Bay of Saint Tropez

Saint-Tropez & Bay of Saint-Tropez

Saint-Tropez… A name that conjures up a myriad of images of yachts, luxury, celebrities and glitter. But the real Saint-Tropez is something completely different - it is a fisherman's village complete with old, wooden boats moored at the quayside, pretty beaches tucked behind reed beds and painters striving to capture the village's unique quality of light on canvas. The genuine spirit of Saint-Tropez unveils itself once the summer season is over…

The famous bell tower of Saint-Tropez stands like a sentinel over the entrance to the Gulf, at the foot of the Maures Hills. Perched on the surrounding heights, or hidden away in the forest, its illustrious neighbours – Ramatuelle, Gassin, Grimaud, Port-Grimaud, Cogolin and Sainte-Maxime, famed for its 20th century heritage architecture -, are also well worth a visit.

A PRESTIGIOUS DESTINATION

One last bend in the road and the violet-pink village appears, floating weightlessly on a petrol-blue sea seemingly born up by the morning mist. The magic and fascination with this legendary village has not gone away. And as spring approaches, the soul of Saint-Tropez, village of art, culture and traditions reveals a lighter side.

Like the celebrities who flock here in summer, drawn to this idyllic isle on a beautiful peninsula, Saint-Tropez is a star which in season unveils a host of sumptuous yachts, prestigious brands, luxury hotels, glamorous boutiques and fabulous cars. All compete for the attention of visitors marvelling at a surreal yet friendly merry-go-round. This authentic village will captivate those who love the sea or are history buffs or fans of culture and the Provencal lifestyle, many of whom prefer to come out of season. It is this ambivalence that lies behind the charm and special nature of Saint-Tropez, a leading light on the international tourist scene.

THE MUSTS

The harbour very early in the morning; the parish church with bust of the patron saint and the organ, concerts on the last Sunday of the month; Annonciade Museum, Maison des Papillons (butterfly museum); Château Suffren and Guillaume tower; the Lavoir Vasserot; and the Citadelle (maritime history museum); the mariners’ cemetery (view over Canebiers bay); Château de la Moutte; the old gendarmerie; the markets on Place des Lices, and the daily fish market; several chapels (Convent, Sainte-Anne, Saint-Elme, Saint-Antoine, la Miséricorde…); the Jean Réveille jetty extended by the Red Lighthouse; streets, tiny squares and andrones (very narrow alleyways); and old La Ponche port.

THE MAURES: A GREEN MASSIF ALL YEAR ROUND

The Gulf of Saint-Tropez has an exceptional natural heritage which is part of its identity and contributes to the quality of the living environment. The Massif des Maures covers 135,000 hectares of hills, valleys, rivers, woodlands and artificial lakes. These nature areas are fragile, rare or under threat. They embrace a remarkable biodiversity, a variety of landscapes and valuable plant species, giving the impression that this environment in all its nuances remains green all year round.

Pines, cork oaks, chestnut trees, olive trees, strawberry trees, rock-roses, ferns, mimosa, brooms, heathers – it really is like a “miniature mountain” the name of which comes from Mauro meaning “sombre” in Provencal. This land, one of the oldest in Provence is also one of the best preserved. To go there is to fall in love, to observe, discover, feel and understand; and to want to protect it. Arrière-pays varois 

PROVENCE VERTE

The aptly-named "Provence Verte" is a hub of Art & History.

It is here that the river Argens springs, offering picturesque canoe rides. The Sainte-Baume hills harbour a sacred forest and the grotto of Saint Mary Magdalene. And at its feet lies Saint-Maximin and its magnificent Basilica…

The former seat of the Counts of Provence, Provence Verte is home to delightfully authentic villages such as Cotignac, Saint-Martin-de-Pallières and Entrecasteaux, with its ancient castle.

While you're out and about, take time to visit Abbaye de la Celle, part of which is now home to the "Maison des Vins des Coteaux Varois" wine institute, the fascinating "Musée des Gueules Rouges" bauxite mining museum in Tourves, Vallon Sourn, the organic village of Correns and Carcès and its lake…

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Saint-Tropez Tourisme, 19, place Carnot - Lieu-dit «Place des Lices» - 83990 Saint-Tropez
Tél : 0892 68 48 28 (0,40€/mn)
Website : www.sainttropeztourisme.com

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