Yacht Charters on the French Riviera

Villefranche Sur Mer on the French Riviera at dusk

Villefranche Sur Mer at dusk – Photo: David Capellari

The French Riviera on France’s Mediterranean coast is the definitive luxury yacht charter destination and to this day remains the most popular place in the world to charter a luxury yacht. The fabulous climate, stunning landscapes and legendary resorts offer endless variety and continue to impress even the most seasoned of charterer. It is often said that the original is the best, and when it comes to the finest luxury yacht charters, the French Riviera shows no signs of losing its’ crown and is THE place everyone wants to be on a luxury yacht charter each summer! The French Riviera really is the perfect place to enjoy some time on a fabulous yacht!

The yacht charter season on the French Riviera runs from May through to the end of September, beginning with the world renowned Cannes Film Festival in mid May and running through to the Monaco Yacht Show in late September. The climate is fabulous with long sunny days and temperatures between the mid twenties and low thirties for most of the summer months. Occasional thunderstorms never last long, the same is true of the Mistral winds (usually!). The Mediterranean warms up as the season goes on, at its’ warmest in the latter part of the summer, but it is ideally suited to swimming and water sports throughout the yachting season. July and August are the very busy months when everyone wants to be on the French Riviera, ports such as Cannes, Monaco and St Tropez are packed and berths are very hard come by, meaning that many yachts spend much of their time at anchor either outside the ports or off beaches. The same is true ashore where restaurants are full and the roads are crowded. If you do wish to come to the French Riviera during July and August, it is definitely worth thinking ahead. Not only will you have the best choice of yachts but your yacht charter broker will also be able to secure you berths in all the ports you want to visit and get you reservations at the best restaurants and beach clubs from St Tropez to Monaco. If your calendar allows it, then by far the best time to visit the French Riviera on a yacht is in the off season of June and September. The ports are much quieter making it a great deal easier to get a prime berth position in the Port of St Tropez or Cannes, the restaurants are less busy, but there is still a great buzz about the place, and of course that fantastic weather for which the French Riviera is renowned. And as an added bonus, most luxury yachts offer considerably lower charter rates in June and September than they do in the high season of July/August.

Here are some key yacht charter destinations on the French Riviera:

Antibes

Port Vauban in Antibes is the Mediterranean Superyacht Capital and home to some of the world’s largest yachts. As so many yachts are based in Antibes, it is highly likely that your charter may begin here. The Old Town of Antibes is a maze of beautiful medieval streets with great restaurants and cafes. Antibes also has an excellent Provencal Food Market. A visit to the Picasso Museum in the Château Grimaldi is highly recommended!

Recommended Restaurant:

Les Vieux Murs – 25 Promenade Amiral de Grasse, 06600 Antibes, France

Excellent French cuisine in a beautiful location on the ramparts of the Old Town of Antibes.

www.lesvieuxmurs.com

Beaulieu sur Mer

The name says it all! Beaulieu is a very beautiful little town to the east of the Cap Ferrat peninsula. Beaulieu has a fantastic marina that can accommodate yachts up to 30m in length.

Recommended Restaurant:

The African Queen – Port de PlaisanceBeaulieu-sur-MerFrance

By no means the finest food available on the French Riviera, but a great atmosphere on offer here. The African Queen has been an institution in the South of France for years and attracts many famous faces. Well worth a visit if you decide to visit Beaulieu on your yacht.

www.africanqueen.fr

Cannes

Cannes is perhaps the most famous of all destinations on the French Riviera, well known for its’ annual Film Festival and the palatial hotels that line the Boulevard de la Croisette that runs along the seafront. Berth your yacht in the Port of Cannes and explore Le Suquet, the historical part of Cannes that occupies the hillside next to the port.

Recommended Restaurant:

Mantel – 22 Rue St Antoine06400 CannesFrance

Fabulous modern French cuisine in this beautiful restaurant in Le Suquet. Highly recommended!

www.restaurantmantel.com

Cap d’Ail

Cap d’Ail is a French town that borders the Principality of Monaco to the east. There are really two parts to Cap d’Ail, the modern Port of Cap d’Ail right on the border with Monaco and the beautiful residential peninsula to the west that is home to some of the most impressive villas on the French Riviera. Cap d’Ail is also home to Plage Mala, one of the most beautiful beaches on the French Riviera. Plage Mala is a stunning anchorage and very popular with yachts of all sizes. There are two beach clubs at Plage Mala, both of which will collect you from your yacht by dinghy and take you ashore for a long, lazy lunch.

