2020 Club Vivanova Luxury Lifestyle Gala Postponement to Saturday 14th November 2020

Club Vivanova Charity Gala Postponement : Saturday 14th November 2020

In light of the current situation, Club Vivanova and the Fairmont Monte Carlo have decided that it would be in the best interests of their partners, members, guests and the event itself to postpone the Sixth Edition 2020 Luxury Lifestyle Charity Gala to Saturday 14th November 2020.

Club Vivanova’s annual charity gala night has been moved to Saturday 14th November 2020

All purchased partnerships, tickets and room bookings will be automatically transferred to this new date.

Event Information: www.clubvivanova-luxurygala.com

They expect that by this date, the event business will be back to normal and guests will all once again be able to celebrate the best things in life together!

Club Vivanova thanks their esteemed guests, the Fairmont Monte Carlo and their gala partners for the on-going support.

Club Vivanova turns luxury into charity for Chances for Children

On Saturday 6th June, Club Vivanova, a Monaco-based leading business networking and premium gourmet wine club, will host their 6th annual Luxury Lifestyle Charity Gala Dinner at the Fairmont Monte Carlo.

This epic event – “Turning Luxury Into Charity” – brings together more than 400 international guests, all to help raise funds for worthy causes. This year, funds will be split between the Chances for Children (C4C) Foundation and The Animal Fund (TAF).

Charitable causes

Chances for Children has been one of the event’s beneficiary charities since 2017. Founded in 2011, the Monaco and UK-registered charity cares for abandoned children in a dedicated orphanage in Kampala (Uganda). Here the children have access to parental care, a balanced diet, education, and healthcare. Gabrielle Crump, President of Chances For Children has been humbled by the generosity seen from Gala attendees over the last few years and notes how:

“The ongoing support that Club Vivanova offers Chances for Children is priceless. As our charity grows, so do the running costs and the annual Club Vivanova Charity Gala raises vital finances that support and to help to pay for quality education, maintenance and the support of a growing number of sponsored children. The club’s members now sponsor six children in the Chances for Children Foundation family all-year round. We truly value this partnership which goes from strength to strength – and as a grass roots charity, donors can rest assured that every Euro donated goes directly to the children.”

Listed in Monaco, France and the UK, The Animal Fund is a non-profit marine conservation association dedicated to protecting and saving dolphins and whales from pollution, maltreatment and overfishing.

A distinguished event

The glittering fundraising event attracts distinguished international business leaders from across the world, Club Vivanova members, and VIP Partners who will all enjoy a beautifully prepared gourmet meal in addition to live entertainment by ‘High On Heels’, a Haute Couture fashion show, a Contemporary Art Exhibition, a charity auction, and Champagne and Vodka after party, offering a fantastic social night with a purpose.

The event kicks-off at 7 p.m. with a Premier Cru Champagne Aperitif, followed by a welcome speech at 8 p.m.

Monaco based digital marketing agency, Relevance, is a sponsor of the charitable gala evening.

“We are delighted to once again support the annual Luxury Lifestyle Charity Gala Dinner,” Rumble Romagnoli, CEO of Relevance said. “This fabulous annual event raises funds for a number of charities, including Chances for Children, a cause that remains very dear to our hearts. We have supported this charity for some four years, offering a wide range of digital marketing support to ensure this fantastic charity can help more young orphaned children in Uganda, by providing critical parental care, education, healthcare, and more.”

Bradley Mitton – Club Vivanova Founder

“We only achieve great things in life by giving back and our Sixth Edition Luxury Lifestyle Charity Gala is organised annually to appreciate the best things in life, whilst offering attendees the chance to donate; raising important and life-changing funding for the Chances for Children Foundation and The Animal Fund and we need your support.”

Ticket details

There are still tickets available for this year’s event.  Tickets are €200 per person, €300 for VIP tickets, or €2,800 for a gala partner table for 10. Tickets can be purchased online at clubvivanova-luxurygala.com

For a video presentation of the Luxury Lifestyle Charity Gala Dinner, see below:

Press Contact

To find out more information about Chances for Children or the 2020 Club Vivanova Luxury Lifestyle Gala Dinner, or for additional images, contact : muriel@relevance.digital or telephone +377 99 90 73 52

Please note:  The event was originally advertised as being scheduled for Saturday, April 4; Saturday, June 6 is the new postponed date. All purchased partnerships, tickets and room package bookings from the original date are automatically transferred to the new date.  Club Vivanova thanks all their guests, the Fairmont Monte Carlo and their gala partners for the on-going support.

