Enjoy an off season charter in the South of France – popular all year round
As the weather cools, the hedonistic parties of the French Riviera die down and as the autumn begins, a more traditional side of the Riviera is revealed. With so much to see and do, it’s not hard to see why the South of France is a popular destination all year round. With the sun sitting low in clear skies, the beauty of the coastline is highlighted in the off season, and warm temperatures and empty towns make it the ideal time to explore – hike the coastal path of Cap Ferrat, climb the Nietszche trail or wander the ancient ruins of Antibes in the warm autumn sunshine. Many of the famous spa resorts of the Riviera are open year-round, and with many companies offering excellent off-season rates, why not round off your vacation by treating yourself to some pampering at this time of year.
Here are our top suggestions for how to spend an off-season charter in the South of France.
Attend an event
During summer the French Riviera buzzes with festivals, exclusive parties and events that everyone wants to be seen at. Events continue throughout the year, and the off-season is the perfect time to don your finest clothes and head to the theatre. The Nice opera house has an impressive calendar for the 2018 winter season, and the Philharmonic Orchestra play classic and modern concerts in churches around the city – a very special experience. September sees two of the biggest events in the yachting calendar – the Cannes Yachting Festival from 11to 16 September, and the Monaco Yacht Show from 26 to 29. The festivals showcase the epitome of luxury as the world’s best yachts and biggest names in the industry gather to display the latest trends and technology and this is the perfect chance to browse and get inspired by the world of yachting. Throughout November and December, the Monte-Carlo jazz festival hosts international jazz artists, and the ballets of Nice and Cannes put on special shows around Christmas.
Try some creative menus
A country known for its gastronomy, autumn brings out the best in French cuisine. Flavours of truffle, fig and wild mushroom permeate menus and the towns are filled with the particular romance that shrouds the wine and olive harvests. The region is renowned for its excellent restaurants, and off-season is when chefs try out experimental dishes and you can expect unique and creative recipes. Dine in the Terre du Truffles in Nice to sample some seasonal specialities, or try the organic Provencal flavours of the autumn menu at the Elsa in Monaco. Vineyards are alive with the harvest at this time of year – visit the Château Minuty where the grapes are still harvested by hand, and be sure to sample some of their Rosé along with dinner at their world-class restaurant.
Spend a magical Christmas
The ambience of the French Riviera is particularly magical around Christmas thanks to elegantly twinkling lights, and air is tinted with cinnamon as cocktails are swapped for vin chaud. The Christmas markets alone are reason to visit at this time of year. View the famous lights in Grasse, ice skate in the Christmas Village at Cannes, or wander around the alpine-themed stalls of the Village de Noël in Nice with a spiced hot chocolate in your hands. New Year’s Eve wouldn’t be complete without a fireworks display -the pyrotechnic and sound display of Cannes is one of the best in France, or for a more low-key event with a hint of glamour, ring in the new year with champagne and oysters watching the fireworks over the Gulf of St Tropez.
Get back to nature
There is no better way to shake off the winter blues than getting some warm Mediterranean sun, and breathing in fresh coastal air. Temperatures are often good until the end of the year, so make the most of the subdued atmosphere and clement weather to walk on beautiful, deserted beaches or explore the forest parks which have extended opening hours in autumn. Many of the hiking tracks cannot be tackled in the summer heat, and the winter brings with it a sprinkling of wildflowers. This is the best time to walk to the coastal path of Antibes – particularly stunning at this time of year, the special ambience created by the low sun inspired Picasso to spend the autumn of 1947 here. Turning leaves create a kaleidoscope of oranges and reds as the seasons change, and this is a great time of year to spend an afternoon strolling through botanical gardens. The succulents of the Exotic Gardens in Eze or Monaco are intriguing year-round, and the Thuret Gardens have been carefully designed to suit the climate, and are beautiful in autumn and winter.
To discuss your own bespoke yacht charter in the South of France contact your IYC Charter Consultant.
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