Saint-Tropez is known today for its famous and extremely wealthy summertime guests. It has been dubbed the “playground to jetsetters, fashion models, and millionaires,” and it is most-enduringly known as the place where the iconic Brigitte Bardot was "discovered," and for its role in the liberation of southern France during World War II.

Saint-Tropez has had a varied history. It was a fifteenth-century military stronghold, an unassuming fishing village at the beginning of the twentieth century, and the first town on this coast to be liberated during World War II (as part of Operation Dragoon). After the war, it became 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. In latter years, it has been a resort for the European and American jet set  and the inevitable hordes of tourists in search of a little Provençal authenticity and an occasional celebrity sighting.

Saint-Tropez is 100 Km (60 miles) west of Cap d’Antibes along the scenic Mediterranean coastline road.  As the crow flies directly across the water, the distance is slightly shorter – about 50 miles. We will take a full day-trip to Saint-Tropez and will charter a boat from the Port Gallice harbor in Cap d’Antibes to get us there.  The boat ride should be about 1.5 hours along the magnificent picturesque French Riviera shoreline and we will enter the beautiful harbor just like the boat in the following YouTube Video.

 

 


Saint-Tropez has two distinct sections to it.  The first is the “downtown” area – the cobblestone roads, quaint shops, outdoor bistro restaurants, art exhibits and the marina harboring mega-sized yachts.  

The Marina
The Marina
 
Downtown at Night
Downtown at Night
 
Then there is the “beach” area, known locally as “Plage Tahiti.” It is here that topless sunbathing was born and Brigitte Bardot was the pacesetter.
Plage Tahiti
Plage Tahiti
 
No Caption Necessary
No Caption Necessary
 

It was here years ago that Jason and Jonathan, fast approaching puberty, embarked on an ambitious “photo shoot” with their Kodak cameras. They contended that they wanted to discreetly capture for their scrapbooks the “essence” and “ambiance” of a French beach. The boys thoroughly embarrassed their parents (and even their sister) as they roamed the beach from umbrella to umbrella snapping pics, all with a focus on the northern section of the midriff. Only after the female sun worshippers started clamoring “villain enfant, villain enfant” (naughty boy) did the local gendarme intervene to bring a halt to their mischievous activity.