A favourite haunt of Europe’s jet-set, Monaco has long been associated with glamour and exclusivity. The state fell under the ruling of the Grimaldi family in 1297 and has been a hot spot for the rich and famous since 1863, when what is believed to be Europe’s first casino opened. Today the setting is as dazzling as ever, with a small army of superyachts bobbing about the harbour against the backdrop of the Côte d’Azur cliffs.
From first impressions, the capital, Monte Carlo, is ugly and ill-conceived. Tower block after tower block stand piled on top of each other. But once you enter the city you glimpse the spectacular belle époque buildings – notably the casino and the stunningly ornate Hôtel de Paris. Monaco measures less than three square kilometres and has fewer than 32,000 residents, but it packs a mighty punch. Being the second smallest independent state in the world, everything is within walking distance and the streets are some of the safest in the world.
Roll your die and try your luck at the ornate casinos, and dine at Yoshi at the Hotel Metrople (Joël Robuchon’s first Japanese restaurant), before checking out live session musicians at Monaco’s Sass Café, or dancing into the early morning at the new Black Legend Club. Unwind and tend to your physical and mental wellbeing at the Les Thermes Marins spa, with its beautiful setting offering exceptional views over the Mediterranean. If you’re visiting in May, the world famous Monaco Grand Prix is an event not to be missed, especially when watched from the comfort of your luxury charter yacht.
- Monaco is a wonderful way to end a cruise of the French Riviera with its electic mix of fun, scenery and culture.
- Enjoy champagne cocktails in the evening as the port lights up all around you cacooned in the bay whilst your chef prepares a fabulous four-course meal.
- Take advantage of the watersports available on board your charter yacht and enjoy diving, windsurfing and waterskiing on the beautiful azure water.