When you’re staying on the French Riviera, you’ll probably want to splurge on one or two excellent restaurants as a treat, but you’ll doubtless want to explore some of the best affordable restaurants on the Cote d’Azur too.
On its five stunning Caps, which are the best affordable restaurants on the Cote d’Azur? Here we’ll discover the hidden gems that serve up delicious food and a fun atmosphere, just with less of the formality and expense.
A look at the best affordable restaurants on the Cote d’Azur
La Joliette: This relaxed beachside club and restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine, with plenty of fresh seafood and vegetarian options too.
Le Cap, Cap d’Antibes Beach Hotel: On this beautiful terrace overlooking the sea, tuck into classics such as Caesar salad or steak tartare, Thai and Asian dishes, pasta, fish and meat. They also have a children’s menu.
Les Amoureux: Just around the Cap in Nice’s old port, this understated restaurant serves up great pizzas, artisan Neapolitan beers and delicious desserts. The staff are friendly and the atmosphere is cosy.
Daki-Daia: While this understated establishment might not shout about itself being the best restaurant in Nice, the Moroccan and Lebanese local offers seasonal mezze dishes and house cocktails, with friendly service in a perfect location overlooking the port.
Jasmine Grill & Lounge, Hotel Royal Riviera:This eaterie is known for its wonderful ambiance and views, welcoming and professional staff and a wide choice of dishes, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.
La Goelette: At a great location overlooking the Port St Jean, this veggie-friendly restaurant also serves up big portions of seafood risotto, paella and pasta with an efficient and friendly service, while its own live DJ entertains.
La Cambuse: Overlooking the port, this unpretentious and dog-friendly restaurant serves fresh seasonal produce, including grilled seafood, fish stews and soups, burgers, charcuterie platters and omelettes.
La Grotte & L’Olivier: Located in a stunning cliffside setting in the old village, this restaurant serves great cocktails, salads, pizzas and fish, as well as vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, all with an excellent service.
To enjoy all that the French Riviera has to offer, why not rent a villa on the Cap de Nice, from where you can try the best restaurant in Nice, as well as some of the best affordable restaurants of the Cote d’Azur?
September is the best month to visit the South of France, and the ideal time to charter a luxury yacht on the stunning French Riviera. Summer has yet to come to an end and Fall has yet to start, which lets you enjoy the warm temperatures, sunshine and scenery with fewer crowds around. The stunning white beaches and turquoise waters that make up the stunning coastline of the Cote d’Azur are easily admired from the comforts of a luxury charter yacht. Evenings are pleasant balmy, offering gorgeous sunsets which can either be enjoyed from the privacy of your deck or a world-class restaurant.
As one of the most popular cruising hotspots in the world, visiting the French Riviera in September means fewer tourists and people, and more time to enjoy the number of festivals, events and parties taking place. Take your time exploring the hidden charms of Cannes, the magical city of Monaco or historical sites in Nice in peace. Be sure to take advantage of the European Heritage Days, which lets you visit unique locations usually closed off to the public. But don’t worry, there will still be plenty of locals around creating a warm, vibrant and welcoming atmosphere wherever you may go – from world-class dining to luxury shopping districts and historical sites.
If you are cruising down the French Riviera in September, then be sure to stop by the Cannes Yachting Festival, taking place from September 8 to 13 at Port Canto. See some of the most amazing motor yachts, sailboats and superyachts up close and in person. If you are looking to see some of these yachts in action, then be sure to stop by St Tropez towards the end of the month to watch the sailing regatta Le Voiles de Saint-Tropez.
You have never truly seen the French Riviera, until you have seen it from the sea – that stupendous view of towering Alps and red-rock hills rising up above the blue-green Med, all in a spectacular built landscape of medieval villages, grand villas, and skyscrapers topped with waving palms. The experience of being on a boat gives an entirely different perspective on what is perhaps the most famous stretch of coastline on our planet.
Alas, not everyone has the time (or the budget) to spend a week or more floating along the Cote d’Azur on a superyacht. But it’s a grave mistake to discount the boat hire experience altogether, for a single day at sea on the French Riviera is worth a month in other places. If a day is all you have, it will be a day to remember.
Luxury Day Boat Hire on the French Riviera
Day boat charters are a superb way to explore this enchanting stretch of coastline. There are a multitude of places to hire a boat along the Riviera to indulge in the Mediterranean yachting dream – if but for a single, perfect day. Whether you’re exploring the dreamy Cannes Islands, anchoring off the exotic island of Porquerolles, or rubbing shoulders with celebrities at a Saint Tropez beach club, renting a boat affords you the most stylish access to all of the Cote d’Azur’s best spots.
Here are some of the perfect day charter locations for a French Riviera day boat charter. Note that many crewed day boats for rent do have luxurious cabin accommodation on board and can also be hired for overnight trips.
Monaco & Cap Ferrat
Cast off from the infamous Port Hercules, and head out beyond the cliffs of Monaco. Drop anchor briefly to dive off the yacht into the deep, cool sea, surfacing to admire one of the great views of the Riviera – the city of Monte Carlo spilling down its steep hillside, its crowd of grand hotels and casinos and the Prince’s Palace sitting proudly above the port.
After your refreshing swim, the captain will motor around to Cap Ferrat where you’ll spend a blissful morning snorkelling around the headland and using the yacht’s watertoys. Lunch on board at anchor, followed by a walk through the famous Villa de Rothschild Gardens. Spend a lazy hour on a deckchair at Paloma Beach club (Picasso’s old hangout), sipping cold rose from an icy-cold ice bucket and watching for celebrities. Enjoy canapes on deck as you head back around to Monaco, disembark your charter boat and head into one of the world’s most glittering cities for a night at the Casino de Monte Carlo.
Cannes & Cannes Islands
Just off the palm-lined boulevards of Cannes lies the other face of the French Riviera: the quiet, enchanting islands of Les Isles de Lerins. Idyllic and timeless, this little archipelago offers the perfect day out on a boat, with its rocky, crystal clear coves shaded by pine trees and winding forest paths leading past medieval monasteries and vineyards.
St Marguerite is the largest of the four islands and the most-visited, with wonderful walking trails and the fort where the real ‘Man in the Iron Mask’ was imprisoned. Across the water on Ile St Honorat you’ll discover an ancient monastery with a working vineyard, more lovely coves, and La Tonelle restaurant, with a view looking back across the water to the French Riviera. After snorkelling, picnicking, and exploring the day away, return to Cannes refreshed and sun-bronzed and ready for a big night out.
Saint Tropez & Pampelonne Beach
Join your day charter boat in St Tropez, enjoying the summer buzz of one of the prettiest ports in the world. Get settled on deck as you head out of the marina and across to Pampelonne Beach, where 23 beach clubs promise a day of decadence on five kilometres of golden sand. Club 55 remains the legend of the scene for its history of Hollywood glamour, but there are some hot contenders, including Bagatelle, Loulou à Ramatuelle and the Phillipe-Starke-designed La Réserve à la Plage. In 2019 there’s was a shakeup forcing the retirement of some of the more tired clubs, and the opening of some new ones making the St Tropez beach club scene ritzier than ever.
