Luxury Shopping on a French Riviera Yacht Charter

Chanel boutique in St Tropez, France

You know the South of France summer is in full swing when celebrities and their bodyguards are popping in and out of boutiques, and charter guests speed back to their yachts, their tenders laden down with shopping bags full of designer gowns and swimwear from the world’s great fashion houses.

Louis Vuitton Damier travel bag

Related article: What to pack (and wear) on a superyacht charter

It’s far from unknown for superyacht guests to drop a cool €100,000 on a morning’s shopping trip in the glamorous boutiques of Saint Tropez, Cannes, or Monaco. But that’s not to say you need to have a spare hundred grand to enjoy the shopping experience during your South of France yacht charter.

Ferrari in the port of St Tropez, France

Our Riviera shopping guide takes you from the haute couture fashion houses and elite ready-to-wear designers, through to local boutique gems and colourful local markets. And as no-one fancies giving money to the tax-man unnecessarily, we’ve also included some information on how to shop duty-free on the French Riviera.

Shopping in Monaco 

If you begin your yacht charter in Monaco, there’s no better way to start than taking an afternoon stroll through the Principality to find a stunning designer outfit for your first evening on the yacht.

Casino Square in Monte-Carlo, Monaco

The Cercle d’Or & Summer Pavilions

The haute couture designers and luxury jewellers hang their shingles around the famous Cercle d’Or, where it’s just one prestigious fashion brand after another, including Prada, Gucci, Valentino, Cartier, Bvlgari, Hermès, Salvatore Ferragamo, Dior, and Chanel.

Pavillons Monte Carlo luxury shopping in Monaco

During summer 2017, 40 ultra-luxe brands will be displaying in the ‘Promenade Monte Carlo Shopping’: an exclusive installation of summer pavilions near the Place du Casino. The ideal route for a Cercle d’Or shopping tour begins at the Pavilions before carrying along the famous Avenue de Monte Carlo and onto Allée Francois Blanc.

Chanel store in Monte-Carlo, Monaco

If you’re a bargain-hunter roaming this part of town, slip behind the casino and away from the Cercle d’Or to Avenue Saint Michel, where Stock Griffe boutique offers big name brands for up to 70% off.

Town Centre

In the town centre, Boulevard des Moulins, Boulevard d’Italie, and Avenue Princesse Grace showcase many high end boutiques, including local offerings such as Monegasque luxury brand, 209 Mare.

La Condamine

The Condamine area down by the marina has more than 200 boutiques of dazzling variety and budget – from fashion and homewares to gourmet stores. For those shoppers who love to explore, La Condamine holds many treasures, including Le Dressing: a vintage designer shop featuring second-hand beauties from designers like Chanel.

Rue Princess Caroline in Monaco
Shopping Malls

Monaco even does shopping malls with exceptional style. Galerie du Metropole is one of the most luxurious malls on the planet, with acres of marble, porters to help with your bags, and 80 luxury stores including Armani and Brunello Cucinelli.

Metropole shopping mall in Monaco

If you’re after a more low key or practical shopping experience, head to Fontvieille shopping mall, where you’ll find electronics, fashion stores, and a large Carrefour supermarket.

Markets

Finally, despite its high-end shopping reputation, Monaco also does a wonderful daily market in La Condamine featuring Mediterranean produce and local crafts, and a funky little flea market at Fontvieille on Saturdays.

Food market in Monaco

Things worth knowing

There’s a 20% VAT surcharge on goods you buy in Monaco: it may be known as a tax haven, but unfortunately that doesn’t apply to the shopping experience! However, if you’re a visitor from a country outside the EU, you will be eligible for a VAT refund on purchases over €175 made in a single store.

Shopping in Cannes

Cannes is one of the world’s ultimate shopping destinations, and you’ll feel the excitement in the air as you skip from Chanel to Yves Saint Laurent to Dior, passing celebrities carrying little dogs in their Hermès handbags.

The Hotel Carlton in Cannes, France

The Croisette

Cannes Croisette is a byword for luxury shopping, with flagship haute couture boutiques lining the boulevard beneath the palm trees and ornate Belle Epoque hotels. As well as the big global names such as Dior and Chanel, there are also some very fine French boutiques worth knowing about, such as Paule Kar, Chacok, and Leonard Fashion.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a glamorous evening gown for your night out in Cannes but have a bit of an eye on your budget, try MyAnnika, a boutique specialising in evening dresses at affordable prices.

