Western Mediterranean Yacht Chart Itineraries
St Tropez, Monte Carlo, Cannes, Portofino, Antibes, Positano, Capri
France, Italy, Spain
Elite Yacht Charters customizes all itineraries for your private yacht cruise
charter season begins in Cannes and Monaco,, when the annual film festival in
May brings crowds of international stars and film studio executives who charter
luxury yachts. Fashionable boutiques are found in Cannes, whose classic elegance
maintains its status as the glamour capital of the French coast. The
amazing world class Grand Prix in Monte Carlo is in late May.
Stop at Antibes for its wealth of museums, including the world-famous Picasso Museum, and finish your day with a sundown cocktail on the elegant terrace of the Grand Hotel du Cap.
Between Nice and Monaco lie Villefranche and St. Jean Cap Ferrat, two idyllic seaside villages hiding superb restaurants, secret bays and excellent anchorages. This area typifies the French Riviera or Côte d’ Azur, a tiny stretch of cosmopolitan coastline offering everything under the sun, from shopping in glamorous boutiques, to dancing all night in discos, to diving and enjoying every imaginable water sport. Hedonistic activities abound, including excursions into Provence to enjoy the fresh local breads, cheeses and wine.
Monte Carlo is the diamond of the Cote d'Azur. With a dazzling nightlife, this fantastic harbor surrounded by cliffs offers many ways to spend the day as well. Tour the palace, the automobile museum, or Princess Grace's botanical gardens. Monaco is also an excellent spot from which to make day trips into the interior.
Along the Ligurian coast, the Italian Riviera offers a treasure-trove of picturesque ports and villages. San Remo, just an hour from the Nice airport, is a typical embarkation port. This charming town offers excellent well-priced shopping and, on Saturday's, a spectacular local flower market. Another option is to meet the yacht in Genoa at the recently gentrified Marina Molo Vecchio and begin meandering southeast to Portofino where you can hire a car for the drive into fabled Cinque Terra where tiny villages and steep vineyards carved out of vertical hillsides seem to almost tumble into the sea.
If you are a student of Napoleonic history, your cruise must include the islands of Elba (Bonaparte's first exile) and Corsica (his birthplace). Elba's lovely little harbor of Portoferraio is guarded by a 16th century fort. Corsicans are a fiercely independent lot and have never been open to the idea of turning their mountainous island into an empire theme park. Even in the height of the season, you will find this island unspoiled and its eastern shore beaches deserted.
Sardinia is an excellent cruise destination. Located across the Bonifacio Straits from Corsica, Sardinia is yachting’s version of heaven on earth. Costa Smeralda is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Developed by the Aga Khan in the 1950s as a jet-set haven, it offers phenomenal beaches, designer shopping, hotels and restaurants.
A different itinerary might take you to Naples and the Amalfi coast past Mt. Vesuvius and Pompeii, the city it frozen in time. Capri’s legendary Blue Grotto is still one of the world’s wonders, and the town’s shops are yet another. One hundred miles from Capri, tucked between the toe of Italy's boot and Sicily are the Aeolian islands, notably Stromboli, Vulcano and the Lipari group. Cruise along the Sicilian coast and fly home from Palermo, certain that you have enjoyed the definitive southern Italian experience.
Another alternative is to cruise west from Barcelona to the Andalusian coast and the Spanish Balearics. Palma de Mallorca is a good starting point for your journey. Pine-strewn mountains drop dramatically to sandy beaches. Nearby is Ibiza, where a richly historic and vibrant port is offset by tranquil coves and hidden marinas. If you want something a bit more remote, try Menorca and Formentera with their golden, palm-fringed beaches. Following the Spanish coast to the fortress colony of Gibraltar puts you at a jumping-off spot for Tangiers, Morocco. High-speed ferries make day trips possible from Gibraltar. Go around the corner and experience the traditional seafaring country of Portugal. Investors have been steadily adding to this nation’s marinas in recent years. An easygoing people, the Portuguese make great hosts, and of course, great port wines.
South of France
Monte Carlo, Monaco -- This glittering principality has everything under the sun – visit the famous casinos, exclusive boutiques and of course, the Palace. Enjoy restaurants and nightlife here – Jimmy’Z nightclub is the spot for nightlife and the casino with it’s dress code is a must to visit. Home to the Monte Carlo Grand Prix and many other events throughout the year.
Villefranche/Cap Ferrat -- Spend the day in these fabulous bays, enjoying watersports and relaxing. Go into town or visit one of the luxury hotels on Cap Ferrat. Visit the beautiful village of Eze from here
Antibes -- Home to the International Yacht Club of Antibes, this port is home to some of the largest yachts in the world. Visit the market here, enjoy the shops and visit the Picasso museum along the ramparts. Antibes is a great base to visit the hilltop towns of Biot, famous for it's glassblowing and St, Paul de Vence, home of the world class Colombe d'Or restaurant.
Cannes -- The site of the world famous Cannes Film Festival. Enjoy world class shopping and a stroll down the "Croisette". Spend the afternoon at Ile de Lerins and enjoy watersports and exploring this island.
St. Tropez -- One of the most famous stops, this beautiful town offers nightlife, great shopping and the international jet set. Visit the Hotel Byblos for a drink and enjoy the outdoor market on Saturdays and Tuesdays. You will find all the world's best designer shops here. Cruise over to Club 55 for lunch and an afternoon of watersports and people watching.