Sophisticated Jewels of the Mediterranean The Cote d’Azur
The unassuming coastline rimming the southern edge of France from Monaco to St. Tropez is dotted with a clutch of lovely ports, all of which are welcoming enclaves by day and glittering gems by night. There is no more diverse, sophisticated, and interesting string of destinations in the world than these seven sisters, perched at the edge of the Mediterranean Sea.
Taking in one each day, a yachting experience along this Cote d’Azur collection delivers a relaxing, intoxicating mix of old world village and contemporary hot spot. Beginning at the center of the yachting universe in Monaco makes yacht selection a delightful challenge, with plenty of splendidly outfitted choices.
Monaco sets the stage with a lovely marina full of luxurious neighbors. A trip onshore to visit the palace, the oceanographic museum, the Grand Casino, or do a little shopping therapy on the Carre d’Or is in order, perhaps along with a round of golf at the Monte Carlo Golf Club, and cocktails at the Hotel de Paris.
Cruising around Cap Ferrat, you’ll see a bevy of beautiful villas, once owned by the likes of David Niven, Charlie Chaplin, the Rothschilds, and King Leopold. Stop in port for a dockside dinner at Le Sloop, specializing in seafood, cocktails, and similar yachting company. Walk the coastline promenade, and perhaps visit the Fernand Leger Museum, as you admire this glamorous yet unspoiled dot on the map.
Sailing on to Nice, you’ll be enchanted by the gorgeous spread of sand at Bay of Angels. The Promenade du Paillon runs from sea to city for an easy stroll into Nice’s business district. Playful, pretty, with lots of dining and shopping choices, this is just beginning to get interesting for scuba diving, with reefs and wrecks from Nice to St. Tropez.
Cruising to Antibes, you’ll be in the vicinity of many high quality dive sites, as well as a lovely coastal city with charming old town area, and the Musee Picasso filled with inspiring artwork. Cruise around the peninsula, taking in the glorious scenery and lovely resorts and villas, to Juan le Pins, known for its nightlife
A short cruise away is the marvelous town of Cannes, known for its glamorous international film festival. Quiet and charming for the rest of the year, Cannes is the place to be during the festival, with stars, parties, and yachts galore.
Continuing along the coast, slip a little further east to St. Tropez, where everything is amplified: the beaches, the nightlife, the cuisine, and the art. Make sure to take in a night along the Plage de Pampelonne for dining and cocktails, as well as a quiet walk along the Pointe du Capon for a beautiful nature walk. Visit one of the most revered dining spots at Auberge de l’Oumede for exquisite Provencal cuisine.
Cruise back to Monaco, and even a little further, up to San Remo, Italy, if time permits, for a leisurely Mediterranean day.