In medieval Gassin, 11km southwest of St-Tropez atop a rocky promontory, narrow streets wend up to the village church (1558). The village’s most compelling feature is its 360-degree view of the peninsula, St-Tropez bay and the Maures forests.
Characterised by sunset-hued pink, orange and deep red townhouses framing its flotilla-filled port, St-Tropez is, effectively, two different towns, depending on the season. If you visit during the madness that is midsummer, when the population increases tenfold, you’ll tear your hair out looking for a parking space or a seat at a quay-side café, and be hard pressed to squeeze past the tourist throngs clogging the cobblestone streets.
But if you visit in spring, autumn, or even the mild winter, when the central square transforms into a fairy-lit forest complete with an ice rink, you’ll instantly appreciate what lured artists, writers and film makers to this picturesque village. Outside peak summer, you’ll probably still see celebs hiding behind designer sunglasses. But you’ll also see locals playing pétanque in the shade of age-old plane trees, spirited market stallholders selling handmade products, and have the wildflower-lined coastal walking paths pretty much to yourself.
Be sure to visit Gassin. Gassin is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France. It is located right next to Saint-Tropez. Perched high up on a rock, it is less than 4 km (2.5 mi) from the sea. Many Tropezian tourists attracted by a more affordable life prefer to stay in Gassin and enjoy the same kind of “Cote d'Azur” life. It lies 2 kilometres from route D559 which links Hyères (41 km) and Sainte-Maxime (12 km).
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