Saint Tropez is a beautiful town in the French Riviera on the South coast of France. It is famous as a millionaire's playground and a place where the rich and famous come for holidays. There are always super yachts moored up on this small harbour and people dressed to impress walking around.
There are lots of designer shops including Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Roberto Cavalli to name but a few. Of course there are more affordable shops, but there aren't any shops such as H&M, New Look or Zara. If you have money to spend, this is a great place to come shopping as everything is close together. But if you don't, maybe just enjoy the views and the architecture! I also love the fact that the designer shops are in cute Provençal buildings unlike the huge grand buildings in places like Paris and London.
There are lots of tourists here, so it's not a hidden gem of Provence or some well kept secret. It gets pretty busy over the summer months too so bare that in mind when booking your holiday.
Saint Tropez wasn't always a famous holiday destination. It used to be a military stronghold and a small fishing village. Then, during World War II, it was the first town on this coast to be liberated. This is when people started visiting the town and made it popular amongst the Americans and Europeans wanting to experience a slice of Provence.
There isn't a great deal to do here in terms of activities apart from shopping. But I did manage to spend a day enjoying the atmosphere and culture. I walked up the hill to La Citadelle which is the museum of maritime history. I paid €3 to go inside where I learnt about Saint Tropez's history. If you aren't into history, I would still recommend walking up this hill for panoramic views over the city. (La Citadelle blog post coming soon).
Then, I walked through the windy streets and stopped at the harbour for some lunch. I decided to eat at a Creperie on Quai Frédéric Mistral which was good and I would recommend it. I got a savory crepe with some cidre in a mug. This is traditionally a northern France speciality but never mind! There are lots of restaurants in Saint Tropez so don't worry too much about finding somewhere to eat. If you are feeling particularly special, you could book into Dior des Lices which has a good reputation and beautiful gardens.
After lunch, I walked down the harbour to the Phare de Saint Tropez which has lovely views over the old town and port. I also walked around the back streets exploring the small beach, cute squares with cafes and of course, all the designer shops.
I actually really liked Saint Tropez and enjoyed it more than I thought I would - bare in mind that I visited in October and it was still pretty busy! Something I found funny was the people gathering around a yacht which was moored up, hoping to see someone famous. I couldn't quite figure out what was going on, so hung around for around 10 mins waiting to catch a glimpse of someone, but no one came out! I later helped translate a conversation between a nosy tourist and someone working on the yacht who said that she couldn't say who it was, but that we probably wouldn't know them anyway.
The other thing I really liked about Saint Tropez were the artists and their works dotted around the harbour. This gave a very artistic and Provençal feel to this otherwise tourist trap of a town.