Saint-Tropez is a town situated 104 kilometers or 65 miles east of Marseille, in the Var department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of southeastern France. It is also the principal town in the canton of Saint-Tropez. It is located in what is referred to as the French Riviera, and it is known today for its famous and very wealthy summertime visitors. It has been dubbed the playground of jetsetters, fashion models, and millionaires. Saint-Tropez most enduringly legacy is as being the place where the beautiful Brigitte Bardot was discovered as well for its role in the liberation of southern France during World War II. Saint-Tropez has had a varied history. It was a 15th century military stronghold, an unassuming fishing village at the beginning of the 20th century, and the first town on the south coast of France to be liberated during World War II as part of Operation Dragoon. After the war, it became an internationally known seaside resort, prominent because of the influx of artists of the French New Wave in cinema and the Yé-yé movement in music. Since then it has been a resort for the European and American jet set and the inevitable hordes of tourists in search of a little Provençal authenticity and an occasional celebrity sighting. The inhabitants of Saint-Tropez are called Tropéziens and the town is familiarly called St-Trop.
The town’s name derives from that of an early, semi-legendary martyr named Saint Torpes. In the legend it says that he was beheaded at Pisa during the reign of Nero, and that his body was placed in a rotten boat with a rooster and a dog. The body landed at the present-day location of Saint-Tropez. The town of Saint-Tropez and its surroundings were dominated by the nearby Saracen settlement of Fraxinet during the 9th and 10th centuries. The local nobleman had the privilege of raising a standing army, which drove away a fleet of Spanish galleons in 1637. Les Bravades des Espagnols is a local religious and military celebration commemorating this victory of the Tropezian militia over the Spanish forces. The area was not taxed by the French government during this time. But, this tax-free designation was ended by King Louis XIV, who reasserted French control over the city. The Japanese samurai, Hasekura Tsunenaga, and his retainers, en route to Rome, visited Saint-Tropez in September 1615, in what is believed to be the earliest instance of contact between the French and the Japanese. Today the exotic port on the French Riviera attracts celebrities, jet-setters and wealthy travellers from all over the world. From royalty to corporate magnates, from film stars to pop music icons like Rhianna, there is a continual presence of the rich and famous in Saint-Tropez.
The famous admiral, Pierre André de Suffren de Saint Tropez (1729–1788), was the third son of the marquis de Saint-Tropez. In the 1920s Saint-Tropez attracted famous figures from the world of fashion, like Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli. During World War II, on the 15th of August 1944, it was the site of a military landing called Operation Dragoon, the Allied invasion of southern France. In the 1950s, in part to the presence of Brigitte Bardot, Saint-Tropez became renowned internationally. It was the setting for such films as And God Created Woman. Pink Floyd wrote a song called "San Tropez" which is obviously named after the town. St. Tropez is also cited in David Gates' 1978 hit, "Took The Last Train" and Aerosmith's "Permanent Vacation". Rappers including Diddy, Jay-Z and 50 Cent refer to the city in some of their songs as a favorite vacation destination, usually by yacht. DJ Antoine wrote a song called "Welcome To St. Tropez" which talks about going there and spending all the money they got. After the dark age of plundering in the French Riviera on the 14th of February 1470, Raphaël de Garesio landed in Saint-Tropez with 22 men who were simple peasants or sailors who had all left the overcrowded Italian Riviera. They had to rebuild and repopulate the area and in exchange for this service they were granted by representative of "good king" - Jean de Cossa, Baron of Grimaud and Seneschal of Provence, a certain number of privileges. These included some previously reserved exclusively for lords such as a tax-exempt status and the right to bear arms. Their motto was Ad Usque Fidelis and they kept their promise indeed. About 10 years later, a great wall with towers stood watch protecting the new houses from the sea and from interior land attack. About sixty families formed the new community and on the 19th of July 1479 the new Home Act was signed and called The rebirth charter of St Tropez.
The port was widely used during the 18th century and in 1789 the port was visited by 80 ships. Saint-Tropez’s shipyards built tartanes and three-masted ships that carried 1,000 to 12,200 barrels. The town was the site of various associated trades, including fishing, cork, wine and wood. The town even had a school of hydrography. Its role as a commercial port eventually declined, and it is now primarily a tourist destination as well as being a base for many well known sail regattas. At Saint-Tropez you find fast boat transportation with Les Bateaux Verts to Sainte Maxime on the other side of the bay and to Port Grimaud, Marines de Cogolin, Les Issambres and St-Aygulf.The beaches of Saint-Tropez are located along the coast in the Baie de Pampelonne, also known by the residents as Grania, which lies south of Saint-Tropez and east of Ramatuelle. Pampelonne offers a collection of beaches along its five-kilometer shore. Each beach is around thirty meters wide with its own beach hut and private or public tanning area. Many of the beaches offer windsurfing, sailing and canoeing equipment for rent, while others offer motorized water sports equipment, such as power boats, jet bikes and water skiing, scuba diving. Also, ome of the private beaches are naturist beaches with topless and nudity. Following the sexual liberation of the late 50s and 60s the Tahiti beach emerged with a symbol of "clothing is optional" designation. The "clothing fights" between the gendarmerie and nudists become the main topic of famous French comedy film series Le gendarme de Saint-Tropez (English: The Policeman From Saint-Tropez) with Louis de Funès. In the end the nudists won and topless sunbathing is now a usual way of sunbathing for both men and women from the Pampelonne beaches to the yachts in the center of Saint-Tropez Harbor.Tahiti beach is now a "clothing-optional" beach, but nudists often head to private nudist beaches such as those in Cap d' Agde.
