The glamorous resort town of St. Tropez, or “St-Trop” as it is endearingly called, has for decades held a special allure on the French Riviera as a summertime destination for artists, film stars and the idle rich. Though it has, in part, succumbed to the pressures of development – with its marina of luxury yachts, chic nightclubs, plush hotels and glitzy beach clubs, which are frequented by the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and other Hollywood elite – the charm of this little port still remains. Whether for a weekend or three weeks, the former fishing village is the perfect destination for a romantic escape with a loved one.
Arrive from the Sky
A Nice to St Tropez helicopter transfer offers the only means of arrival for lovers in search of the sublime, and enables travellers to reach the beaches of St Tropez in less than 20 minutes. Few aerial views are as majestic as those from a low-level flight along the Cote d’Azur, with the mesmerizingly turquoise Mediterranean Sea abutting rugged cliffs and the snow-capped Alps in the distance. Catch a glimpse of Antibes, Cannes, the spectacular Esterel Mountains, and the fleet of superyachts that drop anchor in the Bay of St Tropez as you fly towards your destination.
A Good Night’s Sleep
Check into the Pan Deï Palais Hotel, a refuge of tranquillity and calm, which is sure to stimulate feelings of romance. Influenced by oriental design, the hotel is aesthetically stunning, indulgent, and private. The scenic pool and cultivated garden areas assure guests that they are in a luxurious Mediterranean setting, while the bedrooms enjoy an escapist motif. Take short strolls to the Port of St Tropez before returning for a cocktail in the hotel’s sophisticated bar.
The Romantic Old Town
Each morning, local fishermen of this once humble fishing village sell their catch at the Place aux Herbes, next to the harbour. On Tuesday and Saturday mornings, a colourful open-air Provencal market at the Place des Lices – the town’s Sycamore-lined central square – sells pastries, cheeses, cut flowers, fruits, vegetables and arts and crafts. When not filled with market stalls, the locals like to play a traditional game of boules in the square. The character of the old town, known as “La Ponche”, has survived, with its pastel buildings, cobbled streets, and the 18th-century Eglise de Notre-Dame de l’Assomption church – easily identifiable from its baroque bell tower. Being a compact, pedestrianised town of around one square kilometre, it is ideal for exploring by foot. Take the time to walk aimlessly, hand-in-hand with a loved one, admiring the beauty of the everyday sights.
Rich History and Charming Culture
Set on a hillside overlooking the town with splendid views of the Gulf of Saint Tropez and the Massif des Maures mountain range is a canon-lined, hexagonal citadel that was built in 1602 to defend the coastal region from Spain. Its dungeon now houses the Musée de l’Histoire Maritime, which traces the town’s maritime history from fishing to trade. St. Tropez has a number of museums and avant-garde art galleries, including the unusual La Maison des papillons, which displays thousands of butterflies from extinct to exotic species from around the world, including Amazonia and the Solomon Islands. Soak up the rich history and the fascinating culture and forget the world.
Secluded Coastal Walks
The natural beauty of the pine-scented, rocky St Tropez Peninsular can be enjoyed in solitary splendour with a peaceful walk along the Sentier du Littoral. This well-marked coastal hiking path ranges from the pier area for several kilometres to reach the popular Plage de Pampelonne beach. Steps lead down along the route to other sandy, secluded, bathwater-warm beaches.
Fine: Dining: Provencal Specialties
The port’s many restaurants cater to all tastes, from Provencal seafood to Vietnamese. In the evenings, enjoy a romantic tipple at one of the famous brasseries, such as Le Gorulle or Sénéquier. For pastries, visit the Tarte Tropézienne bakery in Traverse des Lices and try its speciality – a cream-filled brioche cake, which is very popular in the south of France.
A dream of a destination, St Tropez lures the romantically inclined with its promise of warm summer nights and a glamorous culture. Fall in love as if for the first time in this idyllic setting.