Recommended Restaurant:

Eden Plage – Plage Mala, 06320 Cap d’AilFrance

Beach restaurant in the most stunning location at Plage Mala. Food is not amazing but the atmosphere is great and views are to die for!

www.edenplagelamala.com

Cap d’Antibes

Cap d’Antibes is a very glamorous yet understated peninsula nestled between the towns of Antibes and Juan Les Pins. Largely hidden amongst the thick pine trees are some of the most spectacular properties on the French Riviera. There are some great beach clubs at La Garoupe that offer beautiful swimming as well as great food right on the sand. Cap d’Antibes is home to the world famous Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, an amazing hotel right on the waterfront that is consistently voted as one of the finest hotels in the world. The hotel has a dock so you can come ashore from your charter yacht for lunch or just a drink by the pool with the most spectacular views over the Bay of Juan Les Pins towards Cannes.

Recommended Restaurant:

Les Pecheurs – 10 Boulevard Marechal Juin06160 AntibesFrance

Berth your yacht in Port Gallice and head to this beautiful restaurant for stunning 1 Star Michelin cuisine in a truly fabulous setting right on the water.

www.ca-beachhotel.com

Cap Ferrat

Of all the prestigious peninsulas on the French Riviera, Cap Ferrat is the most glamorous and it is here that you’ll find some of the most expensive real estate in the world. The town of St Jean Cap Ferrat has a pretty port where you can moor your yacht as long as it’s not too big. If not you’ll be at anchor, like hundreds of other superyachts that anchor off Cap Ferrat every summer. Great walks and swimming are on offer all around the Cap! A visit to the beautiful Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild and its’ gardens is highly recommended.

Recommended Restaurant:

Paloma Beach – Av. Jean Mermoz06230 St-Jean-Cap-FerratFrance

Fabulous beach restaurant with excellent fresh fish and plenty of chilled rose wine! A very popular destination with yacht charterers.

www.paloma-beach.com

Eze

Eze is located between Cap d’Ail and Beaulieu sur Mer. In consists of two distinct parts, the seaside Eze Bord de Mer where one finds the beautiful and very popular Anjuna Beach, and Eze Village, a fantastic perched medieval village with stunning views of the Mediterranean below.

Recommended Restaurant:

Cap Estel – 1312 Avenue Raymond-Poincare, 06360 EzeFrance

Fantastic restaurant at the Cap Estel hotel, one of the most glorious locations on the entire French Riviera! The stunning gardens are surrounded by the Mediterranean on three sides. Chef Patrick Raingeard has created a wonderful menu of beautifully inventive dishes. The food is truly worthy of the location.

www.capestel.com

Juan Les Pins

Juan Les Pins is the resort of Antibes, separated by the Cap d’Antibes peninsula. Thanks to its’ beautiful sandy beach, it became popular as a holiday resort in the 1930s and is also home to the famous Jazz à Juan Jazz Festival. Charter yachts can berth in Port Gallice or anchor in the beautiful Bay of Juan Les Pins.

Recommended Restaurant:

Le Festival de la Mer – 146, Boulevard du President Wilson, 06160 Juan Les Pins, France

Great fish restaurant right in the heart of Juan Les Pins. A real people watching spot! A drink at the Crystal bar next door is also a must when in Juan Les Pins.

www.restaurant-festivaldelamer.com

Menton

The beautiful city of Menton is located east of Monaco, just before the Italian border. Often overlooked by those on yacht charters which is a pity as Menton is very much worth a visit! Some of the architecture in both modern Menton and the historic Vieux Menton is simply stunning! Mention has two ports where you can berth your yacht, the Old Port right in the centre of Menton and Port Garavan to the east, close to the Italian border.

Recommended Restaurant:

Mirazur – 30 Avenue Aristide Briand, 06500 Menton, France

Exquisite 2 Star Michelin cuisine by Chef Mauro Colagreco in beautiful location just moments from Italy.

Monaco

No luxury yacht charter on the French Riviera would be complete without a visit to the glamorous Principality of Monaco! Berth your yacht in Port Hercule which is home to some of the world’s largest yachts. There is a great deal to do in Monaco, but at the very least, ensure that you see the Grand Prix Circuit and visit Casino Square where you’ll find the Hotel du Paris and of course the legendary Casino de Monte-Carlo!

Recommended Restaurant:

Blue Bay – 40, avenue Princesse Grace, Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & ResortMonte-Carlo 98000Monaco

Chef Marcel Ravin offers some of the best food to be found anywhere in Monaco at the Blue Bay at Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort. Truly fabulous cuisine that equals anything on offer at the more illustrious establishments of Alain Ducasse and Joel Robuchon!

www.montecarlosbm.com/blue-bay/

Nice

Nice is the Queen of the French Riviera and its’ capital city. Many people coming to the French Riviera arrive at Nice Airport and that’s all they see of Nice. This is a mistake as Nice is truly one of France’s great cities. Imagine Paris with great weather and palm trees, Nice is a wonderful city with strong Italian influences and some fabulous architecture. Great shopping is on offer, from simple food markets to high end designer boutiques. The Port of Nice is a great place to berth for a night during your yacht charter and to enjoy all that this great city has to offer.

Recommended Restaurant:

Le Chantecler – 37 Promenade des Anglais, 06000 NiceFrance

Le Chantecler is the restaurant at the palatial Hotel Negresco on the Promenade des Anglais. This is French fine dining at its’ very best in truly opulent surroundings.

www.hotel-negresco-nice.com/en/restaurants/le-chantecler-restaurant/

Roquebrune Cap Martin

Roquebrune Cap Martin, like nearby Eze is made up of two distinct parts, the hilltop Roquebrune Village and the beautiful Cap Martin Peninsula. Cap Martin lies just east of Monaco and is one of the finest places to anchor you yacht. Crystal clear water is great for swimming and the views of Monaco to the west and Menton to the east are just breathtaking!

Recommended Restaurant:

Restaurant l’Hippocampe – 44 Avenue Winston Churchill06190 Roquebrune-Cap-MartinFrance

Fantastic waterfront restaurant offering incredible views over the Mediterranean towards Menton. The restaurant has been run by the same family since the 1950s, a rarity on the French Riviera. Food is unpretentious and of high quality.

www.hippocampe-restaurant.com

St Tropez

St Tropez is legendary as a yachting destination and is the number one requested destination in the world for luxury yacht charters. From the quayside cafes and restaurants to the luxurious shops in town and the stunning beach at Pampelonne, St Tropez truly has it all as a destination for the ultimate luxury holiday in the sun.

Recommended Restaurant:

Cristina Saulini – 13 rue des FeniersSaint-TropezFrance

Truly exceptional authentic Italian cooking in a beautifully decorated little restaurant tucked away in a pretty old street in the Old Town of St Tropez. Highly recommended!

www.cristinasaulini.com

Villefranche Sur Mer

Villefranche lies just east of Nice at the western base of the Cap Ferrat peninsula. Villefranche is one of the deepest natural harbours in the Mediterranean which has meant it has been very important location on the French Riviera throughout history. Pretty colourful houses and restaurants run along the quayside. This is a wonderful place to anchor your yacht, with the vibrant Old Town of Villefranche on one side and the beautiful Cap Ferrat peninsula behind you.

Recommended Restaurant:

La Mere Germaine – 7 Quai Amiral Courbet06230 Villefranche-sur-MerFrance

Great fish on offer at this institution on the waterfront in Villefranche. You can arrive by yacht!

www.meregermaine.com

Bespoke Yacht Charter are a London and French Riviera based company offering crewed luxury yacht charters on superyachts, motor yachts and sailing yachts from 25-100m. Our charter brokers know the French Riviera like the back of their hands and working with you and the Captain of your yacht, we will create the ultimate French Riviera Yacht Charter Itinerary carefully tailored to your individual needs!

Also see: A 7 Day Luxury Yacht Charter on the French Riviera & 10 Days in the South of France, Sardinia and Corsica onboard a Luxury Yacht Charter

It is also possible to get married on a luxury yacht, a superyacht is the dream wedding venue!

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