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‘Luminous’ is the word for Saint-Tropez, whether you’re talking about the cobbled old town, the white-sand beaches or the glittering ocean-side restaurants. Made for entertainment, this vibrant French Riviera destination is all about beach culture, nightlife and fine dining.
Much loved by jet setters, Hollywood icons and honeymooners alike, it’s no wonder that this coastal town is one of France’s most exclusive and glamorous destinations. From the glitzy bars and restaurants of the yacht-lined Port de Saint-Tropez to the historic architecture of the Old Town (or ‘La Ponche’ to the locals), there’s a lot more to this sparkling resort than its pretty beaches. We know it well, so we’ve put together an inside guide to Saint-Tropez’s top spots and events you mustn’t miss.
Do you imagine soft sands and glittering waves when you think of Saint-Tropez? You won’t be disappointed. This whole coast is lined with great beaches and, whether you’re looking for serene shores or somewhere a little more glamorous, you’ll always find the perfect spot to suit your mood.
For those travelling with little ones, Plage de la Bouillabaisse’s tranquil waters and relaxed restaurants are perfect for a family outing. Safe swimming and paddling can be enjoyed in its shallow waters, which are watched over by lifeguards during the peak summer months. Set right at the entrance of the town, the beach is also just a stroll away from the rest of Saint-Tropez’s beach clubs, shops, and eateries.
Those seeking calm will be enchanted by La Ponche, a little beach tucked below Saint-Tropez’s atmospheric old town. Clear blue waters lap the bay’s peaceful shores - a real contrast from the buzz of the harbour above. The sunsets here are absolutely magnificent and are well worth hanging around for; afterwards, you can stroll back into town for an evening drink or dinner in one of the many lovely seaside restaurants.
For that classic Saint-Tropez vibe, Les Canebiers has to be top of the list. A real local favourite, this beach is just a short stroll from downtown Saint-Tropez and is set apart by views of the Massif des Maures - just magical at sunset. A fabulous beach to enjoy a family picnic together, or simply bask in the balmy temperatures of the Côte d'Azur watching the yachts glide over the sea.
While we can’t imagine that you’ll ever tire of the sandy beaches and sea views of the French Riviera, there’s much more to discover in this sparkling region away from the main coastal stretch.
Constructed between the 16th and 17th centuries to help protect the town and surrounding coastline from attacks, the Citadel of Saint-Tropez is now home to an intriguing nautical museum and a rooftop terrace with spectacular panoramic views. Documenting the history of the local area from the 12th century to the present day, there’s lots to see within.
Tucked away down a quiet backstreet is the historic Sweet-chiming Église de Saint-Tropez. Work started on the church in the 16th century, but it wasn’t until 1785 that this striking Baroque-style building towered above the resort with its bright, sienna campanile. The interior might not be as opulent and gold-laden as other churches in the region, but it’s well worth a look inside.
For those who are always on the lookout for the next art gallery or exhibition while on holiday, the Annonciade Museum certainly ticks all the boxes. Set within a historic 16th-century chapel, it’s often considered to be one of the first modern art museums in France. Inside, you’ll get to see works from some of the most iconic names in 20th-century art - Henri Matisse, Édouard Vuillard, and Paul Signac are just a few of the artists featured here.
From the bustling market stalls at Place des Lices to the elegant designer boutiques lining the boulevards, Saint-Tropez is heaven for chic shoppers searching for something special. To help you discover the very best shopping destinations, we’ve picked out our favourites in our Saint-Tropez travel guide.
Of course, your trip to the French Riviera would be incomplete without a visit to the iconic Dior Boutique, located next to the picture-perfect Les Jardins de l'Ambassade. This elegant boutique boasts its own garden restaurant - wonderful for enjoying the sunshine after treating your wardrobe to some beautiful new pieces from the season’s latest collection.
Sun-worshippers should be sure to visit Vilebrequin, a luxury swimwear brand founded in Saint-Tropez. With 50 years in the industry, Vilebrequin certainly knows how to create shorts and swimsuits that not only look fantastic but feel great too. From retro 70’s inspired bikinis to colourful men's shorts, you’ll find all you need for a sunny afternoon on Bouillabaisse Beach.
French brand Manoush is the perfect place to head if you’re looking for a showstopping evening outfit. Created by Frédérique Trou-Roy, these gorgeously vibrant dresses are inspired by the intricate patterns, textures and colours of traditional Indian and African design.
Saint-Tropez may be known for its beach culture, but its dining scene is just as lively. The locals love to while away a sunny day or balmy evening in a traditional café or restaurant, eating, drinking and watching the world go by. After all, a trip to Europe wouldn’t be complete without indulging in the fabulous flavours of French cuisine at least once or twice.
Café Sénéquier is a quintessentially French restaurant to enjoy everything from coffee to cocktails out on the vibrant cherry-red terrace. The menu has something for every palate, including wild sea bass fillet, truffle ravioli and roasted scallops - among many other delicious dishes. Fans of fine wine will find an excellent selection of wines sourced from vineyards in Provence; from fruity rosés to rich reds.
Those curious to taste the Saint-Tropez favourite, Bouillabaisse, will love bayside Chez Camille (or else Hotel de la Ponche, an old-town haunt once frequented by Brigitte Bardot). Established over a hundred years ago, Chez Camille is considered to be one of the best restaurants for grilled fish and bouillabaisse - a traditional Provençal fish stew dish originating from Marseille.
For true gastronomy, though, it really has to be Michelin-starred La Vague d’Or, where the breathtaking sea views are second only to the creative dishes. Boasting a score of 19/20 from the esteemed Gault & Millau restaurant guide, this gourmet eatery is headed up by Chef Arnaud Donckele who takes a field-to-table approach when developing and crafting each exquisite dish.
Nestled on the verdant hillside of Gassin, La Verdoyante boasts spectacular views across the surrounding wine estates and the sweeping Gulf of Saint-Tropez. A family-run restaurant since 1979, this elegant eatery offers a sublime selection of classic French dishes infused with citrus fruits and sweet spices. On sunny afternoons, the outdoor dining terrace offers the very best views, shaded under hundred-year-old oaks.
At onefinestay, we offer a range of exclusive concierge services to make sure your holiday is as unforgettable as it should be. There’s no need to worry about arranging transfers or car rentals - we do the hard work for you before your arrival. We can also offer individual experiences, including in-house spa treatments and private chef services for an intimate dining experience with your family. Your personal concierge will take you through these options when you book with us, along with personalised travel advice and tailored recommendations for your French Riviera getaway.
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