The Best Towns to Visit Near Saint-Tropez
While you could easily spend a week in St. Tropez, relaxing and lunching, the area around St. Tropez has a lot to see. There are many vineyards and cute towns nearby. Local wine estates are rural gems dotted throughout the region. Wine-growers on these estates have lovingly worked their land, using the same methods, for generations, producing delicious nectar for us to share.
Here are the areas that shouldn’t be missed:
The Ramatuelle is divided into three distinct areas:
The Old Town
Perched on a hilltop 15 minutes from St. Tropez, medieval village Ramatuelle is a picturesque labyrinth of narrow streets and alleys overgrown with lush vegetation and fragrant flowers. The narrow alleys are bursting with small boutiques and work shops by artisans, painters, and jewelry makers. Small courtyards will draw you in to explore more. Pick up souvenirs in the small shops that sell locally-made baskets, Provençal soaps and olive oils. There are also adorable restaurants with outside terraces where you can enjoy the spectacular panoramic view while indulging in traditional French cuisine.
Besides wandering the quiet cobbled streets, Ramatuelle has a lot to offer in terms of culture. In the summer there are many music, arts and theatre festivals — the most popular being the Ramatuelle festival, where you can see French-language comedy variety shows.
The village Ramatuelle was originally created to allow the locals to escape the numerous pirates landing on the shores.
The surrounding Ramatuelle area feels very Provençale, and you’ll find several high-end organic wineries with stunning chateaus. It’s the perfect place to do a wine-tasting tour (with a driver, of course!)
The area is famous for its pale pink rosé, which is so excellent because of the mineral-rich soil and the salt, from the sea. If you are from Provence, summer without rosé is not possible.
Our favorite winery is Fondugues Pradugues , as they not only produce some of the best wine in France, but they have two extremely charming restaurants on the property: Le Chai and L’éphémère.
Start with a wine tasting in their very-chic lounge area. Then enjoy lunch or dinner in front of the vines on Le Chai’s terrace while sampling their exquisite wines. The menu changes daily depending on what’s in season at the market and the chef’s inspiration.
If you prefer absolute privacy, they can set up a dining table and serve you a gourmet picnic (with wine, of course) under a large parasol pine amongst the grape vines.
Feeling social? Check of their gourmet food truck, L’éphémère , and chat with other diners under the pines.
What became famous as “Saint-Tropez’s beach” –Plage Pampelonne– is actually in Ramatuelle, not St-Tropez. One of the most famous beaches in the world, it is certainly the most posh beach party scene on the French Riviera. There are yachts. And stars. And lots and lots of beaches with tanned bodies sprawled about them dressed in little more than a squirt of SPF 4. The dreamy coastline is filled with so many stunning beaches that choosing which one to visit can be a tricky affair. Getting reservations for the right table, and how to dress for them, is a major preoccupation for many jet-set. Here’s your guide to navigating the beach clubs of St. Tropez.
Grimaud is divided into two very distinct areas:
Port Grimaud is a Disneyesque Mini-Venice
Between a 20-to-50-minute drive (depending on traffic) or a faster boat ride, along the coast in the direction of Cannes, is a very unique port town. Often referred to as “Little Venice”, the relaxed town of Port Grimaud superbly combines glorious Riviera beauty with the provincial charm found in Venice.
This picturesque mini-port offers diverse eateries serving mid-range cuisine in a scenic setting. It’s very touristy and can feel a bit like a Disney-version of Venice, but it’s worth seeing once.
Grimaud, the Medieval Village
Head inland to the medieval city of Grimaud itself, where thriving galleries and studios have arisen in this charming location filled with motivation for painters, sculptors and writers. Nestled in the heart of the Maures Mountains and bordering the Gulf of St Tropez, Grimaud has maintained its medieval character. The village is very charming, with its flowered streets winding all the way from the Romanesque church to the ruins of the feudal castle.