Only 15 kilometers from St. Tropez, a hidden gems lies in the mountains of the Provence in France. Ramatuelle. It is only available by narrow roads leading through beautiful nature. Once in a blue moon you will pass a cyclist defying the steep mountain slopes and making his or her way up the hill.
Once you enter Ramatuelle, it is important to choose your parking wisely. Parking too far down will make for a steep walk uphill. Park to far up, and you may risk not finding a spot. The city lies on the mountain hill and many of the houses lean back against the safety of the hill.
Ramatuelle: Un village perché
Un village perché is a cluster of houses grouped in a dense fortification. In the Provence, Ramatuelle is the more popular one, it is also a more beautiful one than its little brother Gassin. One of the reasons that it gained such popularity is because of its proximity to Pampelonne Beach, a beach where the jet set visitors of St. Tropez come to relax and live it up.
Ramatuelle itsself only has 2000 residents. Like St. Tropez, it started attracting actors and artists after the second World War. It has become a place where art is still celebrated and the history has not disappeared.
A rich history
Ramatuelle’s history begins at the early Middle-Ages. It is believed that the name comes from the word Rahmatu’llah, which is an Arab word for divine providence. During the religious wars in France, the village was destroyed and consequently rebuilt in the 1600s. You can tell its history when roaming the steep narrow streets. It is easy to get lost in Ramatuelle. Never too lost because the city is small. Allow yourself to walk around every corner and discover small artist workshop, artisan shops and the beautiful homes of the locals.
Activities in Ramatuelle
Ramatuelle, like every other Provence town, lives in Summer. There is an amphitheatre where summer is filled with live performances. Jazz has great popularity and every year there is the Festival du Jazz. Ramatuelle only has one main street, where few restaurants are located. After the steep uphill climb from the parking, sit down at one of these places and enjoy a fresh Pastis or Panache before making your way back from this magical town.
Ramatuelle is great for lovers, or those wishing to roam together. The narrow streets with names like “Rue Des Amoureux” – street of lovers, will make you feel particularly romantic. Looking for a nice gift for your partner? Head into one of the artisan soap shops and pick up a fresh lavender or verveine soap. Perfect for after a day at the beach.
TIP: When in the Provence, keep your eye out for the cheesy postcards you can find in almost every town. Send one back to your family or friends, and let them know you have been thinking of them.