The South of France and French Riviera

April 11, 2022

The French Riviera, also known as the Côte d’Azur, is a wonderful place to explore whether you want to soak up the sun, enjoy the high-life or experience cultural and sporting classics such as the Cannes Film Festival or the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix. Choosing to travel the French Riviera by yacht means you can appreciate all the natural beauty of the gorgeous coastline, while also visiting any of the region’s premium cities and resorts, including Saint Tropez, Nice, and Cannes, as well as the luxury of Monaco.

You’ll discover beautiful beaches, spectacular cliff tops with panoramic sea views, some of the world’s most exclusive shopping and nightlife along with bustling bars.

Start your charter by flying into Nice, then it’s a short taxi ride to St Jean Cap Ferrat to meet the yacht. This is a beautiful old port on the most exclusive peninsula on the French Riviera!

The French Riviera

Day 1

Following a breakfast, leave the bay and sail down to Cannes (18nm) where you can anchor off the Lerins islands between Île Saint Honoré and Île Saint Marguerite for lunch and spend the afternoon relaxing, swimming and water-skiing.

A trip to the French Riviera wouldn’t be complete without stopping off in Cannes. While many people associate Cannes with the Film Festival, there’s much more to offer in this Mediterranean town than A-list celebrities. Explore the charming historic area of Le Suquet, enjoy the stunning view from Notre-Dame d’Esperance Church, or indulge in a shopping trip on the Rue d’Antibes. It’s a stylish pleasure garden for the world’s wealthiest people, and the perfect place for those attracted by the glitz.

La Croisette is about as glamorous as it gets; from luxury fashion houses to a gorgeous chain of private beaches with velvety golden sands. The public beach is the furthest west, near the Palais des Festivals, and, like the rest of the beach, can become crowded in the peak summer.

Day 2

After a relaxed morning in Cannes, sail to the gorgeous Rade d’Agay (11nm) for lunch and on to Saint-Tropez (15nm) for the night. Perhaps have a wander round the Port in the evening and into the back streets full of designer shops, ice-cream parlours and inviting restaurants.

Whether you’re seeking a lavish, relaxed escape or want to dance on the tables with celebrities in one of the famous clubs, Saint Tropez has it all so make sure not to miss it! The port of Saint Tropez is full of fishing boats, yachts, colourful homes, and of course a number of trendy cafés where you can watch the world pass by. Just sitting at one of Saint Tropez’s cafés or bars and people watching with a cocktail in hand, is an experience in itself. If you’re looking to dine ashore, try Le Pescadou for a range of delicious fresh seafood dishes and Le Girelier for an excellent meal with a view – offering French, Mediterranean and seafood dishes.

The beaches in St. Tropez are mesmerising and the water is the most beautiful turquoise colour! If you’re looking for a beach that you can reach by foot, try Plage de la Bouillabaisse; a public beach (not private, as most Saint Tropez beaches are), located right outside the harbour.

Other top beaches include:

  • Tahiti
  • Moorea
  • Plage de Pampelonne
  • Plage des Canoubiers
  • Plage de la Ponche
  • Plage des Graniers

Day 3

Spend the morning soaking up the sun while having breakfast in St. Tropez, then take a short sail to Pampelonne Beach (7nm) home of the Saint-Tropez Beach Clubs and spend the afternoon at one of the clubs, such as Nikki Beach, Club 55 or Tahiti Beach. Enjoy a dinner ashore, then perhaps head back to the yacht to recover.

Pampelonne Beach is the beach most people associate with Saint Tropez and is definitely the most popular. It’s the longest beach in Saint Tropez (5km long) with pristine white sand and dazzling turquoise waters, set in a gorgeous sheltered bay. This is where the daytime action happens, most of the yachts in the port head here every day and there is a healthy scattering of super yachts anchored in the bay.

Club 55 and Nikki Beach are popular with locals, tourists, the rich and the famous.  You have the option of hiring a sun lounger and parasol on the beach or dine in the restaurant. Some of the beach clubs are set back from the beach but never too far from the sea to cool off. Club 55 is the most famous and busy beach club, while Moorea has a more laid-back vibe. Nikki Beach is for people who want to be a part of the Côte d’Azur’s glamour; it’s chic, with luxurious daybeds and a pool and they really know how to throw a party, with big-name DJs performing chill daytime music.

Day 4

After a lazy morning off the beach, it’s time to set sail to Port Grimaud (10nm) where you can take the rib on a tour of the canals that form this pretty little village.

Port Grimaud is one of the world’s most well-known coastal villages, known for its laid back and tranquil atmosphere and way of life, but it’s only been here for around fifty years. While touring along the canals you will admire the colourful architecture and houses. The port is nicknamed  ‘The Little Venice of Provence’ or ‘French Venice’ and designated as a 20th Century Heritage site. The town was actually designed to look just like Venice.

There is a very different vibe here, a very charming one, and there are no large yachts in the port; instead the canals and stunning architecture are the main attractions. Visit some of the best restaurants in Port Grimaud, including La Vague d’Or, Grain de Sel, La Table du Mareyeur, Pasta & Via, Manava Plage, La Tartane, Gandhi or Le Jardin Imperial. 

Day 5

After breakfast, sail to St Raphael for lunch (12nm) and onto Juan Les Pins (20nm) for the evening.

The seaside resort of Juan-les-Pins, located west of the famous Cap d’Antibes, truly represents the Riviera’s upbeat and welcoming atmosphere. The beautiful villas, palaces and luxury hotels, as well as the gardens wonderful aromas, are among many of the delightful attributes this little town on the French Riviera has to offer. Enjoy the tranquilly of its charming little coves and the golden sand beaches. You must experience the thriving local nightlife, including bars, discos, a casino, and late-opening stores, making it a haven for night owls.

While Antibes is famed for its history, Juan-les-Pins is known for its beaches, particularly the little Plage de Gallice and Plage Epi Hollywood beaches, both located in the heart of the town.

Day 6

Take a morning sail past Antibes and Nice, stopping in Villefranche (14nm) for lunch. Wandering the streets of the old town looking for a lunch or dinner spot is one of the delights of a seaside town like Villefranche. There are over 30 restaurants in Villefranche-sur-Mer, ranging from high-end gourmet cuisine to snack bars!

La Mère Germaine is without a doubt Villefranche’s most famous restaurant, and it’s Bouillabaisse dish is widely recognised as one of the greatest in the South of France. La Mère, located right on the waterfront, is also one of the greatest seafood restaurants in Villefranche. The latest star of Villefranche is L’Aparte restaurant, nestled on a side street behind the bay and specialises in excellent French and Contemporary cuisine. Les Garçons is another great option for lunch!

Then in the afternoon it’s onto Cap d’Ail for the night (6nm). Cap d’Ail’s indented coastline, located between Monaco and Beaulieu-sur-Mer, is decorated with a necklace of exquisite beaches connected by a coastal path. Steep cliffs stretch from the sea to the sky, especially on the western end and provide a spectacular backdrop to the beaches. Mala Plage is an incredibly beautiful curve of sand at the base of some huge cliffs. It’s Cap d’Ail’s best beach, and one of the best on the entire Côte d’Azur.

Day 7

Where has the time gone? With a short sail back to St Jean Cap-Ferrat (3nm), its time to leave the playground of the rich & famous and head back home.

Read the Travel Mag blog about the best companies for chartering with on the French Riviera – we’re featured!

If you have fallen in love with these beautiful French destinations and want to explore them on a luxury yacht, get in touch with Lizzie to book your once in a lifetime charter and customisable itinerary.