The French Riviera is a popular summer destination with some of the wildest parties, the most sophisticated beach clubs, and warm, crystal-clear waters. With a variety of lodging choices, including some of the world’s greatest hotels, vast collections of villas, and some of the finest superyachts, we have compiled a list of the best locations to anchor in the South of France so that you may enjoy your stay.
Even though the actual location is Ramatuelle, the mythical Pampelonne beach is the crown jewel of St. Tropez’s beaches. Over five kilometres of gorgeous, white sand separates the Mediterranean Sea from vast areas of scrub-covered dunes. It is a natural marvel that is a perfect site to moor a boat and provides a rural backdrop for the world’s most sophisticated beach party scene.
With the recent closing of the famed (some would say infamous) Voile Rouge, there are now 26 beach restaurants where you may dine, drink, show off, or sleep on a comfortable lounge chair and/or mattress while gazing at the waves. The bulk of “beach clubs” frequented by celebrities, oligarchs, princes, presidents, and models were constructed in the 1950s and 1960s and remain operational. Although they are known as “beach clubs,” there is no membership charge; just the cost of renting a lounge chair or umbrella (about €30 per season) applies.
The iles de lerins
These Mediterranean beauty spots offer visitors a unique combination of flora and fauna, as well as a rich history that includes the mystery of the Man in the Iron Mask and the Cistercian monks.
Saint Honorat (Île Saint-Honorat) is a tiny island that is privately held by Cistercian monks. Saint Margaret (Île Sainte-Marguerite) is the largest of the Lerins Islands. The last two islands are tiny and uninhabited. The islands are located close to Cannes and are accessible by ferry from Cannes, Antibes, Nice, and other French Riviera cities.
The prestigious beach La Guérite is a refuge with a breathtaking view of the Cannes bay that attracts seasoned travellers, making it the ideal place to anchor a boat. La Guerite and its restaurant, hidden under the royal fort of Sainte-Marguerite Island, are a retreat for a day of relaxation for the world’s elite. La Guerite shocks with its appeal and authenticity in the strange setting of the Island of the Man in the Iron Mask, transforming those fortunate enough to get there daily by boat into an exclusive club.
Enjoy the Mediterranean cuisine of Greek chef Yiannis Kioroglou, who masterfully blends baking, braising, and grilling. You may relax on a beach bed with a cocktail or a bottle of local wine. Finally, put your feet up on the beach and eat lobster while listening to the music that animates the scene. At La Guerite, fun and relaxation are paramount. A yacht or sailboat excursion between the Lerins Islands would be incomplete without an overnight halt at La Guerite.
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