Into the Blue: A Luxury Guide to Yacht Charter in St Tropez
Saint Tropez, originally a sleepy fishing village catapulted into the realm of the international jetset from the 1950’s and has remained the essential summertime playground for the famous and wealthy, where superyachts and sophistication bring savoir faire to the shores of the Mediterranean.
A must-visit stop for yacht charters on the glittering Côte d’Azur, the town has an unrivalled energy during busy months and a genteel charm of true Provençal ambience in the off-season.
Immerse yourself in our ‘Luxury Guide to Yacht Charter in St Tropez’ with practical advice on top places to dine, where to find the best shopping and useful tips about how to book a French Riviera luxury yacht charter.
Why Charter a Yacht in St Tropez
Saint Tropez is one of the most popular yacht charter holiday spots and was attracting the artistic, well-heeled and beautiful long before Brigitte Bardot’s era. Artists and writers such as Paul Signac and Matisse clustered there, and it still lives up to it’s reputation as one of the best towns to people-watch on the French Riviera!
Yacht charter guests will find Saint Tropez delivers all that is desired from a quintessential Mediterranean experience; picturesque villages, beautiful sandy beaches, bustling portside nightlife, historic monuments, diverse restaurants and fabulous shopping.
Plage de Pampelonne strikes a tone with all charter guests as there are public and private beaches for every mood from the trendy spots to quieter family-oriented beach restaurants. It’s the perfect place if you want to put on the luxe where you can dine at leisure on the sand with fresh langoustine paired with Champagne service, or simply take the yacht tender to shore for a quick lunch and a glass of chilled Domaine OTT rosé.
The juxtaposition of life is a Provençal pleasure – here, you can find superyachts moored beside fishing boats at Vieux Port (Old Port), while a dusty Citroën rattles past a supercar on the quay. There are designer boutiques with six-figure price tags alongside souvenir shops brimming with Herbs de Provence and lavender pot pourri. You can relax at world-class Spas with pampering treatments, play a round of golf nearby or simply wander the cobblestoned streets of La Ponche with dashings of local Tropézienne life.
There’s no train line servicing the town and a chokehold of a road that is ‘one way in and one way out’ in summer, therefore arriving by private yacht to Saint Tropez is an enviable solution for a stress-free holiday.
Whether you want to lap up luxury with friends, celebrate a family occasion or spend a week onboard for a honeymoon, hiring a luxury yacht in Saint Tropez will introduce you to a destination of charm with a unique spirit of it’s own.
Best time to visit St Tropez
There are plenty of things to do if you are visiting Saint Tropez for one day or one week. If you want to experience Saint Tropez when it is at its most frivolous, hedonistic and buzzing, then book your yacht charter for July or August. The temperatures are warmest then, but you’ll have to book in advance as you won’t be alone in the high season – Saint Tropez positively throngs with yachts and yacht-watchers, pushing the population up to an incredible 100,000 visitors a day.
Many charter guests time their visit with some of the annual events hosted in and around Saint Tropez; get a dose of tradition at Les Bravades, chill out to the dulcet tones at the Jazz Festival Ramatuelle, watch the autumn race action of Les Voiles de St Tropez or admire the Euro Festival, an annual meet that sees 10,000 Harley Davidson’s ride into Grimaud.
Off-season, the weather is still comfortable and the quaint Saint Tropez of the painter’s canvas really comes to life – the fading Mediterranean sunlight glowing against red-tiled rooftops, the salt-rusted towlines of the old fishing boats at La Ponche, and the clink of pétanque balls as you devour a creamy Tarte Tropezienne and sip pastis.
Insider Tips for St Tropez
We understand all of our yacht charter clients have individual preferences, so we are more than happy to suggest great places to go in Saint Tropez whether you want to party at the celebrity nightspots or enjoy a fine dining experience ashore at a Michelin-starred restaurant. Read through some of our recommendations below for inspiration of where to go and what to do in Saint Tropez.
Recommended Places to Stay or Dine in St Tropez
If you want to combine your private yacht charter with a stay on land, you can expect impeccable service at a number of chic getaways in Saint Tropez. Five-star Hôtel Byblos is unashamedly famous and has a fantastic location close to Saint Tropez’s best shopping; don’t miss sipping a drink around the pool before a night dancing at Les Caves du Roy. This year sees them celebrate their 50th anniversary so expect lots of glamorous events and sumptuous festivities.
