With beautifully moderate weather, scenic landscapes and countless attractions, Monaco provides a more than ideal destination for holidaymakers. This tiny principality truly leaves no stone unturned in ensuring visitors are fully entertained as well as fully relaxed during their stay.
If you’re an outdoors kind of person you’ll have your fill of sites to see and activities to participate in. But even while indoors guests can be assured of finding something to keep them busy. Accommodation comes in the form of an array of 5-star beachfront establishments that offer the last word in luxury and gastronomy.
If you haven’t heard about the Monaco Grand Prix, you’re one of a very rare minority. Anyway, those who visit Monte Carlo will have the joy of walking the streets that form part of this hallowed circuit. Still on motorsport, the Monte Carlo Rally is part of the World Rally Championship season and if you happen to be in Monaco’s most populous borough on January you can have the joy of being sprayed with dust and exhaust fumes from masters such as Sebastien Loeb.
But this is only one of the many marvels that overwhelm you when you visit this much-vaunted city state. Most people who go on holiday to Monaco are driven there by its Mediterranean shores, to gaze at the pretty Yacht-infested harbour or walk the clean, calm streets lined with ancient landmarks. As you amble about you are sure to come across the Prince’s Palace, a magnificent edifice decorated with intricate frescoes and other exquisite decor touches from centuries past.
It was initially constructed in the 12th century. Another building that reflects the cultural and religious heritage of the place is the St. Charles church which was officially opened in 1883. It is in itself a work of art that presents tourists with beautiful stained glass windows and a majestic arched interior.
The St. Dévote church is an 11th century chapel that is breathtaking in appearance and legacy. These are just a few of the many monuments that dot Monaco, providing insight into its illustrious past.
Seekers of more historical information will be rewarded when they visit the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, the Museum of Napoleonic Souvenirs, the Oceanographic Museum and any of the principality’s other museums.
But a holiday to Monaco is far from simply a trip to a concrete jungle and nature lovers will be delighted to find that there are many lovely gardens in the locale. At the Exotic Gardens and the Observation Cave, visitors will be transfixed by the sight of millions of plant species (including many varieties of cacti) thriving in a rocky mountainside. The caves are a must-see for geology buffs, particularly the stalactite and stalagmite fingers hanging from the cave ceilings and rising from the ground.
With its astounding natural beauty, excellent mild weather and wealth of cultural heritage, it’s no wonder Nice ranks so high among many a traveller’s wish list. The idea of strolling along the city’s scenic beaches with the Mediterranean Sea breeze blowing through your hair or biking through the locale and stopping to admire its many landmarks should be enough to convince you to spend your holiday in Nice.
There is plenty to keep you occupied here as well as plenty to see as you partake of the sights and sounds of this touristic gem tucked away in the south-eastern reaches of France.
When it comes to sightseeing, few destinations offer the kind of view you get when you ascend to the Colline du Chateau and cast your eyes over the spread of Nice 90 metres beneath you. Though there is a lift that will take you up three quarters of the way, many visitors prefer to climb the stairs so as to savour every step of the ascent. Mont Boron also gives those on holiday to Nice spectacular views of both the beach and the mountains.
A trip to the nearby village of Eze is well worth the effort as you will be treated to the sight of a pretty cactus garden which also yields an excellent vantage point over the surrounding landscape. You can continue your sightseeing with a sortie to Old Nice where you are bound to be enamoured by the picturesque buildings and the maze of narrow streets.
While the beach may be very enticing to the eye, its pebbly shores aren’t exactly a sunbather’s dream. Having said that, nothing should stop you from moving them about and creating a soft lounging space for yourself. Or indeed venturing into the deep blue waters for a swim; provided you are a competent enough swimmer as the currents can be quite strong at times.
Nice has several museums offering visitors access to important historical information as well as several exhibitions of art. These include the Musée Matisse which features plenty of artworks housed in a beautiful 17th century Genoese villa.
The Museum of Asian Art showcases works by artists from different parts of Asia. If you’re keen on archaeology, the Musée et Sites Archeologiques de Cimiez is a place you’ll want to pay a visit. Apart from oodles of information on ancient Gallo-Roman life, the place has a number of activities to keep your children occupied.
The more energetic will be excited by the range of activities available for their entertainment at Nice. If you love skating you will want to find out what is on offer at Fun ‘n Roll which is on rue Cassini. The pick of the activities there are inline skating and rollerblading.
Miles of sandy beaches, luxurious hotels and shopping in chic designer outlets are the highlights of a holiday to Cannes. But this is not all that defines this scenic tourist haven. It also has plenty to pique the interest of seekers of historical information as well as those who want a taste of French culture.
The French are the masters of haute cuisine and at Cannes you will be spoilt for choice with regard to the variety of eateries. Besides this there are plenty of activities to fill your days of excursion, and the weather is particularly conducive for outdoor recreation. While it’s true that the city is a playground for the men and women of means, anyone can go there on holiday and enjoy themselves.
Sightseeing and activities
While the city is almost perpetually packed with the glitzy toys of the rich and famous, there is plenty more to ogle at apart from the latest production cars. The bay on which this commune is located is as picturesque as they come.
But many tourists on holiday to Cannes like to promenade along the yacht marina simply to take in the unique sight of vessels of all sizes that are docked there.
Actually, strolling through the city is a good idea as it allows you to discover its many landmarks at a leisurely pace. And your efforts will certainly be rewarded when you take a walk to the old town and survey its quaint little streets and the establishments that line them. The Cannes Castle is a lovely spot for hikers to repose as they take in the magnificent sight of the city spread out below them. It also has a museum where you can soak up some of the Gallo-Roman history of this famous corner of France.
Bearing in mind the calibre of visitors who have made Cannes their second home, you would expect to be provided with a rich shopping experience when on holiday here. And indeed you will be on the day you go down the Boulevard de la Croisette. Here you will find high-end jewellery shops and pristine designer outlets for you to pick that perfect holiday gift for your loved one or for yourself. If you appreciate good art you are free to walk into the galleries there, admire the works presented, and leave with the one that speaks to you the most. The Rue d’Antibes also boasts a wealth of shops for you to spoil yourself.
And after a hard morning of shopping, you can repair to the sandy beaches that line the southern edge of the city. Here you can bask in the beautiful Mediterranean sun while listening to the waves rolling in or splash about in the shallow waters. If you’re out on a family holiday you’ll want to swing your kids by La Croisette where there are is a playground and park with some exciting rides.
Every May the world’s attention is riveted to the Cannes Film Festival, when the who-is-who of the film industry make their way to the French Riviera from all over the world to see previews of upcoming blockbusters and receive the rewards their innovation and hard work have merited.