A view of St Tropez, France, from a vista point, with the sea and mountains in the background
Photo by Danny Navarro  –  Link

St Tropez

France

Once a sleepy fishing village, St-Tropez gained its reputation as a glamorous destination in the 1950s and has been thriving ever since. Located on the French Riviera, this town was put on the map by French New Wave cinema, attracting an influx of artists and intellectuals, before becoming a popular resort for jet-setters all over the world.

Today, the town is synonymous with an extravagant lifestyle, with yacht-lined harbours, champagne parties, and designer boutiques all giving it its reputation of excess. In the high season (July and August), it is a lively destination brimming with excitement and attracting thousands of visitors. And yet, if you visit St Tropez in the low season you'll find a serene side to the town, with a charming fishing quarter, quiet beaches, and the opportunity to relax and take in the beautiful St Tropez peninsula. Whether you're after glitz and glamour or a peaceful holiday escape, St Tropez has got it all.

Key events

St Tropez is also known for the many events that take place in the town each year, one of the most important being the Les Voiles de St Tropez regatta. As an end-of-summer event taking place in the final week of September, the regatta brings around 300 yachts to the town, ranging from ancient to modern, to compete in the famous race. In the evenings, all the yachts moor in the port to celebrate the sailing season on dry land, making this a great excuse for a party.

Another key event in the St Tropez calendar is the Festival d'Automne (Autumn Festival), which takes place in, you guessed it, Autumn. This festival is entirely dedicated to classical music, and includes many live performances across three dates at the Théâtre de la Renaissance.

The shopaholics among you will want to check out the annual Braderie (sales) weekend, a shopping lover's heaven on earth. For four whole days, the town essentially becomes one big clearance sale, with many high-end brands taking to the streets to sell off the year's leftover stock at a fraction of the price. This event takes place at the end of October, and if you want a bargain you won't want to miss it.

Other events include the slightly later Voiles d'Automne regatta in November, the Porsche Rally, and the Festival of Australian and New Zealand Film.

The best beaches

Pampelonne Beach: One of the best-known beaches in St Tropez is Pampelonne Beach, a three-mile stretch of sand which was the root of the town's fame in the 1950s. Today, the beach is awash with celebrities, fancy beach clubs, and high-end restaurants; it's a great spot to experience St Tropez's glamour.

Cape Camarat: For a touch of nature, walk around the Cape Camarat. This rugged stretch of coastline has impressive wildlife, including native French tortoises, so it's a scenic break from the opulent town. Only one beach is accessible on the Cape, Bonne Terrasse, a sheltered bay with beautiful clear water that's well worth the walk to reach it.

For smaller beaches, head to La Glaye, La Ponche, or de la Fontanette, which all front the oldest part of the town, making for some scenic sunbathing. But be warned; when we say smaller, we mean much smaller, so finding a spot can be difficult in the high season.