The French Riviera coastline from the Spanish Boarder to the Italian Boarder in the East offers warm water, superb weather and a complete range of sightseeing and cruising opportunities.
Okay so this was hard… and I am biased! If you disagree, I would be really interested to know your 5, or where I went wrong. So let’s go in reverse order…
Number 5 – The French Riviera.
So different are the the East an West, I could really be writing about two places. Often, the West is the only coast to be included in the definition of French Riviera But this contrast is the very reason I think they it makes it into a venerated top 5 positions.
The Forgotten East
In the East you have the all the ‘desirable residencies’ and high rents of Marseilles leading up to the Intalian Board beyond Monte Carlo – A coastline of true sophistication, expensive yet scenically rugged, whose edge it dotted with a selection of marinas that provide admirably for their wealthy residents. Further Easts you have St Tropez, a long time favourite of the glitterarti, you will soon realise what makes this destination so special. Add to that Cannes, Antibes and Nice, the argument is settled.
Sete & Agde
Whilst many would ignore the West given the attractions further up the coast, the low-lying Languedoc-Roussion coatline seems somewhat understated by comparison, once at the pictureesque port of Collioure some 9 Nm from the Spanish Boarder you night change your mind. Here they do caters more for the mass vistors to this coastline from the land, but harbours the odd gem and some lower priced amenities. Sete, is the French Mediterranean largest fishing port. It’s pretty, and as one might expect, a haven for great seafood. But you will delight in wandering Agde’s narrow, streets laid out by the Greeks who used it as a trading post – Both are well worth the time to visit.
West and the Cote d A’zur
Moving further to the East Marseilles is the gateway to the most glamourous cruising ground in the world. Port Vieux at Marseilles is overlooked by the famous Cathedral crowned with the golden statue of the Virgin Mary and Child.
The town Hyères is the oldest of the Cote d’Azurs winter resorts. To sailors this means Port Sain-Pierre, the huge marina with every facility you can imagine, from chandleries, to exquisite quayside restaurants
Six miles away is the the small island of Porquerolles – just 8 x 3km – and is something to behold. There is a marina, but is often jam packed. Settling for an anchorage off one of the sandy beaches will not disappoint. There are two more islands of Port-Cros abd Ile du Levant, that are equally delightful, prefect for that sense of beauty and isolation.
On the mainland there are more pretty villages and isolated sandy coves to enjoy as you head to Cap Benat and Cap Lardier; Cap Talillat is a great anchorage and beyond Cap Cameret is the famous stretch of sandy Pampelonne beach.
The Rich & Famous Hang Outs
St Tropez and Prt Grimaud need little introduction They are either the reason to be on this coastline, or the reason not. The pungent smell of desil will be enough to avoid this at all costs, for others the allure of fashions boutiques and Michelin stared restaurants. you then of course have more destinations with huge reputations, Cannes, Antibes Nice and Monte Carlo.
For Cannes, shelter in the lee of the Leins and land near Palm Beach Casinos In Antibies enjoy the great markets, smart shops and some of the worlds most expensive yachts. For most journey’s end is Monete Carlo, but are Roquebrune & Menton before you cross into Italy.
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