The main economic resource of Saint-Tropez is its tourism. The town of Saint-Tropez is well known for the Hôtel Byblos and Les Caves du Roy, members of the Leading Hotels of the World, whose inauguration with Brigitte Bardot and Gunter Sachs in 1967 was an international event. In the history of modern art Saint-Tropez plays a major role. Paul Signac discovered this light fulfilled place inspired painters like Matisse, Bonnard or Marquet to come to Saint-Tropez. Saint-Tropez emerges the painting of Pointillism and Fauvism. Also for the next generation of painters Saint-Tropez rests an interesting attraction. Bernard Buffet, David Hockney, Massimo Campigli, Donald Sultan were also living and working in Saint-Tropez. Today Stefan Szczesny continues this tradition. Another event each year at the end of September is a regatta. It is held in the bay of Saint-Tropez - Les Voiles de St. Tropez and is a draw for many yachts, some up to 50 meters in length, with many tourists coming to Saint-Tropez for this event or just as a stop on their trip to Cannes, Marseille, Nice or other destinations on the French Riviera. The most luxurious and probably expensive way to get to Saint-Tropez is by chartering a private yacht. The 800 berth port with two marinas also can host other commercial boats, including ferries. In the summer season there is a ferry service between St-Tropez and Nice, Saint Maxime, Cannes, Saint Raphael.
There is not an airport located in Saint-Tropez. But there is a charter service to and from clubs, town, and the beaches by helicopters. The nearest airport is La Môle - Saint-Tropez Airport (French: Aéroport de La Môle - Saint-Tropez) located in La Môle, 15 kilometers or 8 nautical miles southwest of Saint-Tropez. As of August 2010, the only scheduled service is provided by Baboo, with seasonal summer flights to Geneva, in codeshare with Air France. These flights are operated three times a week. The terminal can handle up to 40,000 passengers per year. It is open to domestic civilian traffic with international service possible on request 24 hours in advance. The main working hours are from 7am to 7pm and on request from sunrise to sunset, but is not equipped to operate at night due to its lack of runway lights. The other main airports are:
There is not a railroad station in Saint-Tropez. The nearest station is Saint-Raphaël-Valescure located in Saint-Raphaël, 39 kilometers from Saint-Tropez, which also offers a boat service to Saint-Tropez. There is also a direct bus service to Saint Tropez which is easily accessed as the rail station is connected with bus station. There is a bus station in Saint Tropez called in the Gare Routiere de Saint-Tropez located in Place Blanqui. It is operated by Var department transport division Varlib, which employs other transport companies for routes operating to Var, Saint-Tropez, Saint-Maxime and Saint-Raphaël. There are also taxi services - even from Nice airport to Saint-Tropez. Of course due to long distances and the preconcieved image of wealthy Saint Tropez this is not a cheap option. In season there is a lot of traffic problems on the roads to Saint-Tropez, so the fastest way is to travel by scooter or bike. There is no direct highway to the village. There are three main roads to the Saint Tropez which are via the A8 (E80) with the sign "Draguignan, Le Muy-Golfe de Saint Tropez" to RD 25 Sainte-Maxime in 19 kilometers and onto the former RN 98 for 12 kilometers. Via the A57 with the sign "The Cannet des Maures" to DR 558 for 24 kilometers to Grimaud then by the RD 61 for 9 kilometers through the famous intersection of La Foux and near the sea the former RN 98 connects to Toulon-La Valette-du-Var, Saint-Raphaël, Cannes, Nice and Monaco. Via the DR 93, called "Beach Road" with destinations to Pampelonne, Ramatuelle and La Croix -Valmer.
Public transportation in Saint-Tropez includes mass transport service in mini buses which act as a shuttle service between the town and Pampelonne beaches. Other means of transport include: scooters, cars, bicycles and taxis, and Of course there are also helicopter services and boat charters. Because of the traffic and the short distances, walking is an obvious choice for trips around town and to the Tropezian beaches.
Climate data: Saint-Tropez
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Source : Climatologie mensuelle à la station de Cap Camarat.
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