Saint-Tropez, Provence: tourism & sightseeing
Visit Saint-Tropez (Provence, France)
Saint Tropez started life as a sleepy fishing village - and then the superb quality of light here was discovered by neo-impressionist Paul Signac who built a house here and invited his friends to stay, with Matisse and Dufy being among those who accepted his invitation.
Word of the wonderful location around Saint Tropez quickly spread and in the 30s Cocteau, Colette and others arrived on the scene then in the 1950s and 1960s Saint Tropez was discovered by Hollywood and has been a fashionable holiday location ever since.
When you arrive in Saint-Tropez you will be amazed to find that you can still see the sleepy fishing village that Saint-Tropez once was, although there is also quite a lot of newer development and rather more people here now!
Saint-Tropez Port and historic centre
Start your visit with a walk along the harbour and enjoy the sight of the lovely fishermen’s houses on one side - most of them are now boutiques and harbour-side restaurants - and the large, expensive yachts on the other.
Hint: Make sure you wander along the ‘Mole Jean Reveille’, a quay that allows you to look back and get splendid views of Saint Tropez harbour.
Wander into the town behind the harbour and the streets become more narrow and offer a little shade from the sun. In this part of the town you can enjoy the many chic boutiques that Saint-Tropez has to offer.
The narrow streets lead back from the coast and up to the citadel, with the houses in the simple style of fisherman’s houses. They are painted in pale pastels ranging from pale cream to deep terracotta.
Hint: if possible, watch the sun set on the houses along the sea front - the effect is breathtaking.
From here you can walk up to the citadel - no matter how hot it is and if you'd rather stay on the beach you have to do it! The views across the Mediterranean and Saint-Tropez town from up here are superb. The Citadel was built in the 16th century during the Religious Wars. It costs a couple of euros to enter but is worth it - more for the 360° views than the citadel itself, though this is an attractive castle quite ‘moorish in style‘.
Other places to visit in Saint-Tropez
On the Place Garezzo you can see the Chateau Suffren, built in the late 15th Century. Other sights of interest in Saint-Tropez include the Port du Revelen, the Tour Jarlier, the eglise Notre Dame de l’Assomption with its pretty, and much photographed, bell tower and the 17th century Chapelle de la Misericorde.
On Tuesdays and Saturdays head to Place des Lices and enjoy the market.
The Musee de l’Annonciade, back on the port, quite near the tourist office of Saint-Tropez, was originally a chapel and is now a permanent art gallery with works by Matisse and Signac and many of the other artists who worked here. The Musee de l’Annonciade is one of the best galleries in France to see paintings from the neo-Impressionist era.
There is a wide choice of beaches close to Saint-Tropez, although finding a quiet corner to yourself might be a challenge! There are several very small beaches close to the town centre in Saint-Tropez, and slightly larger beaches not too far including the Plage des Salins and the Plage de la Moutte to the west and the Plage des Canoubiers on the north coast.
Perhaps the most famous of the beaches close to Saint-Tropez is the long sandy Baie de Pampelonne* to the south of the town centre. Along the edge of the beach are beach-side boutiques, cafes and clubs including Club 55 where visiting celebrities may head for a dance and a drink in the evening. Out to sea there are always yachts bobbing in the bay.
* The Pampelonne beach played a key role in the Allied landings during ‘Operation Dragoon’, the Allied invasion of Southern France in the Second World War.
Further away and less crowded are the Plage de l’Escalet and, near La Croix Valmer, the Plage Gigaro.
While you might be tempted to find your place on the beach and not move again until it is time to choose from one of the many restaurants in Saint-Tropez, we have to recommend that you take one or two excursions while you are here!
Among the places we recommend are a trip to see the village of Grimaud and its associated 'port village' of Port Grimaud; and the villages a few kilometres south of Saint-Tropez of Gassin and Ramatuelle.
Map of Saint-Tropez and places to visit
Visit near Saint-Tropez with France This Way reviews
... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Var
Address: Saint-Tropez, Draguignan, Var, Provence, 83990, France || GPS: latitude 43.2733, longitude 6.63962
Plan your visit to Saint-Tropez, Provence
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Gassin: most beautiful village (7km)
- Jardin Germaine l’Hardy-Denonain: remarkable garden (7km)
- Grimaud: recommended detour (10km)
- Domaine du Rayol: remarkable garden (18km)
- Frejus Cathedral cloisters: national monument (19km)
- Frejus: town of art and history (19km)
- Cathédrale Saint Léonce (Frejus): religious monument (19km)
- Eglise de St Raphaël (Saint-Raphael): religious monument (20km)
- Massif des Maures: site of natural beauty (21km)
- Parc zoologique de Fréjus: zoo or wildlife park (24km)
The French version of this page is at Saint-Tropez (Francais)