It’s hot and exotic, a luxurious must-go destination for the wealthy and influential people who, in the 1960s and ’70s, were called the Jet Set, the Beautiful People, the Cafe Society. This is a classic destination in so many ways – fabulous food, legendary wines, balmy turquoise seas, celebrity visitors and clear blue skies. No wonder the South of France is our second most popular destination after Mallorca. So what can you expect when you buy a boat share based in France’s best-loved luxury holiday destination?
About the South of France – Sheer luxury in a stunning setting
The French call it le Midi, their country’s most popular tourist region. The South of France includes the French Mediterranean coastline and its hinterland, spanning the coast from the Italian to Spanish borders and covering two stunning regions, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur to the east and Languedoc Roussillon to the west, separated by the mighty River Rhone.
The French Riviera itself, also called the Côte d’Azur, marks the thin coastal strip east of Marseilles in the west to the Italian border in the east. The coast is wonderfully rocky and wild but much it is heavily built up, particularly the resorts of St. Tropez, Cannes and Nice. To escape the crowds, all you need to do is head inland to the so-called Alpes de Haute Provence, with its small, sleepy towns and precariously perched villages. The southern Alps are even more quiet and secluded, and the tiny city of Briançon, capital of the High Alps, is the smallest city in Europe. For sheer drama, you can visit the deepest gorges in Europe, the magnificent Gorges du Verdon.
The hills and mountains of Provence, the ancient valleys of the Cevennes, the Languedoc, they’re all packed with fascinating places to visit, including lovely Avignon, amazing Arles, Aix de Provence and of course the magical Camargue, famed for its horses.
Discover the lovely Languedoc
The Languedoc comes with long sandy beaches, vast vineyards and dry, rocky hills. The regional capital is the historic city of Nimes, stuffed with well-preserved Roman remains. The High Languedoc region gives you access to the dramatic Massif Central mountains, and the coast is home to smart resorts like Cap d’Agde and Le Grau du Roi. There’s a great choice of restaurants and bars but if you’re searching for peace and seclusion, 200km of coastline mean it’s easy to find quiet. You may like to head south for the eastern Pyrenees, with their mild foothills and gorgeous fields of fruit and flowers. The ancient fortified city of Carcassonne is also yours to explore.
Fall in love with Nice
Cosmopolitan Nice is the capital of the French Riviera, a classy city with a mild climate all year round. City centre mooring is in high demand so it’s good to book ahead. This place is loved for its seafood, including the Mediterranean red mullet and sea bream. A compelling blend of big city grit, traditional opulence, vivid street life and a truly stunning seaside location, Nice’s main tourist attractions include the dazzlingly colourful Old Town, with its popular markets, opulent palaces and ancient churches. Le Promenade des Anglais makes a splendid walk, and the Parc de la Colline du Château is too lovely for words. The Matisse Museum contains a permanent collection of the great man’s work and the Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain is another international-quality treat for art lovers, just one of several world-class galleries in the city.
Explore the artists community at Collioure
Head towards the border with Spain to explore Collioure, an artists’ colony that inspired geniuses like Henri Matisse, Raoul Dufy, and Juan Gris. No wonder the Hotel des Templiers is so proud of its superb collection of internationally-renowned 20th century masterpieces. If you’re at sea look out for the château, head for the Presqu’île St-Vincent, then find a mooring buoy. The fabulous local wines from the town itself and Côtes du Roussillon are a must.
Spend time in Marseilles
Marseilles is the cultural capital of the south, with yacht club pontoons to the south of the Vieux Port at the city’s beating heart. This is where the Provençal fish stew bouillabaisse was born, a regional speciality, and the local Provence rosé wine is well worth sampling. It’s only a short voyage to the Iles du Frioul and Château d’If, where Dumas’ book ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ was set.
Visit the working harbour at Sète
In the middle of the Gulf of Lion, where the Canal du Midi hits the Med, you’ll find the town of Sète with its vibrant harbour. The town is built around the Canal du Rhône à Sete and the landscape is unusually watery as a result. It isn’t like Venice, it’s more workaday, but there are similarities. The Vieux Bassin, Bassin du Midi and the Nouveau Bassin all offer berths and the town has some really good fish restaurants serving local Etang du Thau oysters.
Relax in St-Raphaël
The Côte d’Azur is home to Cannes, Antibes, Juan-les-Pins and St-Tropez, as well as slightly more moderate weather than the rest of the region. The infamous cold, strong wind, Le Mistral, blows less strongly and less often here, and the coast is studded with beautiful little bays where you can stop for lunch and sunbathing. It’s also a great location for overnighting. St-Raphaël Vieux Port itself is sleeker and fresher than it used to be, renovated beautifully, and thanks to that berths are as rare as hen’s teeth – again, it’s wise to book in advance.
Sail to some of France’s most magical islands
Head for Italy rather than Spain to find the Île de Porquerolles, just ten minutes by sea from the French coast and surprisingly similar to the Caribbean. These gorgeous islands come complete with turquoise waters, pine tree-edged sand dunes, and awesomely sunny weather.
The sea conditions off the South of France
The South of France offers yacht lovers a legendary blend of warm blue seas, superb sandy beaches and vibrant resorts. Sharing a yacht is the best way to visit this beautiful stretch of Mediterranean coastline in comfort and style. You’ll find the weather in the South of France is particularly good from May to September, with high temperatures, lots of sunlight and calm winds. Strong winter winds are sometimes the name of the game between October and April.
Talk to us about yacht share in the South of France
If you’d like to buy a share in a superb luxury yacht based in the South of France, let’s talk about the potential. Alternatively, take a look at our South of France-based yachts and see what inspires you.