Snow to Sand: Ski in the Morning and Go to the Beach in the Afternoon

Skiier in Chamonix, France

If skiing in the Alps and sunbathing on a Riviera beach on the same day seems like a pipedream, read on. There aren’t many places in Europe where people can ski to their heart’s content and then be on the beach in their swimsuits a couple of hours after having a hot chocolate in Val Thorens. A quick and convenient helicopter transfer can transport you to the highest mountains and back down to the Cote d’Azur for a day to remember. It’s worth taking a luxury helicopter flight for the views of snow-capped peaks and dappled azure waters alone. We have selected three mountain/beach flight combinations that are easy to access and varied.

Helicopter Courchevel

Tignes and Cannes

Tignes is always one of the last resorts to close its ski lifts because of its high altitude. Its 1,550m-3,450m slopes are heavy with snow, which makes it one of the most reliable places for late-season skiing. It’s ideally located in the famous Espace Killy ski circuit, which offers easy access to Val d’Isere. It also benefits from the presence of the Grande Motte glacier, which is open until 6th May this year.

The ski resort of Tignes, France

A helicopter from Cannes to Tignes takes just 1 hour and 15 minutes. Enjoy white groomed pistes and white sandy beaches within one day. Sunbathing on Cannes glamorous beaches will take you a world away from the high-adrenaline slopes of Tignes and Val d’Isere. Should you tire of catching the spring sun on the private beaches on La Croisette, you can try one of the many chic restaurants along the prestigious stretch of coast. Alternatively visit the small public beach Plage de Casino nearby the Palais des Festivals, which is sheltered and good for swimming if the temperature is right. If you are a fashionista, don’t forget to take in the Cannes Shopping Festival at the Palais between 14th and 17th April 2017.

View of Cannes, France

Chamonix and Monaco

Chamonix offers the highest skiing in the French Alps with the Aiguille du Midi lift at 3,842 m.  Skiing is available throughout spring and closes in early May. Located at the foot of the legendary Mont Blanc, Chamonix’s altitude ensures great skiing and snow coverage. The resort has always attracted adventure seekers and adrenaline junkies with its advanced pistes such as the famous Vallée Blanche, but also has plenty of options for more amateur skiers. Chamonix also has some good restaurants and an abundance of snow activities such as snowmobiling and dog sledding.

Offpiste in Chamonix

After fun in the mountain sunshine, catch some rays on Monaco’s Larvotto Beach. This soft pebble man-made beach has a unique city setting, beautiful clear water for swimming and plenty of eateries around to satisfy even the pickiest of foodies. The good thing about this beach is how convenient it is for Monaco’s attractions such as the casino and the beautiful gardens. It’s also close to five-star restaurants and designer boutiques.

Larvotto-Beach-Monaco.jpg

If you are in Monaco in April don’t miss the chance to ski in the morning and watch the Rolex Tennis Masters in the afternoon. The event brings the finest athletic talent to the city-state from 15th to 23rd April. The championship takes place in the stunning setting of the Monte-Carlo Country Club, which directly overlooks the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. People who prefer cars to sports, should pair a Chamonix helicopter ski trip with a visit to Top Marques, a prestigious luxury goods and supercar show which takes place on 20th-23rd April at the famous Grimaldi Forum. Taking a helicopter from Monaco to Tignes, Chamonix or Val Thorens is also an option if you’d prefer ski in the afternoon or enjoy the après ski scene.

Val Thorens and Nice

Val Thorens is the highest purpose-built ski resort in Europe and it has enviable snow conditions. Located in the enormous Trois Vallees ski area, it is home to more than 140km of pistes above 3,000m, and since most of them are north-facing, skiing goes on until late in the season. The resort is car-free, making a luxury helicopter transfer the ultimate ski pass with hundreds of mountain peaks in sight. However, if you’re hoping for a ski pass a little closer to earth, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find special deals are usually available on lift tickets from mid-April. The season runs through to May and re-opens for glacier skiing in the summer. The cutting-edge ski facilities and high-tech ski lifts complement the informal and laid-back feel of the resort.

The French ski resort of Val Thorens

When you’re ready to enjoy your apres-ski on the beach, fly to Nice where the water is clear and inviting and the scenery is beautiful. Neptune Beach is a wonderful central private beach option that is affiliated with the famous Negresco Hotel off the Promenade de Anglais. It’s also family-friendly and its beach restaurant has a children’s play area. In the unlikely event that the weather takes a turn for the worst, the indoor lounge area offers various games to pass the time. Plage Publique du Voilier is located nearby on the Blue Beach and is close to attractions like the Museum of Fine Arts. Nice’s beaches stretch along the coast for 10 kilometres so you’ll have your pick of private or public ones. They are composed of large pebbles called ‘galets’ that make the water a uniquely vibrant blue.

Baie des Anges in Nice, France

With these combinations of Riviera helicopter flights you are never far from a beach or mountain. So enjoy the best of both worlds!

The best beach clubs for a French Riviera yacht charter

Glamorous, decadent, and dripping in celebrity history, the beach clubs of the Cote d’Azur have long been synonymous with the superyacht set. Yet of the hundred or so beach clubs along this stretch of storied coastline, which ones should you visit on your superyacht charter?

Garoupe beach clubs, Cap d'Antibes

Plage La Garoupe – Cap d’Antibes

The best beach clubs have a seductive magic about them, an allure that goes far past the sophisticated decor, the handsome charm of the waiters, or even the softness of the sand where white-cloth tables sit before the sparkling sea. At the top beach clubs—the ones that the A-list compete to get into in the long, languorous days of a Mediterranean Summer — there’s a lingering sense of summers past, of all the famous people who have mingled, dined and danced here, passing happy days diving off pontoons and basking in the sun.

