QuIck glimpse at the French Riviera – Saint Tropez and around

After the peaceful Val Trebbia, we headed on to Saint Tropez on the French Riviera. We made an attempt to drop by Portofino and Cinque Terre in Italy, but quickly gave up the idea. The crowd, full pebble beaches and parking places and the unbearable heat were too much for a family with kids. So – sorry Portofino, see you in some less busy time!

The French beaches started tempting us ever since we crossed Italy-France border, they basically span along most of the road to Saint Tropez. As we approached Saint Tropez it was getting more and more traffic jammed, so we decided it was just the right time for a quick dip in the sea, while the traffic receded. A sandy, uncrowded beach just across Saint Tropez saved us from the heat. It was awfully hot, even though it was almost 8 in the evening. We couldn’t imagine walking around the popular city in the heat, so enjoyed the beach and the awesome evening views to the resort and the numerous yachts passing by until it was later in the evening. Alas it got a bit cooler.

Just around dusk we headed on for our night walk in Saint Tropez. On the way we stopped to try out a fantastic Luna park – Azur Park. Recommend highly for anyone with kids, any age.

There’s something for everyone – roller coasters, ferris wheel, carousel, shooting, and some adventures too extreme for me. In the evening it gets sparkly, flashing, even magical! It was quite affordable too – approx 10 EUR for all smaller-kids attractions, and a bit more for the standard attractions (excluding the very extreme ones, paid additionally). We managed to get on the Ferris wheel and a few others this time, but it’s definitely worth revisiting one day!

A night walk in Saint Tropez was quite refreshing, and showed up a city of luxury and fashion. I didn’t know anything about the city before, except it’s famous for its beaches, and it was the place to shoot one of my favorite movies ‘Le gendarme de Saint-Tropez’ (1964) with Louis de Funès.

Saint Tropez was once a small and not very popular resort, but became famous after Brigitte Bardot shot on its beaches ‘And God Created Woman’ (1956). Right now it’s home to lots of high-end fashion boutiques, luxury hotels, glamorous cafes and restaurants and in all – a place where the rich come to show off. In the evening you can see people strolling around in clothes by all world renowned fashion designers (I was especially amazed at the super-high-heels all women were wearing, some of them could hardly move on them). Everyone was heading to the glitzy main streets along the port, where a number of luxury yachts had been lined up.
Still, despite the glamour on the popular streets, if you keep away from the tourist areas and enter the small streets,the town reveals its original spirit, with tiny old-fashioned boulangeries and butcher’s shops, small friendly hotels and charming cafes.

Saint Tropez small streets

Perhaps one can better feel Saint Tropez in the more peaceful off-season times, when you can also enjoy the famous white beaches in Pampelonne area (approx 5 kms from Saint Topez) without all the noise from the evening parties in the nearby clubs. That’s perhaps a better time for a family vacation in the resort too!

After Saint Tropez we decided we can’t survive the daytime heat anymore, and definitely must head for somewhere in the mountains. One of our favorite ski resorts Tignes was our next destination, with a lovely stop on the way. More on how Tignes met us, and why we decided to stay 4 days instead of the initially planned 2 – in my next post.

Meanwhile – enjoy the pics from Saint Tropez and around.

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