Top 4 : The Best February Festivals On The French Riviera

There are plenty of reasons a festival might make your bucket list, however when you have children you often need to compromise with schedules, facilities and transport.

One of the best ways for kids to experience arts, music and culture is to join in on the festival atmosphere at local events.

From big-hitting carnivals to small traditional celebrations, the French Riviera has plenty of festivals for all ages and attention spans!   Here’s my pick of the Top 4 family-friendly festivals happening during February on the French Riviera.

  1. Nice Carnival  :  15 February – 29 February 2020

One of the world’s biggest carnivals, the 2020 theme for this annual event is ‘King of Fashion (Roi de la Mode)’.  Fabulous flower battles, afternoon and night time parades with floats, lights, costumed actors and animations ensure a family-friendly event with plenty of entertainment.

The Bataille des Fleurs takes place at the same location as the main parades; at Place Massena and around Jardin Albert 1er gardens.

The parades are spectacular, with floats taking hundreds of hours of work to create.  Parades last around 1.5 hours.

My top tips: 

To get access to your seats, be sure to use the correct entrance number which is shown on your ticket or else you will be diverted elsewhere.

Before you go to Nice, check the road restrictions on the official website because there are many roads closed 3 hours prior to the parades as well as restrictions on parking zones.  You can find the information under ‘Practical Information – Access, Transport and Parking’ on the Nice Carnival website.  Some parking zones including Port Lympia and Nice Etoile have a special parking offer where you pay just €5 for 5 hours parking.

Don’t forget if you dress in fancy dress, you get FREE standing entry in Zones A and B for the Carnival Parades and Parade of Lights.   Persons with disabilities also get FREE entry for standing Zone B for the Flower Parades, Carnival Parades and Parade of Lights.

Children aged 0-10 get FREE entry in Zone B (Standing around Jardin Albert 1er) for the Carnival Parades and Parade of Lights which is excellent for families to be able to enjoy the festivities!

For the official carnival programme, go here:  Nice Carnival 2020 

Watch a video below of one of last year’s Corso carnivalesque illuminé below (courtesy of Nice Côte d’Azur Tourism) showing what to expect during this 2-week party:

2. Fête du Citron : 15 February – 03 March 2020

The 87th edition of Menton’s wonderful Fête du Citron kicks off the same day as the opening of Nice Carnival, running from 15th February to 3rd March 2020.

It’s a unique festival attracting around 200,000 visitors annually who visit to see around 140 tons of citrus fruit in sculptures and parade floats.

We particularly love seeing the large-scale citrus sculptures in the Jardins Biovès which are 5-10 metres in height and engineered from wire framing and thousands of oranges and lemons.  It’s a good outing for families as the exhibition zone isn’t too big, nor do you have to wait too long for the action to start.  The gardens are open during the day, and there is evening admission when the sculptures are illuminated with sound.

Adjacent to the gardens is the Palais de l’Europe which has an artisan market selling things such as limoncello or Provençal linen decorated with lemons, alongside an orchid display.

The parades include street performers, dancers, confetti and bands with the night time parades having lanterns or fireworks as well.

This year the theme is ‘Les Fêtes du Monde’.

My top tips:

Taking the train is a good option because the Jardins Biovès and the parade circuit is about 5 minutes walk from the main train station.  Menton has 2 train stations so you need to get off at Gare de Menton and NOT Menton Garavan station.

If you drive, beware that streets in and near the festival are closed to traffic and if you are going to the Sunday Golden Fruits parades to arrive before midday.  There are 3 carparks available to use on Sundays (Golden Fruits parade days) – they are located near the Italian border (Rondelli Stadium), at the Intermarché car park near the Vallée du Carei motorway exit and the Val d’Anaud Stadium.  These carparks are free and shuttle buses run to/from the festival zones. Check the shuttle information here:  Fête du Citron shuttle buses

Wheelchair users can access the garden display, as well there is a designated viewing area for the parades at Place Saint Roch which is the eastern end of the parade route.  If you have restricted mobility and want to access the beach, go opposite the Belle Époque Hotel Royal Westminster – the entire seafront of Promenade du Soleil is wheelchair accessible.

