If you're looking for a great day trip while in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, the beautiful hilltop médiéval village of Grimaud, France offers the pleasures of an ancient pedestrian village, wine, food, and shopping, away from the maddening crowds of St. Tropez.
An Ancient Fortress Crowns The Summit of Grimaud, France
On a hill overlooking the azure waters of the Golfe de St. Tropez, lies the ancient pedestrian village of Grimaud, just 10 km across the Golfe from St. Tropez. The village is crowned by a partially-restored 11th century chateau on the summit that provided protection from marauding Moors who crossed la Mer Méditerranée from the north coast of Africa. Over the centuries, the pedestrian village spread down the hillside in the protective shadow of the castle and remains little changed today.
A Gorgeous, Intimate Village
Beautiful, intimate stone-paved streets—lush with flowering vegetation—wind their way throughout the village, beckoning around every corner. My wife, Janis, and I lived with our kids in this gorgeous village for a month several years ago when we rented a house near the top of the village—just under the battlements of the old castle. Her favorite memories are arising each day to walk down through the village in the morning sun to the boulangerie, boucherie and épicerie to shop for the day's meals. She loved getting to know the shopkeepers, and it was another great opportunity for her to speak French every day.
“...stone-paved pedestrian streets lush with flowering vegetation”
Boutique Shops & Cozy Restaurants, Nearby Wineries & Beaches
Dozens of interesting shops and restaurants are scattered throughout the village, including the tiniest, most elegant restaurant you've ever dined in; Fleur de Sel—two tables wide—where the cuisine is sumptuous and there's no question that the service is personal!
The village is surrounded by vineyards and wineries where you can buy a really good bottle of rosé for five bucks, often drunk with a single ice cube—perfect for summer!
There are five or six beaches within a couple of kilometers of the village, where you can find great waterfront bars and restaurants, as well as music in the evening.
A contemporary residential port called Port Grimaud is on the Golfe at the foot of the hill with streets of water, a dock for every villa, and dozens of shops and restaurants.
And if you're looking for a beachfront hotel, Hotel Grimaglia is a very nice 4-star with a private beach, large pool, and outdoor fine dining.
So don't miss the little hidden gem of Grimaud when you're in the St. Tropez region!
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