The Gulf of Saint‑Tropez: Legendary beaches & villages

The Gulf of Saint-Tropez is a concentration of picturesque, lively villages, surrounded by vast beaches and verdant nature. This jewel on the Var coast stretches from Ramatuelle to Sainte-Maxime.

 

Fine Sand Beaches

A Neverending Paradise

From La Croix-Valmer in Cogolin, the Gulf of Saint-Tropez presents a succession of fine sandy beaches, one more attractive than the next. As you leave La Croix-Valmer, the very lively Plage du Débarquement, brims with loungers, bars and little restaurants. As you arrive in Saint-Tropez, you will discover the Plage des Salins and its neighbour, the Plage des Canoubiers, with spectacular azure waters. A bit further along, find the Plage des Graniers and its little creeks, a wild paradise where the mountain chain of the Maures forms a backdrop, a magnificent massif where nature has planted chestnut, oak and pines. At noon, enjoy fabulous fish dishes, with your feet in the sand on the restaurant of the same name. Finally, there’s the Plage de la Bouillabaisse, which offers a fine view of Sainte-Maxime and the port of Saint-Tropez.

A Setting of Nature…

…and Tranquillity

Far from the buzz of the town centre, the lush wilds of the Gulf of Saint-Tropez can be explored on foot from the Tour du Portalet, by the path which goes along the seashore to the Plage de Pampelonne. On the way, discover the Baie des Canebiers, many cabins, and Brigitte Bardot’s famous Madrague. Then walk on the coastal path which leaves from the Plage de Cavalaire to reach Saint-Tropez, via Cap Lardier and Cap Camarat. Dating back to the early 17th century, the Citadelle de Saint-Tropez also proves to be a verdant haven where peace reigns. Perched at the top of a hill, it offers a magnificent panorama on the town and the sea. At its feet, a poignant sailor’s cemetery is lapped by the sea. Pop over to the Cité Lacustre in Port-Grimaud. With its canals, its bridges, and houses looking onto the water, it is a little Provençal Venice.

 

Ramatuelle

Guardian of the Gulf of Saint-Tropez

At the entrance to the Gulf of Saint-Tropez, the village of Ramatuelle, surrounded by greenery and vineyards, is planted on a hill. Its ochres and pink houses charm visitors, who, in summer, stroll through the enchanting maze of little 17th century streets. Here, you’ll enjoy the great wines from the Gulf of Saint-Tropez. Located in the community of Ramatuelle, the famous fine sand beach of Pampelonne, that extends for 5 kilometres between the Cap du Pinet and the Pointe de la Bonne Terrasse, is beloved by bathers. A place for socialising, it is also a super-popular spot in the summer. 

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Saint-Tropez

A Prominent Gulf

Innumerable are the artists who have succumbed to the charms of the Gulf of Saint-Tropez and its landscapes. « Saint-Tropez, at the entrance to the former Gulf of Grimaud, is the capital of this little Saracen kingdom, almost every village of which has been built on the peaks of hills, keeping them safe from attack, it is still full of Moorish houses with their arcades, their narrow windows and their inner courtyards where high palm trees grow, which now show above the roofs, » wrote Guy de Maupassant in 1887. Later the fishing village was also made famous by the painters Paul Signac, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, the writer Colette and Françoise Sagan and, of course, by Brigitte Bardot.

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Grimaud and Gassin

Enchanting Villages

The little streets of Grimaud are testimony to the rich past of this Gallo-Roman village. Grimaud’s architectural heritage and mediaeval ruins make it a place with undeniable charm. More contemporary, the Cité Lacustre (Lakeside Town) of Port-Grimaud is the perfect combination of village and sea. With its canals, its bridges and its little houses overlooking the water, it has everything to make it a little Provençal Venice. An architectural masterpiece, the Cité Lacustre is a registered « 20th Century Heritage » site. To climb a bit and enjoy a peerless view of the Gulf of Saint-Tropez, go up to Gassin, listed as one of « The Most Beautiful Villages in France.” Finally, inland, the village of La Garde-Freinet, dominated by the ruins of a mediaeval fort, delights visitors with its little pastel-coloured houses and its fountains.

 
 
 
 
 
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Sainte-Maxime

Beaches and Belle Epoque Villas

Nestled at the foot of tree-covered hills, Sainte-Maxime faces Saint-Tropez. With a more family-oriented reputation and less fashionable than its neighbour, it has 10 kilometres of vast sandy beaches bordered by crystal water. Among them, the beaches of La Nartelle and La Garonnette and, a bit further along, Les Issambres, which has 8 kilometres of creeks and calanques. The pedestrianised old town is also worth the detour. Its little streets, very lively on market days, are adorned by many fountains and separated by little squares where café terraces thrive. Sainte-Maxime is also famous for its Croisette, its casino, the forty or so Belle Epoque villas and its Tour Carré des Dames. This 16th-century defensive building now houses the Musée des Traditions Locales museum.