The French Riviera – This is all about seeing and being seen…the land of dreamy summer afternoons, glittering riviera waters, lively resorts and island hideaways, all basking beneath a benevolent summer-long sun. What better way to explore the French Riviera than by private yacht?
Day 1: Embark in Monte Carlo and cruise to Saint-Tropez. Berth in the ‘vieux port’, a picturesque harbour surrounded by chic bars and restaurants that is surely one of the prime locations for luxury yacht charter in France. A former fishing village, St Tropez was brought to the public eye with the release of Roger Vadim’s ‘Et Dieu…créa la femme’ starring Brigitte Bardot, and has since enjoyed a reputation as the playground of the rich and famous.
Day 2: On the second day of your yacht charter you may like go ashore and go shopping in Cannes or Golfe Juan. Alternatively you might like to visit the nearby Isles de Lérins, a group of four islands that include the Île de Saint-Honorat and the Île Sainte-Marguerite, where The Man in the Iron Mask was held captive for a time. The islands are also a great location for enjoying a wide range of water-sports.
Day 3: The coastline between the seaside towns of Villefranche, Beaulieu and Cap-Ferrat is superb and well worth stopping for lunch. Leave late afternoon for Monaco and after dinner go ashore to enjoy the casino.
Day 4: The fourth day of your luxury yacht charter takes you to Italy. The small historic fishing village of Portofino is both charming and picturesque and its waters are famous for their many dolphins as well as the subterranean statue of ‘Christ of the Abyss’, placed in 1954 to protect fishermen and scuba divers. On the other side of the headland at San Fruttuoso is the quaint fishing village of Camogli, while the nearby port of Santa Margherita Ligure is home to some excellent restaurants.
Day 5: The Cinque Terre is a rugged stretch of the Italian Riviera and is a highly recommended destination for any yacht charter in Italy. Literally translated as ‘The Five Lands’, the Cinque Terre comprises five picturesque villages and their surrounding hills, all of which make up the Cinque Terre National Park, which has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spend the evening anchored in the nearby village of Portovenere.
Day 6: Set sail for the Tuscan island of Elba, which is well known for its historical connections with Napoleon, who was exiled there following his forced abdication in 1814. Elba’s coastline offers myriad small inlets and safe anchorage, most of which enjoy large expanses of beach and the Island is a great location for both cultural and recreational activities including hiking, swimming, diving and cycling.
Day 7: Spend your penultimate day exploring the Tuscan Archipelago. The Island of Capraia has a few delightful anchorages and a number of exquisite beaches. It was formerly an agricultural penal colony, but following its closure in 1986, most of the island has been designated as a national park. The nearby Island of Giglio is also well worth a visit, especially for those who venture to the ancient, walled village and castle of Castello.
Day 8: Your yacht charter finishes in Italy and you can spend your final day enjoying the delights of Porto Santo Stefano and Porto Ercole. Both of these towns were occupied by the Spanish during the sixteenth century and are dominated by the fortifications of the surrounding hills. They are both wonderfully picturesque and have the added bonus of offering great shopping in their many markets. From here the drive to Rome is approximately one hour.