- Backpackers / Students
- Families with teenagers
- Families with younger children
- First-time travellers
- Seasoned travellers
- Chilling out
(Quite) far from the madding crowd.
It is Pampelonne Beach - with its 27 restaurants and clubs - which has forged St Tropez's raunchy, high-rolling summer reputation. Some 30,000 people a day show up on the five-kilometre stretch in summer, ensuring that the bars and eateries can maintain their ambitious pricing policies.
Ensuring, also, that there's not a great deal of space , even on such a generous stretch of sand.
So why not turn your attention to some of the other beaches of St Tropez.? They're generally less buzzy and bling-y, nearer to the centre of St Tropez and often without any private stretches at all. In other words, the sands are all free, so there's no class war between those who have paid for their loungers and the commoners on the public bits.
My favourite of these beaches is probably the Plage des Graniers, a short walk out of the village along the coastal path ('Sentier du Littoral'). It's charmingly enfolded by wooded hills, all free and has a decent little restaurant for simple lunches.
The Plage des Salins is at the other end of the coastal path, just before you reach Pampelonne (though you can get there by road, too - on the Route des Salins). It's a creek less tamed and marginally more tranquil than Pampelonne and equipped with a fine restaurant (La Plage des Salins - +33 494 971566, www.lessalins.com) with its feet in the water, its mind on fish and other Provençal dishes.
On the main road into (and out of) the village, the Plage de la Bouillabaisse is long and a bit unkempt but affords cracking views across the bay to the Maures mountains. There's generally less of a crush than there is on Pampelonne. There's also a scattering of bach bars and restaurants, including the rather sophisticated Pearl Beach (+33 498 127070, www.thepearlbeach.com). Lunch might cost €30, dinner nearer €70.
Finally, actually in the village - fronting the oldest parts of the resort - are three tiny beaches: La Glaye, La Ponche and la Fontanette. These are perfect for a quick taste of the briny and an hour or two's contemplation. They are particularly appreciable in the early morning or as the sun goes down.