Visiting St. Tropez was on my travel bucket list for years, and it’s as every bit as glamorous as you would imagine. Within hours of arriving, I was already trying to convince my husband Matt to plan a trip back. As someone who’s a little less, what’s the word – exuberant – about travel as I am, even he said he’d like to visit St. Tropez again. With its effortless glamour, pristine waters, and laidback lifestyle, it’s easy to see why the French Riviera has been a luxury destination for all these years.
What was once a sleepy fishing village, St. Tropez drew in painters like Paul Signac and Henri Matisse, then later gave way to Hollywood types when Brigette Bardot’s And God Created Woman catapulted the town to international fame. On any given day in St. Tropez, you can see the intersection of both: old, but well-maintained candy-colored buildings that meet the blue Mediterranean waters lined with giant yachts.
If you’re looking for a European holiday filled with little luxuries, relaxation, and a hint of nostalgia, then St. Tropez needs to be on your travel bucket list, too. Here’s my full St. Tropez Travel Guide on how to make the most of your time in the Côte d’Azur’s most famous village.
St. Tropez Travel Guide
How to Get to St. Tropez
St. Tropez is the gem of the French Riviera for good reason: it’s not particularly super easy to get to. It’s a small coastal town, so unless you can jet set there with a private helicopter onto your yacht (yes, I saw this happen), you’ll need to fly into a neighboring airport or take a train.
The closest airports to St. Tropez are:
- Toulon-Hyères, about 50 minutes away, with regional flights
- Nice, about 1 hour and 30 minutes away, with international flights
We were in Paris before our leg in St. Tropez, and decided to take the train there so we could also see the French countryside. The closest train station to St. Tropez is Saint Raphael, about an hour to an hour and 30 minutes away.
To make travel easier for you, I recommend hiring a driver to transfer you from the airport or train station to your hotel. We coordinated our driver through the hotel, and we didn’t have the stress of trying to find a taxi upon arrival.
Things to do in St. Tropez
Look at the Yachts
The main walking area of St. Tropez is along the water, and it’s lined with restaurants, shops, and yachts. Big yachts. Each time we walked in the harbor, Matt and I spotted a new boat or two.
You obviously can’t go onto any of them – they are private, after all – but seeing these super yachts up close was really something.
We had a lot of fun Googling the yacht names and trying to find their owners. Many of the yachts here are private charters, but we did manage to spot a few belonging to Dutch billionaires. Although truthfully, I would have preferred to find Leo’s yacht instead. 😉
Spend the Day at a Famous Beach Club
Visiting one or two of the beach clubs in St. Tropez is a must. During the summer, the sun beds book quickly, so book as soon as you can, or see if your hotel is able to get you reservations. The main beach in St. Tropez is actually in the neighboring town of Ramatuelle, called Pampelonne beach.
Although sun bed reservations can cost up to $70 per person, you get all-day access to a pristine private beach, bathrooms, umbrellas, and a waiter if you want to order food or drinks. It really is worth it to have a dedicated space to enjoy the Mediterranean Sea, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the area or the local beaches.
Without a doubt, the most popular beach club in St. Tropez is Club 55.
We tried to make a reservation in early July, only to find out that they were fully booked through the end of August! But if you’re lucky enough to snag a reservation, I hear it’s great. When we were in St. Tropez, Kris Jenner, Brooklyn Beckham, and Leonardo DiCaprio were all spotted there within the same week.
We enjoyed sun beds and lunch reservations at Verde Beach, which I cannot recommend enough. If you can’t get sun bed reservations, at least still go for lunch! They had a great DJ, and later in the day the restaurant felt like a little beach party. It’s definitely a scene, so wear your best white outfit, and get ready for great people-watching.
I wouldn’t recommend more than a day or two at the beach club, because it was much more of a party vibe than other areas of St. Tropez. (Of course, if that’s why you’re visiting, then beach club your heart out!) The restaurant felt a bit more rowdy than the sun beds, and we were able to relax and enjoy the water perfectly fine.
PRO TIP: Have your hotel make a reservation for you in advance. They’ll be able to call different beach clubs locally and find who has open beds and/or dining reservations.
Visit the Citadel
Located just a few steps from the top of St. Tropez village is the Citadel, which gave me major Game of Thrones vibes. Built in the 17th century at the topmost part of the town, it allowed guards to keep watch over the village to spot potential attackers.
This was an easy, 30-minute adventure that transported us back in time with its dry moat, canons (still on display), and drawbridge. There’s also a small maritime museum located within the interior walls of the Citadel. Admission is super affordable (about 4 euros per person), and you can walk through the entire keep while also learning about the history of this fishing village.
If you’re looking for a great view, you can’t beat the one from the Citadel. We went just before closing time and enjoyed watching St. Tropez “rush hour” from the top of the town – AKA when all the yachts headed to the harbor to dock their residents for dinner.
Go Wine Tasting
If you’ve ever had a sip of rosé, chances are it came from Cotes de Provence, a wine region in southeastern France along the Mediterranean. Over 80% of this region’s wine is rosé, and it’s worth a trip to one of the many local wineries to enjoy a tasting.
I was lucky enough to receive a complimentary tour of Chateau Minuty, one of the more well-known wineries with their rosé offered in nearly every restaurant in St. Tropez. (You can also find Minuty in the U.S., too!)
