Saint-Tropez is one of those places that everyone should visit at least once, if only to see what all the fuss is about.
by James Nolan
Made famous in the 1950s by Brigitte Bardot, Saint-Tropez rapidly became the playground of the jet set and still is today to a certain extent. Located on the French Riviera, midway between Marseille and Nice, this city provides an excellent opportunity to experience the unique colors and culture of the area, and of course enjoy the local food and wine.
When to Go
The best time of year to be enjoy the warm weather and spectacular scenery in this part of the world is mid-May through early October. July and August are peak season with lots of crowds and parties, so charterers looking for a good time with not too many other yachts about would be well advised to pick June or September. Those with a passion for sailing might want to choose the beginning of October when Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, a major sailing regatta for modern and traditional yachts, takes place.
Nice airport is arguably the best arrival point for international travelers. Bear in mind that Saint-Tropez is about 60 miles/100 km away and is not easy to get to by road, especially in July and August; you might want to make your point of embarkation nearer to Nice.
7 Day Itinerary
Here’s a summary of a one week itinerary that takes in all that Saint-Tropez and the surrounding area has to offer:
Day 1 - Arrive Nice airport / Embark yacht at midday.
Day 2 - Cruise to St Tropez, passing en route the stunning rugged coastline of Agay and the nature reserve of the Pointe de l’Aiguille (‘the needle’).
Day 3 - In the morning explore Saint Tropez old town before a cruise to the bay of Cavallaire / Bonporteau.
Day 4 - Explore the Porquerolles.
Day 5 - Cruise to Cap d’Antibes.
Day 6 - Cruise to Villefranche / Cap Ferrat.
Day 7 - Cruise to Monaco.
Photos: Ville de Saint-Tropez, Jean-Louis CHAIX
Here’s a one week itinerary that takes in all that Saint-Tropez and the surrounding area has to offer:
Arrive Nice airport in the morning and meet your yacht at midday. Meet the crew and settle in before cruising down the Islands of Cannes (Iles de Lerins) for lunch on board and a relaxed afternoon at anchor. In the evening, cruise into Cannes to shop at the boutiques on the Croisette and don your latest gear to head to the nightlife hotspot Bâoli. After dinner, party the night away.
Cruise to Saint-Tropez, along the stunning rugged coastline of Agay and the nature reserve of the Pointe de l’Aiguille (‘The Needle’). Crystal clear waters here off the red-rock coastline offer a superb opportunity to stop for a morning swim. On arrival in the Gulf of St Tropez, head straight to the Pampelonne Beach with its prestigious beach clubs for all tastes. A popular spot on this beach is the famous restaurant Club 55 (created in 1955), which started life as the canteen for the film crew of “And God Created Women” (Et Dieu Crea la Femme) starring Brigitte Bardot. In the late afternoon cruise around to St Tropez and enjoy ‘sundowners’ on board, before heading into one of the fantastic restaurants along the winding streets of the old town.
In the morning explore Saint-Tropez old town and all the fashionable boutiques. For the foodies, the old town offers a wonderful market with gourmet cheeses, charcuterie and local delicacies. Cruise around to the bay of Cavallaire / Bonporteau. A picturesque anchorage, it’s the ideal spot to have a fantastic lunch on board.
Spend the day exploring the Porquerolles, the ideal place for hiking, horse-riding and mountain-biking. Or while the day away basking in the sun, anchored off one of the many idyllic white sand beaches.
Set off in the morning to cruise to Cap d’Antibes. The magnificent Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc is iconic, welcoming throughout its history artists and writers as well as Europe’s aristocracy. In recent years it has become a sanctuary for movie stars, especially during the Cannes Film Festival. - lunch at the Grill restaurant is highly recommended. Back on board, the clear waters of the Cap are an excellent spot to make the most of your yacht’s watersports equipment. Enjoy the view out towards the bay of Cannes and the Iles de Lerins in the evening. A magnificent setting for dinner on board.
Cruise to Villefranche / Cap Ferrat. The picturesque sheltered bay of Villefranche offers an excellent anchorage against a backdrop of painted hillside buildings in warm Mediterranean oranges, reds and pinks. Alternatively you can anchor on the other side of the Cap for the day, where the dramatic cliffs of Beaulieu-Sur-Mer will make for a picture- perfect view! There are two excellent beach clubs on the Cap – one facing towards Villefranche and the other facing Beaulieu. It's a sheltered anchorage for the night, and you will wake up to fantastic views in the morning.
Cruise to Monaco, past pretty bays in Cap d’Ail and the dramatic Monaco Oceanographic museum cut into the rock face. The principality has something for everyone, from the elegant perched old-town on ‘The Rock’ (home of the palace), to the high life in Casino Square (host to the elegant five star hotels and refined dinner settings), to the picturesque port of Fontvieille. On your final night cosmopolitan Monaco is an excellent stop to pick up last minute gifts for those back home, experience gourmet dining, and if you like, try your luck at the glamorous Casino.
Enjoy a final cruise out to enjoy the views and a last dip in the Med before cruising on to Nice to disembark at midday.
Editor's Note: Thanks to Lindsey Childs from Ocean Independence for help putting together this itinerary.