The South of France is famous for its beautiful beaches, glorious weather, delectable cuisine and luxurious living. Mention the French Riviera and images of yachts, fine dining, and high-end shopping spring to mind. Dive a little deeper and you’ll discover many museums and galleries bringing to life the art and history that lies among the glitz and glamour. Among the many popular locations along the French Riviera is Saint-Tropez.
Location for the filming of ‘And God Created Woman’ starring Brigitte Bardot, this once quaint fishing village was suddenly launched into the limelight when the movie premiered in 1956. It quickly became the new chic hotspot and favourite summer destination for celebs, growing rapidly in size and popularity. Today this town displays a magnificent mixture of both old and new, showing how beautifully the past and the present can co-exist.
From galleries celebrating both historical and contemporary art, ancient cobblestone roads leading to modern-day masterpieces of architecture to super yachts moored at the old port, this place of blended beauty is a feast for the eyes and the soul. Whether you’re a beach lover, an art enthusiast, a history buff, or a foodie, Saint-Tropez has something special waiting for you. Here are some of the best things to do in Saint-Tropez.
- Saint-Tropez, France
- Top Tours
- 20 Things To Do In Saint-Tropez
- 1- Visit The Musée De L’Annonciade
- 2– Soak Up The Sun On The Glorious Beaches
- 3– Day Trips To Special Beaches: Pampelonne, Tahiti And Moutte
- 4– Yacht Watch At Port De Saint-Tropez And Vieux Port De Pêche
- 5– Explore The Charm Of The Old Town
- 6– Experience Provençal Life At Place Des Lices
- 7– Hike The Sentier Du Littoral Coastal Path
- 8– Discover The Town’s History At La Citadelle And Musee D’Histoire Maritime
- 9– Musée De La Gendarmerie Et Du Cinema
- 10– Grab A Drink And Dance The Night Away
- 11– Retail Therapy Or Window Shopping?
- 12– Step Into Nature At Chateau de la Moutte
- 13– La Maison Des Papillons
- 14– Visit Eglise Notre Dame De l’Assomption
- 15– Get Out On The Water
- 16– Bottoms Up: Take A Wine Tasting And Vineyard Tour
- 17– Make The Most Of French Cuisine
- 18– Visit Port Grimaud
- 19– Day Trips To Nice Or Cannes
- 20– Visit Plaine Des Maures Natural Park
20 Things To Do In Saint-Tropez
1- Visit The Musée De L’Annonciade
First port of call for art lovers is a visit to the Musée de l’Annonciade, which is by far the most popular art museum and gallery in Saint-Tropez.
The museum perfectly encapsulates the towns old-becomes-new tradition and is housed in a former 16th century chapel; the building is a work of art to be appreciated itself.
Inside it showcases a remarkable collection of works by contemporary artists who have worked in the town, such as Paul Signac, Matisse and Derain.
Walk through the grand halls and from floor to floor on a journey through time and creativity, and feel inspired by the many artists who have been influenced by, and in turn have influenced, this town.
The museum is generally open seven days a week but can close for certain holidays, so make sure to check the website for the dates of your stay.
Musée de l’Annonciade is at 2 Place Georges Grammont, 83990.
2– Soak Up The Sun On The Glorious Beaches
With 10 km (6 miles) of coastline, Saint-Tropez has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, so make sure to enjoy them during your stay.
With some on the edge of the town and others hidden a little further out, there are plenty of options whether you’re heading by foot or by car. And there really are dozens to choose from! Let me offer some options…
- For relaxed convenience: Plage de Saint-Tropez
Near the centre of town lies this soft sand slice of heaven right on your doorstep. With azure water and space for towels or loungers, this is an ideal spot for sunbathing and swimming, while eyeing up the impressive yachts nearby.
- For walking or hiking: Plage des Graniers.
Also nearby is this rugged stretch of coastline with some pebbly-sand areas, perfect for walking or hiking, while not being too far from amenities.
- For somewhere a little quieter: Plage des Canoubiers.
Set about 30 minutes by foot from the town centre, this slice beach is only 200 meters long and is generally more popular with the locals. That’s not to say it isn’t just as beautiful! Here you can rent a paddle board from the sailing club to really make the most of the sea.
3– Day Trips To Special Beaches: Pampelonne, Tahiti And Moutte
While the convenience of being near the town centre is appealing, it would be a shame to miss out on these firm favourites among holiday makers and celebs alike.
Plage de Pampelonne is by far the most popular beach in the Saint-Tropez area.
