Geographically located between Nice and Monaco, Cap Ferrat is dotted with splendid villas hidden behind stately gates and sub-tropical gardens; a haven in the past and today to the world’s rich and famous including singers, actors, politicians and royalty such as Somerset Maugham, King Léopold II of Belgium, American film director Otto Preminger, Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Cocteau, David Niven and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.
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 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.
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, Saint Martin de Belleville
La Bouitte is a charming hotel located at the foot of the Saint-Marcel ski slopes in Saint–Martin 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 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, 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.
It’s that time of the year again, where the ports between Imperia and St Tropez start to fill up with incoming yachts returning from tropical off-season adventures in the Caribbean or further afield.
As we prepare for another summer season, charters are booked, itineraries are created, and preferences sheets are filled out. When it comes to the wine selection onboard, many guests understandably stay true to tried and tested favourites: Champagne (a pre-requisite), a good Sancerre (Sauvignon Blanc) or white Burgundy (Chardonnay), a mix of Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot), Burgundy (Pinot Noir) and Rhône (Syrah/Grenache) for the reds, and a crisp, dry rosé from Provence.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Fine gastronomy enriches a luxury yacht charter experience. Today’s superyacht chef is a master of his craft, with a wealth of experience in some of the best kitchens around the world. Nevertheless, exploring the best onshore restaurants offers a cultural experience that should not be missed: a tantalising array of flavours, refined by the tastes of exotic cultures, which invigorate the palate. Superyacht charter guests can best enjoy five-star dining experiences in or near the luxury marinas that characterise Mediterranean coastlines.
We’ve handpicked a selection of our favourite institutions for fine dining in close proximity to Mediterranean marinas:
Situated at the end of the Barceloneta boardwalk, Enoteca serves a sumptuous and contemporary Mediterranean menu, with an alluring wine list. This two Michelin-starred restaurant takes inspiration from its prime waterfront location and offers an array of avant-garde seafood dishes, with a Catalunyan twist, of course. Chef Paco Perez’s Esparden (sea cucumbers) alone are a reason to incorporate a night in Barcelona into yourMediterranean yacht charter itinerary.
So long overshadowed by Monaco and Cannes, Nice’s port is starting to step out of her more glamorous neighbours’ shadow and offers a selection of fine dining institutions. The streets that fan out from the port have undergone a renaissance in the past year or two and are now home to the city’s hottest bars and restaurants; none more so than Jan, on Rue Lascaris. Run by Jan Hendrick, an ex-superyacht chef himself, the restaurant’s menu blends contemporary French cuisine with ingredients from his native South Africa. The cosy dining room offers aesthetic perfection. It’s no surprise that Jan received his first Michelin star earlier this year.
Monaco’s Le Louis XV is the flagship restaurant of Chef Alain Ducasse’s fine dining empire. Set inside the freshly renovated Hôtel de Paris on Monaco’s iconic Casino Square, this three Michelin-starred restaurant offers a stunning panorama of the Monte Carlo coastline. The new design evokes glamorous Riviera beachside living, while the cuisine also reflects the restaurant’s glamorous location, serving up a gastronomic voyage of discovery.
Give the captain and crew a night off during your yacht charter in Italy, and treat yourself to an exquisite experience at Naples’ Il Comandante. Set on the top floor of the modern Romeo Hotel, the name (‘the Captain’) is a nod to the city’s maritime heritage. Diners can enjoy a spectacular view of the port and the bay of Naples beyond. Using the finest ingredients from both land and sea, this elegant and contemporary menu thoroughly deserves its one Michelin-starred status.
April 23rd marks the opening date for one of the Mediterranean’s most exclusive restaurants: La Guerite. Enjoying a meal at this lavish eatery is not as simple as reserving a table; diners must first cross a short stretch of the Mediterranean to reach the Iles de Lerins, on which the restaurant is located. The reward for doing so is threefold: breathtaking views of the Côte d’Azur, a sumptuous menu of multicultural cuisine and an air of exclusive luxury.
