If you are staying near St Tropez this summer, then finding a great South of France beach to soak up the sun must be high on your list of priorities. We have had many great holidays in Saint Tropez over the years and what strikes me most about the place is that essentially it is just an ordinary coastal town. Yes, you have your yachts lining the harbour which have oil paintings on the walls worth more than my house, and yes, you do have the occasional helicopter flying in A List celebrities for their lunch reservation. But if you strip all that away, in the streets of the town you will find the same 8 à Huit supermarket that you find in every town in France. There is the same bar where the locals hang to discuss the events of the day and the local florist quietly going about her work.
Saint Tropez beaches France
So if you are looking for glitz and glamour, you can find that in abundance. But you will also need deep pockets to pay the steep entry prices to the cooler beach bars and the upmarket restaurants. But also, if that stuff doesn't faze you, then it is still possible to find a nice quiet beach where you can sit and enjoy your €0.80 bottle of water and your €3.50 baguette sandwich you bought from the 8 à Huit.
The one thing that you have to prepare yourself for, is the traffic. Over the years it has taken us 1 hour 45 mins to drive the 18kms from Sainte-Maxime to St Tropez. We have also snaked through the town on the way to the beach and seen people walk past us on the way to the shop, do their weekly shop and then walk back past us still stuck in virtually the same spot. So My advice would be to actually try to avoid going through or near St Tropez, to get to the best beaches. In actual fact, if you go to one of our suggested beaches (Le Rayol Canadel), you can actually enjoy one of the best driving routes in the French Rivieira. The small D27 road which you can pick up near the St Tropez aerodrome, takes you up over the hills and into the back of Rayol-Canadel-sur-Mer. The views you get as you descend down the other side of the hils and look out over the turquoise sea are just breathtaking.
St Tropez beaches in South France
Go Languedoc has compiled a list of the 3 best South of France beaches you will find in and near St Tropez, all based on our experience in the area. The first beach on our list is located just outside St Tropez, on the southern side of the penisular.
Best St Tropez beaches - Tahiti plage, Nikki Plage
The most notable St Tropez beaches are Tahiti plage on the southern side of Saint Tropez and the world famous Nikki beach which is located in the bay of Pampelonne, right in the centre of Saint Tropez.
Nikki beach has long been the favorite destination for the 'beautiful people' - full of VIPs, the rich, glamourous and powerful people. Although a relatively small beach it is dotted with sun beds and white-clad waiters serving drinks and food to the tourists. During the evening, Nikki beach fills up with the sounds of chilled out dance music as the celebrities party-on. Unless this is your scene (and you have the money to sustain it), I would personally head to Tahiti plage, which is a much nicer beach.
Tahiti plage still gets its fill off celebreties - often seen landing in helicopters at the back of the beach or sailing in on yachts, but it is very chilled out. Just be careful not to venture into the Naturist section here (unless this is your thing).
Best beaches in St Tropez - Port Grimaud beach
Port Grimaud is located in between Saint-tropez and Sainte-maxime. This seaside town was created by architect François Spoerry in the 1960s and built out of the marshes of the bay of Saint Tropez. Built with small canals like Venice, the mainly traffic free town is popular with boat owners as most properties come with their own berth.
The beach at Port Grimaud, located slightly away from town is one long stretch of golden sand. The sea is shallow and gently sloping, making it perfect for families. Windsurfing and kayak hire is also available. Port Grimaud beach does get quite busy during the high season, but it is probably one of the best beaches around St Tropez.
Best beaches near St Tropez - Le Rayol Canadel, France
Moving along the coast from St Tropez towards Toulon, Rayol Canadel-sur-mer is a small stretch of coastline, which rarely gets busy, even in August. This is the coolest beach in the area, and has a few great bars. Our kids loved going to this beach because there is a diving platform a little way out in the bay. The beach can be tricky to find and the best way to find Rayol Canadel-sur-mer, is by taking the track from the airstrip at nearby Cogolin, past the campsite and up over the hill. The views coming down the other side of the hill are magnificent.
Apart from Tahiti plage, I would probably say that Le Rayol Canadel is one of the best beaches near St tropez.
St Tropez villas and apartments
If you are looking to experience the St Tropez lifestyle, check out these excellent rental properties around St Tropez. Our full listing of St Tropez villas can be seen at St Tropez apartments and villas to rent.
Where to next . . . ?
- See our reviews on the Best beach restaurants in South France to visit.
- Read our article on Saint Tropez South of France.
- Planning a trip to the South of France? Check out our St Tropez villas & apartments to rent in South France.
Contact Iain by Email or by phone +33 6 95 00 28 44 if you have any particular questions you would like to ask about visiting the South of France. If you liked the article then please share it with others using the Twitter and Facebook buttons below. I wish you a wonderful stay in the South of France.