Pan Deï Palais offers a place of serenity in the midst of Saint Tropez; think Provençal villa decorated with exotic kilims, Balinese daybeds and Asian statues. The mosaic swimming pool is a refreshing place for a dip ashore and the lounge bar is a refined place for an apéritif.
Away from the heart of the Old Town, Muse Saint Tropez in Ramatuelle is a tranquil retreat with just 14 Suites – many with private plunge pools – and they provide complimentary shuttle transport for guests to the beach. Set in 25 acres of manicured gardens, Château de la Messardière may be Saint Tropez’s largest hotel but it exudes five-star elegance with bars, an art gallery, Spa and gourmet restaurant.
Having your own private chef on board to create tailored menus is a true journey into luxury, but for those times when you opt to dine ashore there are a myriad of restaurants to please your palate. Vieux Port is the heart of the action and fantastic for people-watching at the portside restaurants!
Stop into L’Escale for lunch, if the sandy floors don’t catch your attention as you stroll along the quayside then their seafood platter will. Alternatively, Le Girelier is another good choice with superbly cooked sea bass.
Bypass the queues for the tables at red awning hotspot Sénéquier and head through the archway beside the Office de Tourisme – there, you will find Chez Madeleine tucked in behind the port on tiny Place aux Herbes. A Saint Tropez institution, this family-run eatery is an unpretentious local favourite with cabinets of fresh seafood – try their ceviche or freshly shucked oysters with a chilled glass of wine.
After a meal harbourside, head to Barbarac for an artisan ice cream or sorbet where you can select from a huge range of flavours including Sicilian pistachio, citron vert or salted caramel.
Best Bars & Nightlife in St Tropez
For a pre-dinner drink, we recommend the sun deck at Hôtel Ermitage, a 19th century villa that has been transformed into a boutique hotel with vintage furniture. A sundowner here is one of Saint Tropez’s best secrets as dusk falls over the town rooftops.
Les Toits Lounge at Hôtel de Paris Saint Tropez is another pleasurable rooftop drinking spot with a birds-eye view over the port, Bay of St Tropez and town. The stylish crowd can be found lounging at White 1921; who would want to leave from a garden bar with DJ and fabulous Champagne Mojitos?
For the finest Champagne and cocktails, dress to impress to join the crowds at two of the most famous clubs in town, Les Caves du Roy at Hôtel Byblos and Papagayo. Expect A-listers, celebrities and the occasional supermodel with Champagne flowing to tunes from top DJ’s.
Charter guests looking to get decadent rightfully go to Pampelonne Beach in summer, where superyacht tenders and the water taxis from the beach clubs yo-yo between the yachts at anchor and the glorious white sands. Head to Nikki Beach for unabashed Champagne spraying around the pool, Tahiti Beach for excellent cocktails, Bagatelle for a fashionable lunch or Club 55, one of our top picks where you can’t beat the fresh grilled fish, crudités and chilled rosé.
Shopping & Sightseeing in St Tropez
The fashionable love to see and be seen in Saint Tropez and for a small town it is brimming with some of the French Riviera’s best shopping. You’ll find popular beachwear labels including Vilebrequin and Kiwi Saint Tropez, blink-and-you-miss-it ateliers with bespoke jewellery, stores retailing Riviera-chic such as La Naturelle and Maison Vachon and boutiques from the major haute couture powerhouses.
Locals head to the Place des Lices market early to secure the best of the vendor’s stock – olives, fruit, vegetables, flowers and conserves. You can find all sorts of souvenirs there too, like Provençal fabrics and olive wood serving bowls.
For luxury shopping in Saint Tropez, browse the boutiques on rue Allard and rue Gambetta where you can find the latest collections from Roberto Cavalli, Emilio Pucci or Diane von Furstenberg. Rue François Sibilli is a catwalk dream with luxury brands such as Façonnable, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Bulgari, Armani and Dior des Lices (also know as Dior House, you can even stop for a Dior-branded coffee or lunch in the garden). If you desire a new Birkin or Kelly handbag, the Hermès boutique is located overlooking al fresco café tables in a beautiful building next to the Musée de l’Annonciade, or grab yourself a bargain at Le Dépôt (12 Boulevard Louis Blanc) who retail preloved designer brands such as Prada, Chloé and Gucci.