With St Tropez’ traffic issues snarling up the road to the beach, there’s no better way to arrive at Pampelonne than by boat, anchoring off the beach and diving off the deck into the sea. Spend a day swimming off your boat and doing watersports, lazing on the beach, drinking cocktails and engaging in some of the world’s finest celebrity-spotting. Return to St Tropez as the light turns golden and the Provencal buildings glow a burnished red, feeling the thrilling energy of the summer night as you step ashore into the beautiful crowd.
Ile de Porquerolles
Hire a day boat in St Tropez or Toulon and set off for Porquerolles, an island often compared to the Caribbean for its exquisite white sand beaches and startling turquoise sea. Sparsely inhabited and blissfully car-free, there is an unmistakeable sense of the exotic about this island, but its bewitching landscape of vineyards and wildflowers, olive groves and Aleppo pines is pure, timeless Mediterranean.
Anchor off Plage Notre Dame – voted Europe’s best beach in 2015– or head to one of the beach bar-restaurants at Plage d’Argent or Plage de la Courtade. Hire a bike or stroll the rocky cliff paths in the island’s north, snorkel or scuba dive in the gin-clear sea, or visit one of the island’s 16th century forts. Take a seafood lunch on the boat or head ashore to one of the islands’ excellent restaurants, and walk it off with a wander among the exotic palm trees and cacti at the botanic garden. Art lovers must visit the Fondation Carmignac, a spectacular pop art gallery featuring works by Andy Warhol and others, lit from above by water refracting through a glass-bottom pool. Deeply contented after a day in paradise, head back across to the mainland.
Stretching from Marseille to Cassis, the Calanques National Park is a magnificent stretch of cliff coastline indented with tiny fjord-like inlets, creating some of the most spectacular anchorage spots in the South of France. With deep turquoise water so crystal clear that you can see the yacht’s anchor on the sea bed far below, and tiny, dreamlike coves under limestone cliffs, this rugged terrain is France at its most wild and beautiful. Given that road access to the national park is often closed during summer due to fire risk, a day boat charter is the ideal way to explore this astonishing coast.
Pick up your crewed day boat from Cassis, Marseilles, or Toulon, and make your way along the 20 mile coast, finding the perfect calanque to drop anchor in. This is a chance to indulge in the true Mediterranean idyll-swimming off the boat, lunching at anchor, and sunbathing in pretty coves. Active charters will enjoy a hike along the cliff paths, while experienced rock-climbers can scale the limestone calanques. There’s also Le Chateau restaurant in the Calanque Sormiou – the perfect spot to end your day charter with a delicious bowl of seafood bouillabaisse and a glass of Provencal wine, basking in that shimmering, almost nostalgic glow of a perfect day on the French Riviera.
It’s very nearly that time of year again – when we get a chance to see the latest eagerly-awaited yacht launches and catch up with everyone in the boating community, all the while soaking up that early autumn Mediterranean sun. If you are new to the industry and don’t yet know the must-attend events, the French Riviera in September 2019 is the place to be. Read this guide to the best boat festivals in France in September – from French Riviera yacht charter inspiration to exhilarating sailing races, these shows have it all.
Here are Four of The Best Yachting Events on the French Riviera in September 2019:
Cannes Yachting Festival
When? Tuesday 10 to Sunday 15 September 2019, 10am to 7pm
What? The Cannes Yachting Festival (CYF) has been an institution of the Cote d’Azur boating crowd since its opening in 1977. It kicks it off in style as the first yacht show of the season, bringing hundreds of global pleasure yacht builders to the South of France to exclusively launch their new vessels. Often referred to as Cannes leading in-the-water boat show, expect a vast array of motor yachts, sailing yachts, multihulls, tenders and day boats on display – making it perfect for prospective buyers of any kind. This year, attendees can look forward to a new dedicated sailing area, alongside pre-existing highlights such as the Luxury Gallery, Concours d’Elegance and VIP program. It’s truly one of the coolest boat festivals in France in September 2019.
Where? Port Canto (the newly-appointed sailing port, as well as the place to find second-hand brokerage boats and toys) and the Vieux Port (dedicated to new motor yachts and the Luxury Gallery).
Cannes Royal Regattas
When? Sunday 22 to Saturday 28 September 2019
What? Since 1859 the world’s sailing yacht elite have flocked to Cannes to enjoy an exhilarating race, with the Lérins Islands, the Esterel and Mercantour massifs as their backdrop. And with near-perfect sailing conditions and a stunning racecourse, who can blame them? Take part in racing one of 150 beautiful yachts, measuring from 10 to 50 metres in size, or watch in awe from the Bay of Cannes – either way, you are in for an incredible week at one of the most adrenaline-fuelled events on the French Riviera in September 2019. Evenings spell free music shows and plenty of delicious food and drink, so you’ll always be entertained.
Where? Quai Saint Pierre and Quai Lebœuf
Monaco Yacht Show
When? Wednesday 25 to Saturday 28 September 2019, 11am to 7.30pm
What? The Monaco Yacht Show (MYS) represents luxury in its finest form. Be awed as you stroll past and explore dazzling custom superyachts, each one more lavish than the last. With over 125 to see and only four days to do it, planning ahead of time is a necessity if you want to make the most of the show – don’t forget that the 2019 event will also see forty new yacht launches in a worldwide debut. However, MYS is about more than just the yachts, with the luxury car deck a recent addition to tempt classic automobile connoisseurs, and a selection of evening soirees at which to blow off some steam. Look out for His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, an ongoing supporter of the MYS, frequently sighted at the show.
Where? Port Hercules, Monte-Carlo
Les Voiles de Saint Tropez
When? Saturday 28 to Sunday 6 September 2019
What? This year will mark the 20th anniversary of Les Voiles de Saint Tropez, so guests can look forward to an even more exciting regatta than usual. Bringing together an incredible 300 classic and modern yachts and filling the harbour with sailors, enthusiasts and eager onlookers, Les Voiles is an unforgettable event on the French Riviera this September 2019. Twentieth birthday highlights will include moving the Wally Class modern yacht race from the usual Windward-Leewards to a series of the coastal races, with three state-of-the-art Wallycentos competing. Get ready to be on the edge of your seat!
Where? Port de Saint-Tropez
So there we have it – four must-attend yachting festivals in France in September. With all this to look forward to, bring on autumn!
The glittering coastal town of Cannes welcomes thousands of visitors every year for high profile French Riviera events. They include the Cannes Film Festival in May, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in June, the Cannes International Yachting Festival in September and the International Luxury Travel Market in December.
In May, all eyes turn towards the French Riviera and its fascinating neighbour Monaco as they deliver a double dose of glamour. The month’s festivities – attended by the global glitterati – begin with the Cannes Film Festival, which will be held from 14 to 25 May in 2019. The dazzling event will coincide with the practice races of the Monaco Grand Prix, with the main race taking place on 26 May.
Cannes Film Festival: premieres and parties
The Cannes Film Festival is considered to be the world’s most prestigious film festival and has premiered most of the greatest films ever released. In the words of Alejandro González Iñárritu, the Mexican director who will preside the jury of the 72th Cannes Film Festival: “Cinema runs through the veins of the planet and this festival has been its heart.”
The world’s film industry heads to Cannes for the star-studded red carpet premieres, screenings, meetings, networking and parties that make up the event.