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 Cote d’Azur yacht charter – 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.
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.
Saint-Paul-de-Vence, located 15 minutes’ drive inland from the coast, was once a refuge from Saracen raiders and even today, the well-preserved town ramparts built by François I in the 16th century give a nice medieval ambience and offer lovely views to the sea and across a landscape of olive and cypress trees and red-roofed villas.
The surrounding countryside and Mediterranean climate allowed the village to flourish thanks to orange trees, olives, vines and figs and now tourism brings throngs of visitors to this picturesque hillside town. In spite of the high season crowds, it is one of the most famous – yet loveliest – village perché in the French Riviera region.
The French Riviera is home to some of the most magnificent real estate in the world. Combining cutting edge design with traditional Provençal charm, spectacular settings and unbelievable views, many of these properties are available to rent by the week. As a land base, these rentals offer the perfect complement to a Mediterranean Yacht Charter, enabling you to combine seafaring adventure with land-based luxury.
With such an incredible selection of villas to choose from, it’s tough to name our favourites. We’ve narrowed down a selection of the finest, basing our decision on those villas that replicate the luxuriousness of superyachts.
Here are our five favourite villa rentals on the French Riviera:
Best for Waterfront:
It’s easy to fall in love with Villa Amourai, located in the prestigious ‘Les Parcs de Saint Tropez’ private domain. This waterfront villa has unobstructed views of the Mediterranean, which are best enjoyed from the heated swimming pool or master bedroom, and allows direct access to the beach. The property has five bedrooms, including one boasting a glass ceiling under the swimming pool, a fitness room and helipad.
This ultra modern villa is furnished to the highest of standards and makes for a secluded and spacious getaway, accommodating 10 people in five en-suite bedrooms. Special features include a roof garden, swimming pool and pool house, and a private chef.
Best for Corporate:
Located in the heart of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, within easy reach of Monaco, Nice and Cannes, Domaine Mareeba offers an exclusive setting for corporate retreats. The domain has the capacity to accommodate up to 24 guests in three recently constructed luxury villas. This contemporary estate is light and spacious, offering a swimming pool, immaculate gardens and private access to the harbour. It is a complete package for professional escapes.
Best for St Tropez:
Villa Tennessee is an idyllic retreat, offering a unique insight into real St Tropez living, situated within a very short driving distance of the town’s main square, Place des Lices. A modern villa, this charming rental offers landscaped gardens, plenty of outside entertaining areas, a swimming pool and seven luxurious bedrooms. What’s more, you’ll only be a stone’s throw away from the glamorous nightlife, for which this pretty settlement is world-famous.
Best for Family:
La Bergerie in Tourettes is a property that will appeal to all members of the family. The 1.4 hectare estate is set within the renowned Terre Blanches golf resort, a mere 25 minutes from the famous Croisette in Cannes.
The property boasts a cinema room, summer kitchen, swimming pool and boules court. With a live-in chef and hostess included in the rental rates, and a capacity to sleep 12 guests, it’s safe to say that all the family will enjoy a holiday at this exclusive retreat!
Beaulieu-sur-Mer is situated between Nice and Monaco, a seaside resort that is blessed with a picturesque setting and history books that are dotted with tales of royalty, movie stars and politicians visiting to enjoy the mild climate.
It is here that you will find Villa Kérylos, one of the French Riviera’s cultural gems that was previously managed by Culturespaces but from January 2016 is now under the management umbrella of the CMN (Centre des Monuments Nationaux). The villa was historically listed in 1966 and becomes the 99th national monument in France to be overseen by the CMN.
Walking in the south of France offers the ideal opportunity to explore a diverse and beautiful landscape whether you are a casual stroller or an ardent hiker. From coastal promenades to mimosa-covered hills, Mediterranean oak forests to alpine valleys, the French Riviera really is a walker’s paradise.
