Saint Tropez quietly became a favoured bohemian destination with artists, writers and philosphers as early as the 19thCentury. It later became a summertime getaway for the Parisien Left Bank welcoming the likes of Colette, Sartre and Picasso. When Brigitte Bardot made her way to the peaceful fishing village in 1956 to star in “Et Dieu Créa la Femme” (And God Created Woman; 1956), Saint Tropez was propelled into the realms of the glamourous jet set.
Saint Tropez comes alive during the hot summer months offering azure seas along its craggy coastline of beautiful beaches and awe-inspiring views along with five-star dining, luxurious boutiques and charming markets offering local gems and treasures.
Here’s your insider guide to Europe’s most celebrated resort.
Where to stay:
Domaine de l’Astragale:
Located at the very heart of Saint Tropez, less than 200 metres from the sea and 800 metres from the famous port, Domaine de l’Astragale is a beautiful and peaceful haven. The luxurious 5-star hotel tucked away on a hillside amid superb scenery, overlooks a swathe of vineyards, which stretch as far as the renowned Pampelonne beach.
You will be transported to an exotic world within the hotel’s handsome colonial-style building featuring charming terraces, glistening swimming pools and private tennis courts.
Take advantage of your surroundings, experience true joie de vivre and disconnect as you and nature become one. Choose from 32 lavish and spacious rooms, all of which are located within the hotel’s small houses in the midst of dazzling Mediterranean vegetation. All have a balcony or private garden and if you truly wish to indulge opt for a terrace with a private solarium, spa or jacuzzi.
Le Carpaccio, the hotel’s simple yet elegant restaurant is located in a heavenly garden by the poolside terrace. Relax listening to soothing birdsong, sampling flavours and aromas of the Mediterranean accompanied by the best fine wines of the regions.
What to do:
The Saint Tropez Harbour:
Enjoy a stroll through the pretty ochre streets of the old village and perhaps pop into the pink and yellow parish church where there is a bust of Saint Tropez himself. Head towards Quai Jean Jaurès, by the port and bask in the sun at one on of the chic bar terraces to watch the impressive yachts moored at the harbour.
A stop at Le Senequier is a must. A favourite amongst locals and visitors alike, the harbor brasserie is famed for its red directors chairs and triangular tables. Everyone you’ve ever heard of has been here! Enjoy a glass of rosé and take in the outstanding view of the Maures mountains across the sea.
Place des Lices Market
Ambling past the galleries and boutiques, you will come to Place des Lices, home to locals playing boules and a Provencal market awash with colour and people browsing every Tuesday and Saturday. Stock up on regional goods – delicious breads, cheeses, pastries, spices, herbs, fresh fruit and vegetables, olives and flowers. Do as the locals do and head there early to secure the freshest produce.
For an extra treat, browse the vintage stalls offering paintings, crafts, mirrors and antiques; treasures waiting to be discovered. Be sure to snap up chic accessories including must-have Riviera style baskets. Prices are good and bargains are ongoing - a rare commodity on the Côte d'Azur and undeniably in Saint Tropez.
Plage de Pampelonne:
Plage de Pampelonne is one of the region’s most popular and luxurious beaches and a great spot for Tropéziens’ favourite pastime of people watching. Three miles of white sand is surrounded by crystal clear Mediterranean water. If you are feeling energetic, enjoy volleyball or kite-surfing or simply stroll along the sun-drenched sands, swim, sunbathe and repeat.
Le Club 55:
This glamorous beach is synonymous with chic restaurants and exclusive clubs, most established of which is celebrity playground Le Club 55. Buzzing with energy, the beach club’s al fresco restaurant is considered the crème de la crème of dining. An indoor option is available for those who long for the shade after a day beneath the blazing sun. Be sure to end your meal on a sweet note with the famous “Tarte Tropézienne”: a local delicacy consisting of brioche cake filled with soft cream. And before you leave, visit the bohemian bazaar selling local treasures.
The much-anticipated opening of Loulou Beach is scheduled this summer. The famous Parisian restaurant housed in a coveted location in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs at the heart of Palais du Louvre will unveil its sister restaurant at a prime position on the Tamaris stretch of the coastline.
This delightful collaboration between Jean-Philippe Cartier, the head of the H8 Collection Hotels, Laurent de Gourcuff and Gérard Malafosse, who already manages Saint Tropez’s Hotel Ermitage, will be a chic homage to the bohemian Riviera of the 1950s. Executive chef Benoit Dargère, also the culinary mastermind behind Monsieur Bleu and Girafe in Paris, has created a Riviera menu enhanced by many of the popular dishes at the Paris restaurant. If you are looking to add a touch of luxury to your holiday wardrobe, head to the boutique at Loulou Beach and look out for Kalmar’s latest collection of exquisite resort and swimwear.
A fascination with ocean depths surges through the collection, which showcases coral reef designs in tones of red, pink, orange, yellow and aquamarine, evoking a magical underwater atmosphere. Sea-bed inspired prints complement the line with subtle pebbled shades of grey offering timeless quality and style across dresses, kaftans, jumpsuits and swimwear.
Channel Provencal chic in the Luna Dress in pretty raspberry and orange plumetis cotton. With a straight neckline and slim straps, it falls loosely into feminine gathered tiers. Slip on this effortless piece and carry a basket bag for an easy-going look to stroll the charming streets of the village.
The Farah Jumpsuit is a striking addition to your holiday wardrobe. With a deep V-neckline and flowing, wide-leg trousers, it flatters the figure with a wrap and tie belt. A sensual and luxurious piece cut in silk; wear for a glamourous evening out on the Côte d’Azur.
Make a fashionable and fresh entrance into Le Club 55 with the Adalia camisole in tropical jungle print. This silk blouse features an elasticated neckline and relaxed silhouette falling loosely over the body from skinny shoulder straps. Pair it with the Ayah trousers to make a colourful impression for lunch by the beach.
The silk Ayah trousers have an elasticated drawstring waist with delicate golden leaf tassels falling loosely into a flattering wide-leg silhouette. Pair with the coordinating Adalia top in tropical jungle print or wear with a bikini at the beach.
The Sultana is a show-stopping, floor-length kaftan dress with ruffled cuffs and keyhole fastening, perfect to take you from poolside to party. Bright patterns make this the perfect statement cover up for a playful expressive look ideal for a stroll around the harbour or a post-beach cocktail.
Domaine de l’Astragale: Chemin de la Gassine, 83580 Gassin, France
Saint Tropez Harbour: Marina Port Harbor, 83000 Saint-Tropez
Plage de Pampelonne: Pampelonne 83350, Ramatuelle, France
Le Carpaccio: Domaine de l’Astragale
Le Senequier: 4 Place aux Herbes | Quai Jean Jaurès, 83990, Saint-Tropez, France
Le Club 55: 43 Boulevard Patch, 83350 Ramatuelle, France
Loulou Beach: Chemin des Tamaris, 83350 Ramatuelle, France
Place des Lices Market: Place des Lices, 83990 Saint-Tropez
Kalmar: Loulou Beach