Many of the films selected to be premiered at the festival are in competition for the Palme d’Or (golden palm) and other awards. Films that don’t meet the competition criteria premiere out of the competition.
Although taking home a prize from what is one of the most famous French Riviera events is no guarantee of commercial or critical success, hugely important deals are sealed for funding and distribution. The festival’s nightlife is renowned: wealthy investors and producers host lavish parties in luxurious hotel suites and aboard yachts.
Although the Cannes Film Festival is an industry-only event, the public heads to the beach to enjoy the films screened there every evening. Some people queue for tickets for the Critics’ Week part of the festival to see films by emerging directors.
The Croisette, the road where the festival venue is located, attracts a public eager to see the stars stepping onto the red carpet as they arrive for the black-tie screenings.
Monaco Grand Prix: prestige and logistical acrobatics
The Monaco Formula One Grand Prix has a history that dates back to 1929 and is part of the FIA Formula One World Championship. It is one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world and contributes to the image of Monaco as a glamorous destination.
The Monaco circuit challenges drivers with tight corners and elevation changes between the iconic yacht-filled Port Hercules and Monte Carlo and back. As the event approaches, the second-smallest country in the world is taken over by it and the tension begins to mount. In just six weeks – to keep disruptions to everyday life to a minimum – grandstands are erected, roads are resurfaced and kilometres of barriers are built. Some yachts are moved from the harbour to make space for floating VIP hospitality areas.
Some 200,000 spectators attend the Grand Prix in Monaco, a country that counts less than 39,000 residents. The event runs over four days, with practice runs preceding the main race and the atmosphere is electric. Balconies with views over the track are crowded with spectators, the rich and famous take to VIP terraces with gourmet catering and DJs, and invite-only yacht parties continue into the early hours of the morning.
A world of opportunity on the French Riviera
The frenzy of the Cannes Film Festival and the Monaco Grand Prix is followed by the prestigious Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, which will take place from 17 to 21 June in 2019. Monaco and the French Riviera are renowned yachting hotspots and, with a large fleet of luxury yachts available in the Mediterranean all year round, an increasingly popular choice of accommodation for attendees is a Cannes Lions yacht charter.
Attendees who are considering a luxury yacht charter for French Riviera events will find quality vessels from top yacht charter companies ranging from 24 to more than 60 metres available in Cannes and Monaco. A luxurious day charter provides the perfect setting for a critical business meeting or party, while week-long charters offer the ultimate superyacht experience.
On all luxury yacht charters for the top French Riviera events, experienced professional crew are on board to ensure a seamless experience – including a private chef trained to create only the most extraordinary culinary delights. Throughout the day the experienced chef may serve up delicious canapes and refreshments during important meetings and conferences, while at night, a feast of fine dining awaits, ready to be enjoyed under the stars with friends and colleagues.
For companies looking to make an impression, the option of a yacht charter offers unrivalled brand visibility. Many exclusive yacht charters are available in the port directly next to the Palais des Festivals, the iconic building that hosts both the Cannes Film Festival and Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
With luxury yacht charters in Cannes an increasingly popular accommodation option for attendees of French Riviera events, booking well ahead is essential. For those looking for a superior experience for both business and pleasure, nothing beats a taste of the French Riviera via superyacht.
The rivalry between sailors and motor yacht enthusiasts is legendary. At times fiercely competitive, (and at almost all times accompanied by humorous name-calling), the division between the sailing and motor yacht fraternities continues to divide the yachting world.
Generally, experienced yachties will display a strong preference for either sail or motor yachts, putting their lifetime loyalties in either one camp or the other. For purists, it’s either sailing yachts, OR motor yachts… and never the two shall meet. The preference tends to start early: sailing grandfathers teach their infant grandsons to shake their fist at passing ‘stinkpots’, and families on speedboats roll their eyes at slow-going ‘blow-boats’ clogging up the bay on regatta day.
And so the war continues through the generations, however good-natured it may be.
Choosing (or Changing) Your Side
Yet if you’re fairly new to the yachting experience, maybe you don’t know yet where your allegiance lies in the great civil war of seafarers. Or perhaps (just perhaps) you’re the open-minded type, looking for a different type of yachting experience this summer to suit your group – whether that’s with family, friends, or for a corporate charter.
In truth, sailing and motor yachts both have an extraordinary amount to offer a charter group, and sometimes you’d be mad not to switch and enjoy the experience of going over to ‘the dark side’. For there are some circumstances where motor yachts are better for certain types of charters and people, and the reverse is also unmistakeably true.
If you’re considering changing teams – even if just for one illicit charter – or are chartering for the first time, here are a few pointers on what separates the charter experience on the two types of yachts, and what might make you lean towards one or the other for your next vacation. Of course, there are a myriad of yacht designs within each of the two broad categories, so these are merely generalisations, with plenty of exceptions to each rule.
Sailing Yachts vs Motor Yachts: Which is Best for Your Next Charter?
Round One : The Battle of Luxury and On-Board Amenities
In days gone by, this one was much easier to call, with motor yachts easily eclipsing their smaller sailboat brethren with their multiple decks and huge volumes – allowing for plenty of glamorous amenities and accommodation space.
But sailboats have grown up in the intervening years, with huge, ultra-swanky sailing superyachts also taking to the seas. These extraordinarily comfortable cruising yachts have large volumes and wider beams, making room for stunning additions like Jacuzzis, gyms, on-deck cinemas, and even the odd beach club. Contemporary sailing yacht interiors are often just as spectacular as those found on motor yachts, with grand salons and ensuite staterooms, and are kitted out with all the mod-cons like internet and whizz-bang AV systems.
But, of course, while sailing yachts have evolved so too have motor yachts, with these grand floating palaces just getting bigger and more luxurious by the year. Spas, cinemas, helipads and swimming pools – even sports courts – are now found on the very large motor yachts, and when it comes to features like water toy storage, sailing yachts can rarely compete.
The Verdict: If you revel in space, glamour, and all the latest toys, then a motor yacht is probably your heart’s desire.
Round Two : A Yacht for all Seasons
Sailing yachts have a distinct advantage over their motor yacht cousins when it comes to encountering wild and windy weather. As long as it’s not blowing a gale, a sailing yacht crew and their charterers react to a strong breeze with glee, hoisting the sails and making their way out to sea to get the adrenaline pumping, enjoying the sheer thrill of the sport.
And when the wind drops and the sea is glassy still, a sailing yacht captain simply puts the engine on and motors to a beautiful anchorage for a day of traditional yachting pleasures like swimming and snorkelling in heavenly conditions.
Motor yachts, while eminently capable of coping with heavy weather, tend to turn tail and head for port when the weather turns grey, windy, or rainy. They are built to cross oceans, but from a guest perspective, they excel in the sunshine, and you probably wouldn’t take a motor yacht out in poor weather just for a fun cruise. A sailing yacht, in short, has more versatility in different weather conditions. Both wind and calm are happy times indeed.
Verdict: A sailing yacht is the yacht for all weathers, and soundly wins this round. This is something to think about if you’re planning to charter in a region that gets a lot of wind in the summer, such as the Aegean Greek Islands, or are chartering in the shoulder seasons when weather can be more inclement.
Round Three : The Need for Speed
Sure, a performance sailing yacht can go at a hefty clip in a strong wind, but there’s the small matter of not being in control of that wind. If the air is still (or blowing in the wrong direction), the engine on a sailing boat will still get you there…eventually. As such, you generally won’t be able to cover as much ‘ground’ in a sailing yacht charter itinerary as you would on a motor yacht.
Verdict: If you’re the type that’s always in a hurry and wants to get to the next destination quickly or cover a lot of destinations on your charter, then a motor yacht is for you. On the other hand, if you enjoy the journey as much as the destination and love being out on the water, then a sailing yacht will likely nicely suit your temperament.
Round Four : The Thrill Factor
Who wins this round will depend very much on what makes you tick.
I don’t know anyone on earth who wouldn’t get a little thrill out of entering Monaco or St Tropez on a huge motor yacht, watching the summertime crowds gather to see who’s on board. Part of the motor yacht appeal is the presence of the things: their size, their grandeur – the sheer, unapologetic showiness of it all.
But for those who enjoy the thrill of the sea and the sport of sailing– whether that’s racing in a regatta or just heeling over in a strong wind, racing down the Riviera with the backdrop of the Alps flitting by – well, a sailing yacht is the only thing that will get your blood racing.
The Verdict: Well, that depends on how you get your thrills now, doesn’t it.
Round Five : The Guest Experience
What kind of yacht you prefer will often come down – at least just a little bit – to how involved you want to be in the process of being on the water. While sailing yachts will absolutely never require you to pitch in and learn the ropes, there’s no question that for many avid sailing yacht charterers, getting involved is a huge part of the fun – and this is particularly the case if you’ve got children that you’d love to see learn a new sport on holiday. There’s nothing quite like standing at the helm of a sailing superyacht, wind in your hair, knowing you’re in control of this extraordinary vessel, or mastering a new skill as you learn about reading the weather and sea conditions.
The participation element of yacht charter is something that motor yacht guests rarely get to experience, as the navigation and operation of a motor yacht isn’t generally a collaborative effort where guests play a part. On a motor yacht charter, the guest experience tends to be more focussed on the luxury and relaxation side of things.
Additionally, because of the collaborative sporting nature of sailing yachts, the crew–guest relationship on these vessels tends to be somewhat more relaxed, with a sense of participating together towards a goal and a growing sense of camaraderie building over the course of the charter.
The Verdict: There’s nothing at all wrong with either style of holiday, but if you want to be part of the action, then a sailing yacht is a clear choice. If you’d prefer to lie back on a deckchair and drink cocktails and pay no notice to the operation of the vessel, then a motor yacht is often a better bet. (Although you can definitely do that on a sailing yacht too.)
Round Six : The Type of Charter
Here’s the most important consideration of all. What kind of yacht charter are you planning? You should definitely adapt your preferred style of yacht to each individual charter, rather than just chartering the same kind of vessel each time.
For example, if you’re planning a corporate team-building yacht charter, then a classic sailing yacht charter is a superb opportunity to get everyone bonding together while learning how to sail a century-old yacht. On the other hand, if you’re hosting a corporate yacht charter for the Cannes Film Festival or MIPIM, you’ll certainly appreciate the added deck space of a motor yacht so you can throw opulent parties and host VIP clients.
You might want an ultra-modern performance sailing superyacht to compete in the Superyacht Cup in Porto Cervo, but charter a large motor yacht with lots of interior space and water toys for that trip along the French Riviera with the extended family.
Verdict: Don’t get so wedded to one type of vessel that you completely miss the wonders of the others. You don’t actually have to choose a side. Just choose what’s best for you this upcoming trip, and embrace everything about this style of charter.
Variety is the spice of yachting, so ‘play both sides’ to your heart’s content. To figure out which type of yacht is best for your particular needs this summer, contact the Mediterranean yacht charter experts at Bespoke Yacht Charter. No matter what kind of charter you’re planning (or which side of the sailing/motor divide you naturally fall on) we have the perfect yacht to surpass your expectations – and possibly test your lifelong allegiances along the way.
Cannes Yachting Festival took the French Riviera city by storm last month, when from the 11th-16th September its ports were taken over by an array of beautiful yachts and marine exhibitors. One such attendee was blue water cruiser builder Oyster Yachts, there to boost its international presence and to interact with worldwide prospects. We caught up with company Sales Director Stephen Parkinson to find out all about Oyster’s Cannes Yacht Show 2018 experience and discover what makes Oyster yachts unique.
How have you found Cannes Yachting Festival this year?
Cannes is always very important for us. And the reason for that is a lot of international visitors come to the show. So already over the last two days of Cannes Yachting Festival 2018 we’ve had people from Australia, Jordan, Switzerland, Turkey, Greece; it really attracts quite a wide range of visitors, which is fantastic. So, it’s always a good show, and we’ve been visiting for a good few years now. It’s, I believe, one of the biggest in water shows in the world. So, it’s important for us to be here.
I think the plan for Oyster at Cannes in the future is to just grow what we do here. We’ll probably have a much bigger presence next year. We’re all very excited about the future for Oyster and love the fact that we’ve got someone like Richard Hadida (Oyster CEO) on board to take the company forward – we’re all behind him. Everybody that works for the company is genuinely passionate about the brand. We actually believe the mission statement. I really do I think these boats are the best blue water boats in the world, you know. So, I’m sure we’ll see Oyster’s presence here growing in leaps and bounds.
And when you say you’ve had an international clientele come through, are these people who know the brand already or are they coming across Oyster for the first time?
It’s a mixture, because in the lead up to Cannes Yacht Show 2018 we sent out invites to all prospects on our database. This year we have been lucky to present a newly built Oyster 745, our 75ft yacht Pitanga. When a yacht comes out the factory or is in commissioning it’s sort of in its base state, so it’s a good opportunity for potential owners to see what we can do. Our aim was to get a mixture of people that we know who are genuinely interested in the boat that we could meet and show around the vessel. But of course, it’s also important for us to get new clients, so it’s equally as important to get new people that we don’t know on to the boats and into the brand.
Can you tell me a bit more about the Pitanga yacht you had on display at Cannes?
Well as I said this is the model 745, she’s hull number 4 and is about a year old. This is really the smallest yacht that Oyster offers that allows you to have true crew separation. As we go down below, forward of the galley, you go into the crew cabin. This boat allows you to completely close off that galley area, so that the crew have their privacy while they’re cooking and the owners have their privacy when they’re in the saloon watching TV or whatever else they’re doing. In this configuration, it has four cabins, so one owner and three guest, and one crew cabin. And the design is proving to be a success – we’ve just got another of this model sold, and so we will start build on that towards the end of the year.
What’s unique about Oyster’s yacht design?
Oyster’s pretty unique in that the amount of light that we get into our yachts. A lot of boats can be quite dark as you come down, whereas these big windows are fantastic for letting light in. These two outer ones open up so the breeze can come in and you don’t have to have air conditioning running the whole time. Then when you come through to the owner’s cabin it’s the same: you don’t want to be somewhere where you feel like it’s dark and dingy, so we’ve put in three of our large seascape windows, which are a design unique to us. This came out of listening to what our clients want from our vessels.