Dior boutique in Cannes, France

During the Cannes Film Festival, there’s even a red carpet laid out along the shopping strip, and the Croisette is largely pedestrianised on summer evenings as of 2017, making this prestigious shopping destination even more drop-dead gorgeous than ever. And if you’re in the mood to get a head-start on the summer crowds with a spring yacht charter, the Croisette hosts a shopping festival each April, with fashion shows and season previews. Be still, my beating heart.

Rue d’Antibes

If you must drag yourself away from the Croisette, Rue d’Antibes is the place to do it. This famous street just behind the Croisette is the other fashionable place to shop in Cannes, with a succession of luxury brands like Vilebrequin and famous high street brands like Zara, as well as sunglass stores and decadent chocolate shops for gifts to take home.

The Rue d'Antibes shopping street in Cannes

And as if it couldn’t get any better, the block between the Croisette and the Rue d’Antibes completes the famous Carré d’Or, where fine jewels are laid out in the window displays between chic bars and swimwear stores.

Rue des Etats-Unis

This recently-updated shopping street features high-end interior design shops to find that perfect French piece to ship home.

Rue Meynadier

On the other hand, if you’re looking to shop like a Cannois local, then Rue Meynadier is for you, with its eclectic mix of affordable fashion and artisan food stores.

Maison Bremond in rue Meynadier, Cannes

Shopping Malls

If you’re still hungry for more, the Galerie Gray d’Albion shopping mall is located just by the Croisette, featuring a range of high-end stores including La Perla. If you’re looking for more practical shopping, head to the neighbouring town of Cannes La Bocca.

Markets

To get the true Cannes experience on your yacht charter, a visit to the local markets is a must, and Marche Forville delights with its bustling atmosphere, and colourful stalls of fruit and flowers, cheese and fish.

Forville market in Cannes, France

Things worth knowing

Like Monaco, you can claim a VAT refund on purchases over €175 in a single store if you hail from a country outside the EU. If you’re planning a South of France shopping spree, apply for a Global Blue ‘shop tax free card’ so you can automatically be refunded at participating stores, or just ask in the store for a detaxe’ form to claim at the airport upon departure.

Shopping in Saint Tropez

Welcome to little boutique heaven, where the towering names of the fashion world sit on cobbled laneways next to unique Saint Tropez boutiques. The village of Saint Tropez isn’t big and all its boutiques are a leisurely stroll from each other, so just grab your credit card and explore to your heart’s content, with a focus on the luxury triangle between Place des Lices, Rue Gambetta, and Rue Allard.

View over St Tropez rooftops and superyachts in the bay of Saint-Tropez.

Global Fashion houses

You’ll find the instantly-recognisable names of Hermès , Armani, Dior, and Louis Vuitton emblazoned above the doorways of Saint Tropez’ pastel facades, as well as Zadig et Voltaire, Lanvin, Swarovksi and Eres, just to name a few. However, it’s worth noting that the luxury shopping scene is just as much about the local as the international in enchanting St Tropez.

Local Boutiques

Arguably the most famous item in a Saint Tropez wardrobe is the iconic Tropezienne sandal, which was established by the Rondini family in 1927, with stiff competition from the K.Jacques family who set up shop 5 years later.

As you might expect, swimwear is also a hot item in sunny Saint Tropez, where the local Vilebrequin and Kiwi St Tropez boutiques began their meteoric rise on the superyacht fashion scene.

Vilebrequin swimming shorts with red dolphins on blue

For jewellery, Gas Bijoux delights with its chunky, colourful designs, while Au Soleil de Saint Tropez is the last word in boho chic (as worn by the stars.)

There’s something for everyone in fashionable St Tropez. If you’re feeling nautical, Blanc Blue is a local boutique full of sailor-style stripes and scarves, while those up for a spot of polo at the St Tropez polo club will find all the right attire at La Martina. Bla Blas is an absolute treasure trove of quirky labels, while Be Shorts— well, you can guess what they sell.

