Keep it local: must-visit hotspots for a late summer charter

summer charter monaco

From Monaco to Saint Tropez, the Mediterranean’s most iconic stretch of coastline is the quintessential playground for the superyacht set. Let’s take a look at the hotspots to visit during a late summer charter.

The place where luxury yacht charter all began, the Côte d’Azur is home to the glamourous seaside towns of Saint Tropez and Cannes as well as, of course, the glittering Principality of Monaco. They are also where some of the Mediterranean’s finest marinas are located, all within a champagne-popping range of gourmet restaurants, A-list clubs and designer boutiques.  

Monaco’s Port Hercule is an intriguing mix of history and glamour, contributing to the Principality’s legendary status. For visitors looking to soak up some rays or enjoy an informal al fresco lunch, the Principality has several private beaches, including the popular Monte-Carlo Beach, with its own stretch of sand and jetty.

For those searching for a more relaxed experience, a sea-view pool, modern facilities and more than a dozen massages make Les Thermes Marins de Monte-Carlo a must-visit spa for any serious spa-goer. Its exceptional setting offers views over the Mediterranean Sea, which inspires the spa’s holistic approach, using the benefits of seawater to treat both physical and mental well-being.

Or pop into the Spa Métropole by Givenchy. The spa has access to a Lagerfeld-designed pool and gardens in a haven away from the bustling Casino Square.  

For those looking for a spot of culture, the Palais Princier de Monaco on the Rock has a typically Provençal setting and it’s well worth climbing up for the spectacular views over the Principality. Watch the changing of the guard in the Palace Square or wander through the streets to the Jardins Saint Martin. If you are on a charter with the family, take the children to the Oceanographic Museum with its famous aquarium and Odyssée des Tortues Marines.  

Having worked up an appetite, Monaco has plenty to offer all taste buds. Le Louis XV is probably Monaco’s most exclusive dining establishment, and with three Michelin stars and Chef Alain Ducasse at the helm, expect to be wowed. In contrast, those looking for a more casual but equally tasty beach lunch should head to La Note Bleue for a simple salad or catch of the day. 

summer charter monaco
Head up to Cannes’ old town of Le Suquet for a spot of bar-hopping and spectacular views. Photo source: Jim Thirion, Unsplash

The entire stretch of coastline is known for its plethora of designer boutiques and quaint local artisan shops, and Monaco is where you will find a who’s who of the most prestigious names in luxury from around the world. Further, along the coast, Cannes’ once small fishing village has become a charming seaside destination. If you are still looking to shop, the famed Boulevard de la Croisette along the seafront is the place to head for more designer boutiques, while the Rue d’Antibes has internationally-recognised brands. 

While in Cannes, make sure to visit the Musée des Explorations du Monde, a small museum located in Le Suquet. You should spend an evening up here, in Cannes’ old town, where you can hop from bar-to-bar without moving more than a few feet.

You may be staying on board, but you should still head ashore to dine at the historic Carlton Cannes, a Regent hotel that opened this summer after an impressive two-year renovation. The “Grand Dame of La Croisette” has plenty of choices regarding places to drink and dine. One of the new additions is the Turkish restaurant Rüya, plus the exclusive Bar 58 and courtyard terrace. However, the Riviera Restaurant is the most iconic dining establishment. Many charter brokers, including those from Monaco-based brokerage Northrop & Johnson, will tell you that this is the place to book for a memorable occasion on the terrace, overlooking the Croisette with views of the Mediterranean Sea. 

Back on board, Ile Sainte Marguerite and Ile Saint Honorat, collectively known as the Iles de Lérins, lie just across the Bay of Cannes and offer peaceful anchorages away from the bustling port.  

Then it’s time to head to Saint Tropez. The beautiful old port is the town’s focus and the perfect place to finish a charter along the coastline of the Côte d’Azur, with Monaco at the other end of the itinerary (or vice versa). Offering a great deal more to soak up than just the sun, Saint Tropez itself boasts an ancient charm.  

Jump off your yacht onto the quay and head to the Citadel, which houses the Naval Museum. Perched above the town, it offers fantastic views over the pastel-colored buildings lining the port. At the same time, several other historical sites exist, including the Three Towers and the Chapelle Sainte Anne. Several art galleries and museums also house art from many of the world’s most famous artists inspired by the small fishing village and the Provençal light widely adored by painters.  

After a spot of culture, it’s time to browse the boutiques that line the harbour front. Like Monaco and Cannes, Saint Tropez is renowned for its luxury labels, and many of the top international brands have unique pieces dedicated to the quaint seaside town. Plenty of local designers also sell unique pieces, with pop-up stores opening throughout the summer.  

The long stretching Pampelonne Beach near Saint Tropez. Photo by Monaco Life

Just around the headland, Pampelonne Beach may not be in Saint Tropez itself, but it’s definitely part of the “St. Trop” scene. The popular stretch of sand is known for its glamour and ambience, and is where you will find legendary beach clubs, the likes of Le Club 55.  

Whenever, and however, you choose to visit the glittering hotspots of the Western Mediterranean, a late summer charter is the perfect time to drop anchor and avoid the peak season crowds.  

“Saint Tropez, Cannes and Monaco are perennially popular, and the streets are busy during July and August. Of course, those visiting by yacht have a distinct advantage because they are dipping in and out,” says Charter Broker Fiona Maureso from Northrop & Johnson.  


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Featured photo source: Rust Kenton, Unsplash