Always a popular choice for luxury yacht charters, the South of France has been associated with timeless glamour for more than a century. First, the Belle Epoque artists visited its sunny shores for the light and they were soon followed by British aristocracy for the fresh air. These days, the international jet set enjoy yacht charters in the French Riviera to visit the region’s most exclusive shops, restaurants and bars. If you want more reasons to charter a yacht on the Cote d’Azur, read on.
Europe’s Most Exclusive Events
The Mediterranean yacht charter season starts in May with Cannes Film Festival, which is one of many high-profile events to grace the Cote d’Azur. At the end of May, the attention turns to the east, just up the coast in Monaco where Formula One’s most famous race takes place. The iconic Monaco Grand Prix is an essential stop for any yacht charter as spectators can watch the race close up from the deck of a superyacht. In fact, Monaco is packed with sporting events, including the Tennis Masters and the Longines Global Champions Tour (equestrian competition).
Throughout the season numerous regattas, shows and industry-specific festivals take place. Antibes, St Tropez and Porquerolles are just a few of the sailing regattas that entice yacht enthusiasts to the Riviera. Meanwhile, Cannes Palais des Festivals hosts a range of festivals from Cannes Lions for advertising insiders to MIPIM for property professionals. The biggest yacht shows, Cannes Yachting Festival and Monaco Yacht Show bring the season to a close in spectacular style.
Atmospheric Villages and Resort Towns
Photo provided by Pierre Monetta
Besides exclusive events, the French Riviera is a popular place to drop anchor and enjoy glistening blue waters and beautiful towns. The sun-soaked hues of Nice, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Saint-Tropez, Cap Ferrat and Eze invite exploration and are rich in history and culture.
Each destination has its own unique traits and attractions, from castles and outdoor markets to a thriving cafe culture and Michelin-star fine dining. For example, the vibrant resort town of Juan-les-Pins is inextricably linked to the fun-loving Jazz Age when it was frequented by Josephine Baker, Coco Chanel and Edith Piaf. It’s always attracted an artistic crowd and has inspired Monet, Picasso and the charismatic novelist F.Scott Fitzgerald.
Villefranche-sur-Mer is another beautiful village ensconced between glamorous Cap Ferrat and the Cap of Nice. To truly appreciate the stacks of pastel-coloured houses and imposing citadel overlooking the harbour, it is best approached from the sea. On shore, the narrow streets that characterise the medieval centre are characteristic of the history that permeates the whole coastline.
High-End Shopping and Eating
Linger over delectable seafood dishes on a terrace with sublime sea views or enjoy sundowners while luxuriating on your yacht’s deck. The French Riviera is the spiritual home of the aperitif and is best enjoyed on a sun-kissed terrace by a harbour or in the comfort of your own yacht charter. Those who go ashore will find exceptional Michelin restaurants such as the lavish Palme d’Or Restaurant in Cannes or Alain Ducasse’s sumptuous three-Michelin-star Le Louis XV at Hotel de Paris in Monte-Carlo.
The Unique City-State of Monaco
A stop off in Monaco’s Port Hercules where the most luxurious vessels are moored is essential on any French Riviera yacht charter. Enjoy upscale shopping and excellent nightlife, but don’t forget to visit the legendary Monte-Carlo Casino during your Monaco yacht charter. The Principality has everything you could want in a modern city, but surrounded by beautiful nature as seen in the Jardin Exotique with its tropical plants and stunning sunset views. It also has numerous cultural events that are held at the Grimaldi Forum, as well as the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic, the Ballet de Monte-Carlo and the Opera. If that is not enough, the cosmopolitan city-state is a gateway to the magical Italian Riviera where more adventures await you, should you choose to pursue them.