How to Spend an Afternoon in the Vieux Port of St Tropez

The old port of St Tropez is a wonderful place to while away an afternoon
The old port of St Tropez is a wonderful place to while away an afternoon | © nicolas vasse/Flickr
Alex Ledsom

The old port of St Tropez in France has so much to offer in just one afternoon. Take in some modern art, visit the citadel, eat some fantastic seafood and discover local maritime history. Here’s our guide to get the most out of your visit.

Head to Le Musée de l’Annonciade, France’s First Modern Art Museum

In the late 19th century, the painter Paul Signac arrived in St Tropez and fell in love with the place. He bought a house and began to paint, inviting lots of friends to stay, including Matisse. The group started an avant-garde art movement in the town, which is celebrated at the Musée de l’Annonciade. This old chapel was built by penitent monks in 1510 who helped to “redeem” the seaman who had been held captive by attacking forces. Now it houses works of art – specifically from 1890 to 1950 – and considers itself the first modern art museum in the country.

Opening hours: 10am to 1pm. 2pm to 6pm. Tuesday – Sunday. Closed Monday. €6/€4. Under 12s free.

Musée de l’Annonciade, 2 Rue de l’Annonciade, Place Georges Grammont, St Tropez +33 (0)4 94 17 84 10

Work by Paul Signac is on show in the Musée Annonciade by the old port

Have Lunch at Le Girelier

Le Girelier is the place to go for a smart lunch. It’s the real deal – white table cloths, chefs that have been in residence for nine years, and wonderful seafood with great wines.

Opening hours: 12pm to 12am. Daily. Visit Facebook for specifics.

Le Girelier, Quai Jean Jaurès, Saint-Tropez +33 (0)4 94 97 03 87

Walk Around the Old Fishing Quarter, La Plonche

After such a big lunch, you’ll need to walk it off. Stroll through old fishermen’s cottages and archways leading to the sea, in the area called La Plonche. St Tropez used to have a thriving fishing industry and there’s a little beach here where you can swim if you like. The cultural heart is the Hotel de la Ponche, a small boutique hotel with 22 suites. Stop for tea and cake, if you have room.

La Ponche, St Tropez

Visit the Citadel of St Tropez

The citadel was built in the early 17th century to protect the growing town from invading Spanish fleets. It became a vital part of France’s coastal defences between Toulon and Antibes, until the late 19th century when artillery shells became too powerful for the citadel’s ramparts to withstand. Visit the dungeons, which house the Museum of Maritime History, celebrating the lives of local sailors and fishermen. It has amazing views.

Opening hours: 10am to 5pm. Daily. €3. Under 12s go free.

La Citadelle, 1, montée de la Citadelle, Saint-Tropez +33 (0)4 94 97 59 43

Have an “Apéro” on the Quai Jean Jaurés

The number one pastime in St Tropez is to celebrity-spot, particularly in summer. Walk back down to the quay, marveling at the huge yachts (and the money required to keep them) and then have a drink overlooking the harbour before heading off to dinner. People love Chez Madeleine or Sénéquier to pick up the vibe.

Chez Madeleine opening hours: 8am to 1pm. 5pm to 8pm.

Chez Madeleine, 14 Place aux Herbes, Saint-Tropez +33 (0)4 94 96 59 81

Sénéquier opening hours: 7am to 2pm. Daily.

Sénéquier, Quai Jean Jaurès, Saint-Tropez +33(0)494972020

Port de St Tropez

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