- Fete du Mimosas:
The Mimosa Festival is a large popular festival organised in February every year. The festivities last for 8 days and its main attractions are floral floats during weekends. The mimosa flower which was imported from Australia at the end of the 19th century flourished in the gardens of the British aristocrats on the French Riviera. It enjoyed the mild climates of the South of France and it is now celebrated as part of the local culture and economy in the Cannes region. The event attracts thousands of enthusiastic spectators who come to admire the floats and catch sprigs of mimosa that are thrown from them.
- International Cannes Film Festival:
The world's greatest film festival. Every year, the greatest international stars climb the famous steps to the Palais to present their films to critics and professionals from the world over. The Cannes Film Festival ranks second only to the Olympic Games for global media coverage.
- Monaco Grand Prix:
One of the races in the Formula 1 World Championship and among the world's best known sporting events, this Grand Prix is unique. Its course through the winding streets of the Principality highlights the drivers' talent more than the power of their cars. For both the drivers and car manufacturers, a win in Monaco is the most prestigious victory of the season and means they are an automobile racing legend.
- Bastille day:
Bastille Day is celebrated across the whole of France with a bang...well, several in fact, fireworks always feature heavily. Various activities are held across the region on the 14th, in memory of the storming of the Bastille on the same date in 1789. Traditionally the fireworks display normally starts off between 10-11pm. Celebrations are also generally free of charge.
- Fireworks Festival in Cannes:
As far as fireworks are concerned, Cannes blazed the trail. As early as 1967, the town went much further than the traditional firework display: it organised a huge pyro musical contest of fireworks set to music. For the first time, firework specialists had to marry melodies with colours. The results were very striking and impressed the audience. In 1998, a further step forward was taken with the "Festival Pyro technique de Cannes". Firework displays now reach the highest heights of sophistication which is only to be expected, as they are designed by the greatest specialists in the world. They do their very best to enchant 200,000 spectators with their bombs, candles and comets on each of the six evenings. Each year, a trophy - the Silver Vestal - is awarded to the best show in the contest. Inspired by Vesta, the sister of Zeus and goddess of fire, it is one of the major trophies in the profession but is above all a passport to the Golden Vestal, the supreme trophy, awarded every five years during an elite contest between the winners of the five previous festivals.
Things to see in St Tropez Area
- Coastal walk:
A splendid alternative to sitting around doing nothing is the seven-mile walk round the headlands to the Pampelonne beaches. The track – called “le Sentier du Littoral” is quite wild in places, but well maintained and clearly signposted. At reasonable walking speed, it will take about three and a half hours, depending how far along Pampelonne beach you want to end up. En route, you’ll have stirring scenery, interesting coastal flora and the maritime cemetery where the film director Roger Vadim now rests. Brigitte Bardot’s modest place is also nearby, as are charming little beaches such as Plage Graniers, Plage des Canebiers, Plage de la Moutte and Plage des Salins, where the likes of Bruce Willis and Naomi Campbell will never make an appearance.
- The old town of St Tropez:
The Old Town of Saint-Tropez, known as "La Ponche" borders the Vieux Port harbor basin and is below the citadel. La Ponche is the historic center of the fishing village and is the most picturesque area of Saint Tropez. Part of it has been laid out as a pedestrian zone of narrow alleyways and quaint cobblestone lanes abounding with small shops, upscale boutiques, cafés, and restaurants. Tourists can begin exploring this lively quarter at the Rue de la Citadelle that leads into the center of the Old Town. Turn left on the Rue du Portail-Neuf until reaching the 18th-century Eglise de Notre-Dame de l'Assomption (26 Rue Gambetta). With its beautiful Italian Baroque bell tower, this church punctuates the Saint-Tropez skyline. Inside visitors can admire the bust of Saint Tropez, the town's patron saint, and the delicately crafted wood carvings. At Christmas time, there is a fine Provençal nativity crib. By continuing northwest of the Eglise de Notre-Dame de l'Assomption near the harbor and passing by the Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall), visitors will stumble upon the Palais des Bailli Pierre-André de Suffren who was the Bailiff of the Order of Malta and one of the most important admirals of the French navy fleet in the 1700s.
- Port Grimaud:
About eight kilometers from Saint-Tropez, this attractive holiday resort is at the southwestern corner of the Bay of Saint-Tropez at the foot of the Massif des Maures, surrounded by the plains of the Garde and Giscle Rivers. With its maze of channels, Port-Grimaud is a waterside town reminiscent of a Venetian fishing village and lagoon settlement. The resort was developed with a lovely townscape typical of the region. Designed for pedestrians, the entire town is traffic-free with pleasant waterside restaurants, walking paths, and footbridges; parking lots are outside of the resort area. Charming houses are painted in bright colors with pastel shutters, and most apartments along the canals have their own mooring places outside their front doors. Visitors can make use of motorboats available for self-drive hire, to explore the picturesque canals. The town bustles with activity and has many boutiques, shops, and restaurants. A traditional Provençal market is held regularly in the main square. Facing the sea stands the ecumenical Eglise Saint-François d'Assisi, designed in the Romanesque style. Tourists may visit the church tower to take in the exceptional panorama of the little town, the lagoons, and the mountainous hinterland.
