For those on a Mediterranean cruise who have already experienced the beauty of St. Tropez (and wish to avoid the lure of shopping) and who are looking for a nearby day excursion, the medieval village of Grimaud beckons! Taxis are difficult to find, leaving the bus as the most viable option; the direct bus to the village is the best bet. The bus station is just a short walk from the cruise port pier. Simply walk through the parking lot to the street, cross the street and turn right, and it’s about a block up the street (you can see the bus parking lot at the end of the building). From April 5 to July 4 catch the 11:40am bus 7701 (more like a large mini-van) from St. Tropez to Grimaud village, arriving at 12:10pm, a quick 30 minutes. Cost is 3 euro each way. You will want to get off at the 4th stop (the 3rd stop is Grimaud Rond Point de la Coopérative…do not disembark the bus here or you have a 5 kilometer walk to the village on the hill!) As you get off the bus, go up the steps right above the bus stop, or take the elevator nearby to the right of the stairs in the far corner of the little plaza. Stroll up Rue Migraniers, and take any of the small alleys leading up to the chateau at the top of the hill. The vista is spectacular from these castle ruins with its landscape snapshot of the surrounding area, dotted with quaint, red-roof tiled homes… and off in the distance, you will have a wonderful view of the cruise ships anchored in port. There are many sidewalk cafés in Grimaud village in which to enjoy a café au lait after meandering down the many bougainvillea’d, cobblestone streets. All can be seen in 1 to 1 ½ hours. The returning bus, also 7701, is at 1:55 pm, departing from the bus stop across the street from the stairs, bringing you back to St. Tropez at 2:45pm.
The backup plan (yes, cruisers who like to tour independently always need a backup plan!) returning to St. Tropez is to take bus 7702 at 1:55pm or 3:20pm for the 5 minute ride from Grimauld village to Port Grimauld, then taking bus 7601 to St. Tropez at 2:45pm (arr. 3:05pm) or 4:05pm (arr. 4:25pm).
If you have a longer stretch of time in port, there are other departure times, which become more frequent during the summer season in July and August.
FYI, the Office de Tourisme is a 10-minute or so walk from the port in St. Tropez, walking to the left. A caveat: they did not tell us that there was a direct bus to the village and only gave us the schedule to Grimaud Port… we found out we could have taken a direct bus to the village from St. Tropez only after arriving in Grimaud Port and inquiring at the Office de Tourisme there; we caught the direct bus on our return. Armed with the information you now have, you can gather all of the requisite bus schedules you need at the tourist office. Know that visiting Grimaud village is very doable, and a very worthwhile place to go!
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