When is a good time to visit St. Tropez?

Jan 12th, 2006, 08:48 PM
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When is a good time to visit St. Tropez?

Hello, I am trying to figure out a good time to visit St. Tropez. Right now I am thinking about April or early May. How are the crowds at that time of year? Any advice or insights anyone has would be greatly appreciated!
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Jan 12th, 2006, 08:52 PM
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rex
 
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Summer solstice, plus or minus 10-20 days.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Jan 12th, 2006, 09:27 PM
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April through May will still be relatively uncrowded, with April of course being the best of the two. Are you thinking of staying there or just visiting? If the latter, plan on getting there before 10:00 a.m. to miss the traffic on the main road into and out of the town.

Rex--you're back!
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Jan 12th, 2006, 10:32 PM
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If you are interested in some beach time, and there are great beaches just south of St. Tropez, then go one June 30th.

-Kevin
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Jan 13th, 2006, 12:05 AM
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If you want to spend time at the beach, April will definitely be too cold. Even May is sharp.
I'd suggest June or September of which June would be my first choice (longest days!).
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Jan 13th, 2006, 08:41 AM
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rex
 
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Yes, Underhilll... Hawaii was great - - just too brief! A couple of different postings on the USA forum.
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Jan 13th, 2006, 09:17 AM
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We've vacationed in St Tropez about 8 times - all in either June or Sept. The weather has always been nice, lots of beach days, and if you depart St Tropez by 11:30am & don't return till 5:30pm, the crowds are not bad at all. Lots of things to do & see in the area.

Here is the St Tropez section of my "Cote d'Azur & Provence Itinerary"

St Tropez** option:

This town is often criticized as “too touristy” & as a “jet set playground”. Nothing could be farther from the truth. As Yogi says “no-one ever goes there anymore cause it’s too crowded”. I’m not a jet setter, I don’t like crowded places, and as you can probably tell – I don’t like places that are touristy. We have been going to St Tropez almost yearly over the last 8 years (didn’t go last year). We stayed there 2 weeks in ’00 & 1 week in ’01. It’s one of the few village on the Cote without high-rises, and you can walk 10 minutes from the Pl des Lices & there will be vineyards around you, or you can be on a somewhat secluded beach in July. Market day is Tues & Sat am.

There are two ways to get to St Tropez from the A8 – from the le Luc exit if you are west of St Tropez, or from the Le Muy exit to the east. My wife does not like taking the Le Luc route – too many winding roads, although she likes stopping in Le Garde Freinet on the way & this route is more scenic. I’ll describe the route from Le Muy (exit #36 on A8)

At Le Muy, follow the signs to St Tropez. When you hit the outskirts of St Maxime, bear right & follow the signs to St Tropez. When you see water & leave St Maxime, look across the Gulf of St Tropez & see the village of St Tropez. Keep following the signs to St Tropez through a series of round-abouts (you will need to pay attention). The outskirts of St Tropez are not that scenic, but the village is one of our favorites.

Use the map in the Green Guide to get to the parking lot at the Place des Lices (from the main street into St Tropez (Blvd General Leclerc), take Blvd Louis Blanc & follow the one-way signs to Av Paul Roussel & look for parking insignias). The parking lot is underground & expensive, but trying to find street parking is difficult.

Explore St Tropez. All the shops will be open. Start at the Place des Lices (lots of outdoor cafés). Look for the Bar Clemenceau & the alley next to it is the Ave Clemenceau. Walk down this street. There’s a great ceramics store on the right & one of my wife’s favorite fabric stores is on the left near the other end of the street. The port is at the end of the street. Walk along the port. The tourist office is about 2/3rds down the way on the east side of the port where all the outdoor café’s are – pick up a St Tropez street map. Wander through all the streets east & south of the port. Shop along Rue du General Allard. There’s a good kitchen shop facing the north west corner of the Place des Lices. Our favorite restaurant is La Ponche – it’s on the north east corner of the Tourist center map. It’s outdoors with a good view of the Gulf.

Go up to the Citadelle for a great view of St Tropez, especially in the early AM. Walk along the Chemin des Graniers (path behind the Citadelle on the gulf side) for good views of the gulf – spectacular on a clear day in the PM.

South of St Tropez is nothing like what you saw coming in from St Maxime. It’s mostly vineyards with two lovely perched villages – Gassin* & Ramatuelle*. Both are worth exploring. There is a large veranda in Gassin with several outdoor restaurants with great views of the Gulf. Take the D93 to Ramatuelle then follow the road to Gassin. You wouldn’t think that you are so close to St Tropez. The rest of the area west & south of St Tropez is just like this. The famous beaches are the Plages de Pampelonne, with the Tahiti Plage at the north end. I have had lunch at Tahiti Plage many times.

We stay in an apartment while vacationing in St Tropez, but before we found it we always stayed at Hotel Lou Troupelen. It’s less than $120 & far enough away from the noise & 10 min walk to town. There are two restaurants we like outside of town. Le Ferme du Magnan, which is toward la Mole on the N98, and Auberge de La Mole in La Mole (make sure you have a big appetite before going there). Reserve several days ahead at the Auberge – it’s quite popular.

Other villages in the area around St Tropez worth visiting are Grimaud* and Bormes*.

For the most scenic coastal route on the Cote d’Azur, return to St Maxime & stay along the coast through Frejus & St Raphael (it’s not scenic up to this point). Follow the Corniche de l’Esterel (see Massif de l’ESTEREL in the Michelin guide under E). Take route #1. Take it as far as La Napoule & then get back on the A8.

Stu Dudley
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