A getaway in Saint Tropez, France, with the rich and famous? Yes, please!
Where do the stars go for a summer getaway? Why, they go to Saint Tropez, France, of course.
During summer, it’s common to see stars such as Rihanna, Neil Patrick Harris and Kanye West relaxing on the beach or on their huge yachts in Saint Tropez.
However, apart from the busy summer season, Saint Tropez is a beautiful port town with few tourists and sandy beaches. Saint Tropez is also within driving distance to the famous cities of Cannes, Monte Carlo and Nice.
When I visited Saint Tropez, it was pre-summer and slightly less crowded and more tranquil.
Getting to Scenic Saint Tropez
What was once a quaint fishing town has now become a summer vacation spot for the rich, and with it comes the exclusivity. It is not easy to get to Saint Tropez. There is a boat in summer to take you from Nice to Saint Tropez but pre-summer you have to take two buses to get there.
If you fly direct from Singapore to Nice, it’s about a 16-hour flight. From the city, you’ll have to take a two-hour bus ride to Saint Raphael, and then another hour-long ride from there before you reach picturesque Saint Tropez.
For greater convenience, it is best if you rent a car because there is almost zero public transport in Saint Tropez.
What to See and Do in the Midst of Tranquillity
If your aim is to just tan on the beach, head down to Pampelonne, where the beach stretches as far as the eye can see. The notorious Nikki Beach is usually filled with party goers and loud music during the summer. Head there if you’d like to party or to mingle but, if relaxing is your aim, you can choose to stay on the quieter Plage de Jumeaux.
I did the adventurous thing by taking the Sentier Littoral – the Coastal Path. The rocky path is a little dangerous, and I would not advise anyone with a fear of heights to do it, but the path leads straight from Saint Tropez to Pampelonne and the view is amazing. It was an exceptionally clear day when I was hiking and I could see the Alps!
Of course, the old town of Saint Tropez is not to be missed as the higgledy-piggledy streets have so much character. Every Saturday, a market will come to the village square, Place des Lices. There, you can find a gamut of wares from food to potpourri to summer dresses.
Do check the tourism website of Saint Tropez at uk.ot-saint-tropez.com [English site] for the calendar of events.
A Tantalising Treat for the Taste Buds
When in the south of France, one would be remiss to skip the seafood. There are several good seafood restaurants in Saint Tropez, depending on your budget.
There are also bistros, if you prefer. Saint Tropez is largely untouched by chain stores (thank heavens) so most are mom-and-pop-owned cafes and bistros.
Nevertheless, what’s a visit to Saint Tropez without trying the tarte tropezienne, a vanilla cream-filled brioche studded with sugar? It is usually the size of a huge cake and makes for excellent #foodporn.
The best ice cream shop in town, Barbarac, is also not to be missed. It was started by an Armenian immigrant and it serves a wide range of flavours from Speculoos cookies to crème de whisky and even liquorice.
Experience the tranquillity and the clear skies of Saint Tropez in the summer when the air is fresh – it’s certainly a lovely break from the city.
By Cheryl Chia