Early morning in Port Grimaud. The sun has just made it over the rooftops, except for a few joggers and dog owners, hardly anyone is out. The baguettes for “La Grimaudoise”, a café and shop, are delivered to the pretty Place François Spoerry. The first guests are already sitting on the terrace, waiting for their tartines.
It used to be just swarms of swarms of mosquitos dancing around it
When you consider that Port Grimaud is on the same bay as Saint-Tropez – only five kilometers away by land, even less by water – then the tranquility is amazing. What is even more astonishing, however, is that where the picturesque lagoon town stands today as a matter of course, there used to be a swamp of swarms of mosquitoes that was danced around in a morass, which could neither be built on nor sailed on. It was only an architect with Swiss roots who grew up far away from the sea came up with the absurd idea of building an artificially created marina here.
A passionate sailor like François Spoerry, who later created similar water villages in the USA, Japan, Spain and Mexico. His vision: everyone should be able to reach their house with their own boat. And so Port Grimaud presents itself as a labyrinthine water village with bridges and canals, pastel-colored fishermen’s houses, palm trees, pines, oleander bushes and a lot of boats.
A tour of discovery on waterways
Those who want to explore the village can take the Coche d’Eau, an all-round open water bus that cruises through the lagoon for 20 minutes. Or rent an electric boat and get behind the wheel yourself. Then you could walk to the beach, eat a portion of lukewarm prawns at “Grimaud Beach” and treat yourself to a siesta on the lounge chairs in front of it. Or go shopping in the village center: espadrilles at Shoes Avenue, raffia bags at Terre de Provence, a pair of chic earrings at Un air d’été, wine and cheese in Délice des Terroirs, bread and delicious tartlets in Charly Loisel’s boulangerie.
In the evening, tout le monde meets on the Place du Marché for an aperitif. Insiders sit in Café Télline and then go to eat lobster spaghetti in the charming fish restaurant La Marée. On the way there, the noble motorboats from Frauscher lie on the quay, in the shop window of the office a commercial with George Clooney runs in an endless loop. A tarte au citron for dessert? Yes, but in ice cream form, freshly prepared in the ice cream parlor J’aime les glaces. Uniquely good.
From the hotel by the water to dinner by the water
Friday: 16:00 | Check in
The Hotel le Suffren is centrally located and of course also on the water. Bright rooms with a view, friendly service.
20:00 | Dinner
La table du Mareyeur hovers over a canal, the fish cuisine is considered to be the best in town.
17:00 | Sightseeing
The Saint François d’Assise church was designed by François Spoerry, and his tomb is inside. You can admire Victor Vasarely’s glass windows and the view from the roof terrace.
Saturday: 10:00 | Shopping
High time for a shopping spree on the Place du Marché. It’s worth looking out for a pretty beach dress, hand-painted ceramic bowl, or the best types of cheese and olives.