- La Garde Freinet:
The beautiful village of La Garde-Freinet is nestled in the heart of the Maures Mountains with spectacular views. Visitors arrive by traveling inland from Port-Grimaud (about 16 kilometers away) through a gorgeous landscape. The approach to La Garde-Freinet winds through the wild, natural scenery with its distinctive Mediterranean shrubbery and lush forests. This old Provençal village has preserved its authentic character and boasts a fascinating history. The village was founded as a Roman military post and was later a stronghold of the Saracens. La Garde-Freinet has an interesting tourist attraction: the ruins of the former Saracen fortress with its expansive panorama of the surrounding countryside. The fortress is on a hill about a 30-minute walk from the center of the village.
- Le Massif des Maures:
One of the top tourist attractions near Saint-Tropez, the Massif des Maures extends for 60 kilometers along the coastline between Hyères and Fréjus, about 20 kilometers from Saint Tropez. The Massif des Maures is one of the wildest areas of Provence. In the Provençal dialect, the Massif des Maures is called "Leï Mauro," meaning "Black Mountain," because of its austere dark rock and deep green forests. (The area is also known for its sweet chestnuts.) The mountain range encompasses 334,000 acres and is a fragment of the vast continent that formerly included Corsica and Sardinia. The Iles d'Or (Golden Islands) off Hyères are actually summits of this mountain range that emerge from the Mediterranean Sea. Within the Massif des Maures, are 26 ancient villages. The township of Bormes-les-Mimosas has a beautiful 16th-century chapel and gorgeous views from a terrace near the village's castle ruins. The village of Collobrières is famous for its "marrons glacés," a regional specialty of sugar-glazed chestnuts. One of the most spectacular natural highlights of the Massif des Maures is the Corniche des Maures, an area between Le Lavandou and Saint-Tropez. The Corniche des Maures boasts exceptional scenery with many lovely bays and dramatic cliffs.
GMT +1 hour
The official currency is the Euro (€). Coins are available in 1 cent, 2 cent, 5 cent, 10 cent, 20 cent, 50, cent , €1 & €2 denominations. Notes are available in €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, €500 denominations.
Travellers cheques are widely accepted for exchange or purchase in major cities, but in more rural areas, visit a bank to exchange them for Euros. Major credit cards are widely accepted here (though a limited number of merchants have American Express accounts) and ATM access is widespread. Exchange currency only at authorized outlets such as banks and hotels, and exchange only what you think you will spend in-country. Coins cannot be reconverted on departure. Save all receipts from any currency exchange transaction. You may be asked to produce them when you exit the country, and they are required if you intend to reconvert local currency.
Tips in restaurants are usually added on at 10/15 % of the bill. However, it is often a subject of controversy whether this amount actually goes to the waiter or not, therefore it is your choice whether to tip more.
Arrival & Departure Formalities
Travel documents are your responsibility. In general you should have:
- A signed, valid passport that will remain valid for at least 6 months beyond the completion of your trip. Your passport must have enough blank pages (excluding amendment pages) available for entry and exit stamps issued when entering and exiting immigration points.
- Visas are required for certain nationalities and you are strongly advised to check your status allowing plenty of time for visa application.
Due to its favourable climate and geography Côte d'Azur has an average of 300 sunny days, an average temperature of 16°C and short but periodical rain-showers. During summer it can be very hot with average temperature of 27ºC and about 11 hours of sun a day. The average water temperature in the summer months is about 20ºC. In autumn and spring you can rely on warm weather as well. With around 8 hours of sun per day, these seasons are quite mild as well. By the Mediterranean climate the winters are pleasant.
It is advisable to contact your doctor before you travel if you have any specific health concerns and take out appropriate travel and medical insurance.
Electrical service in France is supplied at 220-240 volts/50 hertz.
- Traffic from the RIGHT has right of way, except at roundabouts or if the road has a white line across it.
- Passport or national ID as well as driver's license/insurance papers/ownership papers must be carried all the time.
- National speed limit is 50kmh (31mph) in towns, 90kmh (56mph) on secondary non-urban highways, 110kmh (68mph) on dual carriageways, 130kmh (80mph) on motorways (auto route).
- Speeding fines: 30 - 300 Euros.
- Minimum driving age is 18.
- For use of the highways (auto route) it is invariably necessary to pay a toll before access. Payment can be made by coins or by credit card.
- There are strict laws concerning drinking and driving. Blood alcohol levels must not exceed 0.05%. There are random breathalyser tests carried out regularly by the police.
- An international driving licence is not required for European citizens. Your locally issued driving licence, as long as it is accompanied by the passport, will suffice.