Port Grimaud is also known as the 'Venice of Provence' and it's easy to see why. Purpose-built by the visionary Francois Spoerry in the 1960s, the resort rises up out of the lagoon of St Tropez just like its namesake does out of the Adriatic, and follows a network of canals. What Port Grimaud misses out in terms of history, however, it more than makes up for in charm. Despite being dreamed up on an architect's easel, the houses manage to look like they've been there for centuries and have evolved with charming, slightly higgledy-piggledy individuality.
Each house or apartment overlooks its own canal and to get around, you either walk or take a boat; residents generally leave their cars outside the resort in car parks. Don't worry, you'll soon get used to not having the car parked directly outside - it will encourage you to take a little gentle exercise by strolling to the boulangerie instead of nipping down there on four wheels, and since everyone is in the same boat, so to speak, not relying on the car becomes the very attractive norm.
To sample a racier way of life, visit St Tropez
, which is very close. You could take the car but there is also a regular ferry servicing all the resorts on the St Tropez gulf, which is much more fun. Port Grimaud to St Tropez takes about 20 minutes. The same service, Les Bateaux Verts, also offers excursions to destinations as far away as Cannes. As a day trip we recommend taking a boat to Cannes
and the Ile Ste-Marguerite
, where the mysterious Man in the Iron Mask was imprisoned.
Port Grimaud is built on the sea and life revolves around the joys of the blue Mediterranean. If you like the sea, being near water, if you enjoy mucking about on boats, if you want to get away from the daily grind of motoring everywhere, or if you want a resort that is just different to anywhere else you've ever stayed before, then Port Grimaud is the place for you.
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