Visit the official Lemon Festival website here:  Fête du Citron 2020

If you have never visited the Fête du Citron before, you may be wondering what happens to the incredible amount of fruit that is used!  A lot of it is thrown away due to rot or composted after the festival, however once the main sculptures are disassembled the remaining fruit is sold publicly.  You can buy bags of oranges and lemons for less than €1 – there is no limit.

You can see some of my photos from previous festivals below:

Things to see and do in Menton

Menton is a lovely destination to visit year round with a backdrop of mountains, an Italianate Old Town and a promenade stretching to Cap Martin.

Other things to do when you’re in Menton include discovering the Musée Jean Cocteau, visiting the churches Basilique Saint Michel and Chapelle des Pénitents-Blancs, exploring the gardens such as Serre de la Madonne or Jardin Fontana Rosa and taking in the panoramic view from the Cimetière du Vieux Château, high above Menton.

If you want to do a day trip while you’re visiting Menton, you can head over the border to the Italian towns of Ventimiglia or Sanremo that have great food markets, or read more on Christie from Scribbles and Smiles blog and add Sainte-Agnès to your itinerary.

Sainte-Agnès is off the beaten track but worth visiting (photo: menton.fr)

3. Fête du Mimosa : 19 February – 26 February 2020

The mimosa is already flowering and is a welcome end to winter days.  The annual Fête du Mimosa is held in the streets of Mandelieu-La Napoule where the golden bloom is celebrated with flower battles, music and activities.

For more information about the Mimosa Festival programme and tickets, visit the Office de Tourism website here:  Fête du Mimosa 2020

Fête du Mimosa in Mandelieu-La-Napoule (pic: Mondoramas)

As well as the main festival in Mandelieu-La Napoule, other towns host mimosa festivities and parades including Pegomas, St Maxime and Tanneron.

Route du Mimosa walking trails

You can also do a variety of walking trails if you want to see mimosa forests – the best family-friendly trails we’ve found are between Mandelieu-Tanneron-Auribeau-Pégomas.

If you start at Mandelieu, take Boulevard Paul Tarascon, then Boulevard des Termes, heading towards Tanneron on the Route de Tanneron (D92).  After driving about 10 minutes from Mandelieu, you reach the Circuit du Grand Duc and there is an easy walking trail with great views of the hills covered in mimosa.  This trail is super popular at weekends and there is limited carparking, so go early!  Here is the map:  Circuit du Grand Duc.

For other mimosa trail options, refer to ‘La Route du Mimosa’ for more information.

4. Festival International des Jeux : 21 February – 23 February 2020

A fun festival for families with all types of activities, games and toys to try out.  You can find everything from classic and contemporary board games, Cosplay, video games, escape games, simulators, toys, sci-fi and fantasy games, wooden games, models, trading cards and more.

Entrance is free, however they also have a payable VIP option where you get fast access entry and a free game.

My top tips: 

There are a few restrictions for this festival for items that you can and can’t take into the venue.  For example, you can’t take your own food into the Palais, unless it’s vacuum sealed sandwiches/crisps etc and a plastic water bottle up to 50cl.  There are food outlets inside the Palais; prices are OK for an event venue.

You also can’t take baby prams or large backpacks inside; last year there was a luggage check facility to leave these items and it cost €2. I couldn’t find any more information on their website if the luggage facility is chargeable this year?

Find out the full programme and list of exhibitors here:  Festival International des Jeux

Note:  Last year, getting into the Palais was a bit of a mission as the entrance queues were long and there was only one person on the first security bag check (!!).  I hope they rectify this for this year, because there were lots of families with small children who waited a long time.  Regardless, the festival is worth checking out over the 3 days that it takes place.

Have you been to any of these festivals?  Which one is your favourite?  Like or comment on this post. 

 

 

 

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! We’re closed over Christmas and New Year

I will be in the UK for Christmas and New Year, therefore Access Riviera will be quiet until early January.

One thing I’ve learned through blogging is that it is OK to step away from time to time and reenergise your mind and body.  In the beginning, I was learning new things and trying to express my thoughts here – now, I can do things in my own time and not feel obligated to post every week because I have a family and other projects on the go.

