Leaving Cannes, you will continue along the coast on the Bay of Cannes toward the beautiful red rock outcroppings and cliffs in the distance. One of the first seaside towns you will come to is La Napoule. You will see the distinctive and quirky Castle of la Napoule – if you have time you can stop and see the museum and gardens if you wish. There’s a small beach near the castle as well. La Napoule also boasts a 3* Michelin restaurant called “the Oasis”, if you’re in the mood for a gourmet lunch.
The Castle is a replica of a 10th Century Saracen tower, built by Henry Clews, an eccentric American Millionaire in the 1920s. They furnished it with medieval and Renaissance furniture, and it includes many of with Henry’s sculptures. Gargoyles guard the treasure throughout the castle.
Just past La Napoule is the quaint hillside town of Theoule-sur-Mer, which has several beaches and beach restaurants popular for their fish.
You’ll continue past beautiful small port towns perched on the side of rocky cliffs, as you approach the Esterel Massif, an enormous and stunning rock formation. These rocks are famous for their rugged beauty as well as hiking and climbing. At the bottom of the cliffs are a number of beautiful swimming holes, with perfectly clear water that has a red tinge from reflecting the rocks above. We highly recommend a quick swim to refresh everyone on your way to St Tropez.
After your swim, you’ll head past Agay, nesteled into a cove in the rocks, past the port town of St Rafael, and then see the long expanse of white beaches at Frejus. If you have plenty of time and enjoy Roman Ruins, Frejus has a fairly well preserved Roman town, complete with aqueduct and theater. It was on the Appian way and the area was once a major port in the Roman Empire.
At this point, you can decide whether to go straight to Pampelonne Beach, or if you want to first spend a few hours in the old town of St Tropez. If you head to St Tropez old town, you will enter the Golfe of St Tropez, a renowned sailing and yachting bay. On the north is the seaside town of St Maxime, a typical French beach town with seaside restaurants, apartments and villas on the hillside and plenty of watersports.
At the South side of the Golfe is the quaint and world famous old port town of St Tropez. You may want to stop for a coffee on the quai to watch the people and yachts go by. There are ramparts to discover, plenty of shopping (from designer brands to local crafts) and of course the beautiful old port itself, where Mangustas mix with classic sailing and motor yachts. You could easily while away the entire day here, and many do, however the main beach attraction is still around the corner.
Next up, Pampelonne Beach and Club 55.