So join us as we float from the towering cliffs of Monaco down to the Gulf of Saint Tropez, dropping anchor at the most glorious beach clubs along the French Riviera.

Monaco

Monte Carlo Beach Club

This prestigious beach club at Monte Carlo Beach Hotel offers the most impressive selection of options of any Monaco beach club, with a private beach with watersports and luxury tents; an Olympic sized saltwater swimming pool with diving tower, and a Michelin star restaurant on a deck overlooking the glittering sea. Laze back in your cool striped cabana with a hookah pipe, go parasailing high above the Mediterranean, or dine on fresh deliciousness at Elsa, the first all-organic restaurant to be lauded by the Michelin inspectors. Naturally, there’s also a spa onsite to take your pampering beach club experience to the next level.

www.montecarlosbm.com/wellness-sport/monte-carlo-beach-club/

Monte Carlo Beach Club

Monte Carlo Beach Club

Nikki Beach Monaco

The global Nikki Beach franchise has extended its reach with a pop-up ‘beach’ club on top of the Fairmont Hotel, which will return for another bout of party madness in April 2017. All the action takes place around the pool, which is surrounded by luxurious white deckchairs, from which you can indulge in some quality people-watching or gaze out at the endless Mediterranean views. With chilled DJ beats ramping up as the day wears on, Nikki Beach Monaco feels very much like a daytime nightclub, so it attracts a young crowd bent on having a good time.

www.nikkibeach.com/destinations/beach-clubs/monaco/

The pool of Nikki Beach at the Fairmont Hotel in Monte-Carlo, Monaco

Nikki Beach Monaco

Note Blue

If the idea of loud DJ music and enthusiastic young things spraying Champagne makes you want to retreat with haste to a place of cool, calm exclusivity, there can be no better oasis than Note Blue. This sophisticated beach club offers a garden-like setting by the sea, with decadent daybeds with wispy curtains, soft white deckchairs by the water, and elegant dining tables shaded by graceful sweeps of canvas. At night, drink and dine by soft lantern-light as notable jazz musicians play to an appreciative crowd.

www.lanotebleue.mc

Cap Ferrat

Paloma

For sheer celebrity history and Mediterranean charm, it would be hard to go past Paloma, an iconic beach club nestled on a small cove in exclusive Cap Ferrat. Family-run since 1948 and named after Picasso’s daughter, the beach club offers heart-soaring views of cliffs and blue-green sea, with opulent villas climbing the steep slopes behind. Paloma Beach Club isn’t shiny and decadent— in fact it’s slightly rustic compared to its Monaco counterparts, with the same shack from 1948 serving up fresh-grilled seafood and family-style service to the dining tables scattered along the pretty pebbled beach. Paloma promises the French Riviera experience… as it used to be. After a refreshing swim in the crystal clear water, lie back on a deckchair with an icy glass of rose’ and listen to the cicadas buzzing in the nearby pines. A place of family tradition, celebrity patronage, and the bewitching nostalgia of summers past, Paloma is the French Riviera, and it would be remiss not to stop here on your Cote d’Azur yacht charter.

www.paloma-beach.com

Paloma-Beach

Paloma Beach – Cap Ferrat

Cap d’Antibes

Plage Keller

Return to where the French Riviera legend truly began, at the gloriously pretty Plage de la Garoupe. This stunning powder-white sand beach is where an American socialite couple called the Murphys launched the French Riviera as a summertime destination in the 1920s, clearing the beach of seaweed and fishing nets and inviting Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Picasso to sunbathe and swim in the crystal clear waters. Today, Plage Keller is the pick of the beach clubs along this pretty cove, offering excellent Mediterranean food in a sophisticated setting and beautiful views across the Bay of Angels to the distant Alps. Take a table on the silky soft sand or a deckchair on the long jetty, shaded by jaunty yellow umbrellas. Celebrity history is everywhere on the Riviera— if you only know where to look, and the refined Plage Keller beach club is the ideal beach club to celebrate the birthplace of the Riviera as we know it.

www.restaurant-plage-cesar-antibes.fr

Plage Keller - Cap d'Antibes

Plage Keller

Cannes

Z Plage

This designer-chic beach club is part of the Hotel Martinez, and is famous for its wide beach area and vast pontoon with teak decking and deliriously comfortable lounges. The most sought-after beach club experience in Cannes, Z Plage has an adjoining restaurant, a smoothie and cocktail bar, and a beach cabana offering Givenchy spa massages during July and August. Find your heaven under the shade of a white umbrella, or find an oasis of privacy between wisps of white curtains that wave gently in the afternoon breeze.

cannesmartinez.grand.hyatt.com/en/hotel/dining/restaurant-zplage.html

Z Plage at Martinez Hotel in Cannes

Z Plage

Baoli Beach

This glamorous beach club is a sister venue to the famous Baoli nightclub, and attracts the same A-list crowd of the young and genetically blessed. With a premier position by the majestic art deco façade of the Carlton Intercontinental, Baoli Beach is the perfect venue to have an elegant lunch at a table on the sand or soak up the sun on the large jetty covered in plush deckchairs. The white and cream décor is set off perfectly against the blue sea and sky, and as the day heads into afternoon there’s a party vibe in the air that carries on long into the Summer nights.

baolibeach-cannes.com

Baoli Beach in Cannes, French Riviera

Baoli Beach

Saint Tropez

Club 55

When talking of beach clubs in Saint Tropez, you simply must start with Club 55. In 1955 when filming And God Created Woman, Brigitte Bardot’s husband Vadim mistook a simple bungalow on the beach for a bistro, and asked the owner if the film crew could have something to eat. His wife kindly agreed to cook them a meal, and so history was made. That film would propel both Bardot and Saint Tropez to global stardom, and with it, the humble bungalow that would soon become the infamous Club 55.

Today, the bungalow still stands, surrounded by tall stands of bamboo and tamarisk trees that bend gently in the afternoon breezes which skip up off the water. Tables are shaded by swoops of white canvas, deckchairs are set up on the soft sand with stunning views, and as the day goes on and the inhibitions loosen, people begin to dance. Club 55 is beach club royalty, and the guest list shows it.

www.club55.fr

Club 55 beach club in St Tropez

Club 55

Nikki Beach

For a younger and wilder crowd, head to Nikki Beach where beautiful young things dance on tables to big-name DJs, and as much Champagne seems to get sprayed as is drunk. This is hedonism at its most energetic.

In Summer, expect your A-list crowd of young celebrities and racing drivers to be tempered with a crowd of party-goers keen to brush shoulders with the superyacht set. Despite the name, Nikki Beach isn’t actually right on the beach, so all the action centres around the pool, which is surrounded by the signature all-white lounges and daybeds of the Nikki Beach franchise.

www.nikkibeach.com

Nikki Beach in St Tropez, France

Nikki Beach

Bagatelle

Tradition is important in Saint Tropez, but it is not everything. Every once in a while, a newcomer announces its arrival with such success and fanfare that it immediately rockets to the top of the ‘must-visit’ list. Bagatelle is one such venue, expanding to Saint Tropez after success in St Barts, Rio, and New York. After a fire destroyed the club in early 2016, Bagatelle reopened and is going from strength to strength. The décor is coastal chic, with wicker chairs, white tablecloths, and flashes of bright blue — all reflecting that air of bright light and sparkling sea which makes the Riviera so entirely irresistible to anyone with a touch of romance in their soul.

www.bagatellesttropez.com

Bagatelle beach club in St Tropez

Bagatelle

Original article http://www.aluxurytravelblog.com/2017/01/31/the-best-beach-clubs-for-a-french-riviera-yacht-charter/

One of the most popular Charter Yachts on the French Riviera

Yacht Antisan cruising Cannes, France

It’s easy to fall in love with a classic, and M/Y Antisan is a stand out with a perfect mix of elegance and classicism. Based at Vieux Port, she is one of the best options for luxury yacht charter for groups in Cannes.

At 33 metres in length with a beam of almost 8 metres, she offers a well-priced charter experience where her generous dimensions place her as a fine choice for clients seeking space that is usually found on bigger yachts.

Available for Mediterranean charters throughout the year, Antisan’s professional crew are highly skilled with service during luxury events and parties in Cannes and her onboard areas allow clients to maximise their experience for relaxing or entertaining as they wish.

Antisan has the capacity to host parties in port for up to 100 people, or even larger numbers during Cannes events such as Cannes Lions, Cannes Film Festival, MIPIM, ILTM or MIDEM utilising the adjacent quay.

Guide to Yacht Charter in Cannes

The Hotel Carlton in Cannes, France

As with these words from Renoir, visiting the French Riviera can only be felt by experiencing it, going to see the same landscapes that attracted famous painters, dining at the same restaurants that hold Michelin accolades and chartering a yacht in the same bays that writers and poets gain inspiration from.

Cannes, a major destination in the south of France, is an excellent starting point for yacht charters on the French Riviera. With easy accessibility to both Nice Côte d’Azur Airport and Cannes-Mandelieu Airport, Cannes has a well-established infrastructure for major conferences and events, and ample luxury offerings to satisfy any yacht charter guest.

Time ashore can be spent dining at great restaurants from traditional French bistros to fine cuisine, browsing some of the best luxury boutiques on the Côte d’Azur or sightseeing at world-class art museums and galleries.

Read more about Cannes Yacht Charters in this guide from Bespoke Yacht Charter

Cannes Luxury Guide

Night panorama of the bay of Cannes with luxury yachts

The French Riviera’s most stylish resort, Cannes, is a showcase for the beautiful, glamorous and covetable. Host to prestigious events such as Cannes Film Festival, Cannes Collection, Cannes Lions and Cannes Yachting Festival there’s no shortage of celebrities, luxury offerings and high-octane parties.

We’ve curated an Insider’s Guide to our favourite luxury places to shop, eat, stay or party like an A-lister in Cannes.

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Land by Helicopter at these 5 Luxury Restaurants

Helicopter in Saint Tropez, France

All holidaymakers know that other than beautiful surroundings, luxurious accommodation and the much-deserved opportunity to relax, no holiday would be complete without good food. Luckily the South of France has the culinary prowess to make fine dining a certainty on your Mediterranean escape. Naturally, French Riviera Helicopter Transfer and gourmet cuisine go together like champagne and caviar. That’s why so many restaurants have exclusive helicopter landing spots, which allow for quick and luxurious transfers directly to their grounds. We spoke to the leading helicopter transfer company on the French Riviera, Heli Securite, who have recommended the following five restaurants with landing spots for direct landing.

Tahiti Beach St Tropez

Tahiti Beach

  1. Tahiti Beach, Saint-Tropez

Tahiti Beach is one of the best-located restaurants in Saint-Tropez and perfectly represents the joie de vivre for which the seaside town is universally famous. Fortunately, the food is wonderful, the atmosphere is relaxed and the friendly staff make you feel at home. Tahiti’s food is consistently good and served by the sea with the selection of freshly caught fish and tasty pizza straight from the oven being highlights. In fact, it’s difficult to know what you’ll enjoy more: the delicious food or spectacular sea views.

Bruno Restaurant in Lorgues, France

Chez Bruno

  1. Chez Bruno, Lorgues

Famed for its truffles, the one-Michelin-star Chez Bruno serves more of this exquisite delicacy than any other restaurant in the world. Bruno has been running this iconic restaurant set in the pretty Provençal town of Lorgues for many years and it’s a truly local family business, which has started to expand internationally.

The outdoor setting of idyllic gardens and a terrace is lovely in the summer and during winter a roaring fire gives the cosy interior a magical feel. This really is truffle heaven, and Bruno’s signature dish, a potato and truffle combination, has people returning for more. Most of the produce is found within two hours of the restaurant, so diners are guaranteed the finest quality.

La Bouitte restaurant, Saint Martin de Belleville

La Bouitte

  1. La Bouitte, Saint Martin de Belleville

La Bouitte is a charming hotel located at the foot of the Saint-Marcel ski slopes in SaintMartin de Belleville. However, it’s the hotel’s restaurant that really draws the crowds. René and Maxime Meilleur are a father and son team whose impeccable cuisine has been granted three Michelin stars and classified among the ‘great gables of the world’ since 2012. The restaurant is set in an authentic mountain chalet with a cosy yet chic decor befitting an establishment that prides itself on creating cuisine that respects the quality of local products and the art of cooking. The outside terrace nestled amongst the trees is perfect for apres ski drinks or a pre-flight lunch, since the helipad is located 50 metres away.

Les Gorges de Pennafort, Callas

Les Gorges de Pennafort

  1. Les Gorges de Pennafort, Callas

Les Gorges de Pennafort is one of Provence’s unmissable highlights set in a beautiful setting close to the Cote d’Azur. Chef Philippe Sa Silva and his wife took over management of the restaurant twenty years ago and haven’t looked back, even receiving a Michelin star in that time. His innovative use of regional produce combined with a contemporary twist, such as foie gras and Parmesan ravioli, have won the loyalty of international customers. Chef Da Silva’s flavoursome menu also extends to an impressive cocktail list, including their unique speciality: champagne with grapefruit cream. The sensationally sublime cuisine can be enjoyed in the elegant and light-infused dining room or outside on the terrace under a bioclimatic pergola, which adapts to the weather conditions.

La Bastide de Moustiers restaurant Alain Ducasse

La Bastide de Moustiers

  1. La Bastide de Moustiers, Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

La Bastide de Moustiers’s restaurant serves provençale cuisine in a wonderfully rural country setting. The lovely country house is an upscale inn owned by Alain Ducasse, a noted chef famous for his three Michelin star restaurant in London’s Dorchester hotel among others. Nestled in the Provence village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, the restaurant sits amid ancient olive trees and vibrant lavender bushes. The menu changes daily in accordance with the products available in the hotel’s vegetable garden and is served under a shaded terrace. Chilled pea and fava bean bouillon, steak, chimney baked lamb, and a cocotte of spring vegetables are all mouth-watering favourites prepared with care and attention.

Other Articles: 3 of The Best Restaurants in Monaco!A Haven for Golf & Gastronomy and Fine Dining Near Mediterranean Marinas

 

The Magic of Monaco – 2016 Monaco Grand Prix

Monaco Grand Prix Yachts

Monaco Grand Prix is held annually on a street circuit fringing Port Hercules and the Principality and is the most hotly anticipated race on the Formula 1 calendar.

This year’s event is held from Thursday 26 May to Sunday 29 May with the main race day on Sunday 29 May, and is a truly spectacular event with a backdrop of a bustling port filled with superyachts, Monegasque high rises and famous landmarks such as the Casino de Monte Carlo and Fairmont Monte Carlo.

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Luxury Yacht Charters for the Monaco Grand Prix

Yachts in Port Hercule for the Monaco Grand Prix

The 74th Monaco F1 Grand Prix will take place from Thursday 26 May to Sunday 29 May 2016 and will see the Principality welcome the most highly anticipated event in the Formula 1 calendar.

Monaco F1 Grand Prix is an unmissable annual event which attracts major influencers in Formula 1 racing, celebrities, supermodels and luxury yachts – many staying on in the region after the Cannes Film Festival, and this year, the biennial Grand Prix de Monaco Historique is also hosted on the same circuit two weeks prior to the F1 event.

Read More: Champagne & Chicanes: Luxury Yacht Charters for the Monaco Grand Prix

The Monaco Grand Prix 2016

Ferraris in Casino Square, Monaco

Ferraris in Casino Square

The Monaco Grand Prix 2016, the 74th edition of the prestigious event, is sure to be the ultimate fixture on this year’s Formula 1 calendar. Each and every stretch and corner is steeped in history, from Casino Square to the world’s most renowned hairpin, the Fairmont, past elegant yachts and through hillside tunnels.

The first practice laps take place at 10am on Thursday 26th May with the second coming later in the afternoon at 2pm. Although this means arriving in Monaco a full two days before the actual race, this is a great opportunity to see the cars in action and to take in the atmosphere of the track.

Yachts at Monaco Grand Prix

Luxury Yachts at the Monaco Grand Prix – Bespoke Yacht Charter

Overtaking on the Monaco circuit is notoriously difficult; qualifying is therefore more important in the Principality than at any other Grand Prix, and is definitely not to be missed. The qualifying begins at 2pm on Saturday, with the race itself starting at 2pm on Sunday, although be advised to arrive early to navigate the crowds.

Cars have been clocking exceptionally quick times this year so there is a quiet confidence among automotive fans that the circuit’s lap record of 1:18:0.63, set by Daniel Ricciardo in 2015, may be broken in 2016. Unlike most other Grand Prix races, you’ll have to book a grandstand seat to gain a first-hand view of the action, as the tight streets make it very difficult to walk from corner to corner. For this reason, a portable radio can be a good addition to the experience, so you can hear what’s going on even when you can’t see it.

Ferrari 458 wheel and dash

Ferrari 458 Italia

The nearest airport is Nice Cote d’Azur International Airport, from where it is possible to reach Monaco by train with the journey taking around 40 minutes. But which automotive racing fanatic ever took the train to such a prestigious automotive event? A more exhilarating way to arrive would be to hire a supercar and drive via the autoroute, which would take around the same time. It’s one way to turn an already incredible experience into a life-long memory.

But a hired luxury vehicle isn’t just useful for the journey into Monaco itself. The Grand Prix is unique in that there is a rest day between the practice laps and the race, which gives you a day to put a supercar through its paces on the very same picturesque streets that will later host the grand prix, and even explore the surrounding area. Envisage a trip through the streets of Monaco in a Ferrari 458 Italia – an icon of automotive design!

To complete the ultimate Monaco Grand Prix Experience, watch the race from a luxury yacht in the Port of Monaco!

Spring Yacht Charters on the French Riviera

Yacht-St-Tropez-Port

Spring, or printemps, is an ideal time of the year to visit the French Riviera where people are feeling invigorated with the start of longer days after daylight savings moved the clocks forward the last Sunday in March.

Yachts are preparing ahead for the busy Mediterranean season, with many crossing back from the Caribbean, and the last remnants of winter in the south are slowly fading with dusk.

Spring on the French Riviera

The French Riviera had origins as a winter resort, where convalescing patients would stay for the health benefits of the mild climate, and aristocrats would visit to forget the grey skies of the northern winter. Almost one hundred years ago, luxury yachts were not common place here with the preferred transport being trains especially the Paris-Lyon-Méditerranée (PLM) expresses.

The PLM launched their first-class-only service to the French Riviera in 1922 and Le Train Bleu opened up the region and brought with it distinguished passengers over the years including Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, Coco Chanel, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Somerset Maugham.

Eden-Roc hotel on the Cap d'Antibes, France

The attractions of good weather and sunny skies flipped the coin for the French Riviera as hotels began to extend their season to cater for wealthy visitors – Gerald and Sara Murphy convinced the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc to stay open in summer, and Coco Chanel startled everyone with her suntan when she stepped ashore in Cannes in 1923 from Flying Cloud, the yacht belonging to Hugh Grosvenor, the Second Duke of Westminster.

Today, the French Riviera’s popularity continues – it’s a great destination to charter a luxury yacht year round and while summer is often handed the glory of ‘best time of the year to visit’, spring is just as ideal with less traffic than summer, luxury hotels having off-season specials, attractions reopening after Easter and clear, crisp days perfect for cruising the Mediterranean coast.

Continue Reading: 5 Reasons Why Spring is Ideal for a Yacht Charter on the French Riviera

5 Spectacular French Riviera Driving Itineraries

Ferrari in the port of St Tropez, France

The French Riviera is a great destination for driving with over 300 sunshine days a year it’s no wonder one of the main highways feeding into south-eastern France, the A7 from Lyon to Marseille, is christened the ‘Autoroute du Soleil’.

Some of Bespoke Yacht Charter’s favourite self-drive road trips are located not far from the French Riviera’s ports and marinas meaning a spectacular journey on wheels is easy to combine with your luxury yacht charter itinerary – imagine rambling into vineyards to buy wines direct from the producer, visiting perched villages for a leisurely Provençal lunch beside a heritage-listed fountain and traversing beautiful National Parks with wildflowers and wildlife.

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Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc

Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc swimming pool

Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc : A Sanctuary for the Stars

The prestigious Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc on the Cap d’Antibes, between Cannes and Nice, is one of the finest 5-star hotels in France and epitomises the style and elegance of the French Riviera, featuring regularly on Tatler and Conde Nast Traveler lists as one of the best hotels in the world.

Part of the Oetker Collection of elite luxury hotels, it is set amidst 22 acres of gardens with palms, Aleppo pines, citrus, cypress and olive trees, wisteria, roses and magnolia. The hotel grounds embrace the coastline and offer marvellous views of the Mediterranean and the Íles de Lérins. (Read More)

Tips For Yacht Charters in Monaco

Luxury yachts in Port Hercule, Monaco

Monaco, the second smallest independent state in the world after the Vatican, has a big reputation as a place of Chanel and champagne, palaces and Grimaldi Princes and superyachts alongside supercars.

But underneath the veneer of sophistication, lie the secrets of what makes Monaco so appealing – the charming narrow alleyways in Monaco-Ville, quiet spaces in public gardens with sub-tropical flowers, award winning cosmopolitan restaurants and sea views Jacques Cousteau would rave about.

Read our Tips for Yacht Charters in Monaco so you can be sure to experience the best from this glittering Principality!

The Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 Spyder

The Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 Spyder

The Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 Spyder

As the weather turns autumnal, a road trip in a convertible might not be top priority that is, unless it’s to have a spin in the new Huracan Spyder sports car, launched in September by Lamborghini.

This head-turning roadster was the star attraction of the Frankfurt motor show, where it was unveiled by Lamborghini’s CEO, Stefan Winkelmann, at the VW group preview night.

More formally known as the Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 Spyder, due to its metric horsepower output and its four-wheel drive, this sensational supercar succeeds the Gallardo Spyder, to date the best-selling open-top car in the manufacturer’s history.

However the Gallardo Spyder’s success is not expected to last. “We expect the Huracan Spyder to exceed its predecessor in every way,” says Mr Winkelmann.