Here are 5 things I’ve learned this year running Access Riviera:

  1. That the message matters more than the medium.  This year, there’s been a pull towards jumping onto the latest tools and trendy social media such as TikTok, but I’ve learned to gravitate to what works best – for Access Riviera’s audience that is maintaining a presence via my subscriber list, on Facebook and Twitter.
  2. Good images and good storytelling still rule.
  3. Blog analytics are so valuable for defining what posts are doing well (and also what content is a complete flop) so I can create more of those winning posts.
  4. That there is no trickery in running a top blog.  This year, I’ve had a big part of my time taken by client projects, so regular posts onto my blog have been neglected and this has definitely reflected in the drop of visitors to my blog.  Blogging isn’t ‘easy’ because it demands consistency and fresh content.
  5. That whatever I blog about can still be relevant months and years later.

Thank you for all your support this year – Merry Christmas and best wishes!

Ultimately, Access Riviera is part of my life.  It grew from a hobby to a business, and I’ll continue to enjoy the experience of it.

I have some incredible client and personal projects launching in 2020, so I hope this little community I’ve built through my blog writing sticks around!

What were my most popular blog posts in 2019?

My 5 most popular blog posts by views this year are below – interestingly, two were published this year, two were from 2017 and one I wrote way back in 2014 proving that old content can still do well! :

35 Family-friendly Things To See And Do For Christmas 2019 On The Côte d’Azur

Nôtre-Dame de Paris:  Point Zero, Gargoyles and Wine

Secret French Riviera:  Hidden Spots Worth Visiting 

7 Reasons Not To Visit The Côte d’Azur In Winter

And my most popular blog post?  A guide about car parts and mechanical terms in French !  I’m not sure why people love this as a reference source, but it’s very popular in searches and 5 years after going live this is still my highly-visited post each year by thousands of views.  Take a look here:  Car Parts & Mechanical Terms in French 

Thank you to all my followers who have liked, commented or shared my posts throughout the year – I see every comment and your support is greatly appreciated!

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season and a great start to the New Year.

See you in 2020!

35 Family-friendly Ideas : Christmas Holidays 2019 on the French Riviera

The French Riviera is the ideal destination to soak up the holiday season with everything happening including Christmas markets dressed in their finest decorations and lights, food festivals and winter activities.

There’s plenty for families to see and do, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune – here are 35 of my best suggestions to get into the festive spirit on the French Riviera:

Admire the illuminated light shows

As well as the Christmas markets with beautiful light garlands and displays, there are a few worthy mentions for places to go to see spectacular lights at night during these Christmas school holidays.

Saint-Laurent du Var projected video show

On Wednesday 18 December, a free sound and light show will be projected at 6.30pm on the facade of the Hôtel de Ville in Saint-Laurent du Var.   At 6.45pm, the Enchanted Forest displays will be opened along with mulled wine and hot chocolate offered by the municipality.

(photo: Recreanice)

Nice, baie des lumières

Nice, baie des lumières is being hosted at Parc Phoenix in Nice until 23 February 2020.  It comprises of around 550 illuminated Chinese lanterns, including a Great Wall, pandas and dragons.  The festival also includes kung fu demonstrations, tea ceremonies and traditional dance performances.

See Chinese lanterns at the ‘Nice, baie des lumières’ display at Parc Phoenix until February 2020 (photos: baiedeslumieres on Instagram)

Note:  Nice, baie des lumières displays are only on from Wednesday to Sunday (closed Monday and Tuesdays).  It is open every day during Christmas school holidays, including Christmas Day and New Years Day.

In my opinion, I think €17 for adults and €12 for children (5-17 yrs) is quite pricey for a static festival, especially when I’ve experienced free Chinese lantern festivals overseas, however it’s worth visiting as it’s not something that happens regularly in this region and kids can get a glimpse into another culture.  My top tips are to buy a Family Pass, or visit on Wednesday or Thursday when admission is at a reduced price.

More information about Nice, baie des lumières is here: https://www.baiedeslumieres.com/index_en.html . There is also a similar Chinese lantern festival being hosted in Marseille until 19 January 2020, details are at this link for Les Lumières Légendaires de Chine.

