- Coastline Yacht-sprinkled bay
- Coast life Models and millionaires
Rock-star villas, luxury boutiques, Chanel bikinis... For a seaside fishing village, St Tropez has evolved admirably.
Under the hot sun, jet-setters pose on the promenade, basking in the enviable gleam of super-yachts and super-tans. Honeymooners, movie stars and millionaires mingle in slinky cocktail lounges, while the party crowd soak each other with champagne at Nikki Beach. But step back a little, away from the port and its A-list shenanigans, and a different Riviera light shines. Welcome to a more insouciant St Tropez, where pétanque balls clack in sandy, tree-lined squares, and senior citizens sup pastis in humble cafés. To be stylishly simple and flagrantly status-hungry takes confidence – and this town’s got it in spades.
Do go/Don’t go
The season in St Tropez follows the sailing calendar: May to September are the best months to go. Check your dates for diary clashes with regattas, when crowds and congestion may potentially mar your trip.
Planes From the UK | British Airways | BMI Baby | EasyJet and Flybe fly to Nice | 90 minutes from St Tropez by car (www.ba.com; www.bmibaby.com; www.easyjet.com; www.flybe.com). The nearest airport is Toulon | served from Bristol and London Stansted by Ryanair in summer (www.ryanair.com).
Trains From London, take the train via Lille to Marseille (www.eurostar.com); from Paris, board the TGV (www. tgv.com). From Marseille to St Raphaël (as near as the railway gets to St Trop) the train offers deckchair views.
Automobiles It’s a long way from the UK to this easterly port | and only a masochist would take their motor into St Tropez itself. Determined drivers can use the Autotrain from Paris to Avignon or Nice | instead | and clock up the mileage from there (0844 848 4050).
- Taxis You risk paying €25 to travel a distance that would take minutes on foot, so stick to walking or hotel shuttles.