Amazing Day Trips to Take From Saint-Tropez by Boat

Saint-Tropez is a glamorous jumping-off point for exploring the stunning Côte d'Azur
Saint-Tropez is a glamorous jumping-off point for exploring the stunning Côte d'Azur | © ONLY FRANCE / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Chrissie McClatchie
30 November 2021
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Once a sleepy fishing village that caught the eye of silver-screen stars such as Brigitte Bardot in the 1950s, Saint-Tropez is today a byword for French Riviera glamour. Away from the crowd of super-yachts at anchor in its bay, the narrow streets behind the port are a charming warren of boutiques, bars and restaurants, such as marina-side institution, Café Sénéquier. Stop for a coffee before setting off on one of these sailing adventures.

Plage Pampelonne

Natural Feature
A small inflatable dinghy cruises through the crystal-clear turquoise waters alongside sandy Plage Pampelonne.
© Helmut Corneli / Alamy Stock Photo
The long stretch of sandy coast at Plage Pampelonne in Ramatuelle is the place to see and be seen in summer on the Côte d’Azur. The beach is divided into public areas (including two nudist zones) and private beach clubs, where champagne and rosé flow all day. Nikki Beach and La Bagatelle attract a hip crowd, but none as legendary as Club 55 – an A-list favourite since opening in 1955.

Château Minuty

Winery
Château Minuty rosé vineyards near Saint-Tropez enjoys a lush leafy outlook and clear sea views from its terraces.
© Ilona Barna BIPHOTONEWS / Alamy Stock Photo
The vineyards that surround Saint-Tropez produce the pale-pink rosé that is popular around the world. With over 110ha (272 acres) of vines under cultivation, Château Minuty is one of the biggest estates. Quality hasn’t been sacrificed for quantity at this family-run vineyard in Gassin, and its range of highly regarded wines come from hand-harvested grapes, cultivated without pesticides or herbicides. The sleek tasting room is open year-round.

Port Grimaud

Architectural Landmark
An aerial view of Port Grimaud showing its network of canals, which are flanked by traditional buildings and white motorboats.
© Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo
Constructed in the 1960s on reclaimed marshland in the Gulf of Saint-Tropez, it’s easy to see why Port Grimaud is also known as “The Little Venice of Provence”. Venetian-inspired bridges connect a network of boutique- and restaurant-lined canals, although the colourful buildings still retain a distinctly Provençal feel. Climb to the top of the Church of Saint François of Assisi for the best views in town. In July and August, night markets light up Monday evenings with an array of local artisans selling their wares.

Cogolin

Architectural Landmark
The cobbled pedestrian streets of the pretty medieval village of Cogolin are a delight to explore at a leisurely pace. You’ll discover pottery studios and handcrafted carpets, as well as a rich tradition of producing delicate reeds for wind instruments. Serving up flavoursome local dishes in the heart of town, Grain de Sel is a cosy spot for a bistro lunch.

Île du Levant

Natural Feature
An empty strand of golden sand on the Île du Levant, looking over the sea to Hyères on the mainland.
© ZM_Photo / Shutterstock
Do you dare to bare it all on Île du Levant? The easternmost of the three Îles d’Or (Golden Islands) off Hyères is a nudist paradise, where you can roam au naturel everywhere apart from designated spaces such as the harbour and village square. It’s worth remembering that there’s no electricity on the island, but there is a selection of restaurants, including the appropriately named Pizzeria Adam et Eve.

Île de Porquerolles

Natural Feature
An aerial view of the busy marina on Île de Porquerolles, full of sailing boats and surrounded by terracotta-roofed buildings and lush forest.
© Borges Samuel / Alamy Stock Photo
The fine sands and turquoise waters of the Île de Porquerolles – another of the Îles d’Or archipelago – bring a sense of the Caribbean to the Mediterranean. The island is well set up to hire cycling, diving and nautical equipment, and there’s a network of signposted walking routes to explore. Make time to visit the Villa Carmignac, a striking contemporary villa and exhibition space.

Sainte-Maxime

Architectural Landmark
Aerial view of the sheltered marina at Sainte-Maxime, with two claw-like sea walls protecting plenty of white sailing boats.
© aerial-photos.com / Alamy Stock Photo
Facing its famous neighbour across the Gulf of Saint-Tropez, Sainte-Maxime is a more low-key version of Saint-Tropez. This family-friendly coastal resort is easy to navigate on foot (the tourist office has self-guided walking tour maps). Finish by strolling to the lively seafront promenade with a pretty rose-petal gelato from Aux Parfums d’Italie.

Îles de Lérins

Building, Church, Natural Feature
Elevated view of the ancient monastery on Île Saint-Honorat, which has a terracotta roof and is surrounded by palm trees.
© Sergey Dzyuba / Shutterstock
In contrast to the red-carpet glamour of La Croisette, these two islands found in the Bay of Cannes are an oasis of leafy calm. On Île Sainte-Marguerite, the larger of the two, you’ll find an important museum and several dining options, while the serene atmosphere of Île Saint-Honorat comes from the monastic order that calls it home. In the channel that separates the two islands, lie the grand statues of the Cannes Underwater Eco-Museum.

Explore Saint-Tropez in style by hiring a vessel through SamBoat – no sailing experience necessary.

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