France // The Côte d’Azur //

The St-Tropez beaches

The beach within easiest walking distance of St-Tropez is Les Graniers, below the citadelle just beyond the port des Pêcheurs along rue Cavaillon. From there, a path follows the coast around the baie des Canebiers, with its small beach, to Cap St-Pierre, Cap St-Tropez, the very crowded Les Salins beach and right round to Tahiti-Plage, about 11km away.

Tahiti-Plage is the start of the almost straight, 5km north–south Pampelonne beach, the world initiator of the topless bathing cult. The water is shallow for 50m or so, and the beach is exposed to the wind, and sometimes scourged by dried sea vegetation and garbage. Bars and restaurants line the beach, all with patios and sofas, serving cocktails, gluttonous ice creams and full-blown meals. Le Club 55 on boulevard Patch is the original and most famous, while Nikki Beach, route de l’Epi (wnikkibeach.com), is the celebrity hangout.