When we were in the South of France during our holiday, we gave our daughter the choice of two trips: a visit to Saint-Tropez or a visit to Cassis with a boat trip to the calanques. As we had already visited Saint-Tropez about 10 years ago, my husband and I prefered the second option, but as my daughter didn’t remember a lot from that visit to the glitter and glamour of the Côte d’Azur, she chose Saint-Tropez… so off we went!
I have already written a travelpost about Saint-Tropez (which you can read here), but one can never tire of this ab fab city so I will bore you once again 🙂
In 2010 we visited Saint-Tropez in August on a scorching hot day where this little city was swamped with tourists and the harbour was filled with big, huge and over the top yachts.
This time we went in April. It was nice and sunny (at daytime that is… in the evening it got really chilly!) and it was a lot less crowded, in the streets and in the harbour and bay.
I cannot say which visit I liked best as they were both different. The first time we visited with our 3 kids and my best friend Katrien with her 2 kids. We mainly stayed at the harbour and also went to Port Grimaud (as you can see in this post). This time it was just the three of us (my husband, my daughter and myself).
We did do a walk around the harbour, but we also strolled into the town centre, we did some shopping and we ended up having lunch at the most extraordinary place, a place where we would never have found a free table in August…
Now one big piece of advice I can give you for your trip to Saint-Tropez is: DO NOT PARK IN SAINT-TROPEZ! This time we might have found a parking spot as it was only April, but when visiting Saint-Tropez in busier months don’t even bother trying as it’s nearly impossible to find a parking spot, let alone drive along the overly crowded streets… it’ll cost you your sanity, I promise 🙂
What I advise you to do is to drive to Sainte-Maxime, find a parking spot over there (there are several big car parks in Sainte-Maxime) and take the ferry to Saint-Tropez. One: it’s much easier to find a parking spot in Sainte-Maxime and two: arriving in Saint-Tropez by boat is so nice! You cross the beautiful bay and you arrive at the harbour, where all the hustle and bustle is about.
Below you see some pictures of the boattrip from Sainte-Maxime to Saint-Tropez… you see… far better than to stress over finding a parking spot in the midst of madness 🙂
First glimpse of Saint-Tropez
The first thing we did when we arrived in Saint-Tropez was to have a cup of coffee at Senequier, the famous bar/restaurant at the harbour. It cost us an arm and a leg I can tell you that, but we were already up and running for quite some time and we just wanted to relax for a bit, soaking up the atmosphere and realizing we were in Saint-Tropez on a day we’d normally drive to work…
We then strolled along the harbour and continued our way towards the old city center. Saint-Tropez is a very charming, quaint little town. I loved the narrow winding streets going up and down and we felt on top of the world!
Saint-Tropez wouldn’t be Saint-Tropez without some high-end boutiques. We did go into the Chanel boutique which was exquisively grand… I had never been into a boutique that chique I must admit and I wish I could share with you a Chanel shop log, but alas, we left without buying anything… it was good fun though 😀
For lunch, I had 3 restaurants in mind: one at the harbour (but we had just visited the harbour), one in the midst of the old town (but that one was fully booked) and one at a little, secluded beach: Les Graniers.
That’s the one we ended up having our fabulous lunch and boy did we enjoy that! The location was just so spectacular… we were sitting there, with our feet in the sand and enjoying the most wonderful view… we were constantly sighing ‘gosh, look at were we are’, ‘let’s take another picture and share it with our colleagues’, ‘let’s make a little video and share it with our family’,… we just couldn’t be happier!
When you want to have lunch or diner at this restaurant, I do advise you to make a reservation. We were there on a Thursday afternoon in April and we snatched away the last available table…
Below some pictures of our ab fab lunch at Les Graniers.
After our lunch, for which we certainly took our time, we strolled along the little beach, feet in the water, and then walked up again along the coastline towards the harbour again.
We did some more shopping and ate an icecream at the harbour whilst the sun started to set.
By dusk it was time to take back the ferry to Sainte-Maxime, rounding up another amazing trip and taking with us heaps of fabulous memories…
Have you ever visited Saint-Tropez? Did it exceed your expectations or not? Let me know in the comments!