Why Rent a Boat in the South of France

Monaco, Nice, Cannes, Antibes… to name a few. France’s Cote d’Azur – or blue coast – attracts a sea of visitors each year, with around 90% of all superyachts having visited the Riviera at some point. The “magic of the hot sweet South”, as described by writer and former Antibes resident F. Scott Fitzgerald, is undeniable. But what continues to attract yachties to this Mediterranean coast? Below you will find five reasons why you should consider boat charter in the South of France.

1. “Princes and princes, everywhere princes” (Guy de Maupassant, 1888)

The French Riviera is nothing if not luxurious. Whether you’re boutique shopping along the Promenade de la Croisette in Cannes, celeb-spotting at the renowned Film Festival, or trying your luck at one of the grand Casinos in Monte Carlo, the lavishness of the French coast is truly something everyone should experience at least once. These vibrant cities host a wide variety of globally recognised events, such as:

  • Cannes Lions (festival of creativity)
  • MIPIM (real estate exhibition)
  • Nice Carnival
  • Nice Jazz Festival
  • Monaco Yacht Show
  • Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters
  • Monaco F1 Grand Prix

Many choose to plan their charter to coincide with one of these dazzling events. However, there are plenty of lively spots to visit in summer or year-round:

  • Nice’s Promenade des Anglais
  • Cannes-Mandelieu golf course
  • Nightclubs, such as Nikki Beach, Le Club 55, Jimmy’z
  • Outdoor activities: Segway tours, watersports and boat tours

But for those pursuing the quieter life, there are plenty of relaxing alternatives to the glitz of glam of Cannes and Monaco, including:

  • In Antibes: a walk along the cobbled streets of bars and restaurants, a visit to Port Vauban (Europe’s biggest port) or a chance to enjoy the exquisite views from the Cap d’Antibes
  • A trip to one of the many Old Towns, or ‘Vieilles Villes’
  • A lazy day on one of the beaches of Villefranche-sur-Mer
  • A scenic boat ride to one of the idyllic Lérins Islands

    Cannes Film Festival, Monaco Grand Prix, Nice Carnival... a variety of international events are hosted by these vibrant French cities.

2. All the towns are only a short boat journey from one another

Fortunately, one of the main advantages of a boat rental in France is that it gives you the freedom to go wherever the wind takes you. Rather than choosing between a quiet visit to Antibes, a shopping trip along the Croisette in Cannes or a day at the beach in Nice… why not do all three? For example, all within a day, you could:

Head east from Cannes:

  • Past the Cap D’Antibes and Nice through the Baie des Anges
  • Explore the gorgeous bays around Saint Jean Cap Ferrat
  • Swim/make use of water toys in the crystal-clear water in the coves around the Cap
  • For lunch, you could visit:

1) Anjuna Plage at the foot of the stunning village Eze – amazing for a young, party crowd,

2) Paloma Beach on the Cap Ferrat – great for a more refined lunching experience (note they do not accept bookings in advance)

3) Mala Plage in a very pretty bay before Cap D’Ail – a nice relaxing, Bohemian atmosphere perfect for guests of all ages

  • After lunch you might enjoy navigating around Cap D’Ail to take in the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco from the water (super impressive view and great for some photos on-board).
  • Then you could back towards Cannes, exploring the beautiful Heineken Bay and the Cannes Islands before dropping off in Cannes in the early evening.

With shorter and longer charters possible, every option is available to you when you choose to charter from the South of France.

3. La culture

For those interested in exploring the realm of art, music and history, the French coast is home to a number of fascinating cultural and historical sites, such as:

  • La Musée Peynet
  • Archaeology Museum
  • Picasso Museum in Antibes (in the historical Chateau Grimaldi)
  • The medieval town of Saint Paul de Vence
  • Fort Carré, Antibes
  • La commune Libre du Safranier and the ancient lavoir (wash house)

As you can see, Antibes is one of the most popular destinations for cultural excursions. So, a trip to this historical town – and former home to the likes of artists Claude Monet and Picasso, as well as writer F. Scott Fitzgerald – is well worthwhile.

Take a trip to the historical town of Antibes, former home to the likes of artists Claude Monet and Picasso, as well as writer F. Scott Fitzgerald.

4. 300 days of summer

With the South of France boasting an impressive 300 days of sunshine a year, as well as an array of beautiful beaches, you can see why the Riviera continues to attract countless holidaymakers each year.

The stunning coast, described by Stephen Liegeard as the “coast of light, of warm breezes”, encompasses the sandy beaches of Cannes, Antibes and Villefranche-sur-Mer, as well as the pebbly shores of Nice, where the galets – or stones – render the sea a brilliant blue.

As if the picturesque beaches weren’t incentive enough, it has long been recognised that the vitamin D found in sunlight benefits the human condition in a number of ways, including lowering blood pressure, aiding weight loss and combatting depression. So, a South of France boat rental trip could really be just what the doctor ordered!

5. The food (and wine, of course) in the South of France

Of course, no trip to the French Riviera is complete without an opportunity to indulge in one of its many culinary delicacies. Like many Mediterranean destinations, the South of France is famed for its fresh seafood. If you find yourself in Nice during your travels, try the acclaimed seafood restaurant Peixes.

Other opportunities for fine dining on the Riviera include: Le Grill (at the Hotel de Paris Monte-Carlo in Monaco) and the Palme d’Or in Cannes.

For a Michelin star dining experience located off the beaten path, it is worth visiting Le Figuier de Saint-Esprit in Antibes. Or, you could opt for a romantic meal at La Tour Antique, also in Antibes.

No trip to the French Riviera is complete without an opportunity to indulge in one of its many culinary delicacies. Like many Mediterranean destinations, the South of France is famed for its fresh seafood.

Evidently, the French coast is any foodie’s paradise.

The beauty of the French Riviera truly lies in its diversity. With a variety of food, beaches and attractions to suit all tastes. For any visitor hoping to make the most of what the Cote d’Azur has to offer, a yacht charter is undeniably the best way to enjoy the Mediterranean coast in style, from the comfort and security of your own boat, while avoiding the heavy tourist traffic in summer.

So, seize the day, go for a South of France boat rental and book a charter today!

Written by

Lewis is the Fleet Manager at 212 Yachts. He is originally from the UK. He previously worked on superyachts and traveled the world extensively by yacht. He has excellent knowledge of super yacht destinations, on and off the beaten track and what can be achieved on a yacht charter. His knowledge of boats and the maintenance required, ensures he applies the highest standards to the boat charter fleet he manages on the French Riviera. This means that you’ll always have a great day out with 212 Yachts. Lewis has previously lived in Cape Town and now lives in the South of France with his Wife and dog Leo. He loves organising smooth charters and nothing brings 'me more joy than seeing the smiles on clients faces after an amazing experience on the water'. His core value that aligns perfectly with the company is to always make that extra degree of difference, "this is how we make sure you’ll be beaming from ear to ear when you’ve experienced a 212 Charter! I hope that we can welcome you on board soon and provide you with an unforgettable experience. If you are looking for any assistance for your next charter, or you’re overwhelmed looking into your first charter, no matter how big or small, please ask for me when you get in touch."

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