The climate in the South of France is generally great, with roughly 300 days of sunshine beaming down across the Riviera each year. However, that statistic does still leave 65 days on average when the sun doesn’t shine.
We can often struggle to dispel a sense of disappointment when a holiday vision of sunshine and sparkling sea is marred by rain or windy weather. Happily, bad weather passes through the Cote d’Azur quite quickly after a few torrential downpours. To help you dispel the gloom and recognise all the fun still to be had when it’s raining on the Riviera, we’ve pulled together a list of the best activities for rainy days in Saint Tropez.
For the explorers
As long as visibility isn’t too bad, book a boat trip and enjoy being out on the water. You can sit downstairs and gaze out the big windows or brave the elements in your raincoat up on the top deck. A visit to the new Musee de la Gendarmerie et du Cinema de Saint Tropez (Museum of Police and Cinema) will also quench your thirst for knowledge as you discover the rather random connection between the two.
For the culture vultures
Explore the dungeon of the village citadel in the Museum of Maritime History where you will discover famous Saint-Tropez heroes such as Bailli de Suffren, General Allard or Hyppolite Bouchard, as well as thousands of anonymous folk who served the nation aboard the navy’s vessels or who faced stormy seas aboard merchant ships. Art lovers should visit Musee de l'Annonciade, a modern art museum is housed in a 16th-century chapel. The artworks are a great example of how Saint-Tropez was an important avant-garde centre at the beginning of the 20th century.
For the active visitors
Why not go for a swim indoors? Most hotels in St Tropez have their own wonderful swimming pool facilities but if yours doesn't, then the Moulin Blanc Sports Centre has a heated indoor pool, plus plenty of other activities to keep the family entertained such as badminton, indoor tennis and volleyball. Be aware that French pools insist on Speedo-style swim trunks for males rather than board shorts – if you don’t have any you can normally buy them at the venue. Or you can put your raincoats on, grab a brolly and go to the beach. If it’s wild and windy weather, then head to locals favourite Canoubiers Beach for a bracing walk followed by a warming hot chocolate at a cosy café.
For the kids
Take a trip out of town and head to the Tortoise Village in Gonfaron. Chances are it might not be raining further inland and, even if it is, you will get the chance to see these fascinating creatures in their natural environments. It is the only specialist turtle centre in Europe, they treat over 300 turtles and tortoises per year. If you'd rather stay indoors, the Bowling du Golfe in Grimaud has 8 bowling alleys, pool tables and arcade games, as well as a bar serving drinks and light snacks.
For the adults
What better way to indulge yourself on a rainy day than a pampering treatment at one of Saint Tropez’ great day spas? Afterwards, dress up and soak the glamour of afternoon tea at one the stunning portside bars or restaurants where you can enjoy some people watching as the rain splashes off the superyachts just outside. Or spend the day hopping from one shop to the next in the narrow streets of St Tropez and make the most of the local boutiques. Finally, music fans should make their way to the wonderful Chapelle Sainte Anne and step back in time to when Mick Jagger married Bianca on May 12th 1971. Enjoy the atmosphere of this special place, even when the 'Rain Fall Down'.