Tips For Yacht Charters in Monaco
Monaco, the second smallest independent state in the world after the Vatican, has a big reputation as a place of Chanel and champagne, palaces and Grimaldi Princes and superyachts alongside supercars.
But underneath the veneer of sophistication, lie the secrets of what makes Monaco so appealing – the charming narrow alleyways in Monaco-Ville, quiet spaces in public gardens with sub-tropical flowers, award winning cosmopolitan restaurants and sea views Jacques Cousteau would rave about.
Read our Tips for Yacht Charters in Monaco so you can be sure to experience the best from this glittering Principality.
Chartering a Yacht in Monaco
As one of the French Riviera’s premier destinations, Monaco is a fabulous weekend getaway or an excellent base to explore further in the region.
Bespoke Yacht Charter specialise in luxury yacht charter in Monaco and can offer expert advice about Port Hercule and Port Fontvieille, with recommendations for booking your charter as far in advance as you can especially during the Principality’s high profile events.
From day charters that capture the portside atmosphere of major Monaco events to extended Mediterranean itineraries, we aim to match each client’s needs to a vast portfolio of deluxe yachts and professional yacht crew.
Whether you’re a group of friends living it up at Grand Prix, a family seeking kid-friendly shore excursions or a couple looking for a gourmet foodie weekend you’ll find Monaco has a bit of everything to charm anyone.
To discuss your Monaco yacht charter needs, we are readily available for any questions you may have and can be easily contacted here
General Tips for Monaco
Monaco is not a member of the European Economic Area but has a European Union customs union treaty and open borders policy with France and is treated as one of the countries abiding by the Schengen Agreement. French and Monégasque authorities carry out checks at Monaco’s Ports and Fontvieille heliport. For non-EU tourists, Monaco has no border control however you can obtain a souvenir passport stamp for free at the Gare de Monaco-Monte Carlo train station Tourist Office or from the Office du Tourisme of the Monaco Government Tourist and Convention Authority at 2a Boulevard des Moulins, Monte-Carlo, MC 98000
Confused which language to speak in Monaco? French is the official language, however Monégasque is the national language. English and Italian are widely understood and spoken.
Monaco has an efficient urban bus service operated by Compagnie des Autobus de Monaco (CAM), which comprises of five main bus routes that operate 7 days a week with day and night services; each stop has a name and a network map. You can change buses as many times as you like in the 30 minutes following the first validation of your bus ticket, with no restriction on direction, stop or bus route as long as your ticket gets validated each change. CAM also operate the Bateau Bus boat shuttle that crosses Port Hercule from Quai des Etats Unis to the cruise ship terminal; it is a time saving way to cross the port for a princely sum of just €2 per journey.
The fastest transfer between Nice Côte d’Azur Airport and Monaco is via helicopter with a heliport situated at Fontvieille. The 7-minute journey along the coast is stunning.
The Gare de Monaco-Monte Carlo is a modern train station reached via the scenic coastal rail network. There are regular French rail services per hour connecting Monaco with towns from Cannes through to Ventimiglia in Italy. Many continental trains also stop there including the Thello service which links Marseille and Milan. The station is a rabbit warren for first time visitors with multiple entry/exit points – for a downloadable station map click here: www.cam.mc/documents/1339753592.pdf
Monaco has some steep elevations that test any visitor’s leg prowess but thankfully there are public elevators and travelators in operation 24 hours a day to access various areas of the Principality. For a location map, refer to this link and click on ‘La télécharger ici Monaco Malin’ for a downloadable map: service-public-particuliers.gouv.mc/Transports-et-voyage/Accessibilite/Deplacements/Se-deplacer-a-pied-en-Principaute
Casino de Monte-Carlo is one of the top attractions in the area though you must be over 18 years of age to enter, pay a €10 admission fee (and an additional €10 for the private gaming rooms) and don’t forget your passport if you plan on chancing it with Lady Luck as you need identification to enter as Monaco citizens are not permitted to gamble in the Principality’s casinos.
Recommended Restaurants, Bars and Nightlife in Monaco
Monaco only covers two square kilometres and is walkable, however even using the public lifts and escalators navigating the winding streets branching across each district or climbing to ‘The Rock’ can be worthy cause to stop off somewhere to quench your thirst and satisfy your palate.
Here are a few recommendations for places to eat and drink in Monaco:
U Cavagnetu, 14 rue Comte Félix Gastaldi, 98000 Monaco-Ville. Telephone : +377 93 30 35 80
Located near to the Palais Princier, ‘Cavagnetu’ means picnic basket in the local dialect and this busy bistro is exactly the place locals like to keep quiet for themselves if it were not for the prominent location near one of Monaco’s top attractions.