Our yachts are also designed to be fully-functional open water cruisers, which will take you anywhere, whilst still being very luxurious and comfortable inside. I think this is what makes Oysters really stand out amongst the rest.
What next after Cannes Yachting Festival – any exciting plans for the next few months?
There are always lots of exciting things happening within Oyster, and after Cannes Yacht Show 2018 we have our series of Regattas starting with Palma in October and Antigua next year. These are both big events for us as Richard very keen to get more people to these events and bring back more of a family feel to them. So he wants the kids there, he wants everyone to make it a family event, and that will be exciting. He’s going to do a good job of that, being a family man himself. Traditionally Oyster has always been a family-friendly brand.
Then there’s other things happening within the business, such as looking at a new model, a smaller model, potentially between 45 and 50ft, which is still on the drawing boards with Humphreys Yacht Design. We also have our new Marketing Director Abigail Comber joining us in November, so we’ve got a really exciting time coming up.
Of course as well as all this, we have the current Oyster World Rally underway, due to finish next year, and have already started planning for the next one in 2021. As a rally fully organised and supported by Oyster this is a completely unique event – there’s no other yacht manufacturer that does it or potentially could even do it. We have a whole team set up to support these yachts as they travel around the world. We also have Oyster staff out travelling round with the rally fleet, showing the true meaning and strength of the Oyster Family.
Golfing is possibly the most relaxed you can be whilst playing a sport. This is because whilst golf can be a very challenging game, you can always rely on a beautiful location, with rolling fields and abundant wildlife setting the tone for a peaceful game. However, the golf courses in St Tropez and the South of France are on another level. From dazzling sea views to idyllic forestry, discover three of the most stunning golf courses on the French Riviera.
Golf Club Saint-Tropez
Drive just five minutes out of central St-Tropez to find this exquisitely-designed golf course, crafted by the combined genius of golf course architect Thierry Sprecher and French golfing legend Gery Watine. Together they built a veritable haven for golfers, with an 18-hole course that overlooks four villages and offers incredible views of the sparkling Med. All this beauty explains why villas near Golf Club Saint-Tropez are in such high demand, the luscious environment also making for a great place to set up home.
This is a club that can cater to any level of player, also offering a 9-hole executive golf course and a golf academy with a driving range, so feel free to bring any newbies along. Finished your round? Why not head to the clubhouse for a drink, or even better indulge in a 3-course meal at its highly-acclaimed restaurant. The perfect end to the perfect putt, at one of our favourite golf courses in St Tropez.
Golf Club de Beauvallon
If you’re looking for striking panoramas over the Gulf of St-Tropez, look no further than Beauvallon Golf Club, an 18-hole course set between the Mediterranean and the mountains. These views mean it is often thought of as one of the golf courses in St Tropez, when in fact it is in nearby Grimaud. However, when the sights do such justice to their name (Beauvallon translates to beautiful valley) who’s to quibble?
Make sure you have your camera ready at the 11th, 12th and 15th holes, which offer the best views of the bay, and prepare for some tough spots where you’ll have to clear a roadway, water hazard and also avoid a bunker right of the green. An incredible mixture of serious golf and sightseeing.
Cannes-Mougins Golf Country Club
The Golf Club of Cannes-Mougins is blessed with an unbeatable location, tucked away in Valmasque National Park. Golfers flock here from all over the Cote d’Azur to take advantage of the jaw-dropping mountainous backdrop, with its lush green forestry providing a great place to spot birds. This club is one of the French Riviera’s most famous due to its hosting of the Cannes Open, with the course dating all the way back to the 1920s.
An impressive 72-par 18-hole course incorporating the Bouillide River as a natural water hazard, the Golf Club of Cannes-Mougins is over an hour’s drive away from Saint Tropez. However, trust us when we say the journey is worth it.
These are just three of the best golf courses in St Tropez and the surrounding area, with many more awaiting your visit. However, for a beautiful game in an even more beautiful setting, don’t miss these golfing treasures.
Does the French Riviera live up to its glamorous reputation? The simple answer is, yes! Yes it does. Especially if you’re exploring on board a luxury yacht. From cocktails aboard your fly deck and cosmopolitan bars to quaint towns and lavender fields, this destination truly has everything and you’ll never want to leave.
Yacht Charter on the French Riviera
Yacht charter with Incrediblue allows you to broaden your horizons and makes sailing more accessible around the world, as you are no longer limited to one yacht type or destination. So where better to start than in the stunning French Riviera? Also known as Cote d’Azur, the French Riviera is the Mediterranean coastline of the Southeast corner of France, also including Monaco. There is no official boundary, but we generally consider it to extend from Cassis or Toulon or Saint-Tropez located on the West to France-Italy border in the East, where the Italian Riviera joins.
Where to start
You have heard of Nice and Cannes right? Well that’s just a couple more of the towns that make up this beautiful stretch of paradise on earth. When is comes to yacht charter you’re truly spoilt for choice of where to start your adventure. A popular route is to begin in Monaco, before heading to Nice and then onto St Tropez.
Selecting your own charter yacht
Selecting your own yacht on the French Riviera is easy with the help of a highly experienced team such as Incrediblue, who will be happy to understand and ensure your every need is catered for. As you will have a crew on board you can discuss meals plans with the chefand also the perfect route with the ckipper before you set sail for the time of your life.
Prepare to be amazed by the sheer beauty of the gleaming superyachts lined up in Monaco harbour. If you’re lucky enough to be there during an event such as the Monaco Grand Prix, you will not only enjoy the electric atmosphere but you can also gawp at more amazing yachts that will appear throughout. There were in fact over €2 billion worth of yachts attending the Grand Prix in 2016.
Any trip to the French Riviera should begin with a stop in Nice. The Port of Nice is the perfect place to moor your yacht overnight and enjoy a traditional light dinner such as salade niçoise made by your personal on board chef. If you would like to hit the town you will not be dissapointed. Especially during the summer season, nightlife is in abundance and offers many options for after dark enthusiasts.
In the morning you will appreciate the sparkles reflecting off the warm Mediterranean waters whilst you’re having your breakfast. Whether you’re there for one day or five, be sure to venture up to Castle Hill. The phrase ‘it was worth the climb’ is truly fitting in this instance. The panoramic views of the Baie des Anges are simply to die for. You may also want to visit Nice’s famous lavender fields, the verdant park which is the perfect spot to take a picnic, or simply just relax and watch the world go by before boarding your yacht again and moving onto the next divine destination.
Home to the rich and famous, Cannes should definitely be on your bucket list. With its sandy beaches, upmarket boutiques and 5* restaurants there is plenty to see and do.
To add to Cannes’ glamour, this destination is very well known for the international film festival that occurs here once per year in May. If there is any event with the potential to dethrone the Oscars than this is it. If you’re lucky enough to be around during the festival you will be guaranteed to spot some famous faces strutting their stuff down the red carpet.
A short sail away from Cannes you will embark upon the Lérins Islands. The Lérins Islands are a group of four Mediterranean islands off the French Riviera, in Cannes. The two largest islands in this group are the Île Sainte-Marguerite and the Île Saint-Honorat. Here you will get away from the hustle and bustle of busy life and have the opportunity to relax in the ambience of tranquility. The islands are full of undisturbed beauty with small wild beaches and secret coves you could spend hours exploring. The panoramic views and sparkling turquoise blue waters are guaranteed to take your breath away.
