From the fast-paced, stylish Parisian scene to rustic Provencal villages; the glitz and glamour of the Riviera to the dramatic and untamed beauty of Pas de Calais headlands, France is defined by diversity. A country of art, history and – of course – gastronomy, there is much to experience in this country. The South is the most popular region for sailing – with the Côte d’Azur, or French Riviera, being world-famous for superyacht cruising. The coastline of this region holds many treasures – from hidden gems such as La Londe des Maures, to the glitzy developments of Monaco. A superyacht charter in the south of France is an unforgettable experience – imagine sipping chilled local Rosé on the aft deck, gliding through turquoise waters before stepping ashore to towns that seamlessly blend the ancient and ultra-modern.
Best Time To Visit: All year, but the summer months from June to September guarantee the best weather.
Key Cruising Areas: The French Riviera is filled with beautiful and charismatic coastal towns to explore, along with pretty islands such as Ile Saint Honorat. For outstanding coastlines, unique character and wonderful vineyards, take a yacht charter vacation around the island of Corsica.
Best Spots for Wining and Dining: With restaurants to suit every taste and mood, Nice may be the gastronomic capital of the Côte d’Azur. For a sample of the regions wine head to Chateau de Bellet and taste their Braquet Rose, then dine at chef Jean-Denis Rieubland’s highly acclaimed restaurant Le Chantecler.
Best Local Dish: The produce of the south is delectable – olives, tapenades, flavourful oils, cheeses, charcuterie… be sure to seek out the local markets when you are ashore.
Local Culture: The south of France is steeped in history and culture. For some of the best, explore the majestic ruins of Nice, and then visit the galleries to see the artists that they inspired – Chagall and Matisse to name but two.
Best Beach: The south of Corsica claims some of the best beaches in the world. Headed by red rocks at one end and cafes at the other, turquoise water that is warm well into winter and powdery soft sand, this beach wouldn’t look out of place in the Caribbean.
IYC recommends: Take a “detour” from your French cruise to visit the second smallest country in the world – Monaco. Situated at the top of the top of the Côte d’Azur, in just a day or two you can immerse yourself in the decadent ambience of the country, eat exceptionally well and get dressed up for a sparkling night at the casino.
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