Markets and Cellars

One St Tropez shopping experience which is not to be missed is a Saturday morning at the Place des Lices market, where Provencal produce, gifts, and clothing are spread out in stalls underneath the shade of century-old plane trees.

Market in Place des Lices, St Tropez

And finally, if you’re wanting to take home some excellent Provencal wine for a gift or to cellar, head to La Cave de Saint Tropez or Terre de Mer.

Things to know

The same tax free opportunities exist in St Tropez as in Cannes, with a Global Blue card definitely the way to go if you’re planning on splashing some cash.

A yacht charter is the perfect way to make the most of a luxury shopping adventure along the French Riviera. Where land-locked tourists have to battle with summer traffic in the South of France, you just float along between the great shopping destinations of the Riviera, falling ever deeper in love as you go.

What to Wear on a Luxury Yacht Charter

Girl in bikini on yacht charter
Whether you’re cruising down the French Riviera, floating through the sunlit seas of Sardinia, or docking in the Caribbean paradise of St Barths, a superyacht charter is the ultimate in glamour and barefoot luxury. And you’ll want to look the part, with a stylish wardrobe and designer accessories delivering just the right amount of bling for an effortless sense of superyacht cool.

Vilebrequin swimming shorts with red dolphins on blue

But since superyachts have their own unique dress code, it’s not always easy to decide what to pack!

Louis Vuitton Damier travel bag

There are certain high-end fashion brands that are synonymous with the superyacht set and we’ll discuss these ‘brands that belong’ in detail in this guide, along with some practical insider tips on what to bring on a yacht charter, including what luggage to use, what technology to pack, and those funny old rules about shoes.

Read the full article: What to Pack (and Wear) on a Superyacht Charter

The Best Yacht Charter Destinations for Nature Lovers

Maldives

The reasons for choosing a luxury yacht charter are woven together in ways that elevate things you desire to provide unforgettable experiences – time, privacy, luxury, seclusion. And luckily, some of the top wildlife spotting destinations on the planet provide many elements to make your yacht charter the ultimate vacation.

Yacht charter destinations for nature lovers provide the feeling of liberation from busy resorts, exclusive first-class service onboard luxury vessels and adventures to far flung locations with a new view each day.

From the Mediterranean to North America and Southeast Asia, while others are dreaming of the world Bespoke Yacht Charter can help you explore some of the world’s most captivating destinations, each with something unique to offer.

Read the full article: Yacht Charter Destinations for Nature & Wildlife Lovers

10 Ways a Yacht Charter beats other Luxury Vacations

Luxury yacht in Porto Cervo, Sardinia

Maybe you take a family holiday every year, but you want this one to be special. You’re tossing up between all the usual luxury vacation options the exclusive hotel or private villa, the high-end cruise ship or island resort.

Forget all that. There’s a much better way – one which combines all the best of these traditional holiday choices and surpasses them with ease. A luxury yacht charter beats all the other vacation options, hands-down.

So what makes a yacht so special? And how does a superyacht charter trump all other vacation options?

Let us count the ways in 10 ways yacht charters trump other luxury vacations

209 Mare Recommends: 3 Top Summer Hangouts in Cannes

209 Mare beach fashion in Cannes, France

The coolest label to join the international fashion market in recent months, 209 Mare is redefining men’s luxury beachwear in 2017. The company’s innovative and dynamic apparel can be spotted in the chicest beach destinations around the world, worn by discerning gentlemen who are not afraid to play by their own rules. Men’s beach club attire that brings the elegance of the art deco period to the in-vogue destinations of today, the 209 Beach Blazer and the 209 Swim Shorts merge style with functionality. As the fashion label is headquartered in the Principality of Monaco, the sophisticated blazers are increasingly popular on the Cote d’Azur. We sat down with Gabriel and Federico Uribe, the Owners of the brand, to find out which beachfront establishments they recommend in the town of Cannes – one of the South of France’s most glamorous summer hangouts.

Baoli Beach 

Baoli beach club in Cannes, France

The first words uttered from the Uribe brothers were Baoli Beach. The sister venue of Cannes’ most exclusive nightclub of the same name, the beach club and restaurant encapsulates the glitz of Cannes and the Cote d’Azur. Serving fine sushi and Mediterranean cuisine, and an array of thirst-quenching cocktails, Baoli Beach is located between the Carlton and the Majestic hotels on Cannes’ Croisette. It benefits from the largest pontoon in the area – the perfect place to witness Cannes’ majestic sunsets.

What 209 Mare said: “Visiting Baoli Beach is a very unique experience. It is the best place to understand why 209 Mare was born on the Cote d’Azur.”

Riviera Beach

Set on a long stretch of Cannes’ golden sands, Riviera Beach offers the quintessential beach experience. Relaxation is the top priority at this pet-friendly, private beach club. From 9am until late, seven days a week, Riviera Beach caters for a distinguished clientele, serving fresh seafood dishes with an Italian twist. Once your food has digested, there is a swim platform out at sea, which offers the perfect spot to look back and admire Cannes. Recline on the club’s blue and white striped sunbeds and understand why so many likeminded travellers enjoy Cannes each year.

Salmon tartare at Riviera Beach in Cannes

What 209 Mare said: “The sunbeds at Riviera Beach are set roughly 2m from the water’s edge. Make the most of the impeccable service on offer by ordering a cocktail to be delivered to you, as you bronze under the warm summer sun.”

Gotha Club

A legendary venue on the Cap de la Croisette, Gotha enjoys the reputation of being among the best of Cannes’ nightclubs. It is surrounded by sea on three sides, meaning it is a magnificent sight to behold. With a line-up of celebrity performers that is consistently impressive, you are guaranteed a great time at Gotha. Noteworthy performers to grace the venue with their presence include David Guetta, French Montana, Martin Garrix, Lil Wayne, Justin Bieber, Wiz Khalifa, A$AP Rocky, Akon, Bob Sinclair, and Paris Hilton, but the list goes on. This is the place to see and be seen in Cannes.

Gotha Club in Cannes, France

What 209 Mare said: “Gotha Nightclub needs no introduction. Its events regularly push the boundaries of entertainment, setting the standard for the international party scene. This is the ultimate place to break the rules in style in our 209 Beach Blazer.”

Gotha Club in Cannes, France

How much does it cost to charter a yacht on the French Riviera

Sanlorenzo 40m yacht in the port of Monaco

‘How long is a piece of string’ is the quick answer to this question. The variation in charter yacht pricing and facilities is simply breathtaking, with French Riviera yacht charters beginning at around €20,000 per week for smaller yachts, and soaring stratospherically upwards to over €1 million per week for the finest megayachts – complete with helipads, elevators, beach clubs, and infinity pools.

Superyachts in Cannes, France

It’s fair, then, to say there are some gaps in pricing and facilities. And in those gaps lies your opportunity to join the superyacht set. You may have to sacrifice the infinity pool, but you don’t have to sacrifice the dream.

Riva boats in Monaco

With more superyachts joining the charter fleet every year, yacht charters are more affordable than ever before. And once you factor in sharing the cost of your charter with a group of family and friends, yacht charter at the small to medium motor-yacht range becomes financially comparable to other luxury holiday options on the French Riviera such as high-end hotels, villas, and cruise ships. And when it comes to experiences, well, luxury yachts win that contest hands-down.

Read more: How much does it cost to charter a yacht on the French Rivera?

Food Markets of the French Riviera

Forville market in Cannes, France

One of the best ways to experience a yacht charter destination is immersing yourself into its gastronomic pleasures – regional food, good wine, harvest festivals and local markets. On the French Riviera, discovering the food markets ashore highlights a Provençal ritual and the link between farm, orchard, ocean and table. With a fabulous climate that sustains agriculture, to experience any French town or city at its core it’s worth being there on market day.

French Riviera Food Markets

Things to do with Children on your French Riviera Yacht Charter

Jacuzzi on motor yacht ANTISAN

The French Riviera is the most glamorous stretch of coastline in the world, and as such, is probably not the first place that comes to mind when planning a family yacht charter. Yet there’s actually so much great stuff to do with kids on the Cote d’Azur that you’ll struggle to fit it all in a 7-day charter! From tropical beach treasure hunts and underwater villages to zip-lining, firework shows and rollercoasters, the French Riviera is a children’s playground.

Parasailing off the beach at Nice in the south of France

We’ve written before about why yacht charters are so great for the whole family, and how to make sure they’re a brilliant success.

Here are some fantastic children’s activities for your French Riviera yacht charter.

A Celebrity History of the French Riviera

Brigitte Bardot and Roger Vadim in St Tropez

The celebrity history of the French Riviera reads like a Who’s Who of the last century. It is a riveting story of butcher kings and widow queens, sex sirens and princesses, scheming billionaires and socialite visionaries, hard-drinking writers and eccentric artists—all flocking to the Riviera to live lives full of decadence, intrigue, and debauchery under the Mediterranean sun.

It is impossible to overestimate the impact a few key individuals had on the meteoric rise of the Cote d’Azur, transforming it from a sleepy 19th century place of medieval villages and rocky sheep farms into the ultimate celebrity destination and the birthplace of the superyacht industry.

Let us take you for a journey down the French Riviera, stopping at the haunts of the celebrities, socialites, and royals who forever changed the French Riviera.

FULL ARTICLE: Of Princes, Murderers, and Socialites: A Celebrity History of the French Riviera

Summer 2017 Fireworks in Monaco & Cannes

Every summer season, Monaco and Cannes host some incredible fireworks displays that are truly spectacular and a must-see if you’re lucky enough to be on the French Riviera when one is taking place! These displays are held as International Fireworks Competitions with teams from various countries competing for prizes. The performances are truly magnificent, on a par with what you might see on New Year’s Eve in London, New York or Sydney. Set to thunderous soundtracks, the displays last as long as thirty minutes, the bright lights of Monaco and Cannes reflecting in the Mediterranean, create a truly stunning backdrop!

Fireworks in Cannes

Monaco:

Thursday 13 July

22h – SYRIUS PYROTECHNICS – Canada

Friday 21 July

22h – ALPHA PYRO – France

Saturday 29 July

22h – SM ART PYROTECHNICS – UK

Monday 7 August

22h – PYROVISION – Austria

Tuesday 15 August

22h – DRAGON FIREWORKS – Philippines

Thursday 24 August

22h – PANZERA – Italy

Fireworks in Monaco Monte-Carlo

Cannes:

Saturday 22 July

22h – Holland

Saturday 29 July

22h – Austria

Saturday 5 August

21.30h – USA

Saturday 12 August

21.30h – Australia

Fireworks in the bay of Cannes with yachts

Original Article: www.bespokeyachtcharter.com/luxury-yacht-charter/summer-fireworks-in-monaco-cannes/

Visit beautiful La Napoule on your Côte d’Azur yacht charter

Stunning Esterel coast on the French Riviera

The Bay of La Napoule is a stunning stop on a French Riviera yacht charter, with the rich red rocks of the Esterel mountain range contrasting vividly with the turquoise sea, and the gloriously pretty Cannes islands sitting just offshore with their quiet pine forests, secluded coves and sunny vineyards.

Mandelieu-La Napoule

There’s an abundance of superb nature activities on offer in the surrounding hills, from mountain biking to horse riding and hiking, while the town of Mandelieu-La Napoule offers a very famous golf course and some stellar Michelin-star dining.

A Day on Charter in La Napoule

Visit Marseille on your Luxury Yacht Charter

Girl enjoying panoramic view over Marseille, France

Let’s get what must be said out of the way early. Marseille—that maligned, magnificent port city—is rarely included on a French luxury yacht charter itinerary, with the majority of charter yachts floating down the coast as far as St Tropez, before turning back to cruise back up the French Riviera to glittering Cannes and Monaco.

Yet what are yacht charter guests missing by not venturing a little further down the Var coast to Marseille? A whole lot, as it happens. Marseille is located on one of the wildest, most magnificent stretches of coastline in the Mediterranean: a region of towering limestone cliffs and turquoise fjords, Caribbean-like islands, and ancient villages surrounded by rolling vineyards. With the appeal of pretty Cassis and Bandol, the astonishing Calanques National Park, and the exotic Islands of Gold off Hyeres, the Marseille coast is simply unmissable.

Experience the Renaissance of Marseille on Your French Yacht Charter

6 of The Best Restaurants on the French Riviera!

Restaurant La Vague d'Or in St Tropez

One of the highlights of a French Riviera luxury vacation is travelling slowly down the coast from Menton to Saint Tropez, revelling in the astonishing cuisine of the region and dining in some of the world’s finest restaurants.

A luxury yacht charter along the glittering Cote d’Azur is the ultimate foodie experience, as you dine at Michelin starred restaurants on garden terraces with dizzying sea views, and in opulent dining rooms of golden vaulted ceilings and dripping chandeliers.

6 top restaurants of the French Riviera

The Cannes Film Festival 2017: Experience Ultimate Luxury

The Carlton beach in Cannes, France

High season on the French Riviera starts with a spectacular event that puts the region into the international spotlight and into the glare of flashing cameras. The Cannes Film Festival 2017 will take place from 17th-28th May, transforming the coastal town into the heart of the world’s movie industry for 11 days. Despite the billion dollar deals and networking taking place, you don’t have to be a member of the film industry to enjoy the glamour of Cannes Film Festival. There are three things to get right to ensure you’ll enjoy the most luxurious experience possible while in town for the festival.

1. A VIP Helicopter Transfer

Those who have attended the Film Festival before know that there is only one way to arrive in Cannes: by helicopter. A helicopter transfer to Cannes from Nice will reduce travel time from an hour on a traffic-packed road to the length of two movie trailers. The population of Cannes triples to a peak of 210,000 people during the Cannes Film Festival, meaning that land access can be frustratingly slow. Why waste precious time in traffic when you could be enjoying the festival and networking with like-minded people? This year is also the festival’s landmark 70th birthday, so it is set to attract even more attention and visitors.

Monacair helicopter transfers from Nice to Cannes and Monaco

The helicopter to Cannes leaves from Nice International Airport and flies over the stunning Riviera landscape. It lands at the Croisette Helipad a mere 7 minutes later. Once on the helipad, visitors are only a 10-minute walk from the red carpet of the Palais des Festivals and the heart of the action. Alternatively, a shuttle service is available to take festival participants to the hotel, or drop-off point, of their choice. A Cannes helicopter flight is a VIP experience that shouldn’t be missed and it’s undoubtedly the most convenient and stress-free way to arrive in town.

2. A Luxury Hotel

While attending the Cannes Film Festival, it’s best to stay somewhere close to the screenings, awards, parties and press events. The Hotel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes is situated in an enviable position on La Croisette, across the road from the Palais des Festivals. Not only does it provide instant access to the Cannes Film Festival, but the 5-star hotel is a two-minute walk from the beach and 1 km from the Musée de la Castre in the historic Old Town. Built in 1926, the Belle Epoque palace has an abundance of character and offers exceptional Mediterranean views.

Hotel Majestic Barrière view of pool and Palais des Festivals

Courtesy Majestic Barrière

The hotel’s 350 guest rooms are decorated with understated glamour and sophisticated designs. They are furnished with work desks, sitting areas, minibars and designer bathrooms. There are also two penthouse suites with butler service. When you want a break from films and meetings, go and lounge at the outdoor pool or enjoy a cocktail on the private jetty and beach. For those moments of utter relaxation and de-stressing, the cutting-edge Spa can attend to your aching joints and over-burdened mind.

3. Top Restaurant

Cannes has some fantastic restaurants from which to choose, but the 2-Michelin-starred La Palme d’Or is one of France’s finest. It is located in the exclusive Martinez Hotel on La Croisette. It benefits from a magical setting with a large terrace that overlooks the Mediterranean – the very sea which influences its gourmet flavours. The restaurant attracts a high-profile clientele who enjoy the innovative and delicious food that Chef Christian Sinicropi prepares in a chic art deco-inspired interior. Large windows overlook the Croisette and the hotel’s pool deck.

The Palme d'Or restaurant at the Martinez hotel in Cannes, France

Popular dishes include Dublin Bay prawns with beetroot, sweetbreads with a duck foie gras stuffing and Mediterranean bass with green pea ravioli. The delicate and refined taste of the food blends perfectly with the surroundings and makes any meal a special occasion. The impeccable service at La Palme D’Or will ensure you have the ultimate festival experience while in Cannes.

Luxury Yacht Charters in Corsica

Stunning beaches on the island of Corsica

If you’re seeking a luxury yacht charter that offers an entirely different experience than traditional Mediterranean hotspots such as the Amalfi Coast, French Riviera or the Balearic Islands, then head to Corsica where you’ll be charmed by an island of diverse landscapes, vast history and robust cuisine.

