St. Tropez: Great pastries, bad beaches
We finally made it to the one and only St. Tropez, playground of the rich, famous and beautiful! We had a fun time exploring the beaches, restaurants, harbor and shops, but we both agreed that there are way better beach towns along the French Riviera, especially for those sans yacht and designer duds. Before we arrived, we didn't know exactly what to expect, but from everything we'd heard, there were a few things we wanted to make sure to do :
- See some yachts
- Eat a tarte Tropezienne
- Explore the beaches
- Scout out the restaurants and nightclubs for future visits
- See Beyoncé and Jay-Z
Armed with our 'to-do' list, we took a bus from Bormes to the center of St. Tropez and were dropped right in front of the harbor. It was the perfect spot to start exploring and check off numero uno on our list. We were absolutely in awe of the grandiosity of the yachts and performance boats lining the harbor. People really own these!
They literally sparkled in the sunlight as the young, sun-tanned crew members swept, hosed, fluffed, stocked, cleaned and polished everything on board in anticipation of the upcoming season. Unfortunately no sign of Beyoncé...
After walking around the harbor, we headed into the main downtown which was laden with designer shops and posh restaurants. The restaurants actually looked pretty fun and I could tell the atmosphere would really get going at night, but their food and prices were definitely geared toward tourists with money to spend.
We, however opted for a simpler lunch, and found a small Kebab shop. Each kebab was 4.50 Euro and we got a huge, delicious wrap, stuffed with lamb and veggies. On foot, and food in hand, we headed to a look-out point/war memorial to eat lunch.
I was starting to get antsy to check out the famous beaches, so we headed to the coastline and were shocked. The beaches were all really rocky, narrow and pretty unkempt. Compared to the other pristine beaches on the French Riviera, the ones in St. Tropez were some of the shabbiest we've seen.
We found out later that the beautiful beaches people envision when they think of St. Tropez aren't really in St. Tropez at all, but rather 6 Kilometers away in Saint Maxime. No Jay-Z here...
Slightly disappointed and in need of a pick-me-up, we decided to take care of number two on the 'to do' list: eat a tarte Tropezienne. Now, this was awesome! We both had never tried one before and were blown away by the fluffy, creamy, savoryness of the little pastry.
To make this even better, we stumbled upon the receiving line of a wedding ceremony and posted up nearby to watch the event.
We walked back to the harbor feeling all warm and fuzzy from the wedding spectacle, but were snatched from our reverie by the huge crowd surrounding a small gelato shop. We had to see what this was about.
All I can say is "Holy Gelato!" This place, Barbarac is the name, was incredible; and aside from serving up the creamiest gelato I've ever tasted, they offer flavors like Nutella and Snickers! Heaven, take note! Definitely no Beyoncé here...
Filled to the brim on sweet pastries and gelato we made our way to the bus stop. On the way, we finally spied the club we kept hearing about called 'VIP Room'. There were signs for it everywhere and apparently it's the hottest spot to dance and mingle with celebs.
Having struck off all but one item on our 'to-do' list, (No Beyoncé or Jay-Z :( )we decided to catch the bus home.
Here are our final thoughts of St. Tropez:
- Tarte Tropezienne and gelato from Barbarac
- Walking through the quaint downtown and checking out the shop.
- Restaurants seemed fun, especially as a precursor to a night dancing at VIP Room.
- Tourist-trap kitchiness
- Extreme prices
Over-rated and over-priced. We might go back to check out the nightlife, but we'd much rather spend the day at the beach in nearby Lavandou, or any of the other beaches along the French Riviera. They're less expensive, less touristy, more picturesque and the beaches are much better. Unless, of course, we stumble upon Beyoncé and Jay-Z and head out on their yacht!