On the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, in the French Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, lies the luxury resort of Saint-Tropez. It has long been a favorite holiday destination of the European Bohemia. A harbor full of luxury yachts and sailing boats, sandy beaches surrounded by pine groves, pastel houses on the coastal slopes — it's hard to resist the beauty of Saint-Tropez. History and art lovers won't be bored here either. Medieval architecture, mysterious streets of the Old Town, rich art galleries, and museums await curious tourists. Saint-Tropez is particularly popular with the youth. Nightclubs, discos, and bars, as well as social parties and daily promenades along the waterfront, are waiting for them. Saint-Tropez is a SPA fairy tale that cannot be forgotten and to which one wants to return over and over again.
Attractions of Saint-Tropez
The Mediterranean resort has prepared many wonderful places for its guests: the perfect beauty of the beaches, the fabulous Old Town, majestic churches, interesting museums, picturesque restaurants with amazing cuisine. Make up your travel route in advance to see all the delights of the sunny city.
At the beginning of the X century, Saint-Tropez was one of the settlements where Muslim pirates were based. Then it became part of the Counts of Provence. The citizens built a small fortress to protect the coast from attacks from the sea.
In the first half of the XVII century, a Japanese expedition led by Samurai Tsunenaga landed on the coast of Saint-Tropez. It is believed that this was the first contact between the French and Japanese.
In the middle of the XVII century, the city was attacked by the Spaniards. But the inhabitants managed to fight off the attacks of 22 enemy galleons.
Saint-Tropez as a resort was first mentioned at the very end of the XIX century. At that time, the famous artist Paul Signac settled here in the villa. He was so fascinated by this place that he told his friends and acquaintances about it with delight. Famous Bohemians and aristocrats of that time, including Henri Matisse, Pierre Bonnard, Coco Chanel, and Elsa Schiaparelli, followed him here.
During the Second World War, German troops landed on the city's coast. From here, they began to invade southern France.
After the war, the popularity of the resort decreased. The next revival of the city began in the 1950s, after the filming of the famous movies with Brigitte Bardot and Louis de Funes, starring "And God Created Woman" and "The Troops of St. Tropez".
The best time to visit Saint-Tropez
In mid-May each year, Saint-Tropez celebrates the patron saint of the city, Saint Torpetius. The festival program is very varied. It includes military parades, carnival processions, musical performances, city fairs. Anyone can take part in the carnival procession. You just need to wear a national costume. The festivity lasts for three days. On the last day, a bust of the patron saint of St. Tropez is carried through the city. It is kept in the chapel of St. Anne.
In September, Saint-Tropez awaits active people and extreme lovers. At this time, sports competitions in water polo and other marine activities are held here. But the most anticipated event of the feast is the magnificent sailing regatta, in which several dozen yachts take part.
Theater-goers from many countries come to Saint-Tropez in late July for the Festival de Ramatuelle. It features dramatic plays, humor, and avant-garde performances. All events are held outdoors, allowing the audience to enjoy not only theatrical scenes but also the fresh sea breeze.
In Saint-Tropez, it is impossible to be bored at any time of year. But if you don't like rainy weather, it's better to choose the period from April to September.
Consider the cost of meals at the resort when planning your travel budget. Thus, you will have to pay €2.7 for a bottle of mineral water, €10 for 0.5 liters of local beer, and €3 for a cup of cappuccino. The cost of Big Mac Menu at McDonald's is €7. Lunch for one person at an inexpensive café is €23. The price of a dinner for two with alcoholic beverages in a good restaurant starts at €102.
You can take a taxi to travel around Saint-Tropez and its suburbs. The only city station is in the port. You can also order a car by phone.
Renting a car is a popular service here. You must have an international driver's license and leave a deposit to rent a car. There are offices of famous European car rental companies in the city: Hertz, Avis, Europcar.
If you want to save money on living in the city, choose a hostel. The average price per night is €85. A room in a 3-star hotel will cost €107 per night, a 4-star hotel — €147, a luxury or boutique hotel — €426.
What should a tourist do in Saint-Tropez
- Take a walk in the Old Town. Experience the incredible peace of a Provencal town in the narrow cobblestone streets, admire the beautiful yachts in the port. There is also the famous promenade of Saint-Tropez, where you can see many celebrities. Sit in one of the picturesque cafes for a cup of coffee, enjoying the chic views and the fresh sea air.
- Climb to the ancient citadel. On the territory of a mighty fortification constructed in the early XVI century, you can feel the atmosphere of the Middle Ages, see the household, and the everyday objects of that time. Visit the Maritime Museum, located in the main tower of the citadel. It features exhibitions that tell the story of the region's glorious past. From the height of the citadel, you can enjoy an impressive panorama of the beautiful city and its surroundings.
- Admire the parish church Notre-Dame de l'Assomption. The famous symbol of the city with its yellow and ochre tower was erected in the second half of the XVIII century. Pay attention to the facade of the temple, decorated with a beautiful statue of St Torpetius in full height. The main decoration of the church interior is the magnificent four-span aisle.
- Visit Le Château de Suffren. This magnificent building was constructed in the X century. Even in the Middle Ages, it exhibited various works of art. Nowadays it houses a popular antique museum shop, where you can find unique items.
- Admire works of art in the art gallery Musée de l'Annonciade. It is located in the ancient building of the Chapel of Notre-Dame de l'Annonciade. It houses unique paintings by avant-garde artists of the late XIX and mid-XX centuries who lived and worked in Saint-Tropez. Among them, you can see the works of such famous masters of the brush as Paul Signac, Henri Matisse, Pierre Bonnard, Francis Picabia, Maurice de Vlaminck.
- Get thrilled at the House of Butterflies (the Maison des Papillons). A stunning museum is located in the old Etienne Berny street. Its exhibitions are based on the collections of the artist Dany Lartigue, son of a famous French photographer, and include more than 35 thousand species of these ephemeral insects. On the first floor, you can admire the exotic butterflies of South America, Africa, and Oceania, and the second floor offers the species from Europe.
- Recall the famous film series at the Gendarmerie and Cinema Museum. Its expositions introduce visitors to the gendarmerie department in Saint-Tropez and the processes of making legendary films. Photographs, posters, and other memorabilia of the period are on display here.
- Take a motorboat ride in the sea. Picturesque landscapes, turquoise water, marine air — such an excursion will be remembered for a long time.
- Have a rest on a beach. Sandy beaches with excellently-developed infrastructure are an ideal place for the summer holidays. The most easily-accessible beach of the city is Les Granier, which is located at the foot of the citadel.
- Taste the local cuisine. Order bouillabaisse (seafood soup served with garlic croutons), Cod Provençal (fish fillet stewed with cream and olive oil), and local cheeses. Don't forget to try the famous local dessert tarte tropéazienne (an air bun with a thick cream layer), calissons (a sweet made of candied fruit and almonds covered with white glaze).