Take advantage of the great outdoors

The Côte d’Azur is blessed with mild weather year-round, so there’s plenty of opportunity to get outdoors.  Even if the temperature is a bit cooler, you will still experience mostly blue skies and be able to soak up the beauty of nature.

Mountain life

Head to the mountains where you’ll find over 30 ski resorts just a few hours drive from the coast, catering for everyone from novices to expert.  Most ski resorts have rental shops where you can hire skis, helmets, snowboards, boots or toboggans/sleds.

If you don’t have a toboggan/sled, you can hire one for around €10.

There are also group or private ski lessons available, as well as the addition of kids clubs so you can have qualified carers mind your little ones while you get in a few runs and a post-ski vin chaud.

Ventes flash:  Don’t miss the opportunity for discounted adult ski passes for Auron and Isola 2000 – look for the flash sales online on Tuesday nights at 8pm where you can buy an adult ski pass for 50% off.  Stock is limited and basically runs until the last one sells.  Be ready to buy one!  Go here for the flash pass links:  Auron and Isola 2000 Flash Sales

100% Neige ski buses:  Ski buses run to and from Nice to selected mountain resorts during winter season.

I’ve previously used them and they are great if you want to avoid driving winding roads or for a half-day trip to the mountain without worrying about parking, petrol costs etc.  The downside is that the ski buses times don’t really sync if you have group ski lessons booked (morning and afternoon sessions), but you can always reserve a private lesson at a time that suits you best.

The 100% Neige ski buses serve :

  • La Colmiane, with a navette to Boréon : Bus #90; was previously known as bus number 730; daily service until the close of the ski season.
  • Auron, with a navette to Roubion :  Bus #91; was previously number 740; daily service until 19 April 2020.
  • Isola 2000 : Bus #92; was previously number 750; daily service until the close of the season.
  • Valberg :  Bus 770; daily service until 9 March 2020.

The cost for the ski buses is €6 oneway per person with pre-booking, €12 return.  (Note: There are also regular bus lines that service the mountain towns).

The best stop to get on the ski buses in Nice is right outside the Nice Ville train station, opposite the post office; the name of the bus stop is ‘Poste Thiers – SNCF’.  You must book online and you are sent an e-ticket to print and give the bus driver.

For ski buses to La Colmiane, Auron, Isola 2000, book online at www.lignesazur.com

For ski buses to Valberg, book online at zou.maregionsud.fr

The 100% Neige ski bus timetables are here: Valberg ski bus and Bus 100% Neige – Auron, Isola 2000, La Colmiane

Other attractions in the mountains include Parc Alpha Loup, Vesubia Mountain Park and Via Ferrata at Lantosque.

If you’re visiting the ski resorts during Christmas 2019 school holidays, there’s loads of activities and events happening such as torchlight mountain descents (24th and 27th December and 3 January in Valberg), Santa arriving by various modes of transport including skis, husky dog sled or zipline, fireworks displays, free concerts and cinema screenings such as Frozen 2 which will be screened in Auron, Valberg and Valdeblore.

(photo: Auron)

Family-friendly walking trails

Winter is a fantastic time to experience many of the region’s walking trails, without the crowds from summer.  Three family-friendly walks are:

Cap d’Antibes loop walk : nice coastal scenery, toddler age will need supervision as there are some steep sections and uneven surfaces, the pathway has some stairs so it’s not suitable for prams/baby strollers.  The full walk from Plage Garoupe past Villa Eilenroc is around 1.25-1.5 hours; the mini loop walk from the side track opposite Château de la Croe takes about 25 minutes and is ideal for families with small children.

The Cap d’Antibes coastal walk, also know as the Sentier Littoral, is a scenic coastal pathway for families to discover.

Villeneuve Loubet seafront : flat seafront walkway from Marina Baie des Anges towards Cagnes sur Mer with cafeterias along the way, plenty of carparking at Marina Baie des Anges and accessible toilets.

There is plenty of carparking at Marina Baie des Anges if you want to walk along the seafront at Villeneuve Loubet towards Cagnes sur Mer.

Parc du Paradou between Golfe Juan and Cannes : Has limited carparking but lots of great views across the sea, wear comfortable footwear as the path can be rocky in places, take a picnic as there’s no food outlets nearby, lots of trees and chances to see birds and other wildlife. Great location for dog walking too! For directions, click here:  Parc du Paradou map

Parc du Paradou is never crowded and offers a local nature walk with views of trees and the sea.

