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ON THE French RIVIERA

 

 

Few locations on the French Riviera offer the same balance of sheer peace and tranquility, stunning scenery and access to luxury services as the spectacularly pastel-toned Port Grimaud. Nestled in the heart of the Gulf of Saint-Tropez, this unique pleasure port, where modern living meets classic design, offers the perfect base from which to explore nearby towns and the myriad beaches and coves that dot the surrounding coastline.

 

The ultimate sailor’s dream – a house with a boat moored at the bottom of the garden.

In 1964 the architect François Spoerry, bought land to build the ultimate sailor’s dream – a house with a boat moored at the bottom of the garden. From there, his vision grew to become a village based on the same “land meets sea” model, comprising Provençal-style houses and Mediterranean influenced architecture. The result is a stunning patchwork of subtle pastel colours, blending with the gleaming azure blue of the Mediterranean Sea.

The area is full of magical sites, including a succession of isolated coves and other mythical places extending along the coast from Saint Tropez to Sainte Maxime

Port Grimaud has one of the Côte d’Azur’s largest marinas, with 12km of quays interconnecting to create this “lagoon city”, where sailors and recreational boaters gather every summer to take advantage of the wide array of services and explore the surrounding area at a gentle pace.

Saint-Tropez, on the opposite side of the gulf, appears to change colour depending on the season and the day, and can be reached in a few minutes by boat, a fact that will make anyone travelling by car along the congested coastal road green with envy. Standing above Saint-Tropez town like a sentinel, the Citadel of Saint-Tropez is a striking landmark to appreciate on your way to one of the many incredible beaches along this stretch of coastline, where you can drop anchor before paddling or swimming ashore for lunch and a cool drink. The area is full of magical sites, including a succession of isolated coves and other mythical places extending along the coast from Saint Tropez to Sainte Maxime.

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Tie up at one of the many outstanding waterfront restaurants in Port Grimaud to sample the tastes of the Mediterranean.

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Drop anchor, throw your board into the water and head out to SUP in the crystal-clear waters.

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Drop anchor, throw your board into the water and head out to SUP in the crystal-clear waters.

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The combination of boat and SUP board lets you experience a true sense of peace and freedom on the water.

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Explore new places and return home again in any weather, safely and with confidence in a vessel you can rely on.

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Tie up at one of the many outstanding waterfront restaurants in Port Grimaud to sample the tastes of the Mediterranean.

There are countless ways to enjoy the Côte d’Azur, but for a truly magical experience that will allow you to access the most secluded spots, it’s hard to beat a stand-up paddle board. Solid and inflatable paddle boards have been increasing in popularity in recent years, with owners of boats of all sizes choosing to add them to their on-board water toys collections or substituting their kayaks and dinghies to simplify shore visits.

Inflatable paddle boards are particularly suitable for this kind of coastal exploration for a number of reasons. First and foremost, they’re easy to transport and store in a moderately sized boat where space is at a premium. When deflated they fold neatly into a carry bag to be stowed inside a cabin or locker, then once they are needed they can be quickly inflated, used and subsequently transported between uses on top of the cabin or sun-top. Inflatable paddle boards also minimize the risk of damaging your boat when launching or retrieving them, or damaging the board itself on rocks when exploring unknown waters.

Add to this the health benefits of a great full-body workout that can be as gentle or tough as you like, and the suitability of paddle boards for the whole family, and you will be hard pressed to think of a good reason not to pack at least one when you visit this truly breathtaking part of the Mediterranean coastline.

Leave your stress behind
Grab your SUP board and use idyllic Port Grimaud as your base for exploring the French Riviera.