Nestled in an azure bay surrounded by wooded hills, Saint-Tropez is one of the Cote d’Azur’s best-loved stopping points for dropping anchor. Despite its popularity with the glitterati, it still manages to retain the French charm of its days as a fishing village. Yachts of up to 100m are moored in the harbour alongside colourful traditional fishing boats alongside the atmospheric old town. Cobbled streets house bistros and hidden bars, and it has a distinctively Mediterranean feel. If you ever get bored of people-watching, there are numerous bays, beaches and hidden coves that punctuate the picturesque coastline. It’s easier to access yacht charters than ever before with helicopter transfers to Saint-Tropez which can take you directly to the port. From there on, you can sail to some of the most beautiful bays in the region.
Port Grimaud is located a short distance west of St Tropez but has a different aesthetic since it is known as the ‘French Venice’. It was the brainchild of Alsace architect, François Spoerry, who built the port-side fishing village out of the marshes of the Bay of St Tropez and lived there until his death. Spoerry now eternally rests at the town church, St-François-d’Assise, but this bustling village lives on in the brightly-coloured buildings, restaurants and boutiques which line the canals. The port is traffic-free but local coches d’eau (water taxis) transport visitors around the channels throughout the complex of pretty squares and bridges. The beach gets busy during high season but its long stretch of golden sand makes it one of the best in the area.
Plage des Graniers
While those in search of hedonism head to the famous beach clubs of Pampelonne Bay, visitors who want a more low-key experience head to Plage des Graniers. The beach overlooks the harbour of Saint Tropez and is located in a peaceful position below the citadel. Although it is close to the centre of St Tropez, it is perfect for nature lovers as the blue bay is surrounded by greenery, a few Provencal villas and just one restaurant which serves delicious grilled fish.
Calanque de la Cron
The famous and beautiful Calanque de la Cron beach is difficult to find by land, so it is mostly frequented by the locals and yacht charters. The water is some of the clearest along this stretch of coast and it’s ideal for snorkelling and fishing. Scuba diving schools take their divers here since it has a lot to offer under water as well. Located in the picturesque commune of Cavalaire at the end of the Corniche des Maures mountain range, mountains drop into the ocean and make wreck diving a popular activity.
Cap Taillat is the ultimate Riviera destination for unspoilt natural beauty and despite its proximity to St Tropez, it feels like another world. It’s a protected nature reserve that is only accessible by boat, so it is remote and romantic with soft sand and clear waters. It’s perfect for both relaxing and exploring; but the if you venture to the summit of the cape, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of the sea and surrounding landscape. Although the views you’ll get from a luxury helicopter transfer are likely to be equally as impressive.
The Hyéres Islands
The Hyeres Islands are further down the coast from St Tropez and ideal for charterers looking for a tranquil area to enjoy swimming, water sports, and land-based activities like bicycling or hiking. The small island of Porquerolles is the most popular, so although the marina can accommodate up to 200 yachts in stopover berths it is often booked up and you should plan a visit well in advance. However, anchoring off shore at one of the immaculate pearl-white beaches is not a problem and will provide a wonderful setting for your Mediterranean seafaring. For those who prefer even more seclusion, there are two more islands in the group. Port-Cros (France’s smallest national park) and Ile du Levant are equally delightful and evoke a sense of magical isolation compared with the mainland.
If you would like to book your helicopter transfer to St Tropez, please contact a member of the Heli Securite team.