There’s an amazing walking route to take in St Tropez that takes you past rugged beaches, glamorous villas, ostentatious yachts, and several pontoons, as well as a few nudists. It ends up at a lovely beachside restaurant. Here’s our guide on how to get there, where to park and what’s involved.
This beautiful walk is around a stretch of very rugged coastline, so you’ll need practical footwear (sandals won’t really work if you have to jump over rocks). There are lots of wonderful swimming spots so take a towel and wear your swimsuit underneath (there isn’t anywhere to change), so that you’re ready to make the most of every lovely nook and jetty. You might occasionally find some jellyfish, so just have a quick look before you dive into the water. Take lots of drinking water and a picnic if you want, baring in mind the only shop of any kind is the restaurant at the end. The paths are fine for kids but don’t let them run on ahead, as there aren’t barriers and there are lots of places they could have accidents if unsupervised. The walk will take about half a day, so best to finish at lunch or dinner time.
Drive to the Chemin de l’Estagnet and park somewhere along the Baie de Canebiers. You are going to walk around the headland but there isn’t a well-defined path for the first part – just keep snaking around behind the properties or in front of them; you’ll see others doing the same. Follow the coastline.
Brigitte Bardot’s house is here, as is Mohammad Al Fayed’s and countless other celebrity residencies. The houses are obviously very private property, but the beach isn’t – so don’t worry, you are allowed on it. The coast is rocky here, so you can stop wherever you like and climb in for a swim and gaze at the luxurious villas from afar. There are a few pontoons with ladders into the sea, which are great for having a picnic on and then taking a swim.
As you move further around the coast towards the headland at Pointe de la Rabiou, the path becomes more rugged – be careful with younger children here. The view is spectacular, looking out onto the Mediterranean. Follow the trail round and turn south onto the Plage des Salins.
The nudist beach at Plage des Salins is a wonderful spot to swim. Locals, naturists and tourists mix quite happily here – the beach is long and wide and has room for everyone. Only 500 metres (0.3 miles) of the beach are officially designated nudist and you’ll obviously know the spot when you reach it. On good days, everyone is out walking their dog, swimming or just hanging out.
You can hire a sun-lounger on the far end of this stretch of the beach at the restaurant bar called Les Salins. It does great pizza or fresh, grilled fish which you can either eat at a table on the beach or at the restaurant. Have a glass of wine, have a swim, and walk the Route des Salins back to your car. Perfect.
Opening hours: daily 12-4PM, 7-11PM
Les Salins, Route des Salins, Saint-Tropez, France, +33 4 94 97 15 66