If your yachting trip happens to fall on July 14th, try and spend the evening here to enjoy the famous firework night.
On your way to St Tropez be sure to soak up not only the sun but the best views of the French Riviera. It sounds only right to have a margarita in your hand whilst you enjoy these truly blissful few hours of cruising through the crystal waters. If you are coming directly from Nice it will take approximately 3 hours but if you want to take any detours you can discuss this with your captain. It might be a nice idea to stop and take a swim. If you have a diving instructor on board you should take advantage of the experience. The Mediterranean is home to some of the most colourful and interesting underwater life.
Upon arrival in St Tropez you will notice how big and vibrant this port is. With a capacity of 734 moorings there is definitely plenty of space for any size yacht. St Tropez is well known for its innovation and quality services, making it one of the most famous marinas in the world.
The height of St Tropez’ popularity comes from the 9 day regatta occuring once a year, known as “Voiles de Saint Tropez”. It begins here at the foot of the Portalet tower and bypasses the Nioulargue buoy before returning to the port. Over the duration of 9 day regatta, 300 of the finest yachts from around the world are brought together and it is a sight not to be missed!
If coffee is your thing you absolutely MUST not miss out on the famous espresso made in the even more famous bar that is Senequier. Whilst enjoying ‘the best French coffee known to man’ you can enjoy watching artists painting people or landscapes around the ports.
There are few places on earth better-suited to a golfing yacht charter than the French Riviera. With an abundance of historic, challenging, and downright swanky courses along the Cote d’Azur, the South of France really is a golfer’s paradise.
And what better way to experience the golf courses of the French Riviera than on a luxury yacht charter? You won’t have to swap hotels, carrying luggage and golfing gear, as you make your way along the coast, on a charter yacht your ‘hotel’ moves with you! This is a golfing holiday, done right.
Imagine getting a group of your golfing buddies together for a 10-day jaunt down the French Riviera on a superyacht, stopping at world-class golf courses along the way.
With views of the Mediterranean and the Alps and old hunting estates among the pines, it will be near-impossible to have a bad game. And even if you do spend half the day in the bunkers, there’s plenty of fine restaurants, watersports, and beach clubs along the Riviera to cheer you up! You might even bring a pro-golfing instructor along on your charter to radically improve your game over the duration of the charter.
When planning a holiday, you normally have to choose between snow and sand, mountain and beach, chalet and superyacht. Not on the French Riviera in spring—one of the few locations on earth where you can enjoy a sea and ski yacht charter.
In the south of France, Alpine ski fields are in close proximity to warm, sunny beaches. The French Riviera is famously known as a destination where you can be hurtling down fresh powder in the morning, only to find yourself relaxing in a Cannes beach club in the afternoon, enjoying the spring sunshine as you drink rose with your feet in the sand.
A yacht charter than involves snow skiing and beach clubs, art galleries and opera, Michelin-star dining and hill villages, après ski and boutique shopping.
Sunshine, calm seas, and snow. Where else but spring on the French Riviera?
Bespoke Yacht Charter has impacted the yacht charter market in Cannes, changing the way brands interact with clients at festivals and events. OnboardOnline caught up with Rachel Coles, Charter Broker from Bespoke Yacht Charter, to delve deep into how they’ve ascended to the niche position for Cannes event yacht charters.
The epitome of luxury and glamour, the French Riviera is the ultimate hotspot if you are looking forward to a plush holiday. Locally known as the “Côte d’Azur”, the beautiful Mediterranean coastline has always drawn tourists from all over the world for its stunning natural splendor, breezy climate, beach fun and dazzling lifestyle. From Cannes to Monaco to Nice – some of the most coveted destinations fall along the French Riviera coastline. And what better way to explore this gorgeous location than with a luxury yacht vacation?
There are a myriad of luxury yacht services available to cruise around French Riviera. Decked up in plush amenities, with splendid décor and stellar hospitality, these yachts will take you to all the prime hotspots of the coastline. You can book a luxury yacht charter for a day, a week or more.
Here is a brief summary of the different amazing locations you will be covering on your luxury yacht vacation along the French Riviera.
The paradise of glitz and glamour, Cannes is your place for that coveted a-la-Hollywood style holiday. From lavish boutiques to electrifying nightclubs to sandy beaches to even antique cobbled streets – Cannes has everything to leave you in awe and amazement. To make things more special, tourists often prefer luxury car hire services to explore the city like a star. There are several luxury car hire services available here to help in renting a Porsche in Cannes or other luxury marques like Audi or Mercedes.
After Cannes, your next stop will possibly be St Tropez. It’s a small quaint town lined up with some of the best restaurants in the world and a very vibrant nightlife scene in the summer season. The hub of the rich & famous, St Tropez will often have you stumbling upon celebs at almost every turn. And yes, St. Tropez is also the location of the most loved beach along the coastline – Pampelonne Beach. Complement your St Tropez trip with a stunning tan on the beach followed by unforgettable champagne lunch at one of the legendary beach clubs.
If you wish to experience the unspoilt natural splendor of the famous French Riviera, the island of Porquerolles is sure to win you with its stunning scenery. The place is great for water sports followed by a relaxing lunch and an after swimming. Although not as luxurious as the other more famous locations along the coastline, this lovely island is still home to some fabulous restaurants.
Monaco is certainly one of the most coveted destinations on any French Riviera cruise. Rich in royal history, the city-state is always a great tourist draw with its Prince Palace, designer boutiques, Michelin-starred restaurants and of course the legendary casinos for which the Principality is so well known.
No luxury holiday on the Cote d’Azur is complete without a stay in Nice. A magnificent blend of quintessential French charm and revered Italian class, the famous city and capital of the region is a treat to both the eye and the heart. You will love its buzzing boutique restaurants, while Nice’s bars and cafes command a unique elegance of their own. And of course, there are plenty of opportunities for various water sports like snorkelling, diving, swimming and much more.
Wishing you a fabulous luxury yacht charter on the French Riviera!
MIPIM 2018 will be hosted in Cannes from 13–16 March 2018 and continues as one of the world’s largest events for global property professionals.
Hosted at the Palais des Festivals, which is a key venue for other major Cannes events including Cannes Lions, Cannes Film Festival and MAPIC, over 24,000 participants will be inspired and make new discoveries during four days of intensive networking, conferences about property trends and the MIPIM Awards.
A scant 100 years ago, the idea of visiting the French Riviera in the summertime was unheard of in polite society, who deemed the South of France in July and August to be far too hot and bothersome.
Instead, the first-class trains and ornate horse-drawn carriages would start to arrive as the weather cooled and the first snows fell on the Alps, delivering queens and tsars, dukes and duchesses, writers and artists for a glittering winter season of parties and operas and promenading under the palms.
In winter at the turn of the 19th century, the Cote d’Azur was the centre of the fashionable world. In summer, the carriages departed, and the opulent villas and belle époque hotels were shuttered up once more until the haze of summer cleared and the sea again held its enchanting winter sparkle.
And that’s how the Riviera stayed—a resolutely wintertime resort— until the 1920’s, when New York socialites, Gerard and Sarah Murphy, convinced the Hotel du Cap Eden Roc to keep a wing open for them for a summer. After buying a nearby villa the next year, they invited friends F. Scott Fitzgerald and Hemingway for decadent, endless summers of jumping off the rocks into the sea, fabulous parties, and long boozy lunches under the shade of pine trees that buzzed with cicadas.
Winter on the French Riviera is an absolute delight, as the summer crowds thin out, the snow gathers on the Alps behind the coast, and the landscape is covered in a vivid yellow carpet of mimosa flowers.
Whether it’s a crisp blue sky day with endless views of sparkling sea, or a blustery afternoon where the palm trees bend and wave along the seafront at Cannes, there’s nothing quite as lovely as warming up after a walk with a steaming cup of vin chaud, a mug of rich hot chocolate, or a paper cone full of roasted chestnuts.
And with the Cote d’Azur lighting up with Christmas markets, and the ski resorts within easy reach of the coast, the French Riviera offers a winter experience with just the right amount of joie de vivre.
Here are some delicious wintry drinks and treats to enjoy in France, as well as a few select places to enjoy them.
Whether you want to call it vin chaud, mulled wine, or gluhwein, the fact remains: the first sip of this warm red wine spiced with cloves and cinnamon is pure Christmas in a glass.
And on the French Riviera, there are so many places to enjoy this wintery beverage!
Is there anything more festive than wandering around a brightly-lit Christmas market on a dark winter’s night, cold air on your face and a warm cup of mulled wine in your hand? We think not. Wonderful Christmas markets spring up all along the French Riviera in the wintertime, as well as in the pretty hill villages behind the coast. The Christmas markets at Nice and Antibes even have a giant Ferris wheel on site, giving dizzying views across the city, sea and mountains.
All of these Christmas markets have pretty little Christmas stalls with pitched rooves dusted in fake snow, their stallholders wrapped up tight in scarves dishing out steaming cups of vin chaud—as well as other warming treats like roasted chestnuts wrapped in paper, gooey Nutella crepes, and unbelievably moreish slices of socca sprinkled with pepper and wrapped in tinfoil.
The Christmas markets (and the yummy food and drink to be found at them) is one of the best things about a winter holiday in the South of France. Every time you drink mulled wine in future, you’ll be instantly transported back to that holiday feeling of winter on the French Riviera.
Local Cafés and Bars
If you’re looking for vin chaud outside the Christmas market experience, our best tip is to go local. Find a café or bar displaying the sign ‘maison vin chaud’, which means they make the drink in house. Perhaps even more importantly, look for a bustling café full of locals, because you want a busy place where the vin chaud isn’t allowed to get old, as it becomes bitter when it’s reheated.
Besides, the experience of walking into a warm, noisy French café on a cold winter’s day and taking a table to watch the comings and goings is so utterly French that you really can’t miss it when on holiday! Avoid the sophisticated bars aimed at tourists and go somewhere with a bit of local heart and colour if you can.
In Antibes, try one of the cheap and cheerful local bars up near the market, or Le Vieil Antibes café by the fountain on Rue Republique. In Cannes, you might like to enjoy the cosy atmosphere of 72 Croisette, sipping vin chaud as you look out across the boulevard to the superyachts in the port. In Nice, Bistrot Chaud Vin really ought to be a winner for mulled wine given the name, and in Monaco, try the unpretentious Monte Carlo Bar in La Condamine, any time of day or night.
One of the most incredible aspects of a winter holiday on the French Riviera is the proximity to the ski-fields, with the closest ski resorts only an hour away. And vin chaud is an unmissable part of the French ski field experience!
You might like to stop at one of the mountain terraces for a steaming cup of the mulled wine between ski runs, or get into the spirit of things with an après ski session, with hot mugs of vin chaud, spiked hot chocolate, or shots of schnapps warming up the chill in your bones.
Of the ski resorts within 2 hours of Nice airport, Isola 2000 has the most bars and nightlife if you want to get into the après ski spirit after a brisk day on the slopes, but you’ll find that all the ski fields in the area offer vin chaud and a welcoming buzz in the evenings.
Again, the key is to look for a busy place that won’t let the vin chaud sit around for long enough to get bitter!
The first question you must decide on: what is your perfect hot chocolate? Is it the powdered stuff you have at home, laden with marshmallows? Or is it French hot chocolate, with its dark and silken combination of real bitter chocolate and milk? Or perhaps your idea of perfect hot chocolate is Italian, which is so thick and gooey you can almost stand your spoon up in it?
You can find all three kinds of hot chocolate on the French Riviera, all coming under the title of ‘chocolat chaud’. You’ll generally find the powdered cocoa version at your cheaper cafes, but we urge you towards the decadent drinking chocolate experience to be found at the finer establishments of the Riviera.
Famous Luxury Hotels
Drinking top quality hot chocolate in one of the world’s most opulent hotels is not a bad way to spend a leisurely hour or two. A hot chocolate at the Hotel de Paris in Monaco is a memorable, refined affair, as is the hot chocolate served during high tea at the glamorous Hotel Carlton Intercontinental.
Perhaps the very best hot chocolate, however, is to visit one the French chocolatiers along the Riviera, whose thick delicious concoctions are pure bliss on the tastebuds. Jean Luc Pele’ has flagship stores in both Cannes and Antibes, where you can sit in the little nook overlooking the street and drink your hot chocolate and feast on their heavenly pastries and artisan chocolates.
As mentioned, many cafés now use cocoa powder in the American or British style, which results in a fairly thin, not particularly chocolatey drink. If you’re looking for thick, Italian style chocolate while on holiday, one very good option is Caffe Lalu in Cannes, which incidentally, also does very good coffee (not an easy thing to find in France!)
If you’re visiting the coast in February, you’re guaranteed to get a superb hot chocolate at the Antibes Chocolate Festival, ‘Bread, Love, and Chocolate’, which begins, rather fittingly, on Valentine’s Day. Warm your hands with a hot chocolate and take a wander through the port, where you’ll see crew on deck of the beautiful yachts, beginning to ready them for the spring yacht charters.
Make your own spiked hot chocolate
If your accommodation is self-catering, you can experiment by buying top quality chocolate and milk, with pouring cream to add if you like.
If you’re looking to really get in the spirit, add a glug of alcohol into the mix for a spiked hot chocolate. Boozy hot chocolate is utterly, utterly Christmassy and very warming on a cold night. A splash of dark rum adds a wicked depth, while liquors like Kahlua, Baileys and Amaretto are huge crowd pleasers.
People are getting ever more creative with their spiked hot chocolate creations, whether it’s the recent trend for red wine in hot chocolate, a dash of Guinness, or the magical combination of Nutella and Frangelico for the perfect hazelnut hot choccy.
Other Wintery Drinks to Enjoy in France
A glass of Armagnac, cognac, or calvados will light the fire in your belly, and are perfect tipples for a cold winter’s evening. Whatever your favourite liquor is, we suggest that you head to a bar with an atmosphere of French Riviera glamour, and preferably some classy live music. Think Bar Americain in Monaco, where live jazz and soft armchairs will put you in the mood, the historic bar at Nice’s stunning Hotel Negresco, or the piano bar at Bar l’Amiral at the Hotel Martinez in Cannes.