Sitting a little way South East of the town centre, it boasts over 3 miles (5km) of soft white sand and rich turquoise water, with plenty of beach clubs, bars and restaurants dotted alongside.
At 3 miles (5km) away from the town centre, you can easily reach it by car or bus, or it takes about an hour to reach by foot.
Plage de Tahiti sits North of Pampelonne, about two miles (3.5km) away from Saint-Tropez centre.
A little closer and easier to get to, and less popular than Pampelonne so generally quieter.
If travelling by car, you can find parking at the South end of the beach, but if you’re walking, it should take about 45 minutes.
Here you’ll find a mix of both public and private beaches, with plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from.
Plage de la Moutte is one of the most wild beaches along this coast.
Sitting three miles (5km) away from Saint-Tropez centre, this unspoiled slice of paradise is quite the hidden gem.
It tends to be quieter than the beaches previously mentioned, and although it seems private, it is in fact public and is one of the best spots of swimming and snorkelling to explore the unspoiled sea bed.
Recommended tour: Pampelonne Beach: Guided Evening Kayaking Trip
4– Yacht Watch At Port De Saint-Tropez And Vieux Port De Pêche
Walk along the promenade and experience the shift in time and culture so prominent in this town.
Vieux Port de Pêche, the towns old fishing port, sits not far from the newer port, Port De Saint-Tropez.
Between these two spots history blends with luxury as weathered fishing boats sit docked among expensive yachts.
With the two marinas so near to each other, you’ll see super yachts aplenty!
I highly recommend finding a spot to simply sit and take in your surroundings.
Watching the yachts docking or undocking is a quite the sight, as it takes a team of people with such precision and care.
- Cannes: Round-Trip Boat Transfer to Saint Tropez
- From Nice: Round-Trip Transportation to Saint Tropez by Boat
5– Explore The Charm Of The Old Town
When exploring the Old Town, start by grabbing a bite to eat at one of the waterfront bistros (freshly caught seafood galore) before heading away from the marinas and further into town.
Walk through the maze of alleyways along the cobblestone streets where once again tradition and modernity meet.
Notice the impressive architecture and how much of it houses some of the most high-end shopping boutiques, a real clash of old meets new.
Recommended tour: French Riviera Full-Day Private Tour
6– Experience Provençal Life At Place Des Lices
Within the walls of the old town lies Place des Lices, a vibrant square full of French spirit and soul.
It was once a jousting ground but by the early 1800s had been transformed into the square we see today.
Framed by trees and full of activity, this bustling area really exudes a Provençal ambience.
Grab a coffee at one of the charming cafes, then sit back and people-watch as locals play pétanque (a ball game similar to bowls), and simply enjoy the lively atmosphere.
Every Tuesday and Saturday morning the square hosts a market, selling some of the finest local produce.
Rustic baked breads, fresh pastries, French cheeses, locally farmed sausages, seasonal flowers, fruits and vegetables, all fill the air with the most delicious smells.
There are also clothing and homeware stalls, ideal for unique souvenirs that aren’t the usual tacky plastic.
Recommended tour: Saint-Tropez: “CoupleAdventure”: fun game, challenges and walk
7– Hike The Sentier Du Littoral Coastal Path
Get out of the town and explore the breathtaking nature of the French Riviera.
Starting at the pier, you’ll find a map under the Tour du Portalet offering a few different hike options, ranging from 2.7 km (1.6 miles) to 12 km (7.5 miles).
Take your pick, and follow the yellow brick road (almost literally – it’s well marked with a yellow line for easy map-less hiking).
Depending on which route you take, you’ll walk along the Mediterranean coast, passing some exquisite private properties, rugged cliffs, hidden coves, pine tree forests and pristine beaches.
I recommend starting in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the midday heat as much as possible, and be sure to take water and food as you’ll come across plenty of serene picnic spots along the way.
Recommended tour: Ramatuelle: Gulf of Saint-Tropez Electric Mountain Bike Tour
8– Discover The Town’s History At La Citadelle And Musee D’Histoire Maritime
Perched majestically upon a hill overlooking Saint-Tropez sits the impressive citadel, built in 1602 to protect the town from the invading Spanish forces.
In 1958 the dungeons were renovated to house a naval museum, turning this spectacular fortresses into an educational space, offering a journey through the towns extensive past.
With exotic peacocks wandering freely within the grounds, and much to learn within the walls, La Citadelle And Musee D’Histoire Maritime is a popular attraction for history buffs and curious travellers of all ages.