Vieux Nice (Nice’s Old Town) is one of the most fascinating places to visit on the French Riviera. This maze of quaint, narrow, colourful streets is home to fantastic shops and restaurants and has a unique atmosphere. Key highlights include the famous flower market in the Cours Saleya, Nice Opera House, the bars and restaurants of Rue de la Préfecture and excellent shopping in Rue Saint François de Paule.
Imagine zooming along curving mountain roads with the sun on your face and the wind in your hair – there’s no better way to explore the south of France than on a driving tour. This part of the world is sexy, sophisticated, sun-drenched and irresistible.
This road was cut through the rock in the 1920s and takes drivers from the seaside town of Nice past the Col de Villefranche to Menton. It was constructed to provide for an increase in aristocratic tourism to the French Riviera in the 1910s and 20s. On this gorgeous road you’ll drive alongside the cliffs and enjoy breath-taking views of the coast. Stop in Eze, a tiny medieval village perched on a rocky peak that is a jewel in the crown of the French Riviera.
This is a beautiful road for enjoying glimpses of the coastline of Southern France, so take your time and allow yourself the chance to stop at many parking areas to observe the gorgeous views and glimpse the amazing luxury yachts at anchor.
The Col de la Bonette
The most amazing road to drive in Southern France is the Col de la Bonette – a famous route through the Alps that is among the highest mountain roads in Europe. As spectacular as the road is, it is actually quite a smooth and pleasant drive. The road surface is well maintained and the gentle sweeping cures of the road are easy to follow. As you climb up from sea level to the higher altitudes you will find yourself leaving the greenery and entering a barren, almost volcanic landscape. At the peak of the route you will have climbed to an altitude of 2807 m.
The road descending the Col de la Bonette is a little more thrilling, feeling more like a race circuit than a normal driving route.
If you’re looking to take in the road as part of a driving holiday, why not include a stay in nearby Nice or Monaco? The Lamborghini Gallardo, with all its power, is a great vehicle by which to summit the road.
La Grande Corniche
This picturesque drive takes you between Nice and Marseille on a stunning sea view route between the two. La Grande Corniche hugs the coastline of the glittering blue Mediterranean and was called the “World’s Most Romantic Road” by The Independent. The road was designed by the L’Ecole des Ponts et Chaussees, in order to provide for the ambition Italian campaign of Napoleon in 1796.
The most beautiful section of the road comes between Eze and Nice, where you will be able to see the jagged Alps in the background, the endless blue sea and the Maures Massif.
Why not take one of these French Riviera driving routes through the stunning scenery in Southern France – an adventure on four wheels that will thrill and enchant you.
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
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 charter at 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!
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.
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.
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 Cote d’Azur yacht charter 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.
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.
The French Riviera on France’s Mediterranean coast is the definitive luxury yacht charter destination and to this day remains the most popular place in the world to charter a luxury yacht. The fabulous climate, stunning landscapes and legendary resorts offer endless variety and continue to impress even the most seasoned of charterer. It is often said that the original is the best, and when it comes to the finest luxury yacht charters, the French Riviera shows no signs of losing its’ crown and is THE place everyone wants to be on a luxury yacht charter each summer! The French Riviera really is the perfect place to enjoy some time on a fabulous yacht!
