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Les Bravades It’s no secret that France knows how to celebrate, whether it's in honour of a notable occasion, a person or even a flower, and Les Bravades (bravades meaning 'bravery') is no exception. Honouring the St Tropezians’ glorious military past, and their devotion to St Tropez's Patron Saint, St Torpes of Pisa (who, on refusing to renounce Christianity, was beheaded), Les Bravades began and has continued to grow for more than 450 years. And so it is, that from 16th-18th May, you can expect to hear gunfire ring through the air while processions of those taking part dress in red and white privateer uniforms and take to the streets. The best way to enjoy it? Pull up a seat at a pavement cafe, sit back and enjoy the parade. Then, hotfoot it to the harbour for drinks on a sunny restaurant terrace or the beach for an afternoon dip in the sea. May is a wonderful time to visit St Tropez as it's still warm, there's not as many people around and the surrounding countryside is in pretty bloom. Make the most of it...
Les Nuits des Musees There’s something special about seeing a museum at night. And you don't have to be working the night watch to do it. This privileged cultural event sees the public invited to marvel at rare collections at some of the most prestigious venues across Europe. And France's Les Nuits des Musees is no exception. As a free event, the idea is to encourage new visitors and patrons to the world of museums. Remaining open until late, sometimes until the early hours of the morning, this is a unique opportunity to examine the exhibitions in a more sensory way. Next question: where? With more museums participating every year, the list of options is growing, but in St Tropez, The Butterfly House, The Maritime History Museum, and the Naval Museum to name a few. It's the perfect way to spend an evening after a day soaking up the sun on the golden sands of St Tropez's mesmerising coastline.
Fete de la Musique. What is the difference between a music festival and a fete? According to the French Ministry for Culture, a musical fete is free. Yes, you heard right! On 21st June every summer solstice, the Fete de la Musique puts on free music events across cities, towns and villages in France. And St Tropez is no exception. Showcasing acoustic and live music performances, you're likely to hear music spilling out of bars and restaurants all around this glamorous seaside resort. And expect it to be eclectic as amateurs and professionals play anything from classical and folk to dance. It's a musical celebration, today more commonly known as World Music Day, and it is definitely an event not to be missed if you're in St Tropez.
Les Grimaldines. One of the special reasons to watch a music event in another country is of course the location. And so it's no wonder that Les Grimaldines World Music Festival in Grimaud is so popular, considering it takes place in the ruins of a castle overlooking the Bay of St Tropez. The striking 11th-century castle boasts impressive towers and ancient ramparts, and is situated at the top of the perched village, blessing it with breath-taking views. Featuring musicians from all over the world through mid-July to mid-August, it's an eclectic line-up showing off some wonderful cultural performances including those from Africa, the Mediterrranean and Latin America. And it's not just the shows that take place at the castle-walk through the alleyways and streets of Grimaud and be entertained by the free concerts, acrobats, jugglers and storytellers parading through the village. Then take a seat at cafe or bar and enjoy a refreshment or two whilst looking out over the surrounding hills and Bay of St Tropez, which up until the 17th century was actually known as the Golfe de Grimaud!
Ramatuelle Jazz Festival. Whether you're a jazz lover or not, the setting for the Ramatuelle Jazz Festival is heavenly. A perched village, set high above the Med and iconic Pampelonne Beach, Ramatuelle boasts meandering narrow streets and stone houses covered in bougainvillea, which are perfect for ambling around on a sunny Riviera afternoon. And if you're there in August, make sure you pay a visit to the Ramatuelle Jazz festival. Started in 1986, this popular event offers an exclusive programme of events where you'll get the chance to see both new and established acts. As the evening begins, the relaxed vibe offers a delicious respite away from the crowds of St Tropez. There's also what is known as the 'Off festival' in the theatre gardens, where you can enjoy a spot of jazz and a bite to eat, away from the main events. Being on the bay of St Tropez, you won't be short of things to do outside of the festival. Head for the famous Pampelonne Beach and its iconic Club 55, take a boat out on the sparkling Med, enjoy a stroll around the super-yacht-lined harbour, or explore the old town and treat yourself in one of the many chic boutiques.
Les Voiles de St Tropez For yacht lovers everywhere, heading to St Tropez in September could be just the ticket, as sailing enthusiasts and boat fanatics gather for the popular regatta in order to race, and attempt to win, the Rolex trophy. Not only will you see an amazing selection of classic and super-yachts sailing in the fresh autumn sun, you'll get to see it in the stunning bay of St Tropez. The town is known for its millionaires (what better place to see them?) and is ostentatious and glamorous, as it should be. Walk along the bay, take a stroll around the harbour and even go out for a trip on a fine sailing boat for a close-up look at the action. The atmosphere is charged, and thrilling for all involved. Whether you're sipping a cocktail at a bar in the bay, enjoying a picnic on a boat out at sea, or joining in one of the many parties held along the promenade, you'll be sure to have a memorable experience. The French take sailing seriously, and this is obvious for the days leading up to and including the regatta. Outside of that, you're in St Tropez, one of the most famous resorts in the world - time to top up the tan, mix with the stars and enjoy walking around some delightful cities, villages and towns before heading to the beach.
Gold Cup Polo. If you need one more reason to dress up, sip champagne and enjoy the sunshine in St Tropez, then here's one: the St Tropez Polo Gold Cup. Every September the St Tropez Polo club hosts an exciting week of polo matches, which usually begin in the evening, but with special lunches for all the family and pony rides for children, there are activities taking place all day. The club itself is a joy, strolling around the meticulously maintained fields and stables, and then there's the matches. Watching the fast and exciting game of polo, as ten teams of international players compete for the prestigious trophy, is thrilling. You'll get the chance to watch training sessions and have a lazy breakfast there too, if you so wish.
Fetes des Vendanges. Celebrating harvest festival with the locals in the charming seaside resort of Saint-Maxime is a unique experience indeed. Surrounded by ancient groves, heady lavender fields and renowned vineyards, it is the vineyards that are the star of the show in the early warm days of September. Honouring the harvest of the grapes, which in this month are ripe for picking, this is of course, cause for celebration. With traditional dancing and processions making their way through the streets, to live music by the sea and firework displays over the harbour, this is no usual harvest festival. This is St Tropez-style. The atmosphere is jovial and celebratory, and locals and visitors alike are encouraged to join in the fun.
Fetes de la Chataigne. Just when you think all the harvest festivals are over in the south of France, along comes a very special one indeed - the enchanting chestnut festival. Wander through the town of Collobrieres in October and you'll almost be tripping over chestnuts - laying in the streets, on the many stalls lining the pavements of this pretty medieval village, and of course roasting on an open fire. Surrounded by the wild Maures Mountains behind St Tropez, Collobrieres is world-famous for its chestnuts, and they turn up in everything - ice-cream, bread, marron, cakes and pies - in as many shapes and forms as you can imagine. And there's something so magical about eating them in this spot where the mahogany jewels are so delicious and plentiful. With live music, guided tours of the Maures hills - where more than 2200 acres of chestnut trees flourish - and numerous stalls selling chestnut delights, amongst other local produce, Collobrieres in October is a wonderful time to visit. And while you're there, take time to stroll around. There's a lovely river running through the village, numerous fountains, cobbled streets and little shops and restaurants to enjoy. Along with the gothic Notre-Dames des Victories church and medieval monastery you'll be sure to have a fantastic time.