Everything we had heard about St Tropez had to do with huge yachts, glamorous people, hip beach clubs, money, money, and more money. So we were surprised when we pulled into the marina and were directed to a tiny dock full of charter boats, each with ten or more passengers. We had requested a berth in the Vieux Port (old harbor), but were politely told that we were too small; it was reserved for yachts that are 30 to 40 meters (100 - 130 feet). Berkeley East is 16.5 meters (54 feet) and she just didn't measure up. It seems that BE is an odd size for Mediterranean marinas, so we are often put on the Mega Dock with much larger boats, as we were in Marseilles, or we are put on a dock that is too small. We prefer the Mega Dock.
After we squeezed BE into her tiny berth, we walked around the old harbor and began to see what everyone was talking about - it is full of large yachts and tourists looking at them. Restaurant tables are lined up in rows so everyone has a view of the backs of the super yachts, so the restaurant patrons can watch the yachts owners eat, while they eat. But a block back from the wharf, you see a very different St Tropez. This is the cleanest, best-kept town we have seen since we arrived in the Mediterranean.
The buildings are nicely painted in pastel colors; the streets are nicely paved. The park is full of people sitting, strolling, or bowling. It is quiet and quaint. We enjoyed the day, had dinner at a local restaurant (that didn't face the super yachts), went to the market in the morning and wished we could become locals here for a month or so. But we came to experience all aspects of St Tropez, so we headed to the beach, anchored off with the big yachts again, and explored some of the nice beach clubs.
We love the casual elegance of Mediterranean beach clubs and St Tropez has many of them. Unfortunately, the season really begins in June so some of the most famous were not yet open. We will have to go back.
While in St Tropez, the weather has changed from cold to hot. Just a few days before, had every blanket on the bed, we were wearing long pants and jackets. Now we are down to the bare minimum and are melting in the sun. What is it going to be like in August?