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Saint-Tropez is one of the best places to experience the beauty and glamour of the French Riviera, and has been a hotspot since the late 19th century – Bridget Bardot actually still lives there and can be seen driving around town! It is one of the liveliest towns along the coast during the summer, and is renowned for beach clubs, yachts and incredible restaurants, as well as a cobblestoned old town and rugged coastal hikes.
This was my first trip to Saint-Tropez and I’ve listed my favourite restaurants, beach clubs, and shops for easy referencing. Scroll down for photos and to read more about my first time in the French Riviera. xx
where to wine and dine
Located in the old port right on the promenade, and open from 7:30 am to 3 am. I loved coming here for a morning cappuccino, croissant and people watching. We also came here for a delicious dinner of classic French fare.
Artisan gelato parlor, located just down the street from Senequier. I recommended coming here for dessert if you have dinner in the old town.
A nice hotel bar with a beautiful terrace, tucked into a corner of the old town by the water. The terrace and drink list aren't anything fancy, but it's a lovely setting and they make a perfect dirty martini (which is extremely hard to come by in Europe).
Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc
Not technically located in Saint-Tropez, but we took a boat here for lunch one day and I'd be remiss if I didn't include it. This place is utterly iconic (Slim Aarons took many photographs here), and if you can fit a lunch here into your itinerary or make a day trip, do it! Extra special if you can spend a night at the hotel and use their cliffside pool.
Part restaurant, part cabaret show, part club, full of a special kind of Saint-Tropez fun. I wrote more about this place below, but do yourself a favour and book a later dinner here (10 pm earliest) and get ready to dance on tables until 4 am.
Full disclosure, I wasn't able to eat at LouLou's in Saint-Tropez this trip as we had some scheduling conflicts. However, the LouLou's in Paris is one of my favourite restaurants in the world for both the food and atmosphere, and I've heard equally good things about the Saint-Tropez location. I don't think you could go wrong here!
what saint-tropez is known for
A fan favourite with a huge loyal fanbase, this has for a long time been "the" beach club. Make sure to order their veggie platter (something they're famous for) and don't miss the tarte tropézienne for dessert. It's a hangout spot, so get settled in for a long lunch and maybe a few bottles of rose if you're into that.
This beach club had the best ocean view of all the ones we went to, and serves the most delicious Italian food for a change. I had one of the best lunches of the trip here and I can't pinpoint exactly why, but I think it was just how everything worked perfectly together - the food, the view, the decor, the atmosphere. Chefs kiss!
The new "it" spot in Saint-Tropez, this is a place I wish I could have come back to a few times on this trip. A little more high-end than the other beach clubs, the party can really get going here and dancing on tables at lunchtime is socially acceptable, if not encouraged.
A more casual spot that's literally right on the beach, you could dip your toes in the ocean. Make sure to order the tortellini starter and grilled sardines.
my favourite stores, boutiques and treasure hunting spots
I know, I know. But hear me out - even if you have no intention of buying anything here (I didn't), the Chanel store in Saint-Tropez is worth checking out regardless. It's located in an old villa, with a courtyard, pool and pool house. It's pretty incredible to walk through the store and feel like you're walking through someones house - but that house is a beautiful French villa.
This boutique is kind of like a flea market - there are so many beautiful pieces, but only one of everything and in varying sizes. It's also pretty big! But if you take your time and do a little digging, I promise you will come out with something unique and beautiful. It's particularly great for beach coverups and long dresses.
A French brand that has many locations throughout the country, but I only just discovered it in Saint-Tropez. Really unique and funky pieces that are also totally wearable. I went multiple times during my stay and couldn't leave without something each time.
Accessories, fine jewellery, and more unique, one of a kind pieces (can you sense a theme here?). I particularly admired their wrap dresses and kimonos made of vintage silk scarves, and brought home with me a beautiful opal beaded necklace.
Saint Tropez Market
Every Tuesday and Saturday in Place des Lices, this market has everything. From linen pieces worth a few euro, to antiques worth a few thousand euro, and everything in between. My favourite area is in the back with the antiques and vintage jewellery.
The summer of 2021 turned out to be a big one of French travel for me, and in September I spent 10 days in Saint-Tropez. This was not only my first time in Saint-Tropez, but also the South of France. I didn’t do much research before as I was travelling with family who have been coming to the area for almost a decade, so I felt I was in pretty good hands and wanted to see their version of Saint-Tropez. Beautiful coastline, beach clubs, incredible shopping, delicious food, some seriously fun parties (Saint-Tropez is basically one big party if you want it to be!), and the basic fact that you can never be too overdressed is how I would sum up this glamorous town on the French Riviera.
Saint-Tropez can be an expensive place, but if there’s only one thing you’re going to really splurge on, let it be a boat for the day. There is a huge range of boats and prices, so you can find something for almost any budget. Our boat days were the biggest highlight for me. The captains would take us to swimming areas we wouldn’t be able to access otherwise, like hidden beaches in rocky coves. And taking big leaps off the boat into that perfect mediterranean water made me feel like a kid again. There’s nothing quite like cruising along the Côte d’Azur, stopping to swim in crystal clear turquoise water, laying on the back of the boat and reading in the sunshine, and boating up for lunch at the iconic Hôtel du Cap-Eden–Roc, or beach clubs like Les Graniers and La Brigantine – I could spend endless days on a boat in Saint-Tropez!
