French Riviera Beaches and St Tropez – Glamming it Up

St Tropez is one of the best known towns on the French Riviera, situated between Marseilles and Cannes. Made famous initially by Brigitte Bardot, St Tropez continues to be a favourite destination with the rich and glamorous, know the world over for its beaches, celebrities and ‘beautiful people’.

So if you are heading to the Riviera this summer, what are the best places to visit in and around St Tropez (apart from star gazing)?

The main attraction of St Tropez is – of course – those famous french riviera beaches. Head a few kilometres southeast of the town and you’ll find sandy beaches like Plage de Tahiti and Plage de Pampelonne. There are plenty of beaches around here that are ‘bikini optional’, like La Mouette.

If you need a change from french riviera beaches, pay a visit to the Musée de l’Annonciade, a local museum boasting an excellent collection of modern art by the post-Impressionist masters. Many of the pictures are of the port of St Tropez including a famous work by Paul Signac, as well as Van Dongen’s ‘Women of the Balustrade’, along with many other paintings and sculptures by Matisse, Dufy, Utrillo and Derain.

Cycling is also a great way to explore the area, along with horse riding. The nearby mountains are the perfect place for hang gliding, paragliding and climbing. Canyoning is popular here too, and can involve walking, scrambling, climbing, jumping and even abseiling in the local gorges. The rivers have some great fishing spots; during the winter months skiing is even popular! There are two local ski stations at Greolieres-les-Neiges and at Andon-Thorenc.

Shopping is legendary in this fashion-conscious city. Although there are plenty of fashion boutiques, Choses is considered the best in St Tropez. With a great range of fashion garments, it specializes in clingy T-shirt dresses which are worn all along the Riviera. Galeries Tropeziennes has hundreds of gift items to browse in its extensive shop near Place de Lices. If antiques are your thrill then don’t miss Jacqueline Thienot on Rue Clemenceau. You can find anything from antique wrought iron to farm implements.

After dark things really wake up in St Tropez. There are several hot spots where the yachting crowds hang out and the Café de Paris is one of the best known. Chez Maggi is a popular gay and lesbian bar while Les Caves du Roy in the Hotel Bibes is a raving nightclub. Entrance is free but drink prices tend to have a zero added to regular drink prices elsewhere, but who knows which millionaire you will be rubbing shoulders with at the bar!