What You Need To Know
Saint-Tropez is a town, 100 kilometres (62 miles) west of Nice, in the Var department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of southeastern France. It is also the principal town in the canton of Saint-Tropez.
Saint-Tropez is located on the French Riviera. It was a military stronghold and an unassuming fishing village until the beginning of the 20th century. It was the first town on this coast to be liberated during World War II (as part of Operation Dragoon). After the war, it became an internationally known seaside resort, renowned principally because of the influx of artists of the French New Wave in cinema and the Yé-yé movement in music. It later became a resort for the European and American jet set and a goal for tourists in search of a little Provençal authenticity and an occasional celebrity sighting.
The inhabitants of Saint-Tropez are called Tropéziens and the town is familiarly called St-Trop
- In Saint-Tropez the local currency used is the Euro.
- French banks usually won’t change currency, so you are limited to Change Bureaus or your hotel. Change Bureaus have by far the better rates, especially if you look for ones that advertise ‘no commission’.
American credit cards are the magnetic ‘swipe’ type whereas everywhere else in the world credit cards work with a chip and pin system. Businesses and cash machines can handle both types, but ticket machines (like at train stations, toll booths, parking garages, parking meters, tram ticket machines, and the Velo Bleus) cannot swipe. For this reason it’s a good idea to upgrade to a new chip and pin credit card before your trip but remember, to work in French machines, it must have a chip and a 4-digit pin code.
Nobody has ever heard of Discover or Diner’s Club here, so leave those two at home. MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted, and American Express somewhat less so, but usually accepted at mostly higher-end establishments.
The coastal area stretching from Saint Tropez in the West up to the French Italian border owes her name ‘Côte d’Azur’ to the beautiful clear azure-blue colour of the seawater.
Well known for its sunny, mild and dependable Mediterranean climate the area has an astonishing average of some three thousand sun hours a year and temperatures in the summer going up to thirty degrees.
The best time to visit is in the Autumn when the crowds are fewer but the weather still remains warm through the evening. Visiting at this time also means that the water temperature is at its warmest so swimming is pleasant!
Temperatures are typically above 20°C on the Cote d’Azur and in the warmest summer months of July and August the average maximum temperature is about 27 °C. The highest recorded temperature of 37.7 °C was seen back in August 2006.
In Autumn temperatures can remain around the 20°C mark,. and then drop off in November to around 17°C. The climate in winter is still considered mild during the day, typically between 11 and 17°C but dropping at night to anywhere from 4 to 9 °C.
Spring generally starts in late March with mild and rainy weather and increasing temperatures, becoming sunny and warm again in June.
French is the official language spoken in Saint-Tropez. As a hugely popular international tourist destination you may well find that in many restaurants, bars and hotels English is spoken.
However if you decide to do some travelling into the surrounding, more rural villages, or happen upon a restaurant off the beaten track then it’s a good idea to brush up on your French! If you are driving through the area or through France to reach your destination then a few handy phrases to ask directions will be a good idea.
Health and security
- France’s healthcare system provides some of the best public health care in the world and is open to all. The standard principal of the French health service is “pay first, reclaim and then get reimbursed”.
Visitors are strongly advised to make sure they have health insurance cover before travelling to France. If you recieve treatment at a hospital as an in-patient, the cost of the stay and associated treatment will be billed as an emergency abroad and can be extremely expensive. Therefore travel insurance of some kind is essential, whether that is through a private company, your bank or just the EHIC scheme.
European visitors should obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which enables them to get state healthcare at a reduced cost or sometimes for free.
There are many pharmacies with staff trained to attend a variety of minor medical needs. If the pharmacy is closed, a list of neighbouring open pharmacies can be found on the door. there will always be a branch ‘on duty’ for holidays etc.
The national police force are split into 3 – Police Nationale, Gendarmerie Nationale and Compagnie Republicaine de la Securite. In addition to this most cities and towns have their own Police Municipale who deal with petty crime, traffic offences and road accidents. If you need a police station ask for the ‘gendarmerie’ and for police assistance just call ’17’ free from any call box or telephone.
Do not carry more cash than you need ,do not leave valuables on beach or poolside , beware of pickpockets in markets, tourist sights or crowded places and avoid walking alone in dark alleys at night.
- You should not reveal any personal information about yourself, such as your address, credit card details, telephone number, on the Internet or via email unless you are certain that it is safe to do so and that any confidential or private information you share over the Internet is sent by secure encryption means.
- Any activity in the mountains can be considered a dangerous activity. We advise you to make yourselves fully aware of such potential dangers and the likeliness of their occurrence in your case.
- You should always ensure that you have obtained sufficient insurance cover, either via your own policy or through that of any event organiser or operator, appropriate to the activities you will be participating in and you should carry details of this on you at all times.
- Treat yourself to a box of macaroons from Laduree – the shop is on the waterfront in Saint tropez.
- Bag a bargain at the market at Place des Lices (Tuesdays and Saturdays).