Renowned as a hangout for wealthy celebrities, Saint-Tropez is a former fishing village where glittering yachts have replaced the trawlers and designer boutiques the local bakery. Despite its popularity and star-studded appeal, Saint-Tropez manages to retain much of its original charm with a network of tiny cobbled streets running through the old fishing quarter, now a fashionable shopping area, a sturdy citadel dominating the views and that special quality of light that attracted so many artists over the years.
Our France specialists visit regularly to seek out the best experiences and places to drink, dine and stay. They can guide you away from the crowds to discover a more authentic side of this French Riviera leading light.
France specialist Liz
To me, Saint-Tropez is all about having lunch at a seaside cafe while soaking up the glamor of the place: admiring the yachts moored off shore and watching chic people strolling by, carrying their bags from designer boutiques.
Things to see and do in Saint-Tropez
From modest fishing village to celebrity status
Overlooking the azure waters of the Mediterranean, Saint-Tropez was, for centuries, an unassuming fishing village. In the early 20th century, artists discovered the magical light and special qualities of the French Riviera and many flocked here, including Paul Signac and Henri Matisse.
But it was in the 1950s that Saint-Tropez hit the big time. Set and filmed in Saint-Tropez, Et Dieu Créa la Femme (And God Created Woman), a film starring a sizzling Brigitte Bardot, introduced the charms of Saint-Tropez to the world. Soon, the jet set followed and, with them, a whole new host of restaurants, bars and hotels that still entertain today.
The fishing quarter
Saint-Tropez's old port is today lined with yachts rather than fishing boats, but beyond its quays lies La Ponche, the old fishing quarter. One of the most tranquil and atmospheric parts of town, its network of narrow cobbled lanes is lined with old buildings and tiny boutiques.
The bell tower of the 18th-century Baroque-style church Église de Saint-Tropez dominates the area. En route to it, you'll happen upon shops selling ceramics, leather shoes and fine linens, small galleries and many cafes and bars where you can sit and sip a pastis. It's also worth seeking out Place des Lices, where locals play pétanque (boules) and an open-air market sets up every Tuesday and Saturday.
Once the town's main defense against an attack from Spain, the Citadelle de Saint-Tropez sits on a hill beyond the fishing quarter and offers views over the town and out to sea. It was commissioned by Henry IV and built in 1602, changing what was an unassuming little fishing village into a major military stronghold.
It held this position until the early 20th century, but today is better known for its engaging maritime museum, which is set in the original dungeons. The exhibits trace the history of Saint-Tropez through the lives of the sailors and fishermen from here who sailed across the globe. From the citadel you can follow the coastal path along the shoreline to hidden bays and beaches outside the town.
Suggested Saint-Tropez itinerary
This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Saint-Tropez, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of Saint-Tropez
Places & hotels on the map
Places near Saint-Tropez
- The French Riviera less than 5 kilometers away
- Grasse 50 kilometers away
- Antibes 52 kilometers away
- Saint-Paul-de-Vence 62 kilometers away
- Nice 68 kilometers away
- Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat 73 kilometers away
- Èze 78 kilometers away
- Monaco and Monte Carlo 83 kilometers away
- Provence 90 kilometers away
- Aix-en-Provence 102 kilometers away
- Roussillon 130 kilometers away
- Ménerbes 132 kilometers away
- Gordes 137 kilometers away
- L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue 147 kilometers away
- Saint-Rémy-de-Provence 157 kilometers away
- Les-Baux-de-Provence 159 kilometers away
- Avignon 167 kilometers away
- Arles 169 kilometers away
- Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine region 170 kilometers away
- Orange 177 kilometers away
- Pont-du-Gard 186 kilometers away
- Uzès 197 kilometers away
- Rhône-Alpes 232 kilometers away
- Chamonix 286 kilometers away
- Talloires 288 kilometers away
- Annecy 297 kilometers away
- Lyon 312 kilometers away
- Dordogne 427 kilometers away
- La Roque-Gageac 470 kilometers away
- Sarlat-la-Canéda 470 kilometers away
- Castelnaud-la-Chapelle 473 kilometers away
- Beynac-et-Cazenac 473 kilometers away
Accommodation choices for Saint-Tropez
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Saint-Tropez. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.
Ideas for experiencing Saint-Tropez
Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Saint-Tropez, and which use the best local guides.