varlib.fr website; select HORAIRES for a linked-list of the bus routes in the Var department (www.varlib.fr/cg83/Horaires_des_lignes_du_reseau_VarLib").
- Hyères Airport - St-Tropez Bus 7803
- Var bus line 7803 connects the Toulon-Hyères Airport with all the towns along the coast to Saint Tropez.
- For Hyères or Toulon, transfer (at any of the stops) to line 7801.
- For Grimaud, St Maximin, Fréjus, transfer at St Tropez to line 7601.
The complete route for bus line 7803 is: Hyères Les Palmiers airport, La Londe-les-Maures, Bormes-les-Mimosas, Le Lavandou, Le Rayol-Canadel, Cavalaire-sur-Mer, La Croix-Valmer, Gassin, La Foux, St Tropez.
A list of schedules for the Var bus line are on the VarLib-Horaires page (www.varlib.fr/cg83/Horaires_des_lignes_du_reseau_VarLib") - click on the PDF link for 7803 to download the bus schedule.
- Toulon - Le Lavandou - St-Tropez Bus 7801
- Var bus line 7801 connects the Toulon with all the towns along the coast to Saint Tropez (but not the airport).
- For the Toulon-Hyères Airport, transfer at La Londe-les-Maures to line 7803.
- For Grimaud, St Maximin, Fréjus, transfer at St Tropez to line 7601.
The complete route for bus line 7801 is: Toulon, La Valette, La Garde, La Crau, Hyères (center), La Londe-les-Maures, Bormes-les-Mimosas, Le Lavandou, Le Rayol-Canadel, Cavalaire-sur-Mer, La Croix-Valmer, Gassin, La Foux, St Tropez.
A list of schedules for the Var bus line are on the VarLib-Horaires page (www.varlib.fr/cg83/Horaires_des_lignes_du_reseau_VarLib") - click on the PDF link for 7801 to download the bus schedule.
- The nearest stations on the mail rail line [rail map] are St Raphaël and Toulon. Daily bus service is available between St Tropez and both these towns.
Gare SNCF St Raphaël and Toulon - Tel: (33) 836 35 35 35
Cyclilng. There's a cycling path along a good part of the coast along here, along side the busy road; St Tropez, Port Grimaud, towards Ste Maxime.
- Espace 83
- Yamaha dealer
- Location: 2 av Gén Leclerc
- Tel: 0494 558 000
- Holiday Bikes
- VTT cycle and motorcycle rental
- Location: 14 av Gén Leclerc
- Tel: 0494 970 939
- Lucky Loc
- Location: qua Pilon
- Tel: 0494 972 903
- Mas Multiple
- Location: Activité Services 3 rue Joseph Quaranta
- Tel: 0494 970 060
- Scooter Station
- Location: 12 av Gén Leclerc
- Tel: 0494 976 240
IGN (1/25,000) #3545 OT "St. Tropez, Ste. Maxime, Massif des Maures"
For a seaside tourist town, there's surprisingly good hiking not too far away.
• The GR51 (Balcony of the Cote d'Azur) passes by between Cogolin and Port Grimaud; it crosses the busy N98 road east of Cogolin, about 7 km west of St Tropez. The roads and traffic are pretty grim around here, so you'll want some transportation out to the trail.
• North of Cogolin, the GR51 goes up into the beautiful forested hills of the Maures, with many branching trails and hiking possibilities. The connecting GR9, for example, goes through La Garde-Freinet.
• South of Cogolin, the GR51 crosses the peninsula west of Gassin and follows the hills along the coast past La Lavandou and Bormes-les-Mimosas before turning north again.
Coastal Hiking Le Sentier du littoral is a seaside trail that goes from the town of St Tropez, around the entire peninsula, passing all the beaches and capes, to the village of Cavalaire-sur-Mer. Variations allow shorter loops.
• St Tropez to Plage de Tahiti - 12.5 km, 3h30. This takes you around the coast past the Cap de St-Tropez to the northern end of the Plage de Pampelonne. Here you could walk straight back to town (3 km), or continue on.
• Plage de Tahiti to Bonne Terrasse - 5 km, 1h30. This takes you along the Plage de Pampelonne almost to Cap Camarat.
• Cap Camarat to Cavalaire - 19 km, 5h45. The trail around the southern part of the peninsula ends at Cavalaire-sur-Mer. It's 18 km by road from St Tropez; check with the Office de Tourisme for bus information.