by Carlos Melia
Hi there…. yes been away for a over two weeks. Don’t call me lazy !!! I have been traveling extensively to share more stories, haute experiences and tips with you you all. Today writing my column right from Nice in the South of France, after spending 72 hours in Sain Tropez, having my own Tropezziene experience. The only missing item on my list, well to see or meet Brigitte Bardot, one of the icons that gave a soul and name to this destination, maybe next time.
Saint Tropez, is located in the French Riviera, 2 hours away from Nice or Cannes, and 65 mi to the east of Marseille in the region of Provence in the southeastern France. Known today as the playgroung of jetsetter, fashion models, the famous and extremely wealthy summertime guests. This is all began for Brigitte Bardot, she was “discovered” in Saint Tropez.
Saint Tropez became what it is today after World War II, an internationally-known seaside resort, renowned principally because of the influx of artists of the French New Wave in cinema and the Ye-Ye movement in music.
If I would have to compare Saint Tropez, to other destinations in the world, I think it would be very easy to name the ones, which would be Punta del Este (Uruguay) and St Barth (West French Indies). Same concept and crowd, moving or better sailing around the world.
I have travelled around this world, one and over again. I must say I have never seen yatchs the size I have seen in St Tropez, the are massive. I guess size matters, when it comes to show who is who in St Tropez. If you are among the top visitors to the destination, you sleep on the water and not on land. Saint Tropez has a long history with sailing, and each year, at the end of September, a regatta is held in the bay of Saint-Tropez – Les Voiles de St. Tropez. This is a draw for many yachts, some up to 50 metres in length. + Read & See More
How did I get IN and OUT
Well of course that if you are among the rich and famous, you can just clap your hands, and have the captain of your yacht get you there in no time and with no hustle. But I am just a humble travel writer, so came from Paris to Nice by the TGV, spent a night in Nice at the fabulous Le Negresco Hotel by Leading Hotels of the World, and took the regional trains from Nice to St Raphael. A lovely train ride bordering the French Riviera. From St Raphael I made two options: St Raphael / St Tropez by Le Bataeux (ferry) and back from St Tropez / St Raphael by bus, which I must say was the best option in terms of panoramic views and learning more about this region.
What did I DO
I spent a full day exploring around St Tropez, from the port area to the pier. Then off to Citadelle XVI, Cimetiere Marin, Place des Lices, Rue Gambetta and Rue Allard…
Place des Lices and Pétanque
Pétanque derives from the French – pès tancats – feet anchored. Place des Lices, is known to be the most chic square in the world where to play Pétanque. So off I went to se this, and learn a bit more about this traditional game of France, played by approximately 17 million people. The goal is, while standing inside a starting circle with both feet on the ground, to throw hollow metal balls as close as possible to a small wooden ball called a cochonnet, which you see on the photo above as the small red ball. + Read & See More
The Citadelle of Saint Tropez, has crowned the town for the last 400 years. In 1602 the King engineer Raymond de Bonnefons, was in charge of the fortifications of the Provence, undertook the building of a huge tower of defence. This tower now called Donjon, characteristic from the 16th century, huge building visible from the distance with an inner patio. Their main purpose, play a dissuasive role. + Read & See More
(Flickr Photo Album) La Citadelle XVIeme
And if you have time, stroll down the hill to the line of the coast and visit the Cementery, where the body of Pan Dei, wife of General Allard, rests in peace overlooking the Golf of St Tropez.
Plage de La Ponche
Plade de La Ponche and Fontanette are the two beaches attached to the edge of the charming old quarter of La Ponche. Worth seeing, to learn more about the the lifestyle of the old fishermans of St Tropez.
Fish Markets of Saint Tropez
One morning, maybe a bit late, I came for a walk along town and found this cute fish market, where all locals gathered to get this fantastic fresh produce right off the boats and from the Golf of St Tropez and the Mediterranean Sea. A bit slow but well I came around 11AM, when usually this things happen in between 5 and 6AM in the morning, too early right + Read & See More
…and the another day doing Plage de Pampelonne in Ramatuelle, and Plage des Salins.
Plage de Pampelonne
Neighbor district to Saint Tropez, only 15 minutes away, holding beautiful beaches and the exclusive Club 55. Six kilometers of beach, and traslucid green waters of the Mediterranean Sea. You will drive along vineyards and classic Tropezienne Provence style houses. + Read & See More
Plage des Salins
Another alternative options to Plage Pampelonne. Less crowded or commercial, with a nice restaurant Les Salins which I am planning to try today for lunch. Ten minutes by car from the Port of St Tropez. Ride the Route des Salins which is the prolongation of Rue Gambetta, and you will be there in not time. + Read & See More
Otherwise, ideal to get away in the narrow streets of saint tropêz, vagabonde and let yourself be guided by “a coup de Coeur” you will find a lot of very amazing experiences and restaurant !! Stop by Rue Francois Sibilli, the 5th Avenue of St Tropez, and maybe have lunch at the Dior Restaurant inside the Dior Maison, simply fabulous.