Minuty is still family owned, run by third and fourth-generation winemakers. Originally acquired in the 1930s, Chateau Minuty still houses the original home and chapel from the 1800s. After a tour of the breathtaking property, we got to see where the wine is pressed, blended, and fermented until it’s ready to be bottled. Matt and I finished our time there with a wine tasting and got to try all four rosés from the winery.
I highly recommend you take a morning or afternoon for a wine tasting; the areas surrounding St. Tropez village are filled with acres upon acres of wines, and it’s a huge part of the culture of the French Riviera.
Enjoy the Farmer’s Market
On Tuesday and Saturday mornings, you can find an open-air fresh market in St. Tropez’s Place de Lices. Located in the heart of the village, you can easily walk to it and scoop up everything from bread, produce, and flowers, to clothing and homeware.
Go early to avoid the crowds and the heat!
Plan a Shopping Day
Enjoy a day of shopping and walking through St. Tropez’s pastel colored buildings and winding alleys.
You can find a ton of French designer stores here, from Saint Laurent and Hermes to Louis Vuitton and Dior.
PRO TIP: If you’re looking to make any kind of designer purchase and happen to have a trip to France planned, buy there. Not only are the retail prices for luxury goods much cheaper in France, you’ll also be able to take advantage of extra, additional savings with VAT refunds (duty tax) if you’re outside of the EU. I saved about $550 or 20% in total, on a Chanel Wallet on a Chain in France. (The exchange rate was about 1 to 1.)
There are also some great little stores selling lightweight dresses and St. Tropez beach wear, and I highly encourage you to pop into these places for something unique (and affordable).
If you’re looking for sandals, a stop at K. Jacques, a family-owned St. Tropez brand, is a must. Although you can find some K. Jacques styles in the U.S., the boutiques there have a much larger assortment, and you can also customize your sandals!
Best Restaurants in St. Tropez
We ate at Le Café our first night in St. Tropez at the recommendation of our hotel and it did not disappoint. I enjoyed truffle ravioli and Matt had veal, which, according to him was, “the best veal I have ever had in my life.” The restaurant is beautiful, with giant woven lamps and a patio covered in faux greenery to die for. This was one of my favorite meals of our entire France trip, not just St. Tropez.
This is a sister spot to Le Café. Although similar in cuisine (Italian) and décor, Gina’s overlooks the port and water instead of Place de Lices, providing prime viewing for the passerbys and yachts.
I got a truffle pasta (the limit does not exist on truffle consumption) and Matt got a veal chop. I know, we really branched out, but if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.
Good vibes, good food, and good people watching. And that’s really all you need in life, right?
All red and right on the corner, you can’t miss Senequier, a St. Tropez staple. Our hotel recommended it for a quick breakfast, but Matt and I went multiple times for drinks and snacks before dinner. It’s THE place to go for a drink.
Grab a spritz or rosé and take in the beautiful French Riviera sunset. You may also want to take a look at the people around you; this place is a known celebrity hot spot.
Dior Des Lices
Nestled right in the middle of the town is the beautiful Dior store, along with their very own courtyard café fully decked out in the brand’s signature toile and quilted prints. Dior Des Lices is a picture-perfect spot that is not to be missed.
The food here is cute, dainty, and actually tasty. And much like the rest of St. Tropez it’s not cheap, but worth the splurge to dine on fancy plates I’ll probably never buy myself and see all the different ways they can incorporate Dior into your meal.
After lunch, you get immediate access to shop the store just steps away. (When we went in July, there was a line for those only looking to shop at the store.)
PRO TIP: This is another place I recommend having your hotel make reservations ahead of time for you.
If you’re looking for something completely different from French or Mediterranean fare, head to Manko for Peruvian food. It’s located off a tiny alley, so not visible from the street. Everything is served in, small family-sized portions. We ordered street corn, grilled chicken, and a few other plates, and it was a nice change to the pasta and French food we’d been eating for a week prior.
Best Hotels in St. Tropez
Where to stay in St. Tropez, depending on your mood and taste:
- For a 1950s nostalgic feel, stay at Hotel Ermitage (Their bar also features live music and a DJ)
- If you’re looking to stay out of the city center, try a more bed and breakfast feel at La Bastide d’Antoine
- For a luxurious splurge just outside of St. Tropez village, book a room at Cheval Blanc
- Villa Marie offers a more secluded stay, with a private home feel
- For a party-vibe smack in the middle of the city, try the famous Hotel Byblos
- Enjoy a pool day and cute décor at Le Yaca, right in the heart of St. Tropez (its smaller, sister hotel Le Y is where we stayed)
St. Tropez village is relatively small, and although hilly, most places are easily accessible by foot. If you’re looking to take a day trip to a beach club or wine tasting, then you’re going to need to drive there.
Our hotel helped coordinate taxis and drivers for our day trips, but other than that, we just grabbed our sandals and explored St. Tropez by walking.
Ready for your trip to St. Tropez? If you use any of these recommendations, let me know! Enjoy your time in the Côte d’Azur.
Not sure what to wear on your trip to St. Tropez ? My French Riviera Style Guide has you covered.
For all my France trip recommendations, download and follow me on the Out of Office app.