Cycle trails

Cycling is a wonderful activity where all the family can participate.  The variety of cycling routes on the Côte d’Azur is excellent, ranging from flat coastal pathways to hilly climbs for more experienced cyclists. Interest in cycling is steady year-round with events such as Nice Ironman and Tour de France 2020 helping boost the profile of cycling.

Expert cyclists can take on hill climbs such as Col de Vence and Col de la Madone, but in general family-friendly cycle options are most accessible near to the coast.

Families can avoid traffic by using the region’s coastal cycle paths – the routes are usually paved, smooth and pot-hole free!  They are also near to restaurants, snack kiosks or picnic areas so you don’t have to cycle too far if you have small children.

Here’s three fun places to go cycling en famille:

Cagnes sur Mer : The seafront has a marked cycleway, also the Jardin de la Villette playground at 7 Maréchal Juin in the centre of Cagnes sur Mer has a mini roadway marked out so younger cyclists can practise their riding or play on their scooters in a fenced, safe environment.

The playground at Jardin de la Villette in Cagnes sur Mer has a separate mini road zone so kids can ride in safety.

Nice : A cycle journey on the French Riviera can’t be done without discovering Nice by bike!  Did you know that Nice has over 125km of cycleway paths and dedicated parking for anyone on 2 wheels?   Hire a Vélo Bleu bike, or take your own.

Casual cyclists can pedal along the Promenade des Anglais enjoying the view across the turquoise sea, while serious cyclists may opt to stop in at Café du Cycliste at Nice Port which retails cycle gear, rents bikes and serves pedal-worthy coffee.

Café du Cycliste in Nice

Sanremo:  OK, not exactly the French Riviera I know, however the Pista Ciclabile / Ponente Ligure cycle path is worth mentioning if you fancy a day trip just over the border in Italy.  The cycleway follows an old railway line and covers 24 kilometres from San Lorenzo al Mare to Sanremo (Ospedaletti).  You can stop and start wherever you like!

Along the way, the route is a mix of quality paved coastal path and tunnels with plenty of locations to rent bikes, stop at beaches, sit on benches to admire the view and grab a drink at pretty Italian villages.  Highly recommended.  For the route map and more information, you can click on this link to Pista Ciclabile.

(images: viagginbici and Pista Ciclabile)

Get creative

School holidays are a great time to get creative with Christmas-themed craft workshops, fun events and kids cooking classes.

Kids cooking classes

Until Saturday 21 December, Jacobs Création in Nice is running kids patissier classes.  Classes from 18 December onwards include making reindeer popcakes, emoji cookies, bûche de Noel and a special themed workshop on 21 December based on Disney’s Frozen with cooking and craft sessions. Reserve a place via Jacobs Création.

Jacobs Création in Nice is hosting kids cooking classes over Christmas school holidays (photo: Jacobs Création)

Christmas craft workshop

On Sunday 22 December, the Médiathèque in Vence is hosting a Christmas craft workshop from 10am to 4pm with origami, card making and other activities.  Reserve a place by telephone:  04 93 58 02 12

The Médiathèque in Vence is holding a Christmas craft workshop

BrickLive Monaco / BrickLive Christmas

Last year, we had a fantastic day at the BrickLive Monaco event at the Grimaldi Forum where the kids got to play in different Lego®-style zones making their own creations out of mini bricks for Star Wars, Friends, animals, cities and more.

Last year’s BrickLive Monaco was awesome – I wonder what this year’s event will be like?

The good news is that BrickLive Monaco is returning!   Head along to the Grimaldi Forum from 21 December 2019 to 5 January 2020 for more interactive, hands-on construction.   Don’t miss the special displays featuring ocean creatures and a life-size Lego® version of Felipe Massa’s Formula E car. 

Watch the promo video here:  https://tv.grimaldiforum.com/video-413-bricklive-2019-2020#embed270

My tip is to ask for the special combination ticket deal at Grimaldi Forum where you can get entry to BrickLive Monaco AND the Monaco Oceanarium for great prices.

