Sun, sand, and the French Riviera

I’ve always wanted to go to St. Tropez, the playground of the world’s millionaires, fashion models and movie stars.

The biggest problem with this dream is I am neither a fashion model nor a millionaire, I am just a normal person who has to travel on a normal budget.

© Michael Gwyther-Jones/

Visiting St. Tropez

Why St. Tropez though? I mean, you can just as easily go to Hollywood California, or Vancouver British Columbia if you want to see movie stars. Well, St, Tropez is more than just glitz and glamour, it is also a very beautiful place to visit. I love history, and the things that our ancestors left behind. St. Tropez has a really interesting citadel with rows of canons facing out into the harbour. Combine that with the beaches at Pampelone and Bonne Terrase and you have a vacation destination that just says “come and stay a while”.

© Michael Gwyther-Jones/

Can you find a nice hotel by the beach?

When you go looking for a hotel in St. Tropez it can be rather frightening.  The prices that some hotels charge are astronomical. If you do look around a little though and you can convince yourself to stay a few streets away from the beach, you can find really nice hotels for really affordable prices. I discovered this when I was browsing what was available in St. Tropez on Some less expensive areas to stay are across the bay near Sainte-Maxime. This area is close enough that you can easily nip around the end of the bay and spend the day relaxing in a street or beach café while you people-watch.  It’s really kind of fun to try and spot the famous people that just happen to wander by.

Touring around on a scooter

One tip I picked up on while I was visiting St. Tropez is, if you bring a car, just park it and rent a Vespa. Traffic is crazy here, and you will spend your vacation stuck in a traffic jam.  If you have a Vespa, you can zoom around much more freely, and while you’re at it, you can pretend you’re in a 1960′s beach party movie.

© giuseppe costanza/

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