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Dreaming of your next holiday to the French Riviera

The Mariner Creative Team's avatar By The Mariner Creative Team | 26 Feb 2020
yachts in the marina, France

How does 2 weeks sailing the azure waters of the French Riviera sound?
Join us in June 2020 for 2 weeks exploring this stunning stretch coastline with a small group of like-minded people, as we escape the crowds to visit sun-kissed Provençal towns and undiscovered islands. Sail into world-famous destinations with the exclusive access only a small yachting charter can offer. Enjoy a leisurely day on board, take a dip, sip a fine rosé or join in the fun with a spot of racing.

You will sail with the wind from Toulon to Monaco, stopping at fabled St Tropez, Sainte-Maxime, Cannes, Villefranche-sur-Mer and more along the way. The French Riviera conjures up images of luxury, style, exquisite cuisine, superb wine, gorgeous beaches, and the turquoise Mediterranean Sea. All of these are true, and far and away the best way to experience this strip of fantasy land between Marseilles and Monaco is from a yacht. We always say the view from the deck of our chartered yachts, at $5,000 per person for two weeks, is exactly the same as the one seen by the person who paid US$30 million dollars for their super yacht!
 

Our first port of call is perhaps the best kept secret in the South of France, the unspoilt Porquerolles islands – also known locally as The Golden Islands or Îles d’Or. Just a leisurely 3 hour sail away or a comfortable 20 mile beam reach for yachties, these four stunning islands all lie within the pristine National Park where we spend 2 nights moored in tranquil bays. From here take time to explore or enjoy a swim right off the back of the boat before sampling the delicious French cuisine at a number of cafés dotted around the picturesque harbour.
 


Our next leg to St Tropez includes a stop at Pampelonne beach to take lunch under the trees at the most famous beach club in Europe, Club 55. The favourite spot of stars and super yacht owners, the restaurant is simply the place to be seen! We then sail into chic Sainte-Maxime and moor for 2 nights opposite glamourous St-Tropez. Providing the best of both worlds, with a regular ferry service across the bay the seaside town is more authentic and less touristy than its more famous neighbour. Explore the old fishing village of La Ponche, marvel at the super yachts in La Vieux Port or relax on the beach; the choice is yours.

 

Our next destination is Cannes, the glitzy home of the movie festival with its designer shops, stylish restaurants and heady club scene. We moor in a secluded spot between the islands of Ile Sainte Marguerite and Ile St. Honorat just opposite in the bay of Cannes. Here you can enjoy a swim in the crystal clear waters, or sample the fine wines made by the small community of monks in the boutique cafe and restaurant, along with local olive oil and lavender products. Sainte Marguerite is also home to the famous Fort Royale where the ‘Man in the Iron Mask’ was mysteriously imprisoned during the 17th century and subsequently immortalised in the book and film The Count of Monte Cristo.

And when you want to experience the action, we’re just a few minutes away from the shops and nightlife. From Cannes, we offer a choice of guided tours to Grasse; the home of perfume in the hills behind Cannes, and Antibes; a stunning ancient fortified town originally established by the Greeks then the Romans. Visit the largest super yacht marina in Europe, enjoy the white sand beaches and famous beach clubs of Juan-les-Pins or get your culture fix at the Picasso museum in the mediaeval castle overlooking the ocean, where the artist lived gratis in exchange for donating his paintings.


 
From Cannes, we sail past Cap d’Antibes, waving at the billionaires villas and the world-renowned Hotel du Cap, along the turquoise waters of beautiful Nice to moor in Villefranche-Sur-Mer. Situated between Cap Ferrat and the hills of Nice, this picturesque village stuns with pink and orange hued buildings against the glittering bay and small fishermen’s boats bringing in the fresh catch of the day for the many port-side restaurants. Don’t be surprised if you bump into Elton John or Bono and a myriad of stars who have summer houses in the area.

 

From Villefranche we set sail for our final destination of Monte Carlo. This tiny principality is one of the most luxurious destinations in the world, with apparently more millionaires per square metre than anywhere else. This wealth is clearly apparent as we sail into the new Yacht Club de Monaco, built on reclaimed land with four floors of glorious architecture shaped in the form of a ship. Enjoy an exclusive guided tour followed by a superb lunch on the deck overlooking the port. At night we visit the casino, and hit the Buddha Bar which only gets going around midnight!
 


How does a rally holiday work?
You can book a cabin or an entire yacht with friends or family, sail in company with other like-minded travellers or explore on your own. If you prefer to book your own yacht, we can either provide you with a skipper, or, if qualified, you can skipper yourself.

 

Whichever option you choose our hosts, who travel along with the rally, will offer continuous support throughout, organise fun races, a series of long table dinners and optional excursions along the way. With five dinners included, your provisioning for meals on board only needs to cover breakfast. On the leisure days you can choose to eat ashore to fully experience the delights of French cuisine.
  
Mariner Boating Holidays are proud supporters of the Property Industry Foundation. Attend the PIF Regatta in Sydney on 3 April 2020 or Brisbane on 15 May 2020 to be in with a chance to win 2 places on a French Riviera Yacht Rally holiday. Raffle tickets are also available to purchase online at https://www.rafflelink.com.au/pifregattaraffle Funds raised contribute to building homes for homeless youth.