Sights of sizzling St Tropez

ST TROPEZ is best known as a glitzy playground for the rich and famous, and the spaceship like yacht moored at Vieux Port. Possibly one of the most famous resorts in Europe it is also one of the busiest and liveliest towns along the French Riviera coast during the summer. 

In the '50s when screen siren Bridget Bardot arrived in St Tropez the peaceful fishing village transformed into a sizzling jet-set favourite overnight. The 'Tropeziens' have thrived on their sexy image ever since. Popular with artists, the town attracted the international "jet set” in the 1960s, and remains known for its beaches and night life.

There is a serene side to this village even though it is trampled by 60,000 summertime residents and visitors on any given day. During the quieter season St-Tropez takes on a mesmerising quaint beauty. The cobbled lanes in the old fishing quarter of La Ponche are where you can sip pastis at a Place Des Lices cafe, watch old men play petanque beneath plane trees or walk in solitary splendour from one beach to another along the coastal path.

By the harbour lunch like the French in a cosy cafe, watch the passing parade and ogle at the ritzy yachts in the harbour. For a true Provencale treat, try the famous bouillabaisse dish accompanied by a fine glass of Burgundy or Bordeaux from a local vineyard. 

The open air market is a good place to wander around for hidden antique treasures or local handicrafts. Break out the credit cards for shopping at the upscale boutiques, or curb your spending and settle on a quality bottle of olive oil or wine from Provence.

The walk around the old headland fort has wonderful views of the blue Mediterranean waters and upmarket shore side mansions not to mention the obligatory mega yacht anchored nearby. Besides the mesmerising azure blue seas, Saint-Tropez also has a verdant countryside of pine trees, olive groves, cypresses, and shrub lands. The distant views across the sea to the Maures Mountains are also outstanding.

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