As the world’s stars descend on the French Riviera for the summer, then stay in this chic luxury yacht charter ground that is at its most enchanting over the upcoming months. And why would they want to leave, with so much on offer?
With the advantage of staying on a luxury yacht, you have privacy, peace and freedom to roam where you please. Make the most of your spare time on a family charter, wedding charter or honeymoon charter while looked after by a highly trained crew and all modern entertainments at your fingertips.
The South of France has welcomed society for centuries, leaving behind refined villas to complement its medieval streets, castles and fortresses that conceal history and wealth within. These most loved destinations are perennially elegant for meaningful and memorable adventures.
Saint-Tropez & Pampelonne Beach
There are plenty of places to party along the Cote d’Azur, but one of the top places to see and be seen is Saint-Tropez and Pampelonne Beach. Take a leisurely stroll through town to admire the waterfront and picturesque streets, where artists gather to capture the moment in the summer light. Discover modern galleries and museums to find out more about the picturesque town’s past, and ascend the hill to the Citadel of Saint-Tropez for sweeping views of the harbour and its interior maritime museum.
You’ll have your choice of the bars and clubs in town, but famous names such as Nikki Beach, La Reserve and Verde are to be found along Pampelonne Beach. These refined eateries each offer a unique environment with all of life’s little luxuries on hand. Relax on the warm soft sands or play on the water toys in the clear, shallow waters, which are also ideal for young families to play together and gain confidence.
The laid-back pace that Antibes and its cape offers fits perfectly with the yachting lifestyle. In addition to the numerous beaches, bays and snorkelling spots around Cap d’Antibes, the highlights include the famous Eden-Roc restaurant with impressive sea views and the Bay of Millionaires.
Antibes itself celebrates some of France’s greatest achievements and idiosyncrasies with an array of museums dedicated to subjects such as Absinthe, La Tour, Picasso (who spent his adult life in France) and Raymond Peynet, a local cartoonist and satirical illustrator. Stop by at one of the gelaterias or cafes for artisan-quality coffee, chocolates and desserts in the afternoon sunshine, then stay for the social scene after dark.
If there is only one city you intend to see during your South of France yacht charter, then make it Cannes. The Palace of Festivals and Congresses of Cannes hosts the prestigious Cannes Film Festival right beside the marina, and a wander through Le Suquet Cannes will reveal museums, castles and churches around the ambient cobblestone streets. Beach bars and bistros surround the waterfront beneath La Croix des Gardes, yet the most upscale restaurants and clubs are to be found around Port Pierre Canto.
The greatest high-street brands and exclusive labels are to be found along Boulevard de la Croisette and Galeries Lafayette. Whether you’re just starting your luxury yacht charter or have bid goodbye to the crew after a spectacular charter, Cannes is the place to pick up a gift or memento of your summer.
Metropolitan Nice was the holidaying retreat of European high society in the 19th Century, and it has only gained more charm over the centuries. Art aficionados come to see the life-spanning collection of Matisse’s artwork, Chagall’s religious masterpieces in his own museum, and the works of Monet and more at Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nice. If you prefer to be the masterpiece, there is a choice selection of boutiques and renowned brands to update your style in time for the summer season. Nice has several exceptional restaurants, including some Michelin star awarded wonders: Satisfy your inner gourmand at two-star Flavour and give your significant other a night to remember.
One bay to the east, Villefranche Sur Mer offers a more relaxed pace and a selection of beaches around the bay for an afternoon dip in the clear blue waters. The sheltered bay is ideal for beginner snorkelers and Scuba divers, who can then warm up on the shores or back on board. Unique attractions hide within the town and around the cape, including the 16th Century Mairie de Villefranche-sur-Mer, the Rue Obscure and the magnificent Villa and Gardens of Ephrussi de Rothschild overlooking Baie de l’Espalmador.
One of the best kept secrets along the Cote d’Azur, Eze is much like Ravello along the Amalfi Coast in Italy: A must-see yacht charter destination which is perched 427m/1,401ft high above the sea. Visitors can moor in the port below and take the oft times steep Nietzsche path up to the top. Sturdy boots and plenty of drinking water are recommended. Alternatively, luxury yacht charter groups can sit back and relax in their own private transport as they are driven up the long and winding roads.
Once you reach your goal you will be rewarded through the ancient beauty of the labyrinthine streets. Boutiques and shops now inhabit many of the ground floors, and amongst the eateries, there are two Michelin-starred restaurants: La Chèvre d’Or and Chateau Eza. Be sure to visit Notre Dame de l’Assomption, Le Jardin Exotique and the ramparts for the arresting views before you make your way back below.
Monaco has more than French chic; it has a style all of its own. The little principality is renowned for its wealth and luxury lifestyle, and the summer months are the best time to join in the events. Peruse the art galleries and boutiques for elite brands, then rest over coffee in the stunning Cafe de Paris attached to the thrilling Monaco Casino. The multitude of museums are great family-friendly attractions for a rainy afternoon or as a change to all the swimming and snorkelling your group has done.
The Monaco Grand Prix is one of the highlights of the summer yacht charter season, and vessels that book far ahead enough can get a berth right beside the track. Dine alfresco while you’re entertained by the race, then settle into the outdoor seating for drinks and conversation with the elegant Monaco waterfront as your backdrop.
Many yacht charterers who go to Monaco also visit Menton, a small town on the border between France and Italy. Its greatest charm is the amazing botanical gardens hidden on the hills overlooking the bay, but there is also the beautiful 17th Century Basilica of Saint Michael Archangel, impressive eateries and galleries that let guests blend culture and the great outdoors with memorable gastronomic treats for a satisfying day out.