The yacht charter season on the French Riviera runs from May through to the end of September, beginning with the world renowned Cannes Film Festival in mid May and running through to the Monaco Yacht Show in late September. The climate is fabulous with long sunny days and temperatures between the mid twenties and low thirties for most of the summer months. Occasional thunderstorms never last long, the same is true of the Mistral winds (usually!). The Mediterranean warms up as the season goes on, at its’ warmest in the latter part of the summer, but it is ideally suited to swimming and water sports throughout the yachting season. July and August are the very busy months when everyone wants to be on the French Riviera, ports such as Cannes, Monaco and St Tropez are packed and berths are very hard come by, meaning that many yachts spend much of their time at anchor either outside the ports or off beaches. The same is true ashore where restaurants are full and the roads are crowded. If you do wish to charter a yacht on the French Riviera during July and August, it is definitely worth thinking ahead. Not only will you have the best choice of yachts but your yacht charter broker will also be able to secure you berths in all the ports you want to visit and get you reservations at the best restaurants and beach clubs from St Tropez to Monaco. If your calendar allows it, then by far the best time to visit the French Riviera on a yacht is in the off season of June and September. The ports are much quieter making it a great deal easier to get a prime berth position in the Port of St Tropez or Cannes, the restaurants are less busy, but there is still a great buzz about the place, and of course that fantastic weather for which the French Riviera is renowned. And as an added bonus, most luxury yachts offer considerably lower charter rates in June and September than they do in the high season of July/August.
Here are some key yacht charter destinations on the French Riviera:
Port Vauban in Antibes is the Mediterranean Superyacht Capital and home to some of the world’s largest yachts. As so many yachts are based in Antibes, it is highly likely that your charter may begin here. The Old Town of Antibes is a maze of beautiful medieval streets with great restaurants and cafes. Antibes also has an excellent Provencal Food Market. A visit to the Picasso Museum in the Château Grimaldi is highly recommended!
Les Vieux Murs – 25 Promenade Amiral de Grasse, 06600 Antibes, France
Excellent French cuisine in a beautiful location on the ramparts of the Old Town of Antibes.
The name says it all! Beaulieu-sur-Mer is a very beautiful little town to the east of the Cap Ferrat peninsula. Beaulieu-sur-Mer has a fantastic marina that can accommodate yachts up to 30m in length.
The African Queen – Port de Plaisance, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, France
By no means the finest food available on the French Riviera, but a great atmosphere on offer here. The African Queen has been an institution in the South of France for years and attracts many famous faces. Well worth a visit if you decide to visit Beaulieu on your yacht.
Cannes is perhaps the most famous of all destinations on the French Riviera, well known for its’ annual Film Festival and the palatial hotels that line the Boulevard de la Croisette that runs along the seafront. Berth your yacht in the Port of Cannes and explore Le Suquet, the historical part of Cannes that occupies the hillside next to the port.
Mantel – 22 Rue St Antoine, 06400 Cannes, France
Fabulous modern French cuisine in this beautiful restaurant in Le Suquet. Highly recommended!
Cap d’Ail is a French town that borders the Principality of Monaco to the east. There are really two parts to Cap d’Ail, the modern Port of Cap d’Ail right on the border with Monaco and the beautiful residential peninsula to the west that is home to some of the most impressive villas on the French Riviera. Cap d’Ail is also home to Plage Mala, one of the most beautiful beaches on the French Riviera. Plage Mala is a stunning anchorage and very popular with yachts of all sizes. There are two beach clubs at Plage Mala, both of which will collect you from your yacht by dinghy and take you ashore for a long, lazy lunch.
Eden Plage – Plage Mala, 06320 Cap d’Ail, France
Beach restaurant in the most stunning location at Plage Mala. Food is not amazing but the atmosphere is great and views are to die for!
Cap d’Antibes is a very glamorous yet understated peninsula nestled between the towns of Antibes and Juan Les Pins. Largely hidden amongst the thick pine trees are some of the most spectacular properties on the French Riviera. There are some great beach clubs at La Garoupe that offer beautiful swimming as well as great food right on the sand. Cap d’Antibes is home to the world famous Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, an amazing hotel right on the waterfront that is consistently voted as one of the finest hotels in the world. The hotel has a dock so you can come ashore from your charter yacht for lunch or just a drink by the pool with the most spectacular views over the Bay of Juan Les Pins towards Cannes.
Les Pecheurs – 10 Boulevard Marechal Juin, 06160 Antibes, France
Berth your yacht in Port Gallice and head to this beautiful restaurant for stunning 1 Star Michelin cuisine in a truly fabulous setting right on the water.
