Saint Tropez

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Saint Tropez

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GPS N43.270183°,E6.640985°
Saint Tropez is a little town located on the coast of Mediterranean see across the bay from Ste Maxime; 50 km southwest of Cannes and 60 km northeast of Toulon. It has population of 5,754 inhabitants. It is very popular with tourists mostly during the summer. During all the 20th century is has been attracted by famous people. In the first half they were mainly French, from 50s, partly thanks of Brigitte Bardot, it received international recognition.

It is said that the name Saint Tropez came from St. Tropes a martyr who refused to give up his faith, was beheaded, his body was thrown into the boat which finally landed on the place now called the Golfe de Saint-Tropez. Between 1470 and 1672, Saint-Tropez was effectively ruled as an independent republic by captains drawn from its trade unions and voted on by the town citizenry. King Louis XIV subdued the town and reasserted French control there.

Saint Tropez is a modern version of medieval town, famous mostly for its line of luxury yachts along the quay and the facing line of terrace café divided by a parade of strolling tourists. Further to inland one can find small narrow streets between old buildings. But they are more popular for its shops and restaurants than their historical significance. There are mostly gift shops there. Night life is very lively. One can often see helicopters bringing guests to private parties in villas on the coast.

Every May the Festival of bravade (Fête de la Bravade) is held here. Originally it was a procession in honor of a town's patron saint, now it is a colorful Provencal festival. A bust of the patron saint is carried in a procession through the town with a guard of honor, with gun salvos, Provencal singing and dancing.

As far as beaches are concerned they are mostly far away from the center so one needs a transportation to get there. A few beaches are located nearby to the west of the town, within reasonable walking distance (the Plage des Graniers and the Plage des Cannebiers). Out on the cape east of St Tropez are the beaches Plage de la Moutte and Plage des Salins. The most serious collection of beaches is along the Baie de Pampelonne, south of St Tropez and east of Ramatuelle. Each beach is around thirty metres wide with its own beach hut and private or public tanning area.

The hills a bit away from St Tropez are fine, but the area immediately surrounding the town is quite grim, and not pretty, especially in the summertime. The roads are lined with billboards, garish commerce and neon signs. In summertime there are never-ending traffic jams. St Tropez is situated in the area of the C?de Provence wines. There are several vineyards around St Tropez and nearby Gassin that offer wine tasting along with their wares.

Besides water sports, there are also possibilities of cycling and hiking and the most famous sport is considered to be “watching people” – people want to see or be seen here.

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