French Riviera – The Preferred Yachting Destination in the World

12 August 2015

The French Riviera is the major yachting and cruising destination in the world with several marinas along its coast.

Each year, it hosts 50% of the world’s superyacht fleet, with 90% of all superyachts visiting the region’s coast at least once in their lifetime. The term was built by analogy with the term Italian Riviera, which extends east into Italy (from Ventimiglia to Portofino and La Spezia).

The French Riviera is indeed renowned throughout the world as the ultimate luxury yacht destination, where the elite comes to enjoy the stunning coastline, beautiful beaches and exclusive atmosphere. Its exclusive seaside towns from Monaco and Cannes to St Tropez are considered some of the most glamorous and high-profile destinations.

The French Riviera, also known as Côte d’Azur, is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France, also including the sovereign state of Monaco. There is no official boundary, but it is usually considered to extend from the Italian border (Italian Riviera) in the east to Saint-Tropez, Hyères, Toulon, Bandol or Cassis in the west. It covers the coast of the Var and Alpes-Maritimes departments in their entirety and partly that of the Bouches-du-Rhône. This stretch of Mediterranean coastline has always harbored the glamour and sophistication of superyachting.

From the fairy-tale Principality of Monaco along the Côte d’Azur to Saint-Tropez, the very names exude sophistication: Monte-Carlo, Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, Nice, Antibes, Cannes.

A playground for film stars and celebrities, royalty, sheiks and industrial magnates, the French Riviera never loses its gloss, offering just about everything that is synonymous with the lifestyle of the rich and famous.

But its enduring appeal is more than skin deep – beyond the glittering nightclubs and casinos, high-end boutiques, fabled hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants there are relaxed beach clubs, ancient fishing villages, folkloric occasional markets, and plenty of gourmet food “bistrots” with freshly and locally produced delights.

The French Riviera also offers many treasures to discover freely. Walks on trails, capes and peninsulas of the Mediterranean Sea to explore, voluptuous dives and snorkeling, sunbathing or visiting the great cities … The landscape is also spectacular for yachting since the blue waters of the Mediterranean lap a coastline that offers innumerable sheltered bays and anchorages. The are even still havens of tranquility to be discovered – the Porquerolles and Lerins Islands to name a few – where you can drop anchor in quiet bays, picnic on secluded beaches or follow a trail inland through olive groves and fragrant thickets of rosemary and lavender. The lovely Iles d’Hyeres constitute a refreshing change from the intense glamour of nearby Saint-Tropez. On Port-Cros and Ile du Levant you can swim and snorkel in clear turquoise water and feel a million miles from civilization. Further west the creeks around Cassis and Marseille hide exceptional locations to be discovered such as the famous “Calanques”.

The French and Italian Rivieras are also just a short sail away from the fabulous Mediterranean islands of Corsica, Sardinia, Elba and Capri.

A Destination Easy to Access

  • Nice is home to the Nice Côte d’Azur International Airport, France’s third-busiest airport with direct flights to and from most capitals in Europe and the rest of the world.
  • A second airport at Mandelieu is conveniently used by private and business aircraft.
  • The A8 highway runs through the region, all the way into the Italian Riviera East.
  • Trains serve the coastal region and inland, with a TGV service reaching Nice in only five hours and a half from Paris.

Exceptional Weather Conditions

The French Mediterranean enjoys a very favorable climate with over 300 days of sunshine per year. The average temperature in summer is 27° and the May and October seasons are particularly pleasant with average near 24°.

In summer, the Mediterranean is a rather calm sea. However, the famous Mistral can blow several days and violently. Ahead in the season, the east wind may blow, less strong but throughout the eastern part of the Rivieras.

One of the Better Selections of Marinas in the World

Indeed, the South of France proposes, from Menton to Marseille, over 40 marinas hosting the most luxurious yachts in the world but also smaller units whether they are motor or sailing yachts.

The Cannes and Monaco Yacht Shows

In early September of each year, Cannes becomes the International Luxury Yachting Capital at the Cannes Yachting Festival. The Monegasque Principality then welcomes, at the end September the Monaco Yacht Show.

Both events are the ultimate luxury rendezvous for the international elite clientele gathering the leading international yacht builders, charter and brokerage firms, yacht designers, nautical suppliers, refit shipyards and the rest of the nautical industry.

Prestigious Regattas

The following prestigious regattas are held yearly on the Rivieras:

  • PRIMO CUP – TROPHÉE CREDIT SUISSE – Monaco (late January)
  • CALANQUES CLASSIQUE – Marseille/Cassis (mid-May)
  • RÉGATES IMPÉRIALES – Ajaccio, Corsica (late May)
  • Some stages of the GIRAGLIA ROLEX CUP – (June)
  • VOILES D’ANTIBES – Antibes (mid-June)
  • ARGENTARIO SAILING WEEK – Santo Stephano, Italy (late June)
  • LES VOILES DU VIEUX PORT – Marseille (late June)
  • TOUR DE FRANCE À LA VOILE – Nice (late July)
  • CORSICA CLASSIC – Corsica (late August)
  • PERINI NAVI CUP – Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy (early September)
  • MONACO CLASSIC WEEK – Monaco, Nice (mid-September)
  • TROPHÉE PASQUI – Villefranche-Sur-Mer (mid-September)
  • REGATES ROYALES – Cannes (late September)
  • LES VOILES DE SAINT-TROPEZ – St. Tropez (late September)
  • HYÈRES VOILES TRADITION – Hyeres (early October)

Services to the Highest of Yachting Standards

Professional yachting is the first economic sector on the French Riviera with over 450 businesses and 1,780 direct jobs for a yearly turnover of € 320M; as well as s very strong direct impact on the rest of the local economy.

On site, you will find all the leading yachting-associated businesses: Shipyards, engine, generator and transmissions dealers, marine carpenters, plumbers, electricians, welders, ship chandlers, upholstery and furniture artisans, mechanics, painters, regional dealers, charter and brokerage firms, service agents … so many passionate companies associated with our industry.

Since 2009, Allied Yachting established its main office in Cannes, the heart of the Riviera and the superyacht hub of the Western Med and we propose all these Destinations.