More info about BrickLive Monaco is here: https://www.grimaldiforum.com/fr/agenda-manifestations-monaco/bricklive-monaco#.XfZxpG5FzIV

Bricklive Monaco will have a life-size replica of Felipe Massa’s Formula E car made entirely of Lego. (image: Grimaldi Forum)

Visit the French Riviera Christmas markets

I love taking the kids to the Christmas markets on the Côte d’Azur.  Each one is different and has anything on offer from theme park rides, music, face painting and magic shows, artisan stalls, kids craft workshops, Santa visits and food outlets selling things such as pretzels, gingerbread, hot chocolate, vin chaud or cookies.

French Riviera Christmas markets have food chalets, entertainment and a family-friendly atmosphere.

Where do you take your kids for ice skating?  Head to the Christmas markets at Antibes, Auron, Cannes, Golfe Juan (at Theatre de la Mer), Grasse, Monaco, Mougins, Nice and Saint-Martin-Vesubie which all have pop-up ice skating rinks for school holidays.

Looking for something a bit different? Here’s 6 more ideas:

  • Watch the free show ‘Moscow Circus on Ice’ at Monaco Christmas Market on Saturday 21 December from 5.30pm-8.30pm.
  • See Santa water skiing in Juan les Pins at 10.30am on Sunday 22 December.
  • Visit the Enchanted Forest at Parc Layet during Saint-Laurent du Var’s Christmas market.
  • Get up close to farm animals at the mini farm experiences during school holidays at Pinède Gould in Juan les Pins, Saint-Jean Cap Ferrat and Théoule sur Mer.
  • Take a free zipline ride on Christmas Eve from 2.30pm-5pm – the zipline goes from the second floor at the Mairie in Saint-Martin-Vesubie!
  • Check out the traditional santon and crèche displays at Roquebrune Village or Lucéram over the festive period.

Experience a seasonal food festival

Whether you join in on local festivities such as the Fête de la Buche de Noel tradition that’s hosted by the Commune de Safranier in Antibes each December, or head to a truffle market, you’re sure to find something to tempt your tastebuds.

Top family-friendly picks over the holiday season are breakfast with Santa at the Hard Rock Café Nice on Saturday 21 December, the truffle market at Saint-Paul de Vence on Sunday 22 December complete with live music and truffling dogs, or head a little bit further to Aix-en-Provence for the ‘Market of 13 Desserts‘ from 17 to 24 December to sample goodies that are traditionally enjoyed at Christmas time.

Treize desserts de Noël (photo © REY Jerome / Maxppp)

Highly recommended is a visit to the southern France truffle markets that are open until March – Aups is held on Thursday morning, Carpentras is Friday morning and Richerenches is Saturday morning.  Visit https://www.richerenches.fr/ for more information.

Thanks for reading my post.  Please share it on social media and have a safe and enjoyable festive season!  

Have you attended Le Dîner en Blanc ? Find out more via A French Collection

Annette Charlton from A French Collection explains more about Le Dîner Blanc, a wonderful meet-up now hosted in over 30 countries.

An intimate French inspired picnic with over 5,000 guests all dressed in white meeting at a secret location for an evening of dining, music and dancing is the Le Dîner en Blanc. Le Dîner en Blanc started in Paris by François Pasquier in 1988 and has taken the world by storm for those that love…

via Le Dîner en Blanc – French White Dinner — A French Collection

5 Awesome St Tropez Activities For Kids – Azur Park St Tropez & More

Discover five of the best things to do with children when in St Tropez, including the famous Azur Park St Tropez. Fun for all the family lies ahead!

If you are booking a St Tropez family holiday, one of your first questions will always be what there is to entertain your kids. Luckily, this chic French Riviera spot is well-equipped for even the fussiest of children – from Azur Park, St Tropez to the Tortoise Reserve at Plaine des Maures Natural Park, you’ll never have a dull moment. At the same time, Saint-Tropez is filled with exquisite restaurants and cultural spots for the grown-ups, meaning there really is something for everyone.

Looking for inspiration for the best things to do with children when in St Tropez? Read on!

Azur Park, St Tropez

Offering 35 cool rides, including rollercoasters suitable for every age, Azur Park St Tropez is perfect for thrill-seeking little ones. This giant theme park also has a dinosaur-themed mini-golf course and an inviting, child-friendly restaurant. It’s very affordable, with each ride coming in at between €3-5 or Azur Park St Tropez pass cards that allow you entry on to every ride for less, meaning you have more to spend on the rest of St Tropez’s family holiday attractions.

