After a month and a half of getting back into the swing of normal life, updating CV’s instead of catching busses to South American destinations and earning some money instead of spending it all on adventures in the Bolivian jungle etc., I was lucky enough to tag along with my family on a holiday to the south of France.
I think I’d forgotten how beautiful places in Europe, relatively close to where I live, can be because I’ve spent quite a lot of time exploring further away lands. The beaches of the Côte d’Azur might not be as paradisal as say the ones in the Bahamas, but they do have a certain charm and the little towns you can find in the rolling green hills around the coast even more so.
Now you can’t exactly call Saint-Tropez a hidded gem and I would discourage you to visit in July and definitely not in August as it gets ridiculously busy with people flaunting their wealth and other people staring at it, but in September the crowds die down a bit and it is a good moment to go and see what all the fuzz is about. Even in September there are plenty of showy yachts docked in the tiny little harbour to keep you entertained while licking you slightly overpriced, but oh so delicious, ice cream, doing some window shopping is another fun and very typical activity. If you actually want to do some shopping, but don’t have the funds for something from Chanel or the likes, the market on the Place des Lices on Tuesdays and Saturdats is a good alternative, although even in September this is not for people who don’t like big crowds.
Apart from all the mundane (or trying to be) people therein, Saint-Tropez is also actually a vey pretty French town. It’s worth trying to get away from all the big fashion window displays and walking around the smaller alleys of the town. The cemetery is also a must visit as it is right on the sea and very beautiful indeed.
A great half day trip is following the ‘Sentier du Littoral’ from Saint-Tropez to the beaches of Pampelonne. This is a four hour walk on a path along the coastline, which for me was a nice bit of exercise to balance out all the cheese and croissant consumption from earlier in the week (only slightly though), while enjoying the amazing views every time you go around a corner of the bay. You also pass some snazzy private domains, so you might see a helicopter parked out in the back (we did!). Try to avoid taking the wrong turn, usually marked by a yellow cross, because you might end up on a slightly more challenging rock climbing version of the path (we did!).
There are countless cute small towns in the area and we visited two of them, Ramatuelle and Gassin. Gassin is a must because of the amazing view of the bay you get from this little village perched on one of the hills. Ramatuelle is equally charming and has a nice and smaller alternative to the Saint-Tropez market .