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Just the words “Cote d’Azur” conjure up visions of beautiful bays overlooked by fabulous villas, hiding behind high gates and cypress tree sentinels - the homes of the rich, the famous and the serially private.
Forever associated with luxury, extraordinary wealth and an undercurrent of louche living, the endorsement of Brigitte Bardot and the modern international űber-rich have rendered St Tropez, Antibes and Juan les Pins magnets for the visitor making movement on the coast more or less impossible.
By yacht however the picture changes entirely. Beautiful empty coves, inaccessible except by sea, pristine beaches and lovely offshore islands combine with all the glitter and glamour of the sophisticated harbours for which the South of France is famous.
A huge choice of places to go and things to do from the deck of a private yacht makes the Cote d’Azur one of Europe’s quintessential cruising grounds.
Fly to Nice airport with private Limousine transfer to Antibes Vieux Port for embarkation. Short steam to dinner and overnight anchorage off Cap d’Antibes.
Leisurely morning steam over breakfast to bay of St Tropez, the tenders take guests ashore to stroll around port. After a coffee at the legendary quayside Sénéquier (the cognoscenti sit at the back) it is time ti rejoin the yacht at anchor and steam to Plages des Pamplonnes for a must-do lunch ashore at Club 55. Beautiful people and passable food make for a delightful lunch and a peaceful afternoon at anchor. As the shadows lengthen the yacht departs for Isles des Porquerolles with cocktails on deck en route and dinner at anchor in the bay.
Morning ashore exploring the islands with lunch on the beach prepared by the chefs. Swimming off Isle de Port Cros and snorkelling on the underwater trail to explore the island’s marine fauna and flora followed by an afternoon departure for Cannes. The yacht’s captain has talked his way into a berth stern-to in the Vieux Port where the atmosphere has none of the brashness of St Tropez and beautiful old yachts rub shoulders with gleaming modern vessels. Drinks and dinner on the after deck are followed by an evening ashore people-watching enjoying a pastis.
After breakfast with croissants from a traditional bakery in the old town, the captain steams the yacht to Cap d’Antibes where he anchors off for a swim and lunch. The tenders take guests ashore for an afternoon stroll around the headland with a pre-arranged visit to the scented eucalyptus gardens of Parc Gustave Thuret. Rejoining the yacht she makes passage for Villefranche with a mid-way stop to water ski and wakeboard. Arriving in Villefranche bay in the late afternoon, it is time to relax with dinner followed by an outdoor film on the sky deck. Overnight at anchor.
The tenders take guests for a morning excursion to the beautiful romanesque Chapelle St Pierre decorated by Jean Cocteau in 1957. In the late morning it is a short steam around the headland to St Jean Cap Ferrat. Anchoring off for lunch there is a chance to go ashore and visit the beautiful gardens of the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild. After tea on deck, the yacht steams to Cap d’Ail for dinner ashore at the ivy-laden beachside restaurant of La Pinède for their legendary fish en papillote. Overnight at anchor.
After breakfast the yacht steams to Monaco harbour with the day ashore in Monte Carlo to shop, visit the legendary aquarium or simply absorb the atmosphere of this tiny principality. Lunch moored off this unique haven of the uber-rich is memorable with guests and onlookers alike speculating on who is on board which yacht. After pre-dinner cocktails at the exclusive Yacht Club de Monaco, return on board for dinner and those with a reserve of energy and a taste for speculation can spend the evening at the Casino de Monte Carlo.
It is a short steam after breakfast to the peaceful Isles de Lerins for a wander ashore to Saint Honorat and visit to the Cistercian Abbey for a tasting of their golden liqueur Lérina made by the remaining twenty nine resident monks. Fuelled by pious thoughts, return board to steam to a nearby cove for a lunchtime beach picnic. The afternoon on Sainte Marguerite gives a chance to speculate on the identity of the Man in the Iron Mask who was imprisoned here in 1687. Dinner and overnight at anchor in a secluded bay.
Arrive Antibes port, mid morning departure and private limousine transfer to Nice Airport.
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