Port Grimaud, South of France
Near St. Tropez, South of France
GPS: N° 43 17’2” E° 6 35’30”
The campsite was quite large and in two parts one part was on the beach side of the busy N98 and the main part with the reception, shop and restaurant was on the other side of the road.
We decided to stay on the main site as the beach side was busy and we wouldn’t have got a front row pitch anyway. Also, I don’t think I could have stood the noise from the busy N98 running outside. The ground was a bit bumpy which meant we needed our wheel chocs and we needed to be careful how we positioned our sun loungers. Toilet and shower facilities were good. We were advised by reception to keep our bikes locked up to the motorhome or bring them in at night as there had been a few bikes stolen from the campsite the night before although that was mainly from the beach side of the site.
Out and About
Because St. Tropez is located on a peninsula with only one small road for entry the traffic is really bad and just crawls into town. It can at certain times take up to an hour to drive the 5-mile journey
We have passed through the South of France several times over the last 4 years stopping off at one or two places before going into Italy and the traffic is what has put us of stopping here before but we really wanted to see it again so thought we would brave it. We last visited 24 years ago with the kids when they were a lot younger.
The first afternoon we arrived we took a walk along the cycle/pedestrian path towards Port Grimaud. One particularly unpleasant experience we had was that as we were walking along an older male cyclist with a face like thunder (who we think was French) came at us from the opposite direction and had we not moved out of the way quickly he would most definitely have knocked us over as he was not stopping or changing lanes for anyone. It was as if we shouldn’t be walking along there even though it was a shared pedestrian/cycle path with no separate path for pedestrians. Normally when we cycle on a shared pathway we always cycle round people either to the left or right depending on where there is the most room. It wasn’t a nice experience and it took a while to shake off the anger of what he had done.
Port Grimaud was just a short 2 miles walk from the campsite on the same road as St Tropez. We sat on a bench before we got into the Port and chatted with another English couple for a while. They were interested in our travels and are thinking of buying a motorhome themselves so we were giving them a few pointers.
It’s a lovely little working port that is full of character and charm. It became derelict but in the last 50 years has been renovated.
It’s like a mini Venice with canals, bridges, restaurants, bars ice cream shops and its pedestrian only. From here you could get a boat into St. Tropez.
We were originally thinking of a getting a bus into St. Tropez but was told at the reception it would be quicker to cycle, which is what we did. It’s not a bad ride in-fact, quite easy as there is a cycle lane going all the way in although it does follow close to the busy road so you breathe in the fumes of the cars some of the way. At one point the cycle path went off to the left away from the road which was much more pleasant and as we approached St Tropez the views of the beach and sea shimmering in the sun were stunning.
Once we got to the start of the town we locked the bikes up and headed straight to one of the little cafes overlooking the harbour for a nice cold beer and a touch of people watching. It’s great here to see how the other half lives with the luxury yachts lined up along the quay the expensive cars, designer boutiques etc. Even in May, it was very busy and I definitely wouldn’t want to be here in the summer. I was hoping to maybe see someone famous but I probably wouldn’t recognise them anyway.
It’s one of the best locations for people watching as there was quite a collection of weird & wonderful people. It was interesting watching some that obviously had money and trying to imagine what their life must be like. There were quite a few artists set up around the harbour painting and selling their work. It was interesting to watch. Also during this time, we were being serenaded by one of the street entertainers which was really nice.
Once we had enough sitting we strolled slowly passed the big yachts in the harbour trying to peek in. A few had security guards protecting them and some were being meticulously cleaned while their owners were swanning about in town. We walked right to the end of the harbour to the museum and stood on the rocks looking out at the beautiful view.
The waterfront has an array of cafes, bars and restaurants but beware of the prices as you pay for the location and view. You are better off going into the small side streets, as we did. The buildings are picturesque and full of character. We had a lovely steak meal with wine for 9 euros.
After lunch, we walked around the side streets window shopping in the large range of boutique and brands shops. Nice to look at but out of our price range.
If you are looking for a beach in St Tropez they are mostly away from the centre and you would need transport to get to them.