The Mediterranean has always been a popular destination for luxury yacht charters, and the South of France has revelled in and cemented its reputation as the region to visit by commencing and ending the summer charter season with glamorous events stretching along the coast.
Whether you are looking to visit the French Riviera as a couple, a family or a large group of friends, the great variety on offer in terms of natural beauty, culture and activities means that any luxury charter in this region is sure to be a success.
From the gilded glamour of the French Riviera’s best known cities to the untouched wonders of its verdant national parks, these are some of the best charter destinations in the South of France that you should add to your itinerary.
If you only visit one luxury charter destination in the Mediterranean this summer, Monaco has it all: Decadent balls and galas, unique shopping opportunities, vibrant casinos and beautiful gardens within the old medieval town. More than a destination for gambling and partying the night away, Monaco represents the height of luxury and an excellent start or finish to any charter in the South of France.
Although it will come as no surprise that Cannes makes this list, few are aware of how many events are put on throughout the summer season: Dance festivals, a plethora of modern music concerts, fireworks in July and August plus the International Games Festival will satisfy family and friends groups and enhance the itinerary of a corporate event charter.
During the daytime, the streets of Cannes are worth wandering by themselves, revealing bespoke boutiques, exclusive jewellers, art galleries and museums all within easy walking distance of the picturesque waterfront.
Nice & Villefranche-sur-mer
Best experienced at a leisurely stroll, art galleries, museums and markets selling traditional cuisine form the primary reasons to visit this famous town, where rosy coloured buildings form tightly packed alleyways filled with life and energy from locals and tourists alike. Walk through the labyrinthine old town at night for a sense of the ambiance that inspired so many artists along the Cote d’Azur, then spend the day at the beach with the finest restaurants in Nice thronging the beachfront before heading to Musée Matisse and Musée Marc Chagall for a treat for the eyes as well as the stomach.
For a less crowded and more traditional town-like atmosphere, Villefranche-sur-mer has seen a surge in popularity with superyacht owners for its authentic provincial buildings, fine dining and spectacular views.
The ultimate beach party destination awash with romantic scenery and high-end luxury goods.
For the quintessential St Tropez experience head to Pampelone Beach to the south: Several bars and clubs along this sandy stretch have a reputation for catering to the rich and famous, the most well-known being Nikki Beach.
There’s also another reason to visit this stretch of the Cote d’Azur: As well as being an excellent place for touching down on dry land, the shallow azure waters are a safe environment for a swim with young family members.
Still holding on to its old world charms, Antibes is home to a fantastic collection of paintings and sculptures from Picasso, who made the old fort his home after World War I. The beaches of Antibes offer satisfyingly sandy shores on which to relax and watch the world go by, and a walk through the narrow sun dappled streets will make it seem like there is a restaurant or patisserie on every corner offering a taste of true French cuisine.
Toulon & Cassis
Away from the hustle and bustle of the main Cote d’Azure destinations is the ancient university city of Toulon and the town of Cassis, located beside the Calanques National Park. These destinations are perfect for holidaymakers looking for a quieter experience with the focus placed on the surroundings and getting out and about to see as much as possible.
Toulon has much of the beautiful architecture one would expect of the French Riviera, and the museums and art galleries add to the patchwork of shops and restaurants trailing off from open squares down along ancient lanes. For visitors who like nothing more than to wander and absorb the atmosphere of an historic city thriving into the 21st Century, Toulon is a fantastic place to lose yourself in the moment and the golden morning sun.
The Calanques National Park is an excellent destination to break out the non-motorised water toys for exploring along the coast. Biking, kayaking and paddle-boarding are common sports within the National Park, where the sapphire waters and ashen cliffs present plenty of photo opportunities. Clanque d’En-Vau has around a dozen dive sites alone, with more clustered around the islands and shore to the west.