Pampelonne is the most famous beach on the French Riviera. It was here that they shot the scenes for The Troops of St. Tropez, and here that Brigitte Bardot displayed her charms on the set of And God Created Woman. Today, Pampelonne attracts the world’s richest people.

Pampelonne Beach is just a short distance from the famous Saint-Tropez. It is 4.5 km long, and in addition, sandy, which is rare for this region as beaches on the Cote d’Azur are usually pebbled. It wouldn’t be a great exaggeration to write that Pampelonne is a bit like the long, wide, sandy beaches of California.

Pampelonne Beach – The Troops of Saint-Tropez was shot here!

Pampelonne gained fame not thanks to its exceptional beauty, but through cinema – specifically two Hollywood movies. The first production was And God Created Woman, directed by Roger Vadim (1956), who made Brigitte Bardot a world-wide star and sex symbol. The second is the well-known comedy, The Troops of St. Tropez (1964) with the hilarious role played by Louis de Funes.

Many of the scenes for both films were shot on Pampelonne Beach. It is worth watching both productions to compare whether the beach has changed since their release. To me, it seems that only a few villas have been built in the northern part since the movies were shot.

Pampelonne Beach for the rich

In the summer season there are restaurants and bars for tourists along the entire length of the beach. Among them is the world’s most famous beach club – Club 55, which hosts international stars, the richest sheiks, and the most famous artists. You will find it exactly in the middle of the beach. This place was discovered by Roger Vadim: while checking the film set before shooting he took a moment to sit in a small bar and have some refreshments prepared by the owners. He liked it so much that for 2 weeks the entire film crew, along with Bardot, ate there. The “55” in the name of the club is of course the year the film was produced.

Pampelonne Beach, Saint-Tropez (French Riviera)

Pampelonne Beach, Saint-Tropez (French Riviera)

Today Club 55 is an exclusive place for the rich and famous. This may be confirmed by an occasion in 2009 when, in one night, the Pakistani businessman Javed Fiyaz spent 900,000 euro on 300 bottles of Cristal Roederer champagne. Rumor has it that the greater part of this was used to pour on scantily clad women.

Club 55 is of course not the only beach place on Pampelonne. You will find many other expensive places there, as well as premises for the more touristy pocket. Many of them are illegally set-up in the summer, but this rarely bothers anyone.

Practical information

Pampelonne is just 5 km from Saint-Tropez. You can get there taking the D93 road and after a while you will see signs with the names of beach premises and parking lots. There are many car parks along the entire length of the beach, all of them payable of course. Gastronomic and sanitary facilities are well organized, but you have to reckon with high prices. You can of course take advantage of the charms of this place without spending a fortune. All you need is your own towel, something to drink, and snacks.