Visiting Port Grimaud in the Côte d’Azur


Port Grimaud

If you’re staying in the Côte d’Azur, a visit to Port Grimaud is truly a must. The waterside town is only 8 km from Saint Tropez. Port Grimaud is often referred to as the little Venice of France due to its maze of canals, bridges and quays lined with colourful houses. It is however not that old. The residential marina-village, was built in 1966 in a provencal style with a modern twist. Designed by the famous 20th century architect Francois Spoerry the streets almost seem to emerge from the water. The colourful houses all have a boat moored at their door, so you can imagine the price of living here. Celebrities like Joan Collins have a house here.

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Port Grimaud is a great place to wander through as cars are prohibited except for residents. To enter the village you have to leave your car at one of the parking lots outside the gates. Best way to explore the village is however by boat. You can either rent a small motor boat, or take one of the guided boat tours. What makes Port Grimaud so beautiful are the coloured houses: terracottas, creams and dusky pinks, and some also feature wrought iron balconies. Venetian-style bridges cross the waterways, linking the different ‘streets’. The quays and the central village square are lined with cute little shops, restaurants and cafes. On Thursdays there’s a nice provencal market.

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Most tourists enter the village through the main gate that leads to the main square and  church (Eglise Saint-François d’Assisi). I would recommend to also go off the beaten track and walk to the other entrance gate. Here you’ll find a more residential village square with restaurants and coffee shops, where it is much more quiet. You can also wander around some of the residential streets.

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