Located at a maritime triangle between the coasts of northwestern Italy, southeastern France and the neighbouring island of Sardinia, Corsica is underrated and largely unspoiled by commercialism – imagine an island where herders still shuffle their mountain goats through the scented maquis of rosemary and lavender, crumbling Genoese fortifications line the wild coastline instead of glitzy resorts and wind-bent pine trees border the shores of spectacular beaches.

Inland, you’ll find an even quieter Corsica with pigs and donkeys roaming the twisting mountain roads, artisans selling almond cookies and hazelnut oil roadside and tiny villages staunchly professing their Corsican identity.

Corsica Yacht Charters

Discover the beautiful village of Valbonne

Village square in Valbonne, France

A French Riviera yacht charter is not complete without a visit to one of the flowery hill villages of Provence, and Valbonne is a very lovely example within easy reach of the Mediterranean coast.

There’s an enchanting appeal to Valbonne that sits perfectly between ‘medieval charm’ and ‘Riviera chic’. Located in the rolling hills behind Antibes, Valbonne is a desperately pretty 16th century town of cobbled streets and fashionable boutiques, sun-drenched squares and ancient abbeys. What makes Valbonne so special is that it has the feel of a living, breathing Provencal village rather than a tourist attraction, with its village squares dotted with shady plane trees and boules players, and its bustling pavement cafes full of locals enjoying the good life under the Mediterranean sun.

Visiting Gorgeous Valbonne on Your French Riviera Yacht Charter

10 Show-Stealing Attractions at Top Marques Monaco 2017

The 14th edition of Top Marques Monaco 2017 drew to a close on Sunday 23rd April 2017, concluding the most successful edition in the event’s history. Held in association with the Edmond de Rothschild Group under the high patronage of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, the four-day exhibition showcased the latest and greatest in luxury supercars, fine jewellery, furniture, yachts, various other technological innovations, and even apartments for sale in Monaco. Over 45,000 guests passed the doors of Monaco’s Grimaldi Forum, with an increase of 25% in advanced ticket sales. There were seven world premieres on display in the Ravel Supercar Hall; over 1,200 test drives were carried out buy prospective buyers and press on Monaco’s F1 circuit, passing Port Hercule, the Fairmont Hotel and lavish Monaco real estate; and over 5,000 glasses of champagne and wine were served in the VIP bar. Discover the 10 attractions that stole the show at this year’s edition of Top Marques Monaco.

10. Venturi VM200-FE-02

Set to race in the Monaco ePrix – part of the FIA Formula E Championship – the Venturi VM200-FE-02 is an electric racing car with a difference. With a maximum power of 200 kw (equivalent to 270bhp) and a top speed of 150 mph, the Venturi racing car is a menace on the track but as quiet as the wind. Maro Engel and Stephane Sarrazin will drive it in Monaco on 13th May 2017.

Venturi VM200-FE-02

9. Dendrobium 

Inspired by nature and rooted in technology, the Dendrobium electric hypercar opens up like a Dendrobium flower, yet merges aluminium, carbon-fibre and glass. The vehicle’s interior resembles something from the distant future.

Dendrobium - Top Marques Monaco 2017

8. 1969 Shelby GT350

A classic American muscle car, the immaculate 1969 Shelby GT350 stole the attention of many Visitors. With a price tag of €90,000 and a roaring V8 engine, the beautiful automobile will steal a buyer’s heart in no time.

1969 Shelby GT350

7. Speedback GT – David Brown Automotive

The Speedback GT was meticulously coachbuilt by the team at David Brown Automotive for the 21st Century. Over 7,200 man-hours went into its construction. Although the spectacular car has a top speed of 155 mph and goes from 0 to 60 in just 4.6 seconds, this supercar is not about the performance. This is automotive sophistication at its finest. 

Speedback GT – David Brown Automotive - Top Marques Monaco 2017

6. Shelby Cobra 427 S/C CSX 6000

On display in both dark blue and metallic silver, the Shelby Cobra 427 S/C CSX 6000 is a thing of beauty and captured the adoration of diehard car enthusiasts with its classic styling and muscle performance credentials.

