Pampelonne is one of, if not THE most famous beach on the French Rivera, where the heat is on, the bathing suit tops are off, and the rosé wine and champagne flow like molten gold.
In the summer you can expect to be toe to nose, elbow to elbow with other people who line up at the 20 +/- private beach clubs (with a few patches of public sand in between). Among the most well-known are Nikki Beach, Tahiti Beach, and Club 55, created in 1955 to provide refreshments to the cast and crew of And God Created Woman with Brigitte Bardot.
Anything goes at these clubs and don’t be surprised if a spontaneous dance party breaks out or table dancing erupts. It’s the Pampelonne way.
It’s essential to reserve a sun chair and umbrella ahead of time. You can also just come for an expensive lunch—reservations also recommended. People watching is absolutely free of charge.
Keep in mind that some beach clubs (not the restaurants) are cash only, and chairs and umbrellas are around €30 – €40 euro per person for the day. Call ahead to find out, or bring a stack of bills.
Traffic and parking in summer are a chore. Try a taxi from the port or hotel shuttle. The beaches are about 10-15 minutes from the Port of Saint-Tropez, but it could take longer in the thick of the season.
By the end of September, the beach clubs along the Bay of Pampelonne have rolled up their dance floors and folded their umbrellas, leaving the wide beach free to wander.