Art buyers can browse the contemporary collections at Galerie des Lices or Galerie La Flo, grab a landscape painting from Galerie Henri Sie or drop into Stefan Szczesny’s studio on Boulevard Louis Blanc to purchase a light-reflecting sculpture or glass creation.
Antique lovers can flick through the collections of old maritime maps at La Vieille Mer, find rare pieces at Binet Antiquités or amble around Jacqueline Thienot’s wonderful antique finds (12 rue Georges Clémenceau) before buying a pair of iconic leather sandals further along the street at Rondini. Those who love visiting antiques markets should get along to the weekly brocante market at Place des Lices on Tuesdays and Saturdays, or venture 15-minutes from Vieux Port to Grimaud’s Sunday vide grenier (fleamarket) held in the carpark of Le Jas de Roberts restaurant.
La Grande Braderie is unmissable in October where Saint Tropez’s shops take their clothes rails out onto the pavement for a huge 4-day sale, offering French and international designer brands at prices discounted from 30 to 70%.
For sightseeing, Saint Tropez has some unchampioned delights such as the Musée de l’Annonciade with a good collection of Impressionist works from artists who came to the town from the late 19th century including Paul Signac, Albert Marquet, Pierre Bonnard and Henri Matisse.
The baroque Notre Dame de l’Assomption is a central landmark in Saint Tropez with its colourful bell tower; the church is also the home of the bust of the town saint who gets an outing every year during Les Bravades. Quietly charming, the Chapelle Sainte Anne sits on a hilltop with panoramic views over the surrounding region – Rolling Stones fans know it as the church where Mick Jagger got married to Bianca Jagger in 1971.
La Ponche is the old fishing district and a must visit when on yacht charter in Saint Tropez. Not far from the gleam of the superyachts at Vieux Port, you’ll find traditional alleyways and local bistros set beside a charming bay. Take Rue de la Citadelle up to the Citadelle fortifications and the Museum of Maritime History where the views from the bastions across the town, Gulf of Saint Tropez and to the Massif des Maures are superb.
Day Trips from St Tropez
When it all gets too much, take to the sundeck and enjoy the sea views underway to another destination. Some of our suggestions include:
A magnificent contrast to the hum of Saint Tropez, swim in clear turquoise waters and take the tender to shore to ride bicycles along paths under cicada-swarmed pine trees. Park your bike at Domaine Perzinsky for wine tasting under the trees, or make a reservation for a dégustation at Domaine de l’Ile.
Cannes is a legendary resort on the French Riviera and worth visiting for excellent shopping and the natural beauty and swimming coves of the Massif de l’Ésterels enroute. Spend some time at anchor by the Lérins Islands or venture ashore for a gourmet lunch at La Palme d’Or.
Monaco is a fantastic charter destination to visit if you fancy a touch of opulence, royalty or fast-paced events such as the Monaco F1 Grand Prix. Enjoy the Belle Époque splendour of the Casino de Monte-Carlo, lounge with a cocktail at the Café de Paris or visit the royal Palais Princier for a historical introduction to a bustling Principality.
Booking a Private Yacht Charter in St Tropez
Experiencing Saint Tropez on your own luxury yacht charter is an exceptional journey. Can you imagine having breakfast on the aft deck at Vieux Port as the sunlight glows on the harbourside buildings before your private chef heads off to gather provisions for the day? Perhaps freshly caught fish from the market, chestnuts from Collobrières or a trip to Maison des Confitures in Gassin for one of their 450 flavours of Provençal jam or honey to spread on warm croissants.
The Gulf of Saint Tropez is an inviting backdrop for playing with your yacht’s water toys with scenery ranging from views to Sainte-Maxime and the Massif de l’Ésterels, to the towns of Ramatuelle, Port Grimaud and the Massif des Maures.
Bespoke Yacht Charter are fully independent brokers meaning they have the integrity to truly focus on a client’s needs. They are knowledgeable about experienced crew on the latest yachts, charter itineraries and the influx of changing maritime regulations. With over 13 years experience, this longevity has built trust and a rapport with many repeat clients.
Their expert yacht charter brokers are passionate about the region and can provide guidance to help you book a seamless yacht charter, using their network of contacts and extensive charter fleet. Their aim is to provide impartial and professional service from giving transparency about charter costs to explaining terms in the Charter Agreement.
This article was written by Rebecca Whitlocke on behalf of Bespoke Yacht Charter.
To discuss your next Saint Tropez luxury yacht charter, please contact: