Exploring the 5 Senses on a French Riviera Yacht Charter

Aft deck on Pershing 115 yacht MISTRAL 55

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.

Read More: Exploring the 5 Senses on a South of France Yacht Charter

Ultimate Luxury on Land and Water

Ferrari tour on the French Riviera at Gorges du Verdon

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.

The Carlton beach in Cannes, France

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.

Èze Village

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.

Port Vauban marina in Antibes, France

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.

View over the Old Port of St Tropez

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.

Grande Corniche road on the French Riviera

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.

Ferrari and Lamborghini cars in southern France

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.

Stunning scenery in the south of France on driving tour

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.

Ferrari crossing bridge in the south of France

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.

Route de Thorenc, south of France

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.

EPIKdrives has indeed created an epic French Riviera Driving Tour that deserves to be tested on your next trip to France.

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Discover the most beautiful anchorages of the French Riviera

Superyacht at anchor at Cap Taillat on the French Riviera

The perfect French Riviera yacht charter is a tale of two glorious extremes.

On the one hand, there’s the spine-tingling glamour of docking in an exclusive marina like Monaco or St Tropez for a night of Michelin star dining and champagne-spraying decadence.

On the other, there’s the idyllic peace of sitting at anchor with a view of beaches and mountains, the only sounds the lapping of water on the hull and the soporific buzz of cicadas in the nearby pines. From your anchorage you can dive off the swim platform, get the water-toys out, or tender into one of the French Riviera’s fabulous beaches.

Being able to switch between exclusive marinas and tranquil anchorages within minutes is one of the reasons that the French Riviera continues to be one of the ultimate superyacht destinations.

To help you decide where to drop anchor on your South of France yacht charter, here are some of the best anchorage spots along the Cote d’Azur, cruising westward from Monaco to Marseille.

Read More: Stunning Anchorages along the French Riviera

4 Luxury Locations For Yacht Lovers To Invest In French Property

Luxury property and yachts on Cap Ferrat

The French Riviera is an esteemed location for luxury real estate, and the perfect setting if you’re looking for a rich lifestyle filled with entertainment, sunshine, beautiful scenery and outdoor adventures. Considered to be one of the ultimate yachting destinations in the world, the French Riviera has a perfect Mediterranean climate, as well as stunning luxury homes, whether you are looking for classic or contemporary, large or intimate.

Menton on the French Riviera

Situated in the south-east of France, the coastal region goes from Menton (near the Italian border) to Nice, Antibes, Cannes, Saint-Tropez and Cassis. Building regulations are strict to ensure the beautiful French coastline is not ruined, therefore demand for French Riviera property is high. Consider these four prime locations when searching for property on the French Riviera.

Cannes

Cannes is known for its bevy of luxury properties that attract the wealthy. The area’s plush real estate is why this is such a major hub for affluent home buyers. Homes are available in modern, bustling areas as well as in quieter historic districts and residential neighborhoods. Search for houses or apartments that are set against palm trees on the waterfront or in the heart of town near the best cafes and restaurants. If you’re seeking something more peaceful then look in the hills surrounding Cannes and benefit from stunning sea views! If you’re going to be renting your property out short- or long-term, look for an apartment in the centre of Cannes or a villa in a gated community, where you can rely on high security and peace of mind.

Villa for sale in Cannes

This villa in Cannes boasts contemporary architecture and refined décor. The entrance hall level has a large living room; dining room; fully-equipped kitchen overlooking a covered terrace; and three suites, all of which open into the garden, and that also have a dressing room and either a bathroom or shower room. The upper floor includes a master suite and a second suite, both with a large, private terrace. Outdoors, there’s a pool, pool house and driveway that leads to four garages.

Port de Cannes view from Le Suquet

Life in Cannes means easy access to a picturesque coastline and beaches, plus high-profile events, gourmet cuisine and high class shopping. The area is buzzing year-round, with a strong nightlife that includes live music, casinos and theatre. During the summer, large boats congregate on the nearby Lérins Islands.

Antibes

Located between Cannes and Nice, Antibes is home to Port Vauban, the largest private marina in Europe which is filled with huge superyachts. Exclusive villas, cozy penthouses and modern homes are close to immaculate beaches that can be visited year-round. While there are plenty of turnkey properties ready for immediate move-in, there are also project properties that you can work on in order to create your own, customised dream home (many of them already have renovation permits, too). Features of Antibes property include private garages, serene pool areas, fully-fitted kitchens, rooftop terraces, expansive patios, swimming pools and guest accommodation.

Villa for sale Cap d'Antibes

This lovely, contemporary Cap d’Antibes villa has been recently renovated using high-end materials. Aside from five bedrooms, this home also has a large, bright living room as well as a cinema room. Spend an afternoon lounging by the private swimming pool, then head into the pool house when you need a break from the sunshine.

Old Antibes / Vieil Antibes

Calm and laid-back, Antibes is known for the Marché Provencal covered market, where you can head for gourmet ingredients. Don’t miss scuba diving season, which lasts from May to October. Roam around to catch glimpses of pastel architecture and medieval towers.

Monaco

Though super small (less than one square mile), Monaco is a tiny principality with a huge personality – one that’s in high demand, too. Located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Southern Alps, living here gives you easy access to both the water and the mountains. Local architecture includes Belle Époque buildings, decadent palaces surrounded by manicured landscaping, and penthouses and apartments that look out onto the sea. By moving here, you’ll be amongst famous celebrities such as professional sportsmen (namely cyclists, golfers and F1 drivers), as well as models, musicians and some of Hollywood’s biggest names.

Apartment for sale Monaco

This one-bedroom apartment in Monaco is located in a prestigious building (complete with concierge service) on a residential boulevard. Bright and south-facing, this apartment has high ceilings, a lounge, a dressing room with made-to-measure units, a bedroom with terrace access, and an open-plan kitchen that leads onto a large balcony.

Casino Square in Monte-Carlo, Monaco

For a teeny, tiny place, Monaco packs in a lot to do. Head to a casino or museum, go golfing or attend a star-studded event. The area is extremely safe too, with 24-hour video surveillance of the entire principality and the world’s largest police for per capita and per square metre.

Saint-Tropez

Steeped in indulgence, excess and the best that life has to offer, Saint-Tropez is delightfully lacking when it comes to tourism sights. Head to the coastal Sentier du Littoral path, which runs along the peninsula and past the locale’s best, most extravagant villas. Other types of Saint-Tropez property include luxury apartments and vineyard estates. A large number of artists live in this part of the French Riviera, and you can watch them setup every morning on the port.

Villa-St-Tropez

This modern villa in Saint-Tropez has a dazzling, pristine interior that stretches across three levels. Five bedrooms have bath and shower rooms, the kitchen is state-of-the-art and many of the living areas are open-plan. Other amenities include a wine cellar, home cellar, electric gates and home automation system. The manicured, fenced-in garden has a variety of Mediterranean plants and trees, plus an automatic watering system.

View over the Old Port of St Tropez

From crystal-clear swimming holes and the rocky coast to high-end dining and designer shopping, Saint-Tropez offers the ultimate jet setting lifestyle. When the 100,000 inhabitants thin out after the summer season, the area becomes peaceful and charming. Stroll down Old Town’s narrow streets or spend an afternoon at Le Café.

One Last Thought

When you purchase a French Riviera property, you also buy into a lifestyle. Opulent housing is available along the waterfront, as well on the outskirts of town, away from the hustle and bustle. When buying such a property, consider speaking to a buyer’s agent such as French property specialists, Home Hunts, they will go out and handpick a selection of luxury properties that meet your requirements and specifications, whether you’re searching for a full-time residence abroad or a holiday home.

Discover this jewel of a property in Mougins

Villa-Mediterranee-Mougins-France

Today you are invited to discover a very exclusive architect’s villa in the heart of Côte d’Azur! Designed by the renowned José Tauzia, this prestigious property has all the features of an authentic villa, modernised to the taste of the day. Zoom on a timeless and contemporary home on the French Riviera.

Villa detail in Mougins, Cote d'Azur

Equipped with all modern amenities and designed in the purest Azurean traditions, this exceptional villa will charm you. Welcome to Villa Méditerranée, the latest creation of the luxury real estate developer “Pride Invests”. You will literally fall in love with this house made of 516sqm of luxury and refinement. Villa Méditerranée is a true architectural masterpiece!

Front of Mougins villa France

In the heart of Mougins, one of the most beautiful villages of the French Riviera, this elegant property is located in one of the most sought-after neighbourhoods of the village, the “Saint Barthelemy” district. This ultra-residential and historic district, is an enchanting environment hosting some of the most beautiful villas of the Côte d’Azur. Close to all amenities, the villa is surrounded by a magnificent pine forest. In addition to its beautifully landscaped garden, the villa has a heated swimming pool and a jacuzzi,  that will allow you enjoy the summer sun. As the possibilities are endless, you will also be able to relax in the shade of the pine trees under the charming pergola designed by José Tauzia.

Pergola at Mougins villa, French Riviera

This villa will offer 5 bedrooms, a large living room and an open kitchen … Each bedroom will have its ensuite bathroom as well as its own dressing room. In addition, the villa is equipped with extra living spaces such as an office, a fitness room, a sauna …

Kitchen in villa in Mougins, France

The conditions will be more than perfect to welcome your family and friends and build incredible memories. Whether you choose it as your main residence or as your secondary home, Villa Méditerranée is the home of your dreams!

Last but not least, Pride of Côte d’Azur, wished to leave the possibility to its customers to choose between two types of interior layout. You will be spoiled with endless options and possibilities to define the floor plans of your villa as well as the finishes that make you dream!

Mougins villa master bathroom

The Villa Méditerranée is a bastide with Provencal accents, but with clean lines. Nothing comparable to what is currently available on the market. Pride of Côte d’Azur has chosen to affirm its own personality asserting itself with an identity of its own. And what a success! Elegant structure, large openings that allow the light to enter the rooms. Like a Venetian palace…. On the French Riviera!

Lovers of luxury and style will be seduced by Villa Méditerrannée and by the other projects of this company led with an international vision.

Villa Méditerranée in Mougins, French Riviera

Pride of Côte d’Azur makes it a point of honour to ensure that it delivers quality work while respecting essential ethics and deontology. The company is surrounded by the best local providers to make your dream come true.

When will your turn come?

Luxury Shopping on a French Riviera Yacht Charter

Chanel boutique in St Tropez, France

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

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

Ferrari in the port of St Tropez, France

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

Shopping in Monaco 

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

Casino Square in Monte-Carlo, Monaco

The Cercle d’Or & Summer Pavilions

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

Pavillons Monte Carlo luxury shopping in Monaco

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

Chanel store in Monte-Carlo, Monaco

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

Town Centre

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

La Condamine

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

Rue Princess Caroline in Monaco
Shopping Malls

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

Metropole shopping mall in Monaco

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

Markets

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

Food market in Monaco

Things worth knowing

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

Shopping in Cannes

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

The Hotel Carlton in Cannes, France

The Croisette

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

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

Dior boutique in Cannes, France

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

Rue d’Antibes

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

The Rue d'Antibes shopping street in Cannes

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

Rue des Etats-Unis

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

Rue Meynadier

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

Maison Bremond in rue Meynadier, Cannes

Shopping Malls

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

Markets

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

Forville market in Cannes, France

Things worth knowing

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

Shopping in Saint Tropez

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

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

Global Fashion houses

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

Local Boutiques

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

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

Vilebrequin swimming shorts with red dolphins on blue

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

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

Markets and Cellars

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

Market in Place des Lices, St Tropez

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

Things to know

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

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

What to Wear on a Luxury Yacht Charter

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

Vilebrequin navy blue linen shirtBut since superyachts have their own unique dress code, it’s not always easy to decide what to pack!

 

Louis Vuitton Damier travel bag

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

Vilebrequin father and son swimming trunks

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

10 Ways a Yacht Charter beats other Luxury Vacations

Luxury yacht in Porto Cervo, Sardinia

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

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

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

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

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

Sanlorenzo 40m yacht in the port of Monaco

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

Superyachts in Cannes, France

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

Riva boats in Monaco

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

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

Food Markets of the French Riviera

Forville market in Cannes, France

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

French Riviera Food Markets

Things to do with Children on your French Riviera Yacht Charter

Jacuzzi on motor yacht ANTISAN

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

Parasailing off the beach at Nice in the south of France

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

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

A Celebrity History of the French Riviera

Brigitte Bardot and Roger Vadim in St Tropez

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

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

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

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

6 of The Best Restaurants on the French Riviera!

Restaurant La Vague d'Or in St Tropez

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

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

6 top restaurants of the French Riviera

Artists on the French Riviera

The Picasso museum in Antibes on the French Riviera

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

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

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

An Art-Lover’s Ultimate French Riviera Yacht Charter

The Cuisine of Provence and The French Riviera

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

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

Food of the French Riviera

Discover Roquebrune-Cap-Martin

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Located between Monaco and Menton, east of Nice you’ll find the commune of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, an idyllic area of the French Riviera that is not as esteemed as the popular yacht charter destinations of Cannes or Saint Tropez, but with all the appealing elements that are unmistakably Côte d’Azur.

Roquebrune-Cap-Martin has a photogenically Mediterranean setting with a medieval Château dominating the village before the landscape drops down to the sea. There are three distinct parts that make up the commune – the town with coastal resort, Cap Martin and the medieval village.

History of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin

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.

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If you are in Monaco in April don’t miss the chance to ski in the morning and watch the Rolex Tennis Masters at Monte-Carlo Country Club 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!

Yacht Charters on the French Riviera

Yachts in the harbour of Cannes, France

Known worldwide as the go to destination for a superyacht charter, the French Riviera has upheld its strong reputation amongst the elites for decades, making it a particularly popular region for yachting with hotspots such as Monaco, Cannes and St Tropez.

The proximity of Nice’s airport to Monaco, Cannes and other key locations on the Riviera transform it into a magnet for private jets in the summer, which are catered to by a separate terminal throughout the year. From there, transport can be easily arranged to start a charter either in the Port of Nice itself or even in Monaco, just 7 minutes away by helicopter.

How to charter a yacht on the French Riviera

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.

Monte-Carlo Beach Club – www.montecarlosbm.com/wellness-sport/monte-carlo-beach-club/

Monte Carlo Beach

Monte-Carlo Beach

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 at Nikki Beach Monaco 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.

Nikki Beach Monaco – www.nikkibeach.com/destinations/beach-clubs/monaco/

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

Nikki Beach Monaco

La Note Bleue

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 La Note Bleue in Monaco. This sophisticated beach club at Monaco’s Larvotto Beach 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.

La Note Bleue – www.lanotebleue.mc

Cap Ferrat

Paloma Beach

For sheer celebrity history and Mediterranean charm, it would be hard to go past Paloma Beach, 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 at Paloma Beach offers heart-soaring views of cliffs and blue-green sea, with opulent villas climbing the steep slopes behind. Paloma Beach 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 Beach 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 each is the French Riviera, and it would be remiss not to stop here on your Cote d’Azur yacht charter.

Paloma Beach – 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.

Plage Keller – 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.

Z Plage – 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 in Cannes’ Port Canto, 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 hotel, 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.

Baoli Beach – 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 beach club.

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.

Club 55 – www.club55.fr

Club 55 beach club in St Tropez

Club 55

Nikki Beach St Tropez

For a younger and wilder crowd, head to Nikki Beach St Tropez 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 St Tropez 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.

Nikki Beach St Tropez – www.nikkibeach.com

Nikki Beach in St Tropez, France

Nikki Beach St Tropez

Bagatelle Beach

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 Beach is one such venue, expanding to Saint Tropez after success in St Barts, Rio, and New York. After a fire destroyed the beach club in early 2016, Bagatelle Beach 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.

Bagatelle Beach – www.bagatellesttropez.com

Bagatelle beach club in St Tropez

Bagatelle Beach

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