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Saint-Tropez, French Riviera, France

Saint-Tropez is a famous town located on the peninsula of the same name, belonging to the Maures massif. The town was boosted by Brigitte Bardot and comedies from the 1960s with Louis de Funes. Do you remember the famous song "Douliou Douliou Saint Tropez" from the movie "Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez"?

The town is located about 40 km west of Frejus, opposite Sainte-Maxime - on the other side of the Saint-Tropez Bay. It can be accessed either from the highway (exit 36 for Draguignan and St. Tropez) or the local road D559 along the coast. After passing the town of Port Grimaud, you will enter a fairly large roundabout. Remember to position yourself in the left-hand lane to easily exit onto the D98A road leading straight to Saint-Tropez.

In the high season the roads are unfortunately crowded and the journey can take a long time, so it is best to travel to Saint-Tropez on a ship from Sainte-Maxime. Such ships regularly sail daily from morning to evening, practically every hour. You can simply leave the car in the parking lot at the port in Sainte-Maxime, sail to Saint-Tropez, walk around, and return to Sainte-Maxime in the evening!

Parking in Saint-Tropez

To park the car you can use very large parking lot at the port (P; GPS: 43.269548, 6.634605), which can be accessed from the Av. Général de Gaule. From this place you are very close to port as well as to the old town.

Louis de Funès - Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez

We can start from visiting the old gendarmery station (A; GPS: 43.269589, 6.635616), which was used in the movies of the adventures of Sergeant Ludovic Cruchot. It was a backdrop to the first movies of the series "The Troops of Saint-Tropez". There are always some tourists who want to take pictures with the building in the background. Good news: at the end of June 2016 in this building was open the Museum of Police and Cinema of Saint Tropez.

The port of Saint-Tropez

In the port you can enjoy the view of modern yachts. You can see many of them at the end of September, during the Les Voiles de Saint Tropez regatta, which attract many units from different countries. Nice view of the port is available from the pier (B; GPS: 43.273460, 6.637394). At the entrance to it you can find a monument dedicated to American, French, British and Canadan soldiers, who took part in Operation Dragoon, which began on 15 August 1944. Also don't forget to visit the port area on the opposite side of the marina with the characteristic captain's building.

From the pier we can move on to the inner beach (C; GPS: 43.273612, 6.639798), and then straight to the old town.

The Old Town of Saint-Tropez

The old town, as usual in the towns of Provence, is a tangle of narrow streets, which however, thanks to accompanying rich vegetation, look very interesting. Walking them, you can get near the church of Notre-Dame de l'Assomption (D; GPS: 43.272878, 6.640168) with the walls in bright ocher, built in the sixteenth century.

The Citadel

There is an interesting citadel (E; GPS: 43.272401, 6.644282) in the highest point of the town, open to the public. Saint-Tropez Citadel was built on a hill near the port town in the years 1589-1607, in order to defend the coast against enemy invasions. At the end of the sixteenth century, Saint-Tropez was still suffering from the incursions of privateers and pirates, and the citadel was often the target of attacks. The Citadel is now the most beautiful sights in the town and is one of the flagships of Saint Tropez. The entrance fee is only 3€ (in 2015) and includes the Maritime Museum located inside the citadel.

The citadel is surrounded by double walls: after purchasing of tickets you move through first walls, and inside you will see - except the citadel itself - other buildings, a large well and some cannons. Then you reach main building of citadel surrounded by walls and moat with drawbridge. In the citadel, as it was in the case of Fort Carré in Antibes, there are two levels - the ground level and the level of the roof, which can be accessed by an internal staircase. From the roof you have beautiful views of the town and the bay.

The Maritime Museum

In the Maritime Museum you have the chance to see the ancient, historic side of the town instead of dealing with its glamour and vanity :). This museum is a very interesting part of attraction relating to the citadel. It offers namely a long journey by learning about the history of navigation, as well as local maritime history of the town of Saint-Tropez. Everything is presented in an attractive way, many elements are interactive. There are, among other things, many navigational instruments, interesting ship models, and even a real torpedo whose interior can be seen.

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