Summer harbour hopping on a French Riviera luxury yacht charter


There’s no better way to travel along the South of France during the summer months than by luxury yacht charter, as famous stars from the world over can attest. The French Riviera comes alive with concerts, festivals and so much more from May through to September, so get straight to the heart of each and every city to be the first to arrive and the last to leave.

Pack only once when your spacious en-suite accommodation is with you for the whole of the journey, along with a professional crew for first-class service and a selection of water toys that you can use for as long as you like, wherever you travel. A week-long itinerary will give you plenty of opportunities to experience the highlights of the Cote d’Azur, and here are some choice recommendations for culture, fine dining and entertainment to make a truly fulfilling escape.

Saint Tropez

Summer in the South of France is all about the beaches and celebrating life at its zenith, and Saint-Tropez is the perfect place for both. Show off your beach-ready body on Pampelonne Beach and savour the warm shallow waters for a relaxing dip. The coast has some of the most exclusive restaurants and bars in the region and they will keep you refreshed and well-fed throughout the afternoon through to sunset.

The quaint old town surrounding the harbour has plenty to capture your attention on a gentle stroll, particularly since artists still flock here to capture its charms. La Citadelle de Saint-Tropez is arguably the highlight of a daytime tour; combining fort, museum and scenic observation point, before night clubs such as Les Caves du Roy put on a night to remember with world-class DJs.

Cannes

Cannes is the place to be during the summer yacht charter season, and celebrities the world overcome to show off the latest fashions on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Concerts and galas fill the weeks to follow, accompanying the traditional nightlife the city has to entice you ashore. Dress to impress from the incredible array of boutiques and designer brands in town, and visit Le Suquet just a short walk west of the port to delve into the art and history of Cannes in centuries past.

Leave the rest of the world behind on your luxury yacht and head to the Îles de Lérins for sunbathing and water sports in complete privacy and without care: Your Captain can have you back at the marina in time for the next unmissable evening event.

Antibes

Antibes is a sprawling metropolis just a short cruise from Cannes, and its main attraction is Musée Picasso alongside the 18th Century Antibes Cathedral. Those working up a thirst will want to visit the Musée de l’Absinthe just across the road for a tipple of the famous green drink. The surrounding cafes and restaurants offer far more substantial fare, which can be worn off with a walk north along the seafront to the unusual star-shaped Le Fort Carré and its commanding views.

The Cap d’Antibes has a few choice anchorages to escape the crowds for sunbathing and snorkelling in peace and boasts golden sand beaches to the west and east.

Nice & Villefranche-sur-Mer

Centuries of summer tourists have left Nice with a rich heritage when it comes to architecture and art, a whirlwind tour of which you can receive in Vieux Nice (‘Old Nice’) beside the harbour. Cathedrals and churches intermingle with pastel-coloured houses and shops down narrow streets, and the 17th Century baroque palace Musée du Palais Lascaris is nestled amongst them. In the more modern parts of Nice famous artists, Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse also receive their dues with museums dedicated to their life and work. Find a calmer side of the city at the impressive Cimiez Monastery where Matisse is buried, or cruise east to Villefranche-sur-Mer for quieter beaches, traditional restaurants and scenic views of the bay.

Monaco

The Principality of Monaco is a great destination to begin or end your summer yacht charter in style: The Monaco Grand Prix takes place in May and your berth in Port Hercule might provide you with a view of the track, so you can dine and spectate at the same time.

Pack the daylight hours with indulgent shopping and spa treatments in town, tour the galleries and museums to satisfy the senses, and end with an evening together in one of the Michelin-starred restaurants such as the impeccable Louis XV. The night needn’t end there – the Casino de Monte-Carlo offers more than thrills at the gambling tables with concerts, shows and other events filling its theatres throughout the Summer.

Trina Howes is a Director of CharterWorld America. CharterWorld is a luxury private yacht charter company that creates outstanding vacations with excellent yachts at amazing prices – worldwide.

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