In St Tropez, discover one of the French Riviera’s liveliest towns where the twisting, narrow cobblestone streets of the Old Quarter open on to tiny squares, and a quay lined with tall pastel-hued houses overlooks a port filled with millionaires’ yachts.
This former sleepy fishing village became increasingly popular with honeymoon couples after the 1950s success of Roger Vadim’s film Et Dieu Créa la Femme (And God Created Woman), starring Brigitte Bardot.
Situated on the western edge of the French Riviera, St Tropez lies around 133km east of Marseille and about 78km west of Cannes.
Today, you can relax in a choice of chic al fresco waterfront cafés and fine dining restaurants that also allow you to watch the rich and famous dining out on the decks of huge yachts tied up along the quay.
Sip an espresso al fresco and watch old men playing pétanque in the shade of old pine trees at picturesque Place des Lices. Later browse for designer labels in the square’s upmarket fashion boutiques or at the colourful market held on Saturday and Tuesday mornings.
Admire paintings by artists such as Bonnard, Matisse, Utrillo and Braque among others at the Musee de l'Annonciade on Place Grammont – one of the Riviera's finest collections of Impressionist paintings.
Climb up to the 17th century Citadel for great sea views, then join the locals on one of St Tropez’ great beaches, easily reached by taxi, bicycle and scooter or on foot along the Sentier Littoral, a pathway that snakes around the southern coast.
If you want soft golden sand then St Tropez is the place to be. The best beaches in and around St Tropez, include…
Unwind on the soft golden sand of France's most infamous beach, where topless sunbathing is common practice.
Go swimming, waterskiing and wakeboarding. Watch people cruise past while you enjoy a refreshing drink or snack at one of the many beachfront bars and cafés. Facilities include umbrellas, sun loungers and a range of water sports activities.
The aptly named nudist beach, Plage de la Liberté, lies at the southern end of the beach where it joins the Plage de Pampelonne. Even with the nudity, this is a very popular beach not only for jetsetters but also for French families.
Plage de Tahiti is located at the northern end of Baie de Pampelonne in the district of Ramatuelle, around 4km south of St Tropez.
Pick your own spot to sunbathe on this gorgeous 9km-long golden-sand beach that stretches between Cap du Pinet and Cap Camarat, home to France’s second-tallest lighthouse.
Swim in the warm turquoise waters of the beautiful bay, stroll along the beach and follow the path around the craggy hillside of Cap Camarat, where you can climb to the summit and be rewarded with fabulous views of this lush green peninsula and the Mediterranean Sea.
Public beach facilities include umbrellas, sun loungers and beachfront cafés and restaurants. This trendy beach is a continuation of Plage de Tahiti.
Plage de Pampellone is located around 5km south of St Tropez.
Dig your toes into the soft golden sand of this long beach that sits to the north of a 98ha marine village and miniature-styled Venice.
People-watch for celebrities and admire some of the Riviera’s most expensive yachts moored in the harbour.
Port Grimaud beach is less decadent than those south of St Tropez. Beach facilities include umbrellas, sun loungers and beachfront cafés and restaurants.
Plage Port Grimaud is located around 8km west of St Tropez.
Note: Typically, going topless is de rigueur (required by etiquette or fashion) on all Côte d'Azur beaches, but total nudity is generally forbidden except on designated beaches such as Cape d’Agde and Port Cros.
St Tropez offers an array of hotel accommodation to suit all honeymoon budgets. Splurge on either the legendary Hotel Byblos, which boasts a feast of creature comforts such as a luxury spa and a premiere nightclub, or the opulent Le Bastide de St Tropez, noted for its fine dining restaurant, L’Olivier.
Location: Av. Paul Signac, Saint Tropez
Prices: from AUD553 per room
Description: This luxurious retreat is located on a hill above Saint Tropez Harbour. The hotel is filled with antiques and rare objects, marquetry floors and a Persian-rug ceiling. All guestrooms are unique, often with high ceilings and might include a fireplace on a raised hearth or a bed recessed on a dais. A stylish annex contains 10 duplex suites built around a small courtyard with an outdoor spa. Some rooms have balconies overlooking an inner courtyard, while others open onto a flower-strewn terrace.
Facilities incl.: 2 restaurants, 2 bars, concierge, outdoor pool, health club and spa, nightclub and room service.
La Bastide de Saint Tropez
Location: Route Des Carles, Saint Tropez
Prices: from AUD337 per room
Description: Located close to La Maison des Papillons, Musee de l'Annonciade and Saint Tropez Citadel, this hotel is styled after a Provençal manor house. An opulent interior contains a monumental staircase leading from a sun-filled living room to the upper floors. The guest rooms are named according to their individual decor. Each has a terrace or private garden, and some have Jacuzzis. Bedding with matching draperies are among the most luxurious in St-Tropez.
Facilities incl.: restaurant, bar, outdoor pool and room service.
Chateau De La Messardiere
Location: Route De Tahiti Saint-Tropez
Prices: from AUD409 per room
Description: Situated in Saint-Tropez, this hotel is close to Pampelonne Beach, La Maison des Papillons and Saint Tropez Citadel. All guestrooms and suites have balconies or private terraces offering stunning views over the Bay of Saint-Tropez, Pampelonne beaches and Ramatuelle vineyards. Amenities include flat-panel televisions with satellite channels, air conditioning and safes. Bathrooms include phones and hair dryers.
Facilities incl.: restaurants, 2 bars, 2 pools, full-service spa and steam room, complimentary hish-speed internet.
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The best time to visit St Tropez is during May, June and September when the weather is still warm, around 26°C (79°F), and you can avoid the crowds, traffic jams, high prices and heat of July and August, when temperatures average 27°C (81°F) but can often soar to 35°C (95°F).
St Tropez enjoys warm summers and mild winters.
Summer, from June to September, enjoys clear sunny days with an average high of 27°C (81°F) made pleasant by cooling sea breezes.
St Tropez sees an average high of 24°C (75°F) in June, 28°C (82°F) in July and August before dropping to 24°C (75°F) in September. However, summer temperatures can soar beyond 35°C (95°F).
Seawater temperature peaks at 23°C (73°F) in August.
For more climate info: St Tropez Weather Guide…
Latest update: St Tropez Honeymoon Guide: 20 March, 2018
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