Written by Missy Johnston
The French Riviera
Join your yacht in San Tropez, a busy cosmopolitan “village”. Once a sleepy fishing village, San Tropez is now a center of the chic and the arts. Many artists find the lighting in San Tropez unlike anywhere else in the world. This is a place to spend time shopping as between the couture and the unique little shops, San Tropez has it all. Hit the streets and many little alleyways of this dynamic village. And for a refreshing break, step into the Pan Dei Place Hotel in town, an oasis behind tall walls, for a drink. This is the town that never sleeps. As night falls, the street cafes come alive with the nightlife of this quaint village of the very chic. This is a great spot to enjoy and see the night life of the French Riviera. Overnight.
San Tropez at Sunset
In the am, depending on weather and mood, decide to either cruise to the lovely Iles d’Hyeres or up the coast to Antibes:
Iles de’Hyeres: are off the coast of the French Riviera which will add cruising time to your day. Porquerolles Island is the largest of the three islands in this island group, and 80% of this island, with three very nice beaches, is now national park land. Purchased in 1912 to be a private island, vineyards were planted and the wines produced were the first to be classed as “vins des Cotes de Provence”. Excellent wines are still produced on the island. Near the main port is a charming village, where is it common to rent bicycles on which to explore the island filled with vineyards and fruit trees. Overnight
Antibes: After leaving San Tropez stop at Cap d’ Antibes, and anchor taking the ships tender into the private tender dock of the Eden Roc for a lovely lunch right on the Cote d’Azur. This is also the location of the famous Hotel du Cap. Close by is a great swimming area for a refreshing swim. After lunch cruise to close by Antibes port. A quick walk will bring you into the old town area of Antibes, where there could be a large street market taking place. If wanted, visit the Musee Picasso located right on the water in a 12th century Grimaldi Palace and within walking distance of the port. Overnight.
Villa Rothschild, St. Jean Cap Ferrat
Cruise to St. Jean Cap Ferrat in the morning and after settling in, take a walk up to the Villa Rothschild on the Cap for a tour of the mansion and to see the beautiful surrounding gardens with seven themes on the grounds. Enjoy this anchorage for swimming and water sports. After lunch, a taxi will be arranged for a drive up to the famous hillside town of Eze, to enjoy a walk around this very quaint town built onto a hillside, with dinner at the Restaurant Chevre d’Or. Often referred to as an “eagle’s nest”, Eze sits approximately 437 meters above sea level overlooking long lengths of the chic coastline far below.
Today Eze is a bustling little village inside the medieval walls, with twisting alleyways full of steps winding up to the top of the town that are filled with little shops, boutiques and restaurants. Cruise overnight to Corsica to the little fishing village of Calvi.
Cruise into Calvi in time for breakfast in site of the fortified town walls. There are those that say that Christopher Columbus came from Calvi, which was part of the Genoese Empire at the time. It was during the Siege of Calvi in the French Revolution that Lord Nelson sustained the injury that cost him his eye. The harbor of Calvi is shadowed by the citadel, a first sight when coming in by sea. After docking, spend time exploring the old town of Calvi. The area around is well known for producing superb wine, cheese and olive oil.
In the afternoon cruise to a quiet anchorage down the coast for swimming, water sports fun and a lovely dinner on the top deck under the stars.
Cruise in the morning to the little fishing village of Ajaccio, the birthplace of Napoleon. Be sure to venture into old city Ajaccio filled with narrow little alleyways. The present city of Ajaccio was founded by the Genoese Empire around 1492. This was the hometown of the Bonaparte family and where Napoleon was born and raised and entered into the military. In the old town is a museum in the original family home named Casa Buonaparte that can be visited either on arrival or in the morning before leaving. There is also a wonderful local market nearby for early risers before leaving in the am. Overnight.
Turquoise Bays in Southern Corsica
Medieval Walls of Bonifacio
Head to Bonifacio, stopping in Campomoro, a beautiful protected bay, with a little village at the head, for lunch and a swim, before continuing on to Bonifacio. The Bonifacio area has been inhabited since prehistoric times, with settlements around the natural well protected harbor in the chalk cliffs right at the narrowest part of the channel between Corsica and Sardinia, called the Strait of Bonifacio. Today, remaining from the various civilizations that have lived in the area over a multitude of centuries, a walled medieval city sits perched on the top of the chalk cliffs, built to guard the harbor. The original walls date back to 824 when the Holy Roman Empire gave the area to the Margrave of Tuscany, Boniface II, to defend. The walled Old Town of Bonifacio remains on eroding chalk cliffs high above the active harbor of Bonifacio and is a fabulous sight when rounding through the seas along the southern end of Corsica. Tuck into the harbor for the night, and walk up to the walled medieval village of old Bonifacio to explore. Overnight.
Beautiful Waters in the Maddalena Islands
Cruise to the Maddalena Islands in the morning to visit the main town of Maddalena, a little fishing village, making a stop at Arzachena Gulf for lunch. The Maddalena Islands are filled with beautiful beaches and lovely anchorages with green blue clear water. While inhabited for many centuries as a hub of commerce; today, these islands are very sleepy and much of the area is a national park. Given the close proximity of the islands, the many anchorages and the beautiful clear water, many people compare these islands to the British Virgin Islands. This is a great location to just enjoy the beauty of the area and the lovely water and beaches.
In the late afternoon, visit the unique and very chic port of Porto Cervo, on the Costa Smeralda of Sardinia, perhaps heading ashore for dinner in one of the restaurants, and visiting the boutiques and shops. Overnight here or head back to the Maddalena Islands for a lovely quiet anchorage to overnight and enjoy a relaxing swim.
Return to Bonifacio in the am to disembark.