What’s so special about this particular soft-top supercar? It’s 5.2-litre V10 makes 610 horsepower at 8,250 rpm and 413 pound-feet or torque at 6,500 rpm. The ten-cylinder engine torpids the Spyder from zero to 62 mph in 3.4 seconds and has a top speed of 201 mph.

But it is not just the wheels on the roadster, which turn superfast. The Huracan Spyder also has a fabric roof, which is electrically operated at speeds of up to 31mph. According to its manufacturers, it takes just 17 seconds for the soft top – available in black, red or brown – to disappear behind a discrete cover.

The interior of this sensational new Spyder is very similar to the Huracan coupe, although it does benefit from innovative ducts that reduce air turbulence in the cockpit, as well as detachable glass rear windows. These lateral wind guards allow the driver and his companion to talk even when the top is down, or can be opened to let the guttural sounds of the engine pour into the cabin when the roof is on.

The Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 Spyder is, like its coupe version, a four-wheel drive with the driver being able to choose between three driving modes – Strada, Sport and Corsa. A simple switch of a button on the steering wheel, known as Anima (advanced network intelligence management), will allow the motorist to select the mode he wishes.

The Huracan Spyder, which has been built out of aluminum and carbon fiber ensuring it is as light as possible, is scheduled to go on sale next spring for approximately £205,000.

If this has wet your appetite to drive a Lamborghini, Luxury Car Rent has three from which to hire: An Adventurer Roadster, an Adventurer Coupe and a Huracan LP 610-4. Luxury Car Rent hire elite, supercars in Monaco, the French Riviera and the Alps. You can also reserve the new Lamborghini for 2016, or perhaps a new Mercedes or Ferrari, from Luxury Car Rent, in Cannes, Monaco or Saint Tropez.

A supercar rental from Cannes, Monaco or Saint Tropez is the perfect match to your luxury yacht charter on the French Riviera

5 Things You Must Do On The French Riviera

Eden-Roc hotel on the Cap d'Antibes, France

Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc

The French Riviera is famous the world over as the summer playground of the international jet-set and celebrities. From the beaches of St Tropez to the exhilaration of the Monaco Grand Prix, here are 5 Things You Must Do On The French Riviera!

1. Experience the Monaco Grand Prix

Yachts in the Port of Monaco for the Monaco Grand Prix

Yachts in the Port of Monaco for the Monaco Grand Prix

The most famous race on the Formula 1 calendar takes place on the streets of the Principality of Monaco during the last weekend in May. Whilst the race may not appeal to racing purists, there is no doubt that this is a spectacle not to be missed. For five days, the F1 circus completely takes over this glamorous micro-state. The race itself can be watched from various stands around the circuit or from the balconies of hotels and apartments trackside, but the ultimate way to experience this legendary event is from the deck of a luxury yacht berthed in the Port of Monaco! Imagine the fastest cars and drivers in the world flying past at huge speeds, literally metres from you, whilst you sit on the deck of a glamorous superyacht experiencing some of the finest service and cuisine known to man. If you are lucky enough to be on a yacht for the Monaco Grand Prix, you’ll also experience some of the best parties that take place on GP weekend. Also be sure to visit Amber Lounge, the star studded club owned by Sonia Irvine (sister of former Ferrari driver Eddie) that sets up shop in Monaco each year for the Grand Prix. Book a table and mingle with drivers past and present and the world’s international jet-set!

Bespoke Yacht Charter – www.bespokeyachtcharter.com

2. Stay at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc

Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc

Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc

You simply haven’t lived until you’ve stayed at this temple to all that is luxurious on the stunning Cap d’Antibes peninsula, between Nice and Cannes. Set in stunning landscaped gardens with panoramic views of the Mediterranean, the hotel consists of two distinct parts, the palatial Hotel du Cap and the seafront Eden-Roc pavilion. Both buildings feature lavish rooms and suites offering the ultimate in luxury and unparalleled standards of service. Dine in the fabulous Eden-Roc restaurant, recently voted as one of the 100 best restaurants in the world by Elite Traveller, or at the more casual but equally glamorous Grill by the pool. Sip cocktails on the terrace of the hotel’s fantastic new champagne bar, or pamper yourself in the divine Sisley Spa. This hotel is incredibly famous, and not just because it is here that stars flock during the Cannes Film Festival, the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc is truly the definitive luxury hotel experience on the French Riviera and one of the best hotels to be found anywhere in the world.

Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc – www.hotel-du-cap-eden-roc.com

3. See the French Riviera from the Air

Helicopter flying over the Port of St Tropez

Helicopter flying over the Port of St Tropez

The French Riviera is without doubt one of the most beautiful places in the world and what better way to appreciate it in all its’ glory than to see it from the air! You get some amazing views from your plane as you come into Nice Airport, but to really appreciate the amazing scenery of the region, you need to get into a helicopter. Regular helicopter flights operate between Nice Airport, Monaco, Cannes and St Tropez offering stunning views of the Côte d’Azur and reducing journey times greatly. It can take hours to get from Cannes to St Tropez by road in the middle of the summer, by helicopter, it takes less than 20 mins and offers fabulous views over the Esterel mountains. The helicopter service from Nice Airport to Monaco takes just 6 mins! It’s also surprisingly good value at €130 per person, only slightly more than a single taxi fare.

Héli Sécurité – www.helicopter-saint-tropez.com

4. Charter a Luxury Yacht

Luxury Yacht Charter on the French Riviera

Luxury Yacht Charter on the French Riviera

Luxury yachts are synomous with the French Riviera, but you don’t need to be a billionaire to enjoy one! Yachts of all sizes can be rented for the day, week or longer and there is something to suit (almost) all budgets. From a 20m motor yacht for the day to a 50m for a two week family holiday. As one of the most famous stretches of coastline anywhere in the world, it goes without saying that the very best way to experience the French Riviera is from a luxury yacht charter. Imagine arriving in such famous ports as Cannes, Monaco and St Tropez on your very own yacht, with a crew there to spoil you, and only you. No other method of travel offers such sublime luxury, privacy and the possibility to have breakfast in Antibes, lunch off Cap Ferrat and dinner in Monte-Carlo! All luxury yachts are fully crewed and offer service equal to that found in the world’s finest hotels and restaurants. Book your yacht with a charter broker specialising in the French Riviera. They will help you plan the perfect itinerary and use their local knowledge and contacts to secure the best berths and get you reservations at all the best beach clubs and restaurants.

Bespoke Yacht Charter – www.bespokeyachtcharter.com

5. Rent a Villa in St Tropez

Villa in Ramatuelle

Villa in Ramatuelle

Those looking for the ultimate Côte d’Azur holiday often choose to rent a villa in the Golf of St Tropez. This area encapsulates what the French Riviera is all about, from the superyachts and restaurants in the Port of St Tropez to the legendary beach clubs at Plage de Pampelonne, a luxurious villa makes the perfect base to experience all that the area has to offer. The best villas are located in St Tropez itself or in nearby Ramatuelle, Pampelonne, Gassin or La Croix Valmer. It goes without saying that these villas do not come cheap, but there are villas available at all price points. Consider renting in June or September to get the best deal. These months either side of the High Season are the perfect time to holiday on the French Riviera with great weather but without the huge crowds found in the major holiday months of July and August.

St Tropez House – www.sttropezhouse.com

3 of The Best Restaurants in Monaco!

Chef Marcel Ravin at Le Blue Bay

Chef Marcel Ravin at Le Blue Bay

The Principality of Monaco is one of the most popular ports of call on any luxury yacht charter on the French Riviera. This tiny country is renowned as one of the most glamorous yachting destinations in the Mediterranean and fans of gastronomy will not be disappointed, with everything from 3 Star Michelin cuisine to simple hearty Mediterranean food on offer in Monaco’s restaurants. Monaco is home to some legendary restaurants including the 3 Star Alain Ducasse at the Hotel de Paris in Casino Square and the 2 Star Joël Robuchon at The Metropole in Monte-Carlo. In this article, we are going to focus on three of the best restaurants in Monaco which we highly recommend visiting when in town on a luxury yacht charter!

Le Blue Bay

The Blue Bay is located in the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort on Avenue Princesse Grace in the Larvotto beach area of Monaco. Whilst this large hotel very much has a Vegas feel to it, this restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere and is something of an oasis of calm in the middle of Monaco. Chef Marcel Ravin hails from Martinique in the French Caribbean and has brought to Monaco his unique take on traditional French cuisine with strong Caribbean and Asian influences. Delightful flavours abound and the style of cuisine is perfectly suited to Monaco’s hot summers. Standout dishes include Foie Gras with Candy Flos and a dessert of Dim Sum made with tropical fruits! Ravin’s cuisine has received universal acclaim since the restaurant opened and he has been awarded one Michelin Star! The interior is stylish, light and airy but the most coveted tables are on the terrace and offer stunning views over the Mediterranean. Blue Bay offers surprisingly good value for Monaco with exquisite tasting menus available from €88 per person. Watch the wines though as they can do some serious damage to the wallet!

Le Blue Bay, Monte Carlo Beach Hotel, 40 Av. Princesse Grace, 98000 Monaco – Tel. +377 98 06 03 60

www.montecarlosbm.com/restaurants-in-monaco/gourmet/blue-bay/

Cipriani Monte-Carlo

Venice comes to Monaco via Mayfair and New York City… Cipriani offers classic Italian cooking in a fun and wonderfully glamorous atmosphere. Arriving at this restaurant, you will be greeted by a parade of Bugattis and Bentleys being dropped off with the valet by ultra chic diners. The menu will be instantly recognisable to anyone that has visited a Cipriani restaurant before. Standout starters include the stellar King Crab Salad and the delightfully simple “Pasta e Fagioli”. Mains are all the Italian classics, fantastic grilled fish, meat and of course truly exceptional pasta! You have not lived until you’ve tried “Tagliardi with veal ragù”! The dessert menu is delivered “live” at the table with all the sweet delights paraded around your table in a swirl of waiters’ arms! This is Italian restaurant theatre at its’ best and it works very well in Monaco! Cipriani Monte-Carlo is owned by the equally flamboyant Flavio Briatore, one time owner of the Benetton F1 team and longterm resident of Monaco. Briatore also owns the excellent Twiga nightclub nearby and it is here that many diners head to after dinner at Cipriani. Located under the tunnel that you’ll instantly recognise from the Monaco Grand Prix, Twiga offers a fantastic waterfront location to enjoy a glass or six of champagne and sets from the world’s superstar DJs, the glimmering lights of assembled superyachts providing a stunning backdrop! Twiga is without a shadow of a doubt the best nightspot in the Principality of Monaco!

Cipriani Monte-Carlo – 1 Av. Princesse Grace, 98000 Monaco – Tel. +377 93 25 42 50

www.ciprianimontecarlo.com

Cosmopolitan

Cosmopolitan is an excellent restaurant in the vibrant Rue du Portier area of Monaco. This delightful establishment utterly disproves the theory that it is impossible to eat in glamorous surroundings in Monaco without breaking the bank! Cosmopolitan is owned by an Italian/British couple and that is reflected in reflected in the menu, superb Squid Ink Pasta sits comfortably alongside Roast Beef and Fish and Chips! The food is consistently good and offers exceptional value for money in this prestigious location. Guests can dine either inside in a modern, funky interior or outside on a fabulous terrace enjoying the parade of supercars that are a constant feature in this street!

Cosmopolitan – 7 Rue du Portier, 98000 Monaco – Tel. +377 93 25 78 68

This restaurant has very sadly now closed!

The Best of Monaco & Eze

Hotel Metropole in Monte-Carlo

Hotel Metropole in Monte-Carlo

The glamorous Principality of Monaco and the stunning perched village of Eze are two places everyone should visit when holidaying on the French Riviera! From the glitz of Monaco’s Casino Square to the stunning food on offer at Chateau de la Chèvre d’Or in Eze, these two destinations have plenty to offer even the most discerning of travellers.

Discover The Best of Monaco & Eze in this article from Bespoke Yacht Charter.

French Riviera Castles Tour

Eze Village

Eze Village

The French Riviera is renowned for its exclusive lifestyle consisting of grand villas and luxury superyachts. However, it wasn’t always the attractive destination it is nowadays. Dating back to the Middle Ages, there have been numerous rivalries, battles and wars. Therefore, a selection of fortresses and castles were constructed at the peak of many of the perched villages to protect the region. These strategic fortifications offer an insight into the French Riviera’s history and culture and provide some of most awe-inspiring panoramic views along the dramatic coastline. Rent a luxury supercar and explore the best defensive fortresses in the region whilst driving one of the world’s finest coastal routes in style. Ferrari always seems to be the most popular option in the region.

Chateau de La Napoule – Mandelieu La Napoule

Begin your driving tour along the French Riviera in Mandelieu La Napoule, a beautiful unspoilt coastline resort situated east of Cannes. The 14th century castle is a famous landmark in the region, which looks onto the beautiful Golfe de la Napoule. It has a fascinating history stretching back over hundreds of years. Constructed in 1387 by the Countess of Villeneuve, it stood for many years as a medieval fortress. However, after being dismantled and transformed into a glass factory during the French Revolution in 1789, the castle was bought and restored by American artist and sculptor Henry Clews and his wife Marie. Henry focused on the architecture of the castle and his wife designed the impressive gardens. The castle is now open to the public under the management of The Henry Clews art foundation and Henry’s collection of art is on display to visitors.

Chateau de Villeneuve-Loubet – Villeneuve-Loubet

The next destination is Villeneuve-Loubet. Take your supercar rental for a magnificent coastal drive through the prestigious cities of Cannes and Antibes until you reach Villeneuve-Loubet, a historical, traditional town sitting on the hillside with stunning panoramic views of the Mediterranean. Constructed in the 13th century by the Romée of Villeneuve, this historic medieval fortress boasts an incredible history, experiencing war, occupation and revolution. Owned by the Panisse-Passis family since 1741, the castle has been inhabited, maintained and is now open to the public. Surrounded by immense gardens, the 33m watchtower offers a picturesque view of dramatic coastline.

Chateau-Musée Grimaldi – Cagnes-Sur-Mer

A short drive and you will arrive at the next historic castle, in the beautiful perched village of Cagnes-Sur-Mer. Towering over the small historic town, this ancient stronghold was built in the 1309 by Rainier Grimaldi, Lord of Cagnes-Sur-Mer, and transformed into a Baroque-style palatial home in 1620. At the summit of the hill, featuring grand towers and a triangular courtyard, this castle offers spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea. These days, the castle hosts a variety of international contemporary art exhibitions and also has a museum of modern art. An absolute must-visit on your French Riviera road trip!

Chateau de la Chèvre d’Or – Eze

The final castle on this driving tour is in the ancient commune of Eze. In the traditional hilltop village, within the old fortress walls and amongst the ruins is the luxurious Chateau de la Chèvre d’Or. Featuring breathtaking views of St Jean-Cap Ferrat and the Med, resides a world-class hotel with many terraces and a deluxe swimming pool. Enjoy an exquisite meal in the courtyard and watch the sunset on the horizon.

To finish the evening in style, drive round the winding roads into Monaco, taking in the phenomenal views. To round off an ideal day, pull up in front of the world famous Monte Carlo Casino, in your Ferrari rental and enjoy an exclusive evening in Monaco.

St Tropez as a Yacht Charter Destination

Yachts in the Port of St Tropez

Yachts in the Port of St Tropez

St Tropez on the French Riviera remains for many the quintessential luxury yacht charter destination in the Mediterranean. Every summer, luxury yachts on charter fill the Port of St Tropez. St Tropez is so popular with luxury yachts, that in July and August, there are often many hundreds of yachts anchored in the bay outside the port and at the nearby beaches in Pampelonne. Berths inside the Port of St Tropez are like gold-dust and those wanting to visit St Tropez on their luxury yacht charter need to book many months in advance in order to guarantee that all important berth inside the harbour. St Tropez offers it all to guests holidaying on a luxury yacht, great beaches, restaurants, shopping and nightlife but beautiful quiet anchorages are only a short cruise away! Since it rose to fame in the 1960s, St Tropez has remained the ultimate summer playground for the world’s jet-set, and despite competition from other destinations around the Mediterranean, St Tropez shows no signs of relinquishing its’ crown!

Ever wondered what it might be like to spend some time on a luxury yacht in St Tropez? Check out An Essential Guide to Yacht Charter in St Tropez

Other useful yachting articles: 10 Days in the South of France, Sardinia and Corsica onboard a Luxury Yacht CharterA Seven Day Luxury Yacht Charter on the French Riviera & Yacht Charters on the French Riviera

Also see: three of the best restaurants in Saint-Tropez