If you fancy something a bit more lively and a good sight less salubrious, it’s hard to go past the famous Absinthe Bar in Antibes, where you head downstairs into a vaulted cellar bar festooned with art deco posters and silly hats. Once you take a seat, you’ll choose off a vast absinthe menu, and a glass absinthe fountain is delivered to your table, along with ornate spoons and cubes of sugar. The absinthe is beautifully warming…and very alcoholic. Be warned!
On some nights there’s a musician playing piano, and this often leads to rowdy sing a-longs and much hat swapping. It’s a fabulous night out, but check before heading there, as winter hours can be wildly undependable.
Of course, there’s also the option of heading to a local café and enjoying a laid back glass of pastis, diluted with just the right amount of water. This is best drunk in a café with a nice warming fug and lots of activity for people watching.
With these decadent warming drinks on the menu, winter on the French Riviera will warm the cockles of your heart. Happy indulging!
A South of France yacht charter is a feast for the senses. There are certain sights and smells, sounds, touches and tastes that epitomize long summer days on the French Riviera. Float along the coast, savouring the breathtaking backdrop of snow-capped Alps and red rock edged by turquoise sea, the cool smell of pine forest and the sleepy sound of buzzing cicadas. Close your eyes enjoy the lap of water on the hull, the fragrance of lavender in the markets, the feel of your toes sinking into soft sand. Remember the water that sparkles in that mythical Provencal light, the sharp tang of salt in the air, and blue-green coves of perfect clarity. As your charter yacht floats along the coastline from Monaco to St Tropez, you will be transported into a sensory dream. Here are some of the experiences that will delight your five senses on a French Riviera yacht charter.
Our planet is no doubt blessed with a myriad of breathtakingly stunning scenery, but very few places compare to the luxurious blend of vintage luxury and enchanting landscapes that is the French Riviera and its legendary sun-drenched beaches. This delightfully sculpted scenery which stretches from St. Tropez up until the French-Italian border is an avalanche of hospitality; complete with sandy beaches, blue seas (and skies), trendy shopping stores and exclusive boutiques. Dazzling with historic vineyards, extravagant chateaus, and calm waters transcended by traversing yachts, the French Riviera immerses its visitors in an ethereal world of splendor and magnificence. Add a touch of style and classical French hospitality, and you see why this place leads the chart of top celebrity tourist destinations.
Cannes on the French Riviera is an action attraction sure to tickle the fancy of every tourist. The town hosts the famous Cannes Film Festival on an annual basis – providing a glistering perspective of what luxury and holiday resorting should be like. With an aura of regality and modest affluence, the sun perched Mediterranean coastline, and nearby medieval styled villages provide a lucid imagery of the rich French cultural history. It’s however not just about the scenery, as embossed in the rose gold streets of the nearby, Eze, Antibes, Saint Tropez and Menton as a firsthand historical perspective of French Sovereignty. Antibes in particular, with its picturesque streets and prestigious museums, reunites you with history; and if you have a taste for the exclusive, its impressive line up of celebrity villas will leave you craving for more of the same.
What’s the best way to explore the French Riviera; by land where you get up close and personal with its stunning architecture or via the air where you’re treated to an almost godlike perspective of its stunning scenery? How about a taste of the two; up close and personal plus a godlike view and then a serving of luxurious adventure – cue the waters of the French Riviera and its luxury yachts. Of the many highlights the French Riviera is known for, its exotic yachting and beach culture stands out as one of the most prominent in the world. Since the 18th century when its white pebble beaches were routinely toured by the likes of King Edward VII, Queen Victoria, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, the French Riviera has conveyed a sense of wealth and privileged luxury; the kind that has drawn hordes of affluent visitors to its endearing yet reassuringly calm waters. So, whether you arrive on your private yacht or join the enthusiastic company of other tourists to hitch a ride aboard a cruise, ferry or boat, rest assured that you will a get a taste of the regally grand adventures of the French Riviera’s breathtaking waters.
Away from the Sea and onto the Roads of the French Riviera
Granted the sea and its frivolities pack a unique touch of adventure, but no trip to the French Riviera is complete without a day, or two spent touring its scenic landscapes and interacting with its soulful scenery. Far from the tardy definitions of a conventional tour, you too can experience the French Riviera from an elite perspective, with a custom planned tour in the supercar of your dreams. If you thought the bustling waters of the Riviera were endearing, then get set for a treat. A driving tour of the French Riviera aboard a supercar replaces the gentle sways of the adventurous sea with the high-octane pumped twists and turns of France’s greatest driving roads – it really is, the ultimate way to infuse a vibrant and spirited experience into your French Riviera adventure.
The Cote d’Azur and Provence feature a stunning landscape made for the 21st century explorer. The seemingly endless stretches of roads wiggle around the sun draped hills and snow-tipped mountains leaving in their wake Provence’s signature lavender fields and vignette olive groves. But that’s just a snippet of what lies in store; the Alpes-Maritimes, a streak of cliff-top roads snaking up the French Riviera’s daunting mountain range is length for length one of the most enthralling routes for driving in all of Europe. Its range is dotted with iconic hilltop villages, each painted with a byzantine palette of class and vintage luxury. From Gourdon, through Vence and up into Moustiers Sainte Marie, expect a visually scintillating experience that will most certainly leave an indelible imprint on your travel memories.
Planning your Car Tour on the French Riviera
Ready to delve into the French Riviera? Start off your tour from Cannes where an experienced tour guide will meet you at about 6:30 pm in the comfort of your hotel lobby. You will be provided with a detailed rundown of what to expect before the keys to your select dream car is handed over; this could be a Lamborghini, a Ferrari, a Porsche or even a Bugatti if you’re hell-bent on keeping the whole experience, French.
After your first night, spent shrugging off any accompanying bits of sea sluggishness, you should be well in tune with the magic of the French Riviera – the land version. Your first route to conquer is the long stretch of road leading from Cannes up into Provence. Do this by coasting along the famous Croisette promenade and its breathtaking view of the adjacent bay of Cannes. Make your way to the charming and eccentric village of Gourdon. This town hosts an assortment of cute small boutiques, antique and art, sumptuous cuisine, perfumes, olive oils, all reminiscent of medieval France. But all this pales in comparison to the magnificent view this hilltop village provides; Gourdon perched at an altitude of almost 760m treats you to an exclusive perspective of the Mediterranean coastline and the Alps.
From here, its onwards to the iconic Artuby bridge in all its artistic curves and silhouetted brilliance. The Verdon National park lies just ahead and nestled within its confines is the Gorges du Verdon, France’s own Grand Canyon; make sure to take some photos, the views are spectacular. After lunch, head off into Provence where your luxury hotel awaits you.
Day two and you’re back on track, only this time for a taste of the spectacular with one of Europe’s finest collection of mountain passes and twisting roads; if you are familiar with the Swiss Alps; you know what to expect with the Mediterranean Alps roads. Breeze through the legendary Route Napoleon and its nearby twin the Route de Thorenc. Both feature hanging cliffs and fast-paced straights; and while others pause to take a breather from the corners, you effortlessly conquer the road with the confidence that comes from being in your very own supercar.
Your road tour of the French Riviera comes to an end with the shimmering tarmac of Col de Vence, and its striking view of the sea. From here it’s smooth sailing via the highway back to Monte-Carlo.