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THINGS TO DO IN THE FRENCH RIVIERA FROM  HAUTE VUE  VILLA MONTAUROUX

  • Writer's pictureDavid Viney

The Saint-Tropez Sailing Regatta

Updated: May 14

The Voiles de Saint-Tropez is a sailing regatta which takes place once a year in the gulf of Saint-Tropez, in the Var. Organised for the first time in 1999, it will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2024, so it may surprise you to know this makes it the oldest sailing event on the Mediterranean coast.

The Regatta in full flow © Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez
The Regatta in full flow © Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez

The organisers - the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez - are also one of the oldest sailing clubs (founded in 1862). They bring together over 250 boats for the regatta, with everything from classic boats (some of which are over a hundred years old), to ultra-modern boats which are among the most beautiful in the world. All of this in keeping with their original mission; to create one of “the best regattas on the water and the best atmosphere on land". Most importantly, the parties go on all day and night at St. Tropez during the week of the Regatta!


The Voiles de Saint-Tropez Sailing Regatta - 2024


The event this year is scheduled to run from 28 September to 6 October. The classes of races are separated into the Traditional class (classic yachts), the Modern class, the Esprit de Tradition class (modern traditional), the Wally class, and the 12 Meter America’s Cup Yachts class. The yachts that participate in the Voiles St. Tropez Regatta are some of the most famous sailing yachts in the world - piloted by world class captains - and include J-Class, Swans, Maxiyachts, and more. Yachting fans from across the globe consider the Voiles St. Tropez Regatta a “can’t miss” race.


The blue riband event in the Voiles de St Tropez is "La Grande Classe Trophy". Held for the first time in 2004, it is a race for invitees only; comprising classic yachts that have previously enjoyed success in similar events around the racing world. Held on the first Thursday in October, it takes an "English Regatta" format and is quite the spectacle.


Sailing Regatta at Night | Photo © Gilles Martin-Raget
Sailing Regatta at Night | Photo © Gilles Martin-Raget

Within reason, spectators are free to take their own boats / ribs out into the water, to get a closer view of the race. There are charters available too, if you don't have a boat of your own. But most stay on dry land, where there are lots of great viewing areas. As you can see (above) the village is lit up for the event.


Official poster of the 2023 Grande Braderie
Official logo of the 2024 Regatta

Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez 2023 - Review


A nice little video from the event organisers gives you some of the best moments of the 2023 event (and also a good idea of what to expect from a visit in 2024):



How to Get there


  • By boat: The absolute best way to get to St. Tropez is by water. Special return trips are put on for the even from destinations as far-flung as Nice (2h30). However, the simplest and best value route in is "Les Bateaux Verts" ferry service from Sainte-Maxime. You can easily park in the huge quayside car park (get there early to secure your space!) then take a short and scenic trip straight into Saint Tropez harbour. Visit their website for timetables and pricing.

  • By bus: The bus services in the Gulf of Saint Tropez are run by Varlib (timetables here). The routes are extensive and it is possible to travel by bus to most of the towns, villages and resorts around Saint Tropez:

    • Bus 7601 - Saint Tropez - Saint-Raphaël

    • Bus 7701 - Saint Tropez - Gassin - Cogolin - Grimaud - La Garde Freinet

    • Bus 7703 - Saint Tropez - Pampelonne beaches - Ramatuelle

    • Bus 7705 - Saint Tropez - Pampelonne beaches - Ramatuelle

    • Bus 7801 - Saint Tropez - La Croix Valmer - Le Lavandou - Bormes - Toulon

  • By car: This is really not the best idea, trust me! The road around the bay to St. Tropez is always busy at any time of year and will be especially congested around the time of the regatta. We definitely recommend parking in St. Max and taking the boat (see above). If you insist, then take the D559 / D98A and follow signs for parking when you (eventually) get there. Try to travel off-peak/early.


Resources


Accommodation


With panoramic views, private pool, super-fast WiFi and modern air-conditioning, Haute Vue is a large Vacation Rental Villa with private pool in Montauroux; just an hour's drive from the ferry. Sleeping 10/12 in 5/6 bedrooms, it is the perfect central base for a holiday in the South of France; close to the beautiful perched villages of Provence and in easy reach of the beaches and sights of the sparkling Côte d'Azur.

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