Of all the prestigious peninsulas on the French Riviera, Cap Ferrat is the most glamorous and it is here that you’ll find some of the most expensive real estate in the world. The town of St Jean Cap Ferrat has a pretty port where you can moor your yacht as long as it’s not too big. If not you’ll be at anchor, like hundreds of other superyachts that anchor off Cap Ferrat every summer. Great walks and swimming are on offer all around the Cap! A visit to the beautiful Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild and its’ gardens is highly recommended.
Paloma Beach – Av. Jean Mermoz, 06230 St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France
Fabulous beach restaurant with excellent fresh fish and plenty of chilled rose wine! A very popular destination with yacht charterers.
Eze is located between Cap d’Ail and Beaulieu sur Mer. In consists of two distinct parts, the seaside Eze Bord de Mer where one finds the beautiful and very popular Anjuna Beach, and Eze Village, a fantastic perched medieval village with stunning views of the Mediterranean below.
Cap Estel – 1312 Avenue Raymond-Poincare, 06360 Eze, France
Fantastic restaurant at the Cap Estel hotel, one of the most glorious locations on the entire French Riviera! The stunning gardens are surrounded by the Mediterranean on three sides. Chef Patrick Raingeard has created a wonderful menu of beautifully inventive dishes. The food is truly worthy of the location.
Juan Les Pins is the resort of Antibes, separated by the Cap d’Antibes peninsula. Thanks to its’ beautiful sandy beach, it became popular as a holiday resort in the 1930s and is also home to the famous Jazz à Juan Jazz Festival. Charter yachts can berth in Port Gallice or anchor in the beautiful Bay of Juan Les Pins.
Le Festival de la Mer – 146, Boulevard du President Wilson, 06160 Juan Les Pins, France
Great fish restaurant right in the heart of Juan Les Pins. A real people watching spot! A drink at the Crystal bar next door is also a must when in Juan Les Pins.
Sadly Now Closed
The beautiful city of Menton is located east of Monaco, just before the Italian border. Often overlooked by those on yacht charters which is a pity as Menton is very much worth a visit! Some of the architecture in both modern Menton and the historic Vieux Menton is simply stunning! Mention has two ports where you can berth your yacht, the Old Port right in the centre of Menton and Port Garavan to the east, close to the Italian border.
Mirazur – 30 Avenue Aristide Briand, 06500 Menton, France
Exquisite 2 Star Michelin cuisine by Chef Mauro Colagreco in beautiful location just moments from Italy.
No luxury yacht charter on the French Riviera would be complete without a visit to the glamorous Principality of Monaco! Berth your yacht in Port Hercule which is home to some of the world’s largest yachts. There is a great deal to do in Monaco, but at the very least, ensure that you see the Grand Prix Circuit and visit Casino Square where you’ll find the Hotel du Paris and of course the legendary Casino de Monte-Carlo!
Blue Bay – 40, avenue Princesse Grace, Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort, Monte-Carlo 98000, Monaco
Chef Marcel Ravin offers some of the best food to be found anywhere in Monaco at the Blue Bay at Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort. Truly fabulous cuisine that equals anything on offer at the more illustrious establishments of Alain Ducasse and Joel Robuchon!
Nice is the Queen of the French Riviera and its’ capital city. Many people coming to the French Riviera arrive at Nice Airport and that’s all they see of Nice. This is a mistake as Nice is truly one of France’s great cities. Imagine Paris with great weather and palm trees, Nice is a wonderful city with strong Italian influences and some fabulous architecture. Great shopping is on offer, from simple food markets to high end designer boutiques. The Port of Nice is a great place to berth for a night during your yacht charter and to enjoy all that this great city has to offer.
Le Chantecler – 37 Promenade des Anglais, 06000 Nice, France
Le Chantecler is the restaurant at the palatial Hotel Negresco on the Promenade des Anglais. This is French fine dining at its’ very best in truly opulent surroundings.
