St Tropez - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to St Tropez

St Tropez

St Tropez has long held the reputation of being the 'black sheep' of the renowned French Riviera holiday resort towns, where anything goes and the more sinful the better. Sexy starlets were flaunting themselves topless here back in the 1930s, long before the beautiful people dared disrobe elsewhere, and St Tropez' reputation as a kinky carnival town attracting the more bohemian members of the 'in' crowd continues to this day. The fairly inaccessible fishing village of St Tropez, sited on a peninsula, was 'discovered' late in the 19th century by a bunch of reprobate writers and artists, and its reputation as a flamboyant and fashionable holiday destination quickly spread.

There is little left of the medieval Provencal atmosphere of the original town, but behind the rows of yachts fronting the terraced cafés of the waterfront are some narrow, picturesque streets full of shops. The hub of the St Tropez town is the Place aux Herbes, a busy enclave of fish, fruit, vegetable and flower stalls, where the tourism office is located.

From May to September, St Tropez is the wild holiday destination people imagine, but in the off season the town virtually shuts down, reverting to a quieter, calmer existance as just another French port town.

Information & Facts


The beach in St Tropez is famous, and has a number of bars, cafes, and places for watersports, especially the popular Plage de Tahiti, three miles (4.5km) out of town. The beaches west of St Tropez are popular with nudists. Stroll the Sentier Littoral, a coastal walking route with fabulous views. Depending on your taste either avoid or make a beeline for the nudist beaches to the west of St Tropez. Visit the Musée de I'Annonciade which has an exceptional collection of post-Impressionist paintings.

French is the official language.

The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in France. Currency can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and some large hotels, though you will get a better exchange rate at the ATMs. Major credit cards are widely accepted, as are travellers cheques, particularly in major tourist destinations. Foreign currency is not accepted.


St Tropez is expensive, and has little in the way of attractions for younger children. During peak summer months (July to August) it is expensive and getting into bars and restaurants can be difficult.


The area around Quai Jean Jaures on the waterfront is where the best of the nightlife can be found. Within town, check out the charismatic and laid-back bars in and around Place des Lices. For celebrity spotting and pricey champagne cocktails get dressed up and head to Nikki Beach and the VIP Room. For a more casual night you can head to Kelly's Irish Pub, which is popular with expats.


There are numerous good value restaurants around the waterfront, most with good views and set menus. Place des Lices is lined with good cafes and patisseries. Résidence de la Pinède is known for good Provençal cuisine, while Salama's is a popular spot for Morrocan food. Restaurant Le Cafe is a nice family-friendly bistro, and Cristina Saulini Ristorante Italiano serves excellent Italian.


Don't miss the huge outdoor market at Place des Lices on Tuesday and Saturday mornings. You'll find big name boutiques throughout St Tropez with high-end fashion labels for the jet set, and plenty of generic shops selling suntan lotion and other beach accessories. For top end art work visit Galerie des Lices. Popular souvenirs from St Tropez are olives and products made from olive trees. There isn't a concentrated shopping district in St Tropez, but many shops are tucked away in side streets if you look. Avoid the shops along the waterfront, as the prices are significantly higher than those just a block or two inland.

Local time is GMT +1 (GMT +2 between last Sunday in March and last Sunday in October).

People don't just come to St Tropez for the nightlife, it also has some of the best beaches in France. Most are away from the centre; although the family beaches, Plage des Graniers and Plage des Cannebiers, are within walking distance. The most serious collection of beaches are along the Baie de Pampelonne, south of St Tropez, the best known is the Plage de Tahiti which has long been favoured by exhibitionists wearing next to nothing. All beaches are lined with restaurants and shops selling endless gifts or items to prove you've been there.

The area immediately around St Tropez is pretty grim; congested roads are lined with billboards and neon signs, but the surrounding hills are almost uninhabited and make for a welcome excursion from the masses and the mayhem. The best view of this richly green and flowering countryside is from the hilltop village of Gassin, its lower neighbour Ramatuelle, or the tiny road between them, the dramatic route des Moulins de Paillas, where among the vineyards are three ruined windmills that were once powered by the dreaded winter mistral. Several vineyards offer wine tasting. Along the coast there are a number of good walking trails. Maps are available at the tourist office.

Behind the cafés, the small streets and old buildings of St Tropez form a picturesque scene, but they are popular venues for their multitude of shops and restaurants rather than their historical significance. Place aux Herbes is a lively square that has been a centre of activity for centuries; today it is a busy enclave of vegetable, fruit and flower stalls. Every May the town centre bubbles to life with the St Tropez bravade,a colourful festival dating back to the 15th century. It originated as a procession in honour of the town's patron saint - whose bust is carried through the town, accompanied by a guard of honour with gun salvos, and Provençal singing and dancing.

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