St Tropez surely isn’t the first place that pops into mind when speaking of beach holidays with children in tow. However, for those who don’t want to change their usual vacation habits, the beautiful little southern French village and its surroundings offer more family friendly spots than you might think. And not all of it is ridiculously expensive.
The most popular and undeniably famous bit of sandy St Tropez dream: Pampelonne Plage. The long stretch of white beach with turquoise blue waters begins just South of St Tropez and caters for whatever strand dream you are after. Around lunchtime, the yachts arrive, swaying in the waves like little dots on the azure blue horizon.
In between the fancy private beach clubs, you will find long stretches of public beach, where everyone can (and will!) dig their umbrella into the sand and claim their stake. I.e.: come early and leave early, if you want to avoid the sardine tin sensation.
Tahiti Plage, Route de Tahiti
At the very top of Pampelonne bay, easily accessible from St Tropez. Parking in the bamboo covered parking lot is about €5 per day. A small beach bar sells snacks, drinks and ice cream, and you can rent paddleboats by the hour.
Pampelonne, Boulevard Patch
I love the stretch between Nioulargo private beach club and the boat rental. The Ti’ Largo snack bar serves drinks and food from 12pm till late – brilliant for a ‘pieds dans l’eau’ dinner. Or to feed the kids on sausages and frites (€8 for a very generous portion). Parking is about €5 per day. Follow Boulevard Patch all the way down and turn right into the parking lot; park your car at the far end of the lot.
Plage de L’Escalet, Ramatuelle
Strictly speaking, this beach doesn’t belong to Pampelonne, but as is it close by and super kids friendly, it’s found its way on this list. The waters at L’Escalet are shallow and the rocky surroundings form lots of rock pools that host plenty of fish and shellfish. Brilliant for amateur swimmers and snorkelers. On the downside, the sand is rather coarse and – to put it in my daughter’s words – no good for sandcastles. Two stalls on the road above the beach sell drinks and snacks. To claim a spot in the free parking lot, make sure you arrive before 10:30AM.