Roquebrune Cap Martin, like nearby Eze is made up of two distinct parts, the hilltop Roquebrune Village and the beautiful Cap Martin Peninsula. Cap Martin lies just east of Monaco and is one of the finest places to anchor you yacht. Crystal clear water is great for swimming and the views of Monaco to the west and Menton to the east are just breathtaking!
Restaurant l’Hippocampe – 44 Avenue Winston Churchill, 06190 Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France
Fantastic waterfront restaurant offering incredible views over the Mediterranean towards Menton. The restaurant has been run by the same family since the 1950s, a rarity on the French Riviera. Food is unpretentious and of high quality.
St Tropez is legendary as a yachting destination and is the number one requested destination in the world for luxury yacht charters. From the quayside cafes and restaurants to the luxurious shops in town and the stunning beach at Pampelonne, St Tropez truly has it all as a destination for the ultimate luxury holiday in the sun.
Cristina Saulini – 13 rue des Feniers, Saint-Tropez, France
Truly exceptional authentic Italian cooking in a beautifully decorated little restaurant tucked away in a pretty old street in the Old Town of St Tropez. Highly recommended!
Villefranche lies just east of Nice at the western base of the Cap Ferrat peninsula. Villefranche is one of the deepest natural harbours in the Mediterranean which has meant it has been very important location on the French Riviera throughout history. Pretty colourful houses and restaurants run along the quayside. This is a wonderful place to anchor your yacht, with the vibrant Old Town of Villefranche on one side and the beautiful Cap Ferrat peninsula behind you.
La Mere Germaine – 7 Quai Amiral Courbet, 06230 Villefranche-sur-Mer, France
Great fish on offer at this institution on the waterfront in Villefranche. You can arrive by yacht!
Bespoke Yacht Charter are a London and French Riviera based company offering crewed luxury yacht charters on superyachts, motor yachts and sailing yachts from 25-100m. Our charter brokers know the French Riviera like the back of their hands and working with you and the Captain of your yacht, we will create the ultimate south of France yacht cruise carefully tailored to your individual needs!
From Avignon in the west, to Nice in the far southeast corner, the Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur (PACA) region of France, has attracted the who’s who of the art world over the years. The list is impressive; Cézanne, Picasso, Matisse, Renoir and even Van Gogh were all taken by a beautiful and varied region that had the added advantage for many of easing the pain of arthritis. We take a quick look through some of the most famous artists who made the region their home, how you can follow their trail and view inspiring original works.
Famous Impressionist Paul Cézanne found his way to the beautiful western Provence town of Aix-en-Provence, situated just to the north of Marseille. It is here that his ‘atelier,’ the studio in which he used to work sits today; preserved in the same manner he left it in when he died in October 1906. Today, the studio is open for visits, and you can discover the way he lived and the inspiration behind many of his paintings. View the real life objects that became the muse behind many of his stills. The town itself is worth a walk around, boasting markets which sell traditional Provençal produce, charming restaurants and the impressive Mont Sainte Victoire dominates the landscape. As the light reflects off the side of the mountain it becomes easy to see why it features in over 60 paintings by Cézanne.
Picasso was another great artist inspired by the South of France, from Aix-en-Provence where he followed in the footsteps of “father of us all” Cézanne, to areas further to the east of the PACA, including Mougins and Vallauris. In the centre of the latter stands his ‘homme au mouton’ and it was here that Picasso moved away from painting and towards creating sculptures and ceramics from materials found in the local area. A short drive towards the coastal town of Antibes allows visitors to the area to discover the Picasso Museum in the Chateau Grimaldi, which displays the great man’s early work and overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and the luxury yachts, it is a fantastic juxtaposition between the old and new French Riviera. In the museum you can discover more than 300 examples of Picasso’s work.
Picasso also cited our next artist as an inspiration, so we move down the road to the coastal town of Cagnes-sur-Mer, just a 15-minute drive (or 10 minute train journey) from Antibes. This is where one of the leaders of the Impressionist movement, Pierre-Auguste Renoir called home for 12 years. Visitors can explore his last home where he lived with his family, painted and sculpted in the latter years of his life. One of the highlights of any visit to the Renoir Museum in Cagnes-sur-Mer is a wander around the grounds which look out towards the medieval centre of the town and the Chateau Grimaldi (yes, them again), are full of citrus trees and olive groves and are home to one of Renoir’s best sculptures. There are 14 original paintings, family photographs and countless sculptures to admire, as well as a somewhat inspiring video of Renoir painting – and smoking – in spite of his arthritis. The museum was recently renovated and is a fascinating insight into the everyday life of one of France’s most prodigious artistic families.
The final stop on our artistic tour of Provence and the French Riviera is Nice. Open since 1963, the Villa des Arènes in the calm neighbourhood of Cimiez is home to the Matisse Museum, with donations from the man himself and his next of kin. The museum holds 68 paintings and gouaches, 236 drawings, 95 photos, 57 sculptures and several objects that belonged to Matisse, who spent 37 years in Nice and resided in the nearby Regina Hotel. The building itself is a beautiful 17th Century villa and is located in the same park as the Archaeological Museum, the remains of a Roman arena and a beautiful Franciscan monastery with beautifully kept gardens and views out towards the Mediterranean Sea and the huge villas on Mont Boron. Unless you are training to climb Everest, it is probably best to either drive or take one of the local buses to the museum during the summer months, as the walk from the centre of Nice is fairly steep.
Covering such a large distance, it is probably best to choose which of these artists you prefer and make a decision on where to stay based on this preference. Affinity Holidays France has an extensive range of family villas in South France which stretch from near Avignon in the west towards Antibes in the east. These make the perfect base for discovering the artistic side of the South of France.
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.
Even if your yacht has a stew/masseuse, there are many reasons why getting a dedicated spa therapist on board is the ultimate luxury experience.
1. You can have a massage every day, whenever you like
Massage and beauty treatments are similar to food on charters – you should be able to have a much as you desire! Having a dedicated spa therapist on board allows you to luxuriate in a treatment every day, whether it’s a massage, a manicure, a beauty facial or a yoga lesson. Instant pampering whenever you wish – it’s the definition of luxury.
2. You will feel like you have landed in Paradise
Imagine drifting into supreme relaxation to the sound of the ocean, as you have your feet massaged on deck. Or the fresh morning sea breeze on your face as you do some gentle yoga stretches on the swim platform. Relax, unwind and get into holiday-mode as soon as you step on board.
3. It will be a perfect balance to the rest of your itinerary
Whether your itinerary is packed with shopping trips and partying, or hiking and watersports, holistic treatments are an ideal way to restore your body. We massage away stresses, aches and pains, leaving you renewed and refreshed to enjoy the rest of your day. We can also help you to balance out the chef’s culinary offerings with a gentle daily fitness or yoga session. Our aim is for you to finish your charter feeling like new.
4. You and your guests deserve the best
Stew/masseuses are unlikely to have as much training or experience as freelance therapists, and have lots of other duties to do on board. A dedicated therapist will be able to focus all their energy on your wellbeing, and will be professionally trained and experienced. On a recent charter, one of our clients wanted to really spoil his guests, so he employed not one but two therapists. In his words: “I don’t know why every yacht charter doesn’t have an Angel on board!”
5. It’s far easier than trying to source local therapists
Picture this – you’re anchored outside St Tropez, it’s August, and after lunch you’d love a massage. You could go ashore, but it’s hot and crowded; getting a local therapist to come on board for an hour in high season is both expensive and logistically challenging. And if you are in a more remote location – forget about it! Having a spa therapist on board for the duration of your trip is convenient, cost-effective, and your guests are guaranteed their privacy.
This article was written by Emmeline Gee, Superyacht Charter Massage Therapist & Yoga Teacher.
To book a spa therapist, yoga or fitness instructor for your next charter, please contact: