Why St Tropez is the ultimate yachting destination
There are not many places in the world as synonymous with the glamorous, opulent yachting lifestyle than Saint Tropez. Nestled along the stunning coastline of the French Riviera, this formerly quiet, rustic fishing village was transformed when a relatively unknown actress was filmed by the waterfront in 1956. 22-years old at the time, Brigitte Bardot was with her then husband/director Roger Vadim who shot And God Created Women by the seaside town. The rest, as they say, is history. Following Brigitte’s rapid rise to fame, the town of St Tropez was transformed into a thriving, vibrant hotspot for the elite, A-listers and celebrities during the next decade. Today the city is known as one of the leading stops during a South of France yacht charter, as it is simply brimming with modern-day luxuries.
Bardot herself felt such a connection to the town that she purchased a house and relocated to the city not long after filming And God Created Women. The former actress/model turned animal rights activist still lives in St Tropez to this day, underlining the special pull the city retains.
No matter what time of year you visit, the quay by the port will always be full of superyachts of various sizes. Once a modest harbour, it has evolved into one of the most modern places for yachts to drop anchor. The surrounding picturesque boutiques, cafes and restaurants attract discerning visitors and locals alike, especially in the summer, who come to admire the impressive fleet of gathered yachts. The refined, sandy beaches and clubs are also a popular feature in the city. Club 55, a restaurant by the famous Pampelone beachfront where the cast and crew of And God Created Women once dined back in the day, remains a popular location for the elite. Other trendy, well-established beachside restaurants and clubs include Bagatelle, Loulou and Tiki, all favourites among jetsetters and locals. For those looking to relax or party in a more private setting, then there are also private beaches like Tahiti Plage and Nikki Beach, easily accessible via car or tender. St Tropez is also brimming with world-class restaurants, like Spoon Byblos, L’Opéra and Cafe Senequier, where visitors can enjoy the finest cuisine and a show while people-watching in style. The city is also known for its thriving nightlife for those looking to indulge in an after-party. Offering an array of clubs, from the renowned VIP Room to the Les Caves du Roy nightclub at Byblos Hotel and Gaïo, there are several high-end clubs with seating, dancing and private rooms for all occasions.
Outside of St Tropez glamorous-veneer, the city retains its charming, quaint allure. With strong maritime roots, its small, ornate streets, pastel-coloured faces and quiet plazas are a peaceful refugee. The surrounding area is known for producing local wine, with several vineyards in the vicinity located in stunning mountainside estates that offer tours and wine tastings. The ideal calm retreat after enjoying the more hedonistic side of St Tropez, the city continues to amaze visitors season in and season out.