The Côte d’Azur has long been an area of outstanding natural beauty. Dipping between the coastal towns and villages feels like an immense privilege. We have researched and devised our best mini road trip from Cannes to St Tropez. This will make sure that you get all you can from your trip to the South. The Côte d’Azur is one of the most breathtaking coastlines, so make the most of the view whilst you drive.
From Cannes to St Tropez, there are 2 options for the drive, we have explored both and will impart our best recommendations to you! If you are in the mood for fast and furious, then take the first option to speed from Cannes to St Tropez in no time at all, with one short break for a Michelin star lunch, of course. If you feel like taking your time to enjoy the beautiful views, then opt for the second drive and prosper from the gift of time. Take the leisurely coastal route through some quaint villages and stopping along the way to enjoy life.
The quickest route from Cannes to St Tropez
The quickest and most efficient way to drive between these two coastal towns is actually not to follow the coast. You can take the A8 road to bypass the busier seaside road but gets you from A-B in the most time-economic way. This means that you can profit from both Cannes and St Tropez with no rushing around.
The overall journey on the A8 autoroute will take you under two hours, which leaves you plenty of time to stop off for lunch en route. A little detour off of the main road will take you to the Michelin starred Le relais des moines. Placed exactly halfway along the Cannes to St Tropez road trip, this exuberant lunch spot makes the perfect break. It is chaired by the award-winning chef Sebastien Sanjou, who says that his inspiration comes from the Mediterranean terroir that surrounds the restaurant.
After your lunch, it is a quick 35 minute drive down into St Tropez town (depending on the traffic). Arriving just in time for a sundowner at the ever-chic Tigrr at the Hotel l’Ermitage. The perfect place to sit for an afternoon cocktail and test your skills of pétanque in the fading sunlight. This may be the ideal spot to end your speedy road trip from Cannes to St Tropez.
After your apéro, you can make your way to your villa and our selection of St Tropez villas is better than ever. Villa Appoline is located on the Cap de Saint Tropez and the provençal style is effortless and chic. Spend a few days here in the exclusive Parc de Saint Tropez and soak up the tranquil Riviera lifestyle.
The coastal route
The classic coastal route is exactly as you’d imagine it to be- winding paths with a view over the sea. There are hairpin bends and shocking cliffs that make this a romantic and exciting drive. It may take a few more hours to get from Cannes to St Tropez, but you can stop along the way at some of our favourite spots, and make a day of the journey.
Before you leave Cannes, be sure to enjoy the cool morning sun at the Vieux port. You can have a coffee and a croissant before starting your journey onwards towards St Tropez.
The first stop on your road trip is the small coastal town of Theoule-sur-Mer, a 45 minute drive away. This little town has fewer than 2000 permanent residents, so will feel calm between bustling Cannes and buzzy St Tropez. To stretch your legs, you can park your car at La Pointe de l’Aiguille. Then, walk up to the view point for an extraordinary view over the bay and the winding road that you have just driven.
The drive from Mandelieu to Frejus along the coast is so magnificent that it is known as the Corniche d’Or. The golden road winds effortlessly along the beautiful coastline. You can take in the views as you pass small villages and towns to your right and the sea stretching out to your left. The yellow cliffs of Estérel give the name to the Corniche d’Or, so take the time to admire the flamboyant yellow rocky landscape as you drive past. If you want to stop to admire the view even more, we would recommend le Cap du Dramont. The Golden Island or L’Ile d’Or is located just off the cap in the middle of the sea and is home to a chateau/lighthouse that sits proudly for all to see.
Next up – Sainte Maxime for lunch! One of the most well-known towns on the Gulf, this seaside spot is the perfect place to stop for lunch.
Le Carillon is a Sainte Maxime institution. It is known for its delicious blend of Italian and French cuisine, utilising the freshest seafood from the bay. After a leisurely lunch, be sure to have a wander around the little town to understand why so many artists and writers have been inspired by the landscape here.
The last stretch
The last leg of the journey is the shortest in terms of distance, but usually the slowest. It is only 15 kilometres around the last turn of the bay. But the summer crowds from all over flock to St Tropez for its exclusive and chic restaurants and bars. The port of St Tropez attracts visitors from all over the world and for a very good reason. The beauty of the old town and unbelievable super yachts that dock in the port are two wonders that you cannot miss.
Arriving in St Tropez, there is only one place to go first. Senequier is a St Tropez establishment, so well-renowned that it is practically a museum. Everyone that has ever passed through the town has had a drink at this café, so make sure that you do too!
If you decide to take this fantastic road trip, you can tie it in with Les Voiles de Saint Tropez. The prestigious sailing celebration happens once a year towards the end of the high-season. This year the event will take place from the 26th of September until the 3rd of October.
With Le Collectionist, renting luxury Côte d’Azur villas has never been easier. Explore our collection to discover other luxury houses for rent in St Tropez and Cannes.