Try to get a table on the terrace before the crowds from the Changing of the Guard ceremony arrive (which starts promptly at 11.55am daily) – the Monagasque specialities such as crumbed aubergine and barbajuan are very good.
Le Petit Bar, 35 rue Basse, 98000 Monaco-Ville. Telephone : +377 97 70 04 97
Small and unpretentious, Le Petit Bar is a great find among the tourist streets of Monaco-Ville.
Moderately priced by Monaco standards, the food is uber-fresh and their menu changes often around a 3-3-3 concept (just 3 starters, 3 mains, 3 desserts). Prebook a table on the terrace (as it is really popular for midweek business lunches) and enjoy a coffee break, a fine platter of tapas or an apéritif.
Les Perles de Monte-Carlo, quai Jean-Charles Rey, Monaco. Telephone : + 377 97 77 84 31
Oyster lovers keep the order trays moving at this popular seafood eatery located at the far end of the jetty at Port Fontvieille. Opened by two marine biologists who have perfected oyster farming at their hatchery just off the breakwater, the delicate oysters are crowd pleasers with a chilled glass of wine and have won over other Monaco establishments such as Quai des Artistes, Monte-Carlo Bay and the Place d’Armes market.
Blue Gin, Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort, 40 avenue Princesse Grace, Monaco. Telephone: +377 98 06 03 60
A sophisticated lounge bar part of the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort, the Blue Gin is a fantastic place for a sundowner with a spectacular view from the terrace. With a DJ playing every Friday and Saturday night and free billiards, settle in for a cocktail or two as the sun goes down.
Beaches in Monaco
Monaco isn’t well known for beaches compared to other regional destinations, however if you fancy a day with sand (sort of!) between your toes, there are a few options in Monaco:
Larvotto Beach is the main beach in Monaco, covered in smooth imported fine sand and gravel. You can take bus number 6 from the port straight to Larvotto, or from the Monaco train station take the top exit at the station and take bus number 4 outside the station to stop ‘Place des Moulins’ where a public elevator takes you down to the beachfront. The beach has lots of restaurants and snack kiosks, a playground and rental is available for sun loungers, umbrellas and water sports equipment.
Le Méridien Beach Plaza has the only private beach access in Monaco – available to guests only, or if you stay at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort there is a magnificent sandy-bottomed lagoon to enjoy.
We strongly recommend visiting the nearby Plage Mala in Cap d’Ail and Anjuna Beach in Eze!
Things to See and Do in Monaco
Monaco has plenty of variety when searching for shore excursions ranging from visiting historic buildings to pretty public gardens and luxury shopping.
Place du Casino
A hive of activity year round, it’s a fantastic people watching zone where you can be amazed at the jaw-dropping prices of drinks at Café de Paris, enjoy the beautiful façade of the Casino de Monte-Carlo and garden fountains illuminated at night and watch a continuous parade of expensive cars cruising past.
Visit the Palais for the free Changing of the Guards ceremony at 11.55am daily, or wander the sumptuous State Apartments. In summer months, the Palais square hosts concerts and is a beautiful spot to watch dusk fall and the golden Riviera sunlight bounce off Monaco’s high-rise silhouettes.
Monaco Petit Train
Often considered supremely touristy, don’t overlook Monaco’s petit train that is one of the best in the region. Embarking from outside the Musée Océanographique, the 30 minute tour with commentary is a good option for visitors with limited time and takes in Monaco’s history and landmarks such as Place d’Armes, Place du Casino and the Grand Prix circuit. Monaco Tours’ tourist train tickets can be purchased at the ticket booth outside the Musée (€7 adults/€4 children).
Built in 1875 from white stones from La Turbie, this Romanesque-Byzantine church has a Bréa altarpiece, impressive organ and is the resting place for Prince Rainier and Princess Grace. Afterwards, wander through the nearby Jardins Saint Martin with park benches placed amidst Mediterranean flora and a commemorative bronze statue to Prince Albert I.
Located midway between the Monaco train station and Casino de Monte-Carlo, the Opera Gallery has sister art galleries in global cities including London, Paris, Geneva and New York. The Monaco venue hosts regular exhibitions from celebrated artists such as the celebrity photographer Douglas Kirkland and Damien Hirst and is a fine choice for an art fix when in Monaco.
Monaco Grand Prix Circuit
Monaco F1 Grand Prix and Monaco Historique Grand Prix are two pinnacle events in Monaco. Bespoke Yacht Charter can facilitate luxury yacht charters to watch the thrilling action all from the comfort of your superyacht at Port Hercule! Outside of race days, you can walk the circuit year round (grab a free map from Monaco Tourism) or even rent a Ferrari to take in the sights.
This article was written by Rebecca Whitlocke, who with over 10 years travel industry experience loves to share ‘must-do’ destination tips and hidden spots to discover in France and beyond.
To discuss yacht charters in Monaco, please contact: