Incredible Day Trips around the French Riviera by Boat
The French Riviera is one of the most picture-perfect places on the planet. There is no more glamorous way of seeing the beautiful ports that line its sandy shores than on an opulent yacht. From the warm, salty air of the Mediterranean, to the nighttime lights and music of casinos on boulevards lined with palm trees and art deco hotels – some French Riviera towns are really a must see while you’re in the area for the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.
Taking in the sights from the sea’s seclusion makes sense. Although road trips have their place, too, sightseeing from a yacht avoids the traffic that often detracts from the charm of a place when your attention is focused on the car ahead of you.
Day trips by water are ideal to explore places close to your main destination. Have a look at these places we think you need to see before your holiday comes to an end:
These four islands are about a half mile off shore from Cannes and they’re worth a stop for their history alone. Île Sainte-Marguerite is the largest atoll and home to the historic Fort Royal. Once a prison, it held the “Man in the Iron Mask” – a mysterious 17th century figure who has been the subject of many books and films. As it has been for centuries, Île Saint-Honorat remains home to a Cistercian monk community who create wine from the island’s grapes which is available for purchase, along with other delights they make. The shallow waters between the two islands – the “Plateau du Milieu” – is a favorite spot for water sports.
Monaco has two options for mooring the yacht – the sheltered Port of Fontvieille, and the deep-water Port of Hercule, which can accommodate superyachts of up to 300 meters (1,000 feet). Once the vessel is all tied up, it’s time to check out this elite community. If you feel Lady Luck is on your side, pay a visit to the Monte Carlo Casino. This world famous casino was built in the flamboyant Beaux Arts style in 1893. The marble atrium is similarly lavish in style and you will find more than two dozen onyx columns welcoming you to the gaming rooms. If you’re a James Bond fan, you’re sure to relish the visit since this was the setting for the James Bond novel, Casino Royale. Other spots you might want to tick off your Monaco itinerary include: The Saint Nicholas Cathedral, resting place of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier; Les Jardins Saint-Martin; Opera de Monte Carlo; Collection of Voitures Anciennes – an exhibition featuring some of the private cars in the collection of the Prince of Monaco; the prince’s palace; and the Museum of Oceanography. And remember – never leave Monaco before shopping in some of the many high-end boutiques.
Disembark for a relaxing time discovering the medieval village of Eze. Put on your best walking shoes since you’ll have to ascend hills to see the stone buildings, traverse winding alleyways, and marvel at 14th century chapels. The sublime Mediterranean backdrop makes this tiny village seem like it is out of a storybook. Take one of the many hiking trails – like the famous Nietzsche path connecting the town and the summit – for the best dramatic views. At the top, which sits 1,400 feet above sea level, you'll discover the town's medieval fortress surrounded by the Jardin Exotique, a desert garden brimming with succulents and exotic florals. If the fortress seems oddly familiar to you, you may be recognizing it from Alfred Hitchcock's film, To Catch a Thief.
If you’re not up to the crowds usually found at Nice, just sail on by a touch further east and you’ll find Villefranche-sur-Mer, one of Europe’s most stunning bays. It has been one of the favorite locales for Hollywood films for years now. Celebrated actors like Sean Connery, Katharine Hepburn and Michael Caine have appeared in front of these pastel-painted buildings that cascade down the hillside to the sea. Soak up the medieval charm of the village where residents still know each other by name. Enjoy a leisurely stroll around the maze of arcades and steps, likely ending up on Rue Obscure, an underground street built in the 13th century for soldiers to pass through more easily. If you’re a history buff, you’ll have a grand time at the citadel founded by the Duke of Savoy in 1554 to guard the harbor. It offers a reminder of the medieval glory of this ancient town. The citadel has three museums within it: the Volti Museum dedicated to the art of sculpture, where you can discover a hundred or so bronze, terracotta and copper female statues revealing their voluptuous curves; the Goetz-Boumeester collection including famous paintings by Miró and Picasso, with about 100 works ranging from figurative to abstract art; and the Roux collection of nearly 300 historical polychrome ceramic figurines portraying daily life from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.
LVH can arrange a yacht charter for you and your family from a number of glorious yachts and superyachts for a magnificent day that will live in memory forever. But when you’re not screening films at the Cannes Film Festival or snapping pics on day trips, you can spend some time at your chosen Villa Arcadia. This incredible 11-bedroom home can accommodate up to 20 guests. With large terraces and a patio outside alongside two swimming pools – one of which is saltwater – you have ideal entertaining spaces. There is also a fully-fitted gym should you choose to work out, along with a separate caretaker’s house.
If you would like to attend the Cannes Film Festival this May, please reach out to one of our LVH client relations team members who will get things started. We will plan an out of this world, dazzling vacation for you – from arranging luxurious, full-service accommodations to fashioning a custom itinerary filled with merry-making moments from beginning to end.