Wander through rooms full of maritime artefacts and navigational instruments, and learn about the sea-faring heroes who helped to protect and transform the town, from modest fishing village to Mediterranean hotspot.
It is open every day, except certain public holidays, and offers guided tours that should be booked in advance.
La Citadelle and Musee D’Histoire Maritime are at 1 Mnt de la Citadelle, 83990.
9– Musée De La Gendarmerie Et Du Cinema
If you want to learn more about the towns history, specifically in TV and cinema, I highly recommend taking a trip to this quaint, quirky and fun museum.
For over 125 years the building itself was a gendamerie (police station) which was actually used in many gendamarie comedy movies.
These, along with other movies set in the area, helped to launch the popularity of the town and many of the stars and directors involved, such as Brigitte Bardot.
For a low admission fee you can spend a couple of hours here learning about the towns fun and creative history, with both French and English translations available.
Musée De La Gendarmerie Et Du Cinema is at 2 Pl. Blanqui, 83990.
10– Grab A Drink And Dance The Night Away
As if it wasn’t bustling enough during the day, this town really comes to life after dark! With a blend of sophistication and excitement, it’s the place to be for VIPs and celebrities, so don’t be surprised if you see some A-Listers on your night out.
Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Leonardo DiCaprio have often been seen enjoying a drink and dancing the night away around here! From intimate pubs and chic bars to high-energy dance clubs, there’s something for everyone.
Discover the hotspots within the towns walls or head down to the waterfront for a drink with a view.
11– Retail Therapy Or Window Shopping?
St Tropez attracts the wealthy and stylish, so it’s no surprise that shopping here is quite the experience.
Walk through the cobblestone streets and take a look around the many high-end boutiques, art galleries, and designer stores housed in historical and stunning architectural gems.
There are around 600 boutiques in St Tropez, including Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Dior.
You’ll find plenty of choices, whether you’re wanting to splash some cash or simply window shop and appreciate the fashion and luxury goods.
I would recommend heading down Rue Gambetta where quaint shops offer some unique treasures from local designers, or venture over to Place des Lices, as mentioned earlier, for more artisanal finds.
12– Step Into Nature At Chateau de la Moutte
I highly recommend a trip to this most enchanting estate.
Dating back to the 19th century, it was once a retreat for famous figures and artists, including Coco Chanel and Picasso.
With a four hectare (10 acre) park open to the public 3 days a week during the summer, you’ll find yourself walking beneath giant palm trees and strings of vines, surrounded by a variety of exotic plants.
The gardens are also a sanctuary for protected species like woodpeckers and bats, so a great place to enjoy nature.
The castle itself is only open to the public on set days in September, but if you happen to be visiting at that time I highly recommend adding this to your to-do list.
Inside you can wander through the lavishly adorned rooms, including the library with around 4500 of some of the greatest volumes by the most celebrated writers.
Art exhibitions and concerts are often hosted on the grounds, blending history, art and natural beauty, so make sure to see what’s on during your stay!
Chateau de la Moutte is at 133 Chem. de la Moutte, 83990.
13– La Maison Des Papillons
For another dose of natures beauty head over to this small and unique museum showcasing an exquisite collection of butterflies.
Based inside a provençal town house, here you can discover a wide variety of butterfly species from all around the world.
Admire the kaleidoscope of colours and intricate patterns of butterflies displayed in lifelike settings.
The educational exhibit also teaches visitors about the life cycle, behaviours and ecological importance of the butterflies, making it a fun and informative experience for all ages.
The admittance fee is only a few euros, so it’s a cheap and cheerful couple of hours, well worth the trip!
La Maison Des Papillons is at 17 Rue Etienne Berny, 83990.
14– Visit Eglise Notre Dame De l’Assomption
Possibly one of the most recognisable sights of St Tropez is this brightly coloured Italian baroque-style church.
With its bright yellow bell tower, you’re sure to recognise it from all of the postcards and magnets in souvenir shops around town.
It was built in 1784 and is home to statues and wood carvings dating back to the early 19th century.
One of those is the bust of the Patron Saint of Saint-Tropez himself, which is marched through the streets during an annual festival.
Eglise Notre Dame De l’Assomption is an easy walk through town at Rue Commandant Guichard, 83990.
15– Get Out On The Water
If you’ve had enough of exploring the town for a while, why not get back to the beach and make the most of that inviting turquoise water.
Scuba and Snorkelling
There are over 60 scuba and snorkel dive sites around the Saint-Tropez area.
