Set between the Italian Riviera and the French Riviera, between the Alps and the Mediterranean
, Monte Carlo seems to have been born as a tourist destination. The fact of the matter is that this small city, capital of the principality of Monaco
, gets most of its income from tourism.
Over the years it has become known as a top Yacht Charter destination for everyone, not just the rich and famous.
Travel & Arrival
Most people arrive in Monte Carlo by plane, the nearest airport being Nice-Cote d’Azur International, 27 km away from the city center via the A8 highway. Regular shuttles and busses link the terminals with the town via the Rapide Cote d’Azur. You could also take the taxi, but make sure you agree on a price in advance because French taxi drivers overcharge tourists on a regular basis. For those Yacht Charter lovers who like to avoid traffic but also have a bank account larger than 6 figures, there is also the option of flying in with a helicopter via Heli Air Monaco which operates between Nice and Monte Carlo.
By car, the most common way to reach Monte Carlo is the A8 highway, which links to the Italian border to the east and to the cities of Marseilles and Nice to the west. Care should be taken however because during the summer months, it gets very crowded as it used by many tourists to get around the French Riviera.
Traditionally, arriving to Monte Carlo by boat is considered to be the most pleasurable, as the city has an excellent harbor offering great services to boats or Yacht Charter crews. Expect to moor next to boats owned by famous people and to be treated royally yourself. The two ports where you can drop anchor are Port Hercule and the Port of Fontvieille.
Avant & Apres Sail
Coming to Monte Carlo is the perfect way to get a taste of the good life and rub shoulders with the European jet-set. For the true Monte Carlo experience your Yacht Charter party should head down to the Monaco-Ville, an old medieval town that manages to compete with the flashy downtown Monaco
with its small pedestrian streets, passageways and souvenir shops. The building you’ll find on any postcard that reads Monte Carlo is the Palais Princier, and it’s incidentally also the place where the Prince sleeps every night. There are guided tours inside the palace, but most recommend the panoramic view of the harbor, which is said to be breath-taking.
Among other buildings famous in town and popular with the tourist crowds are the Monaco Cathedral, the Casino, the amazing Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium, home to some stunning collections of marine fauna, the Exotic Gardens which house exotic and rare plants from around the world, the Opera House and the Marlborough Fine Arts Gallery where a Yacht Charter seaman with an eye for art will be able to catch a glimpse of post-World War II artists like Picasso, Miró and Matisse.
Probably taking after the French, people in Monte Carlo are famous shopping addicts and the shops here cater to their unique and expensive needs. Clothes can be bought in the Golden Circle, jewelry can be purchased at Place du Casino while souvenirs and other trinkets are to be found at Condamine Market in the Place d’Armes in case your Yacht Charter crew has at least one shopping addict.
Eating out in Monaco is no budget business; almost every restaurant in the city will charge a pretty sum. Downtown restaurants will serve international cuisine with a special interest in French specialties, but no Yacht Charter gourmet will be disappointed by a trip here. More decent prices can be found at the restaurants around the marina, which also focus more on seafood specialties.
Events & Actions
Car enthusiasts will surely relate Monte Carlo with the famous Formula 1 Grand Prix, taking place each year at the end of May, but the town has many more other fun events to capture your imagination. Almost every self-respecting artist tours here so check ahead, maybe you and your Yacht Charter crew will be able to catch a decent concert. That's also true for sporting events.
An interesting activity for the sea lovers is Aquavision, which is basically an underwater trip without the hassle of getting wet. A glass-floored catamaran will take you for a trip around the coast allowing you to get a better view of the marine life.
Yacht Charter enthusiasts with a stomach for culture can catch a show at the Theater, the Opera and the Salles Des Varietes, while those who enjoy a noisy night out on the town can find plenty of places to stir up some trouble along the harbor coast.
Boating is a very popular activity around here, with people actually coming to the harbor to admire some of the more beautiful boats belonging to the rich and famous. If you want to be admired too, just head to a Yacht Charter company and take a trip down the coast.