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A Day on Charter in La Napoule

The Bay of La Napoule is a stunning stop on a French Riviera yacht charter, with the rich red rocks of the Esterel mountain range contrasting vividly with the turquoise sea, and the gloriously pretty Cannes islands sitting just offshore with their quiet pine forests, secluded coves and sunny vineyards.

There’s an abundance of superb nature activities on offer in the surrounding hills, from mountain biking to horse riding and hiking, while the town of Mandelieu-La Napoule offers a very famous golf course and some stellar Michelin-star dining.

Les rochers Esterel south of France

La Napoule’s sheltered position makes this an excellent place to drop anchor to play on the yacht’s watertoys or snorkel around the headland’s cliffs and rockpools, while La Napoule’s large marina accommodates yachts up to 60m, providing an excellent alternative to berthing in neighbouring Cannes.

View over Mandelieu-La Napoule and the Bay of Cannes

Things to see and do around Mandelieu-La Napoule:

Visit the Château

As your yacht approaches Mandelieu-La Napoule, you’ll see the splendid Château de La Napoule that rises up over the coast, its castle walls running along the sandy beach and grand vaulted archways looming high above the sea. The old village of La Napoule has been incorporated into the larger resort town of Mandelieu-La Napoule over the years, but the ancient town’s heritage lives on in this medieval château, which was rebuilt by American artist Henry Clews in the 20th century, and now hosts art exhibitions and summer concerts in the grounds.

Château à Mandelieu-la Napoule, Côte d'Azur, France

Play a round of golf on a famous course

Mandelieu-La-Napoule is the home of the famous Old Course, which dates back to 1891 and is the oldest on the Cote d’Azur, and one of the oldest in France. The Old Course is actually two courses, with the newer 18 hole course with its iconic river ferry journey between holes 2 and 3, and the heritage ‘Grand Duc’ 9 hole course, which was modelled on the Saint Andrews course in Scotland. The setting is very beautiful, with long fairways shaded by century old umbrella pines, and a fantastic heritage clubhouse with fine restaurant terrace.

Old Course golf at Mandelieu-La Napoule

Dine at the 2 Michelin star L’Oasis

Yacht charterers who appreciate fine food will certainly want to secure a table at L’Oasis, an exceedingly elegant 2 Michelin star restaurant run by the three Raimbault brothers. The lush garden terrace is an exquisite place to dine on refined southern French cooking, with decadent desserts and what the Michelin guide refers to as ‘a particularly interesting wine list’.

Reasturant Oasis Mandelieu-La Napoule

Discover swimming and snorkelling bliss

There are some lovely golden sand beaches in La Napoule bay which are lively with watersports and beach volleyball, but the real La Napoule experience is to be had along the coastal path, where red rocks rise out of the sparkling sea and yellow flowers adorn the green Mediterranean scrub. Make your way from one enchanting cove to the next, swimming and snorkelling and perhaps stopping for a luxury picnic packed by the yacht’s chef. The dramatic intensity of the colours of the Esterel under a summer sky will make this a day to remember forever.

Bay on the Esterel coast, French Riviera

Stroll through the town’s markets

Nearby Cannes has some of the best boutique shopping in the world, but if you’re looking for a more tranquil Provencal market experience, Mandelieu-La Napoule has some wonderful local markets, including a summer night craft market along the port. Shop for gifts like fragrant local honey and almond nougat to take home as a memento of your French Riviera yacht charter.

Fresh fish on sale in French Riviera market

Explore the Cannes Islands

The Iles de Lérins are a timeless Mediterranean paradise of fragrant pine forest and sparkling coves, and this quiet archipelago on the edge of the Golfe de la Napoule is one of the highlights of a French Riviera yacht charter. Sainte Marguerite is the larger island, known for its pretty beaches and the fort where the Man in the Iron Mask was imprisoned, while St Honorat has a working monastery and beautiful vineyards.

Iles de Lerins - Cannes Islands

Hike into the gorgeous hills

For active charterers, the Esterel massif is a glorious place for hiking or mountain biking. Follow the trails through this stunning red rock landscape of blue sky and boulders, where deer stalk silently between the Aleppo pines, clouds of butterflies rise from the underbrush, and wild lavender and rosemary release their scent in the Mediterranean sunshine.

Stunning views over Cannes from Cap Roux

On a clear day, the Esterel walking and biking trails offer dizzying views, from the yachts crisscrossing the sparkling sea far below right up to the towering Alps, their highest peaks still cloaked in snow and cloud.

Watch for whales and dolphins

Mandelieu-La Napoule is the starting point for local dolphin and whale watching excursions, so keep your eyes peeled for these beautiful creatures as your yacht floats through the Bay of La Napoule. Dolphins often swim in the bow waves of yachts, and you might see turtles and even a pilot whale or two. Game fishermen hunting tuna may also find some action off the coast of La Napoule.

Dolphins

Take the yacht’s water-toys for a spin

The bay is sheltered by the Cannes Islands and the headland at Théoule-sur-Mer, so La Napoule is a popular place for yachts to anchor for a morning of watersports. Get out on the jetskis and trace giant circles in the sea around your charter yacht, or waterski across the cobalt-blue waters, the incredible red landscape of Esterel passing by in a blur. Paddle-boarding or kayaking around the glorious rocky coastline is a popular activity, and there’s also an inland waterway that makes for great kayaking, particularly for younger charterers.

Aerial view of toys motor yacht Antisan

For those who seek a respite from the summertime glitz and glamour of busy Cannes, a day on charter in La Napoule offers sparkling sapphire waters and breathtaking landscapes. It’s the French Riviera’s little secret.

View over Mandelieu-La Napoule and the Bay of Cannes

To discuss a yacht charter in La Napoule and other French Riviera destinations, please contact:

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