St. Tropez, France, conjures up images of celebrities, mega-yachts, and Dom Perignon-fueled excess. Missing from this mental picture are the many ways the rest of us can enjoy St. Tropez and the area’s undeniable beauty. For each boisterous beach club serving rosé-soaked lunches and DJ-spun soundtracks, you can find a rugged St. Tropez beach beckoning you to enjoy a languid Mediterranean swim. If you’d prefer not to strut in Hermes sandals alongside opulent boutiques, you could throw on your hiking boots and hike a coastal trail instead.
The city itself is lovely, with narrow lanes lined by pale yellow buildings that wend up from the impossibly blue sea to a verdant hilltop park. In summer, St. Tropez is pleasantly full of non-extravagant French travelers — although there are a few flashy foreigners as well. For the best of St. Tropez, we recommend mixing up the glam and glitter with a little bit of summertime chill.