The Gulf of Saint-Tropez south of France is a concentration of picturesque villages surrounded by beautiful beaches and superb nature. Discover a dozen spots not to miss in that beautiful part of the French Azure coast especially if you like travel photography.
The colorful village of Saint Tropez contrasting with the blue Mediterranean sea (like the image above) is one of the most famous landmarks of the Azure coast. The city is known globally for its many artists, its « jet set » side, its beaches, and its nightlife. The harbor is a nice place to walk around, with many huge yachts and fishing boats for the (many) tourists.
Gassin is a magnificent medieval village, perched on the heights in the middle of the vineyard, with an exceptional panorama on the Gulf of Saint-Tropez and the mountains (Massif des Maures).
After having explored its beautiful alleys, you can eat in one of its many restaurants with shaded terraces and enjoy walking around the narrow streets, with many photography opportunities.
Not to miss lead you, during peak season, it is not easy to do a shoot like this with no tourist on it 😊😢… so if you are a photographer, try to come offseason.
3- Pampelonne Beach
The mythical beaches of Pampelonne are the root of Saint-Tropez’s notoriety. These white sand beaches (5 sections, some private and public areas) are described as some of the nicest sand beaches on the Azure coast
4- Port Grimaud
Port Grimaud is a lake city, with its beautiful colorful house and boats. This is a fantastic place to walk around (and for landscape photography) nearby Sant-Tropez.
Many restaurants and shops are available to complete a great tour. You can as well rent a small boat to go around and enjoy the colors.
This medieval village, not far from Port Grimaud and Saint-Tropez, is perched in the heights amongst oak and chestnut trees, overlooks the Gulf of Saint-Tropez. This is a superb Provencal village that is worth the detour for its numerous monuments, cobbled streets, arcaded houses, and old buildings
The village is as well famous for its castle tower *and the view from up there is great!
6- Pointe Layet
Between the Rayol Canadel and Lavandou village (so just outside of the “official” Gulf of Saint-Tropez perimeter), the “Pointe du Layet” is one of my favorite places that make beautiful photography prints, especially with morning or evening light on the hills, the sea, and the Golden islands!
The rocks offer a beautiful view on the coast as well as fishing or snorkeling opportunities
It is a great place to watch the sunset as well … and yes, I like that tree 😊
The main beach is accessible by a walking trail (5-10 minutes from the car park area) but there is as well a tiny, cute beach at the food of the pointe Layet
For nature lovers or if you’re a photographer, that place is amazing at sunrise as well …
7- The Golden Islands
The Port-Cros Isla, Levant, and Porquerolles Islands are magical excursion destinations. You can visit them for a day with one of the many ferries from several villages. Biking, walking, exploring the marine depths, or simply relaxing on the paradisiac beaches, this is up to you!
Those islands deserve a post on their own so I’ll do one soon 🤩
8- The Pelagos Marine sanctuary
The Pelagos Sanctuary is a protected maritime space of 87 500 km2, and the golden Islands as the Gulf of Saint Tropez are in the heard of it. Boat excursions to see the dolphins, whales, marine birds, marine turtles, etc. are organized from Cavalaire or from Lavandou. The best time for whale and dolphins watching is however during the summertime
This is another Provencal medieval village known for its narrow alleys and floral houses that offer many photography opportunities. Numerous festivals are held there during the summer (as well as a provincial market). You’ll have an amazing view of Saint-Tropez gulf and Pampelonne, beach.
10- Gigaro beach
This is a fine golden-sand beach, near the entrance of the protected 300-hectare natural space of the Conservatoire du Littoral (« Coastline Conservation Area »). It is also an area rich in history: the landing beach of World War II!.
Gigaro beach is another great spot to watch or capture images with the sunrise on the Golden Islands and the Gulf of Saint-Tropez.
11- Brégançon fort and beach
Brégançon fort is the French presidents’ summer house. This is half an hour away west of the Gulf of Saint Tropez. The fort can be visited, and you can as well admire it from the coastal trail or the beautiful Brégançon beach.
You’ll discover nearby colorful fisherman old houses, on the coastal trail just east of the beach.
This is a great spot to hike on the coastal trail so don’t miss that place and be there for the sunset if you can!
12- Last but not least the Rayol-Canadel…
Call it the “power of the pen” (as this is the place we live 😊) but the Rayol Canadel is one of the most preserved areas of the Azure coast. The village is hooked on the Massif des Maures hills that are plunging into the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean and has 2 beaches: Cadadel beach with exceptional marine depths (bring goggles!) and Rayol beach.
There is as well a beautiful garden in front of the sea and the Îles d’Or (“Golden Islands”) called “Le Domaine du Rayol”
This natural 30-hectare space invites you to explore the gardens and green spaces of the world, from South Africa to California, Australia, Chile, etc. You can easily feel being in a jungle somewhere else when you are there!
As you walk up in the village, you’ll start to discover the sublime view of the Sea and the Islands
As you keep going up, many hiking trails are available on the crests over the Mediterranean, or in the “Massif des Maures” with amazing views and perspective, especially around sunset
Using shamelessly the “power of the pen”, I’m now doing my own advertising for our Vistazur apartment vacation rental
Our villa is located in the heights of the village, with a breath-taking view of the Mediterranean and the Îles d’Or, We’re proud that our rental is officially accredited as a 5 stars tourist apartment. You will be our only guests!.
You will benefit from an expansive private terrace
A large infinity pool is reserved only for our guests, overlooking the villa, with an equally incredible view… so visit our Vistazur website for more information.
OK, enough marketing 😂. I hope this would have engaged you to come and visit us and much more importantly to visit our beautiful region!