There are a wealth of places to visit in Saint-Tropez, from top class art museums to the remains of ancient chapels and of course the famous vineyards. Many of the highlights are in Saint-Tropez itself, but to see the best of the region, a car, bike or moped is recommended.
Thanks to the varied history of Saint-Tropez, you will find reminders of pre-historic times, invasions and political wrangling. Much of this history is maritime based and is documented in a number of local museums. Saint-Tropez is home to a vibrant arts scene as evidenced by the number of excellent art galleries and museums found throughout. Historical art collections as well as contemporary can be seen across the region, and not forgetting of course those artists who were resident in the area such as Picasso, Signac, Matisse and Renoir.
But it is not just man-made artefacts that are worth seeking out. Saint-Tropez is blessed with fabulous scenery, from the coastline of the French Riviera to the rolling hills inland. A number of Natural Parks have been created, protecting the land from development and allowing visitors to explore the natural landscape by foot or by bike.
Castles & Ruins
The town of St Tropez itself was one a fortified village and you can explore the old fort and defence towers in strategic points around the village. The surrounding towns too have their fair share of castles which makes visiting them of real interest to any historians out there.
Churches & Cathedrals
With it's rich history, the south of France is blessed with some of the oldest religious buildings in France. The Christians certainly knew how to create grand structures to proclaim their might and to cower any rivals. The Eglise Notre Dame de l'Assomption is the red and yellow church in the heart of the town, and the smaller Chapelle de la Misericorde has a beautiful tiled dome. Other notable buildings further afield include the Basilique Notre Dame de la Victoire in Saint Raphael and the Lerins Abbey on the island of Saint Honorat,
Houses & Gardens
There are several botanical gardens close to Saint Tropez open to the public where you can enjoy the wonders of Mediterranean plants and flowers.
Museums & Galleries
Saint Tropez is well known for it's private art galleries that sell beautiful works of art. It also has one of the best public art museums on the Riviera - the Musee de l'Annonciade. Other museums of note include the Maritime History Museum in the Citadel and a butterfly museum.
Nature Reserves & Parks
The closest Natural Park to Saint Tropez is the lovely Plaine des Maures Natural Park to the north west. Further east towards Cannes is the L'Esterel National Park, a striking area of red rock mountains that plunge into the deep blue seas of the Mediterranean.
Perhaps the most famous natural park in the south of France is that at Verdon about 2-3 hours drive north of Saint Tropez, which boasts an enormous canyon that opens out on to a blue-green lake. It's a meca for outdoor & sports enthusiasts. The Camargue is another well known natural park, famous for it's wetlands, bulls & white horses. It is located to the west of Saint Tropez and is around a three hour drive.
Shops & Boutiques
If you do not go shopping in St Tropez then there is almost no point in visiting it at all! The boutiques here are filled with both International and local designer labels, with the infamous sandals and espadrilles taking pride of place. The town has a style of its own and once you have been there you will certainly want to own a few of those items that say 'St Tropez'.
Of course that is not all you will find. The traditional Provencal style markets are found all over the area and a visit to one of these will give you a flavour of the real French Riviera.
Vineyards & Estates
The area has produced wine for millennia (experts say for 2,300 years), thanks to the arrival of the Phoenicians and their vines. The appellation covers the region from the west of Marseilles to St Raphael in the east, through the area known as the Var. Whilst Cotes de Provence wines are mostly famous for their rose wines, rich, full-bodied reds are also produced, along with light and fresh white wines. Most vineyards are open for sales, book in advance for tours and tastings.
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