One of the most popular wreck dives is The Rubis, a mine-laying submarine, sitting on the seabed 40 m below the surface in great visibility.
Have a look around at the local businesses offering scuba and snorkelling experiences for your chance to explore beneath the surface.
Sailing and Yachting
If you’re inspired by all the yachts and boats sitting in the marinas and want your own taste of life at sea, then why not take a sailing lesson or hire a motor yacht or speedboat?
There are a few options around, whether you’re looking for a charter for a week, or simply a dinghy for a day.
Pampelonne beach is the best spot for kitesurfing and windsurfing, and has a good variety of options for water-sport hire.
Jetskis, wakeboards and seabobs are available but I do recommend booking ahead if possible as it can be quite popular.
16– Bottoms Up: Take A Wine Tasting And Vineyard Tour
If you’re a wine-lover I highly recommend taking a wine tasting and vineyard tour while in the area.
France’s wine culture is unparalleled, and Saint-Tropez has some exceptional wineries for you to visit.
Take a stroll through the picturesque vineyards, guided by an expert vintner who will share their knowledge of the wine making process, and sip on a range of wines, from crisp roses to robust reds, all accompanied by some gorgeous French cheeses and other local delicacies.
The whole experience really is a treat for the senses.
The best time to go is during the harvest season, in the late summer or early fall.
17– Make The Most Of French Cuisine
If you’re a non-fussy foodie then your taste buds are going to love the South of France.
There are a small number of food tours and private cater hires available, but in my opinion the best way to experience the local flavours is to be immersed in the atmosphere at the same time; a treat for all the senses.
Wandering around the town you’ll find many a hidden gems, from cosy cafes to fine dining experiences, where you can indulge in some of the most famous flavours of France.
My personal recommendations would be:
- Bouillabaisse – a delectable fish stew
- Ratatouille – a medley of seasonal Mediterranean vegetables
- Soupe au Pistou – a fragrant vegetable soup
- Tarte Tropézienne – for desert, a pastry filled with creamy custard and topped with pearl sugar.
If you’re staying in self-catering accommodation, I would recommend heading back to Place des Lices market to pick up some local produce and ingredients, and perhaps even taking some home to keep the flavours alive after your holiday comes to an end.
18– Visit Port Grimaud
Welcome to “Little Venice.” 7 km (4.5 miles) to the West of Saint-Tropez, lies Port Grimaud, a gorgeous car-free coastal village full of canals and pedestrianised cobblestone streets.
It was built only recently in 1960 when architect Francois Spoerry bought the area with the dream of owning a house on the water to moor his boat.
Explore by foot or take a leisurely boat ride (there are plenty to hire and drive yourself!) through the spectacular canals, admiring the colourful waterfront houses, shops and cafes.
Enjoy some of the freshest seafood and a glass of wine at one of the many quayside bistros, and treat yourself to a delicious cone of gelato.
Recommended tour: Saint-Tropez and Port Grimaud Full-Day Guided Tour
19– Day Trips To Nice Or Cannes
Driving is the fastest way to travel (you can hire a car if you don’t have your own!) at about 1 hour and 45 minutes to Cannes, or 2 hours to Nice.
Venture out of Saint-Tropez for a day trip to either Nice or Cannes.
Drive through the serene landscape just inland of the coast, with the freedom to stop and enjoy the views along your journey.
I would highly recommend stopping off at Fréjus on the way; the most gorgeous port town with a Romanesque cathedral.
The train takes a little longer, about 3 hours, but the train tracks follow the coast the entire way, giving you a laid-back journey with plenty of time to simply sit and enjoy the spectacular views.
Both cities offer a tapestry of history, culture and seaside, with so much to do and see.
If you time it right, you can rub shoulders with the stars in Cannes during the famous Cannes Film Festival in May.
- Cannes: Round-Trip Boat Transfer to Saint Tropez
- From Nice: Round-Trip Transportation to Saint Tropez by Boat
20– Visit Plaine Des Maures Natural Park
The Plaine des Maures is a natural park about 30 km (19 miles) West of Saint-Tropez.
Brimming with umbrella pines, cork oak trees, pink sandstone, and full of wild fauna and flora, this serene natural sanctuary is the perfect tranquil escape for nature lovers.
Wander through the wilderness along the hiking trails, head to the lake for a spot of birdwatching, and discover remnants of Roman and medieval settlements.
Be sure to keep a close eye out for Hermann’s tortoises, who are known to populate the protected area.
Recommended tours: Saint-Tropez: Kayak Experience in Ramatuelle Reserve
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