Bay of St.Tropez holiday guide
Sandwiched between an azure bay and the rocky outcrops of the Var, the St.-Tropez peninsula offers a patchwork of scenery and experiences. To the west, sun-kissed St. Tropez flaunts its pastel-shaded streets and dinky old port where the glitterati anchor luxury yachts. To the east Fréjus is famed for its Roman ruins and Episcopal baptistery; and the beaches of St. Raphael are frequented by water-sports lovers. Add to this the volcanic, red Massif de l’Estérel, whose peaks are perfect for hiking expeditions, and in the Bay of St. Tropez you have yourself one varied holiday destination.
Beaches in St.Tropez
Think of St. Tropez and you think of its golden beaches: Brigitte Bardot put them on the map in her 1956 film, And God Created Woman; and bronzed beauties still come out in force at the exclusive, powdery sands of Pampelonne, Ramatuelle, and Plage des Salins. If you are travelling with children, Plage des Jumeaux is a better bet, for its handy playground. For peace and quiet, head off-piste near Fréjus’s St. Aygulf beach, where fresh and seawater lagoons (the Etangs de Villepey) attract flamingos and herons.
Things to do
A typical day in St.-Tropez centres around strolling its narrow lanes, nipping into art galleries and exclusive boutiques as you roam. Culture lovers will find post-Impressionist paintings by Braque, Dufy, and Utrillo at the Musée de l’Annonciade. In Fréjus, the Mosquée de Missri is a fascinating replica of Mali’s mud mosque in Djenne.Draguignan is the gateway to the Var’s countryside—head north in your car to explore vineyards, olive groves, and perched villages like pottery centre, Fayence.
Eating and Drinking in St.Tropez
St. Tropez lends its name to the tropézienne, a sticky, cream-filled sponge flavoured with orange-flower. Indulge in yours on tree-shaded Place des Lice, and watch locals sip Pastis over a game of boules. Other culinary specialities in the bay include black truffles (in winter); seafood, enjoyed year-round on giant platters; and olive oil, made in farms dotted around villages such as Lorgues. This is also Côte de Provence country, where light-pink rosé wines come with floral notes and a citrus finish.
Nightlife and Entertainment in St. Tropez
Nightlife in the bay revolves around self-consciously chic St. Tropez: Jetsetters come here to party in port-side nightclubs, to drink champagne on café terraces, and to see and be seen. If you are feeling lucky, head across the bay to Saint-Maxime’s tiny casino, where roulette wheels can make or break a holiday budget. In summer, look out for Château de la Mouette’s classical music festival, when musicians perform on a floating jetty at sunset. Now sigh!