The Ultimate Guide to Nice, French Riviera
Nice: The French Riviera
Everything you need to know before setting sail to these sun-kissed shores
Famous for its glamour and beauty, the French Riviera has become one of the most popular yacht charter destinations in the world. Located on the Mediterranean coastline, the Riviera’s superb climate, cuisine, and elegance have attracted holiday-goers from all over the world. An average of 90% of all the super yachts in the world will visit the Riviera at least once.
Situated in the southeast corner of France, Nice is the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes department and is the perfect starting point for a luxury yacht charter. Benefitting from its proximity to Nice Cote d’Azur airport offering regular, international flights and superb transport links, Nice is one of the most easily accessible locations on the French Riviera and is a fantastic option for those who cannot wait to get on the water.
Exuberance and elegance
The city of Nice itself is vibrant and dynamic with a unique fusion of quintessentially chic Riviera lifestyle and metropolitan buzz. The enchanting Old Town with its meandering streets, cobbled squares and charming eateries lies in stark contrast to the wide avenues and boulevards lined with department stores, and the nearby beautiful beaches.
Nice also boasts some of the finest restaurants on the French Riviera. Ranging from culinary finesse at Michelin starred restaurants to no-frills, simplistic local cuisine at atmospheric restaurants, it is no surprise that Nice has developed a formidable gastronomical reputation. Enjoy fine-dining with uninterrupted views of the Port and the Baie des Anges at La Reserve de Nice, or at the two Michelin starred Provence-inspired restaurant, Le Chantecler, at Nice’s most famous hotel, Le Negresco. For a French classic, Le Marlin is a popular restaurant serving locally sourced, fresh seafood and, arguably, the best Moules Frites in Nice. L’Ane Rouge is another gourmet restaurant which offers cookery classes where you select ingredients from local markets before a cookery class and wine tasting with chef Michel Devillers. With a wealth of lively bars and clubs, Nice comes alive at night.
Whether it’s strolling along the famous Promenade des Anglais, admiring the unbeatable views of the Old Town from Castle Hill – Colline du Chateau – or watching the sunset on the Baie des Anges from the pebbled beaches, Nice offers something for everyone. Nice is a city bursting with art and culture. After Paris, Nice has the most museums in France. The Musée Matisse, home to many of the works of Henri Matisse, one of France’s most iconic painters, set in a 17th century villa, is particularly popular amongst art enthusiasts. So too is the French national museum dedicated to the work of Marc Chagall, the Musée Marc Chagall, and the Musée d’art moderne et d’art contemporain (MAMAC) which boasts an impressive collection of modern American and European art with works from the likes of Andy Warhol and David Tremlett. One of the best features of the MAMAC is the roof terrace which boasts spectacular panoramic views of the city and is simply unmissable.
With hot summers, mild winters and little annual rainfall, Nice is a great place to visit all year round. The reliable Mediterranean climate makes Nice a fantastic holiday destination with temperatures averaging 25 degrees Celsius in summer and the warm evenings ensuring al fresco dining set against the backdrop of superb sunsets. Outside of the summer season, there is still plenty going on in Nice. The world-famous Nice Carnival, held in February and March every year, is a great spectacle and promises to be entertaining for all ages, attracting hundreds of thousands every year. The Nice Jazz Festival, held annually in July, is another internationally recognised event and draws in some of the most talented musicians and bands every year. Last year’s stellar line-up featured Aloe Blacc, Jack Johnson and Gregory Porter.
Every February, the small town of Menton plays host to one of France’s most popular festivals – the Menton Lemon Festival. This unique festival involves large processions of dancers and bands, as well as huge sculptures and floats made from citrus fruit. This carnival atmosphere attracts hundreds of thousands every year. In May, the nearby city of Cannes welcomes the internationally recognised Cannes Film Festival, drawing in some of the biggest movie stars and celebrities. Equally, the Monaco Grand Prix motor race is held annually in May on the streets of Monaco.
Not only is it well located in terms of airport proximity, but Nice is also the ideal starting point for a yacht charter due to its easy access to the French Riviera and the surrounding areas.
Venture West from Nice and you will pass Antibes and Juan les Pins before reaching Cannes. Admire some of the world’s largest superyachts in Port Vauban in Antibes and enjoy meandering through the Old Town with its Provencal markets and artisan shops. As well as the allure of Cannes’ elegant Croissette, sandy beaches, and luxe shopping, the Lérins Islands off the coast of Cannes offer an oasis of calm and natural beauty as well as an interesting cultural insight thanks to the Monastery on Ile Saint-Honorat – which still has an active monk community – and the ancient fortifications found on Ile Sainte-Marguerite. Ile Sainte-Marguerite is home to the fortress prison where the Man in the Iron Mask was held during the 17th Century. Further along the coastline, you will find the celebrity hotspot of St. Tropez. The famous Pampelonne Beach is a great spot to drop anchor and experience the iconic beach clubs such as Club 55, Bagatelle and Les Palmiers.
Alternatively, heading East, you can explore Villefranche sur Mer and Saint-Jean Cap-Ferrat which will give you a real taste of the refinement and grandeur of the French Riviera. The charming hill top town of Eze, is only a short distance further East. 427m above sea level, Eze is described as the “eagle’s nest” thanks to the far-stretching and unrivalled views of the Mediterranean Sea. Discover the glitz and the glamour of Monaco by going further East. Home to the infamous Monte-Carlo casino, luxury shopping, extravagant hotels and countless gourmet restaurants, Monaco is like no other. Bordering the principality of Monaco and Italy, you will find Menton. This picturesque town is less crowded and overstated in comparison to Monaco yet retains the appeal and beauty of the French Riviera thanks to its idyllic gardens, colourful buildings and sandy beaches. Chartering in Nice also enables you to enjoy the Italian Riviera with easy access to beautiful coastal towns such as Sanremo and Portofino.
Yacht chartering in Nice is undoubtedly the best way to enjoy all that the French Riviera and the surrounding area has to offer. Nice’s vibrant and dynamic feel, combined with its Mediterranean climate and superb accessibility, makes it one of the best yacht charter destinations in Europe and a fantastic way to enjoy exclusive luxury, a peaceful getaway and an amazing adventure with your family and friends. Yacht chartering in Nice is sure to create memories that will be treasured for years to come and at 212 Yachts, we delight in being an integral part of this journey. With years of expertise, local knowledge and a wealth of strong relationships in the area, we are well equipped to find and secure the perfect yacht charter for you.
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