Today, allow your private guide to show you another side of the Riviera.
The village of Grimaud is a perched village, with historical links to the Grimaldi family. The village is dominated by its 11th century castle (partially restored). The Gulf of Saint Tropez was known as the Gulf of Grimaud until the end of the 19th century.
Port Grimaud is part of Grimaud. Port Grimaud began to rise out of the sand dunes on the north shore of the Golfe de Saint-Tropez in 1966. It is six kilometers from the original village of Grimaud, built inland following tradition to be safer from pirate attacks from the sea. This extraordinary architectural experiment was the idea of Alsatian architect, François Spoerry (who died in 1998). He wanted to create a completely new Venetian style lagoon village where each house had its personal boat mooring space at the end of the garden. Despite ongoing controversy about the faux Provencal architecture, the result has been very successful. The houses, all of them different, are painted in traditional pastels, ochre, pink and turquoise, adorned with shutters and wrought iron balconies with roofs of traditional terracotta Roman tiles. After several decades, the buildings have aged well with the patina of time.
The village is arranged into four little islands, each joined by canals and bridges of wood or stone. There are plenty of shady squares, a marina, post office, shops, and restaurants. There is even a market on Thursdays and Sundays. With over 2,000 residences, Port Grimaud is a highly desirable address! It has proven to be a huge tourist attraction, with over a million visitors a year. Visitors can be transported around by barge (coche d’eau). There is even a pastiche church, the Eglise St-Francois-d’Assise, a modern version of the local Romanesque style, with a pure, plain interior, exposed wooden roof beams and stained glass by Victor Vasarély. The bell tower gives an excellent view of Port Grimaud, St Tropez and the Maures hills beyond. Port Grimaud has its own large sandy beach with a variety of water sports facilities. The beach faces St Tropez and the view is particularly stunning at sunset.
Built against the hills, Ramatuelle faces out on a fabulous vista of the Bay of Pampelonne. The village is closed in by ramparts and you can see the rooftops of pink tiles and the ancient stone houses lined along the narrow streets. Nearby is the famous beach of Pampelonne. It stretches out for 5 kilometers and is carved with creeks and inlets all with crystal clear water. The inlets and the creeks are appreciated by those who are looking for more privacy. The cultural life in Ramatuelle is particularly rich for there are jazz and classical music festivals and excellent theater. Many celebrities have fallen in love with this area and have made it their home.