Back on land, I loved exploring the sun drenched, cobblestoned streets of the old town and stopping in for a cappuccino and croissant at Senequier. If you can get a seat at the front near the promenade you’ll have the best seat in Saint Tropez for yacht and people watching. This is also an amazing shopping area. The bigger brand names like Chanel and Hermes are there, but if you look out for the smaller boutiques you’ll find some really unique pieces – some of my favourites were Bla-Bla and Talisman.
Every Tuesday and Saturday morning in Place des Lices in the old town is a huge market, and one of the best markets I’ve ever been to. It has something for everyone – french herbs and spices, linen dresses and shirts for a few euro, antiques for a few thousand euro, vintage jewellery, and everything in-between. My favourite section was in the far back, with all the antique furniture and vintage jewellery. I bought myself the most perfect linen dress, beautiful vintage silver and chrysoprase earrings, a linen shirt for my husband, and a huge bag of Herbs de Provence and other spices. The market also has delicious food, so make sure to come hungry because it will look too good to pass up!
As far as night life goes, the only name you need to know is L’Opera! This was one of the most fun nights of my life, truly. And that is really saying something, because I thought my clubbing days were well behind me. Clearly I just haven’t been going to the right clubs!
To get into L’Opera you need to have a dinner reservation. We heard this place could turn into a club, and we weren’t really sure what that meant but we made a late dinner reso at 10 pm – this ended up being the perfect time. When we arrived the place was already buzzing – loud music was playing and charismatic waiters were taking our orders. Suddenly the music got louder and a group of dancers got up on tables and started to perform. This wasn’t just dinner, it would be a show too! The performances lasted around 5-10 minutes each, and were spaced out every 20-30 minutes. There was dancing, singing, and even a circus number. It was so much fun to watch!
As dinner went on the party really stared to pick up, especially once we ordered a bottle of champagne. This is an event at L’Opera! As the champagne came out, the lights went down, and the music changed and got really loud. Sparklers were handed out, dancers came to our table, a Canadian flag was waved, and a smoke machine was going while the waiter poured our glasses and pulled some of us up onto the table to dance. I have never seen such a production for a bottle of champagne, it was so much fun! It will come as no surprise that after dessert, we were all up on the tables dancing ourselves! This behaviour is actually highly encouraged at L’Opera, and each dinner table has stairs that pull out from underneath so guests can easily get on and off. Staff are standing by and constantly clearing away glasses and wiping up spills so that no one slips. We danced on our table from midnight until 4 am, and had not one casualty! This place just really knows how to throw a party.
And like every good night in history, I have no photos… except for this one blurry image of me dancing on a table, and our bottle of champagne we finished. I do though have a lot of videos from this night that I will save on my Instgram in my Saint-Tropez highlight if you want to check them out!
Saint-Tropez in renowned for their beach clubs, and nowhere I’ve been does it better. There’s the most famous one, Club 55, and it’s definitely worth going. My family has been copying their famous vegetable platter up at our cottage for years, and their tarte tropézienne was life changing for me in that it beat out strawberry shortcake as my new all-time favourite dessert. However, I’m going to state my incredibly unpopular opinion here and say that I think this place is maybe, just a little hit, overhyped? 🙈
My favourite beach club we went to was Gigi Ramatuelle. This place is new on the scene and considered to be the new “it” spot, and for good reason! It’s fantastic. The setting is beautiful and the atmosphere is fun and lively. Of course, the food was also insanely delicious. I recommend going for a later lunch, around 3 pm, if you really want to experience the party. We came earlier around 1 pm, and as lunch and the afternoon wore on, the music started to get a little bit louder and the place started to pick up – so much so that as we were leaving, people started dancing on tables (a theme in Saint-Tropez?) with the waiters clapping them on. Another beach club I loved was La Brigantine. It had the most beautiful view over the ocean and the Italian food was to die for. At all these beach clubs, you can rent beach chairs for a post-lunch nap or swim in the ocean.
Something that surprised me about Saint-Topez was all the coastal hiking around the area, which I discovered by accident while out on a run. I kept seeing these trails off the road with signs that said “Pietons”. I took one and it lead me to the most beautiful, rocky coastal trail. Turns out, all around the area are coastal hikes. Just look for signs that say “Pietons” and follow those paths. I stumbled upon the most beautiful and rustic secluded swimming coves with crystal clear water, and saw so much more of Saint-Tropez this way.
My family rented a house in Saint Tropez since there are so many of us, and we had the most beautiful view over the harbour – particularly at sunset. We also had some vey memorable nights in, like when The Gypsy Queens (who I adore and have been lucky enough to see performs a few times over the years) came over one night and gave us a show after dinner.
Safe to say I am officially obsessed with Saint-Tropez and already can’t wait to go back! Until then I’ll be dreaming of those mediterranean blues and tarte tropézienne.