Pampelonne Beach

Pampelonne Beach - France
© Daniel Kaesler and licensed for reuse under this Licence

In the playground for the rich and famous that is St Tropez, it is Pampelonne Beach that has been at the centre of this glamorous scene since the 1950s. This stretch of coast was made famous by Brigitte Bardot in when she appeared in a gingham bikini on Tahiti beach in the 1956 film “And God Created Woman”. In the years that followed the dress code became even more casual with many considering this to be where topless sunbathing became mainstream. However, Pampelonne was on the map a decade before this when it was an important site for the WWII Allied landings of 1944.

Located a few kilometres from the town itself Pampelonne is a three mile (5km) stretch of golden sands backed by scrub covered dunes. At a glance this natural, relatively unspoilt setting is a little at odds with the beach’s reputation as the place to party for the beautiful people. In fact there is very little in the way of development here and that is the way the local authorities want to keep it. There are a handful exclusive beach front establishments, the most (in)famous of which is Club 55. Here you can wine and dine with the celebrities and those with more money than sense. The even more excessive Voile Rouge was shut down by the authorities after 40 years of repeatedly violating noise limits - it is rumoured that some customers spent up to ?250,000 in a sitting here.

With its three mile (5km) stretch of golden sands, it’s a sun-seekers paradise and regularly attracts up to 30,000 people a day during the height of summer. Whilst free to enjoy the sea, sand and fresh air, be warned you easily can pay over ?30 to hire a sun lounger.

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