Next door to St Tropez, the seaside town of Port Grimaud is known as the “Venice of Provence” for its famous canals. Just 50 years old, the town was designed by architect François Spoerry in the 1960s, who designed the pastel-colored houses in the traditional fisherman’s style of the French Riviera—all wrought-iron balconies and terracotta tiles.
Initially controversial and seen as a faux Provence town, today Port Grimaud is a popular pleasure port full of luxury yachts, fancy restaurants and manicured gardens beloved by the European elite. There are over 3,000 berths and three ports at Port Grimaud, but no cars. In this land dedicated to the luxury yacht, every home has its own personal mooring space at the end of its garden.
Port Grimaud is also known for its modernist Church of St Francis of Assisi, with abstract stained glass designs by Vasarely. Near the church at place du Marché is a market of fresh Provençal goods on Thursday and Sunday mornings. Within walking distance of Port Grimaud you’ll also find a sandy beach for activities like water skiing, sailing, snorkeling and scuba diving. Golf, tennis and horse riding are also popular here.
Boat tours of Port Grimaud are offered from March to October, and regular shuttle boats are available to take you between here and St Tropez. Le Petit Train de Grimaud also makes a circuit from the Port Grimaud to the historical inland village of Grimaud.