Shelby Cobra 427 S/C CSX 6000 at Top Marques Monaco

5. Lamborghini Centenario

Built to mark the 100th birthday of Ferruccio Lamborghini – a successful builder of tractors in the 1950s and 1960s in Bologna, Italy – 5 Lamborghini Centenario Tractors have been built. With a price tag of €250,000 (+tax), the vehicle has 2 seats, exposed metal colour, and was designed by Adler Capelli.

Lamborghini Centenario - Top Marques Monaco 2017

4. FV-Frangivento – The Charlotte Roadster

The aqua-themed Charlotte Roadster by Italian FV-Frangivento contains a fish tank behind the cockpit. The stunning interior console is unlike anything you’re likely to see in a car ever again. The hypercar is entirely electric, but can be adapted to contain a hybrid engine too.

FV-Frangivento – The Charlotte Roadster

3. Pal-V

The first of its kind, the Pal-V is a gyroplane and an automobile in one, meaning it can legally travel on roads and has the ability to fly. The ground-breaking product incorporates a number of patented technologies and was inspired by nature.

Pal-V Gyroplane at Top Marques Monaco

2. AeroMobil

The AeroMobil has made a bit impression in the worlds of aviation, automotive and technology in recent weeks. A road-legal car, the AeroMobil has extendable wings that launch the vehicle into the air. The sleek, stylish design complements innovative technology. An airframe parachute system complements various other safety features to make for an impressive, convenient and safe flying supercar.

The AeroMobil at Top Marques Monaco

1. Silver Muse

For the first time in the history of Top Marques Monaco, a luxury cruise liner was included in the line-up of attractions. Press were invited onboard to experience the opulence of the Silver Muse – a recent launch from Silversea. The magnificent vessel looked perfect at home in the port of Monaco, surrounded by charter yachts, luxury Monaco real estate and an endless supply of supercars.

The pool on Silver Muse in the port of Monaco

Manoj Bairstow, Managing director of Top Marques commented: “we say it every year, but this edition of Top Marques really was an incredible show of technology, innovation and the very best in luxury products, and in my mind, our greatest Top Marques to date.

The atmosphere in the Grimaldi Forum and around Monaco throughout Top Marques was electric, and we were delighted with the number of visitors that came over the four days.

Each year the attendance numbers grow significantly. We are now seeing visitors from all over the world at Top Marques which is a testament to the quality of our exhibitors.”

Artists on the French Riviera

The Picasso museum in Antibes on the French Riviera

It is hard to overestimate the effect the heartbreaking landscapes and light of the French Riviera had on some of the world’s great artists. Monet and Matisse, Picasso, Signac and Chagall are just a few who fell under the spell of the French Riviera, enchanted by that mythic, ethereal light falling across the Cote d’Azur’s pastel facades, dusky-blue Alps and sparkling seas.

Many of these great artists came and stayed, finding a new vigour in their painting and spending much of their lives here creating Mediterranean-inspired masterpieces in the fabled southern light.

A French Riviera yacht charter is the ultimate way to visit the artistic highlights of the Riviera, following the lives and works of the masters along a memory-trail of rose’ and Gauloises smoke, scandalous love affairs and tragic suicides. On your yacht charter you can go ashore to visit the fabulous museums and former homes of these artists, dine in fine restaurants hung with their paintings, and admire the very same views that inspired their masterworks. Follow the path of the masters from the dreamy coves of Cap d’Antibes to the flowery hill village of St Paul de Vence and along the coast to the pastel beauty of Saint Tropez.

An Art-Lover’s Ultimate French Riviera Yacht Charter

The Cuisine of Provence and The French Riviera

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If you are ever to understand the heart of a place, you must try its food. Food tells a story, and nowhere more than on the French Riviera, which has been rapidly transformed from a sleepy 19th century coastline of sheep farms and fishing villages to a jet-set destination littered with Michelin star restaurants and Provencal restaurants among the grapevines.

The delicacies of the French Riviera chart the cultural history of the area: of rustic peasant foods like socca and the fishermen’s hearty bouillabaisse stew, right through to the Tarte Tropezienne – a cake propelled to fame by a 1950’s silver screen starlet. Above all, Southern French food tells the tale of humble local produce done to perfection—of quality ingredients prepared in a way that startles the palate with something that it expects to be ordinary.

Food of the French Riviera