The French Riviera
Playground of the Rich and Famous
The French Riviera or Cote d'Azur is a major yachting and cruising area with over 50 marinas and anchorages along its 70 miles of beautiful coast. Each year the Riviera hosts over 50 percent of the world's Superyacht fleet.
It can easily be seen why this area is so well loved, boasting year round summer weather and over 300 sunny days,18 golf courses, 14 mountain resorts, 3,000 restaurants and immortalised in Hitchcocks classic "To Catch a Thief", there really is no place like it on earth.
Hundreds of events take place each year throughout the region, among them are:
· January: Monte-Carlo Rally, International Circus Festival
· February: Nice Carnival, Menton Lemon Festival
· March: Tourrettes-sur-Loup Violet Festival
· April: Monte-Carlo Tennis Masters
· May: Monaco Formula One Grand Prix, Grasse Rose Festival, Cannes Film Festival
· June: Monaco International Firework Contest
· July: Nice Jazz Festival, Menton Music Festival
· August: Juan-les-Pins Jazz à Juan, Grasse Jasmine Festival,
· September: Monaco Yacht Show, Monaco Classic Week, Cannes Yacht Festival
· October: St Tropez Classic Regatta
· November: Nice Marathon, Monte Carlo Jazz Festival
· December: Cannes Dance Festival and many Christmas villages
The Pearl of France
...the base port
Menton is France’s warmest town, known as the Pearl of France and voted one of the world's most colourful towns. The town has many semi-tropical gardens, most of them in the affluent Garavan district and port where our base lies.
Menton dates back to 1262 and has close ties with Monaco being ruled by the Princes of Monaco until the French revolution and subsequently put under Monaco's protectorate until 1848. Notable sights include the Musée de la Préhistoire Régional and the Palais Carnolès, the 18th century summer residence of the Princes of Monaco.
Menton has a strong affiliation with Lemons and the foothills behind the town are covered in citrus groves.
In February tn the town centre the Biovès garden hosts Menton’s spectacular Fête du Citron where giant sculptures are made out of oranges and lemons.
Principality of Monaco
The Superyacht Capital of the World
What can't be said about this amazing place - with millionaires making up one third of the population and the stage for internationally famous events like the Monaco Grand Prix. It is truly a must see destination!
Monaco is the second smallest nation in the world being roughly the same size as New York’s Central Park and the world's most densely populated nation. Monte-Carlo is its most famous district housing the world renowned Monte-Carlo Casino in the Golden Square.
Ruled by the House of Grimaldi since 1297, it has Europe's longest continuously serving monarchy.
It is of course also famous for its glamour and high society heightened by Prince Rainier III’s marriage to Grace Kelly. Their son Albert II now rules the country and can occasionally be seen on various engagements around the country.
One of the safest places on earth, it has the largest police force in the world per-capita and per-area.
Nicknamed Nice la Belle meaning Nice the Beautiful is France's 5th largest city and dates back to around 350 BC with early settlements going back 400,000 years.
The bay of Nice was named the Bay of Angels after a 3rd century miracle, involving a young Palestinian Christian who was arrested for her faith and finally beheaded. Her body was put on a raft to be desecrated by sea birds but the angels guided the raft across the Mediterranean to the bay of Nice, where her body arrived untouched and was declared a miracle. The young martyr became Saint Reparate, the patron saint of Nice.
In the 19th century English aristocracy built much of the landscape along the Nice coast which was subsequently named the Promenade des Anglais (English promenade) and became an exclusive tourist destination for wealthy English well into the 20th century.
The Nice carnival is one of the world's major carnival events alongside Rio and Venice.
Nice's famous old town has is made up of medieval streets housing many cute French shops, bars, glaciers and patisseries. Dishes such as socca (unlevened pancake) and salade niçoise (tuna, anchovy and black olive salad)- famous in restaurants across the world have their roots in Nice. The master glacier Fenocchio (ice cream maker) on Place Rossetteven even sells beer flavoured ice cream!
The Bay of Angels
The Film Festival
...en route 3 and 5 day trip
Originally a fishing village, Cannes has evolved over the past two millennia to become one of the world's most exclusive resorts with sandy beaches, palatial hotels, couture shops and the occasional gold plated Ferrari dotted along the glorious bay and famous Boulevard de la Croisette.
Cannes is famous for its International film festival which attracts worldwide stars in May and is now past its 70th year.
In September it hosts the Cannes Royal Regatta, showcasing some of the world's most beautiful classic yachts in the annual Panerai Trophy
Long popular with artists, the town attracted the international "jet set" in the 1960s, and is now one of the most famous resorts in Europe its beaches, glamour and nightlife.
In 1956 Brigitte Bardot appeared in 'And God Created Woman', giving the town a worldwide reputation. The town never looked back and today yacht loads of the elite descend on St Tropez every summer for their annual parties.
St Tropez is truly a place to visit at least once in your life.
Brigitte Bardot's Jewel
...en route 5 day trip
Julius Caesar founded the city in 67 BC as Forum Juli and later housed the galleys taken from Mark Anthony and his eighth legion
Today, Frejus is still littered with relics of that time in the form of the amphitheatre, the aqueduct and many smaller historical buildings within its boundaries.
Step back in Time
...en route 5 day trip
An unspoiled beauty of an island and a traveller's favourite - available to you through the the joy of a sailboat rather than the hustle of a passenger ferry.
Ile St Marguerite was once the Roman settlement Lero which was later occupied by the crusaders, but it is most famous for its Fort Royal - the prison of The Man in the Iron Mask suspected to be the King's twin brother in the 17th century.
You can visit the fort to this day or simply swim in the crystal clear waters and laze on the beach.