Yes, Bardot sunbathed here. Matisse painted here. Luxury yachts berth here. This is upscale paradise, littered with millionaires
and billionaires from the world over; jet-setters, film stars and models flock here to see and be seen. But there’s more to Saint-Tropez (the town and the beach)
than glamour and riches.
This is a place bathed in history as evidenced by its very old churches, stone towers and turrets, and ancient harbor. For centuries it served as a commercial
port and shipyard, and was the focal point for the liberation of southern France in World War II. Situated on the French Riviera, its fabulous climate and innate
charm saw it grow as a resort and then hit peak status as one of the most sophisticated spots for the wealthy to vacation.
In early October, one of the major sailing regattas, Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, takes place, but regattas here are like snowflakes in the Artic; they happen a
lot! Boating of all sorts is a big feature of Saint-Tropez Beach with two harbors, the old and the new, and a showy collection of power boats, yachts, and the
occasional lowly canoe.
Water sports are part of the play scene here, including jet-skiing, water-skiing, scuba diving, swimming and windsurfing. The beach areas, including sections
known as “Pampelone” and “Bonne Terrase”, are all just south of the town proper. But the major attraction here is sunbathing for the beautiful, and those who
like to walk the beach watching the beautiful sunbathe!
The pretty people are not all there is to see. The quaint, architecturally interesting buildings are mostly plaster bathed in colors like pink and ochre; they
line the old harbor and the narrow streets in the town. A walk through the old port area is charming, especially at night when the moored boats are lit up, and
the port-side restaurants and bistros are lively with music and chatter. Be sure to visit the cannons of the citadel and the venerable Tour Jarlier, for this is
a town with a rich historical life.
The experience at Saint-Tropez Beach is varied and fascinating. Activities abound, the people-watching is unparalleled, and there is no other place than France
where you can visit a patisserie and then hit the sand. This is a magical kingdom and playground for the sophisticates among us.