Every single person that knew I was in St Tropez, said the same exact thing ” Carlos please go and try a Tarte Tropézienne…” and so I did. A French Riviera specialty. If you want to experience one of St Tropez’s classic, well do as I did and come to Senequeir Cafe at the port of St Tropez and have your on experience of a Tarte Tropézienne while you look at St Tropez life go by and enjoy the view of some of the most amazing yachts in the entire world. light sugared sponge cake garnished with a blend of three creams. A secret recipe which has been patented. Although I have been told that I must try the ones from Mika, in tribute to the Polish Pastry Chef Alexander Micka, who opened a bakery in the glamorous St Tropez, and got addicted to this cakes personalities like Brigitte Bardot.
Where did I STAY
Pan Dei Palais by Releais & Chateaux
Former residence of Pan Dei, wife of the General Allard. Located over Rue Gambetta only three blocks away for the promenade of the Port of St Tropez, and surrounded by chic stores and lovely restaurants, this small boutique hotel by Relais & Chateauxfeatures 10 suites, a Thai/Indian/French fusion restaurant and a beautiful outdoor lounge next to the heated pool at the back garden. Near the “Place des Lices” in the old town of Saint-Tropez, a stone’s throw from the port and its legendary addresses, a finely carved wooden door invites you to enter the Pan Deï Palais. + Read & See More
Hotel Saint Amour la Tartane
Approximately 10 minutes from Saint Tropes Port, is Hotel Saint Amour la Tartane, on the Route to Plages de Salins. A lovely villa based concept hotel, on a classic Provence style. 28 Suites and Villas settled around a clear blue swimming pool (which I wish would be heated to jump in right now). Definitely a complete Saint Tropez experience. + Read & See More
(video) Video of my Villa
Where did I EAT
Located at the ground level of the Pan Dei Palais by Relais & Chateaux, is this lovely Restaurant, fusion of Thai / Indian with reminiscences of French Cuisine. ZEN is their concept, and you can see in the photo above, very very simple but classy and very tasteful. And come on… once you use French Graine Moutarde, what can go wrong right. !!!! It brings up all the right flavors. + Read & See More
Only 15 minutes away from Plage des Salins and 20 from the port of St Tropez, you will arrive to Plage Pampelonne and to the exclusive and chic Club 55. Literally the who is who, Be and Be Seen stop in this region. In my mind I had the idea, being low season, that I was going to be there practically on my own, well I couldn’t be any more wrong. The place was SOLD OUT. The ambiance is quite chic, but not pretentious of stiff at all. + Read & See More
Grand Cafe Restaurant
Located at the Hotel Saint Lamour la Tartane, this Asian Restaurant with dishes inspired in Thailand and Japan has a nice atmosphere and the final product is very good. I love my Tom Yong, and I must say they made it very well with fresh prawns from the Golf of St Tropez. + Read & See More
Another great options for breakfast or lunch. Locate over Plage des Salines right at the end of Route des Salins, approx. 10 minutes away from the center and port of Saint Tropez. Visit for lunch, or do as I did and come for a drink overlooking Plage des Salins. Their speciality Poison Grille bien sur. (Grilled Fish) + Read & See More
Known to be among the best places of St Tropez to taste the Tarte Tropezienne while you watch the people go by and the yatchs on the port of St Tropez. + Read & See More
So pretty much this has been my Tropezienne experience. Hope you like it. Now off to Paris for fashion week, then Deauville in Normandy and off to new experiences in Finland, Sweden and Russia. So stay tuned. Hope you enjoy my recommendations. Want to read more about my recommendations based on my own travel experiences worldwide as an OUT Gay Traveler, check out Carlos Melia Recommends Enews. Bye.! Till next adventure in full luxury. Carlos Melia
Carlos Melia is a Travel Expert, Blogger, Niche Marketing Consultant, Jetsetter, and Bon Vivant, who travels around the world discovering what’s new and cool in Luxury Travel and Hospitality. His reviews on hotels, restaurants, destinations, and attractions, based on his own experiences as an OUT Gay Traveler can be found at www.carlosmeliablog.com