La Cabane Bambou

La Cabane Bambou is the name of both the beach and beach club on Route de Bonne Terrasse. Offering a relaxed and safe beach which is ideal for swimming and playing, as well as a luxurious beach club where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner with your toes in the sand, this is the kind of place you’ll want to stay at all day. Staff are very good with children and make a special effort to entertain them, allowing you to sit back and soak up atmosphere, cocktail in hand.

La Cabane Bambou is a family-friendly option at Pampelonne Beach in St Tropez

Tortoise Reserve at Plaine des Maures Natural Park

Home to the Hermann’s tortoise and created as part of a plan to preserve their natural habitat, the glorious Plaine des Maures Natural Park is often compared to an African Savannah. It is an incredible sight to see, right in the heart of the South of France, and a great place to bring nature-loving youngsters. Admire all the different kinds of flora and fauna as you hike, cycle or horse ride around this extraordinary landscape. There are even hikes perfect for little legs including Les Vallons des Escarcets, a trail of just 6.2 km.

The Plaine des Maures Natural Park is a great place to explore with kids

Aqualand

St Tropez family holidays aren’t complete without a trip to Aqualand, the biggest waterpark on the Cote d’Azur. With slides ranging from the calm and enjoyable to the edge-of-seat, such as the famous King Cobra, and other attractions including a show area, cloakroom, fast food, grill and pizzeria, gelateria, bar and gift shop, this is a real fun-for-all-the-family spot. Prices start from 10 euros for a small child to 27 euros for an adult one-day pass, and the park is open between June and September each year. Aqualand is the perfect place to go on those hot summer days when you just need to cool off.

Aqualand, located in Fréjus, is a worthwhile day trip for families visiting St Tropez

Sailing School at the Yacht Club de Saint-Tropez

Get your children to take the first steps towards becoming a sailor with this five-day introductory course. From 9.30-11am every day from Monday to Friday, your kids will learn how to manoeuvre through our planet’s oceans, fostering a love for life at sea that will stay with them all their lives. At €160 it is not the cheapest option for keeping children entertained, but it’s certainly worth it to see the smile on their faces.

St Tropez is the perfect location to teach children to sail

St Tropez family holidays have so much to offer, from the high-octane fun of Azur Park St Tropez to the natural wonder of Plaine des Maures Natural Park. Why not rent a property in St Tropez and try it out for yourself?

Author: Colette Flowerdew-Kincaid

Disclosure Sponsored post; contains external link.

Halloween activities on the French Riviera

Halloween is becoming more popular in France and the Côte d’Azur has plenty of options for fun activities on and around the actual Halloween date, Thursday 31st October.

Trick-or-treating from house to house isn’t that popular here as overseas, with children mostly going around village shops and towns.

Halloween falls during the Toussaint school holidays so you can be sure of finding something to suit all ages.  The day after Halloween is Toussaint’s Day (All Saints Day), 1st November, and on this day French people visit cemeteries often taking chrysanthemums and pray for their deceased relatives and saints.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but here are a few options for Halloween on the French Riviera this year:

Antibes

Antibes usually has an informal trick-or-treat walkaround whereby local children wander around the old town stores on 31st October asking for candy.  Usually, early afternoon is best as the centre aère holiday programmes also do the rounds and by early evening the shop vendors are starting to get a bit tired and have run out of bonbons!

If you’re looking for something a bit different to do, artist Chris Cook will be running kids workshops where children can make eco-friendly Halloween decorations.

Details:

Kids Craft Workshops at Gallery Cook, 10 avenue Tournelli in Antibes

Wednesday 23rd October, Saturday 26th October or Wednesday 30th October from 2pm to 5pm

The craft workshops are recommended for ages 5 years and up.  Cost is €10 per hour

Tickets:  Reserve a place by phoning 06 16 59 31 64

Artist Chris Cook is running Halloween workshops where kids can make eco-friendly decorations

Cannes La Bocca

Fun City is an indoor play venue that’s perfect for rainy days or when your kids need to burn off energy. Their Cannes La Bocca venue is holding a Halloween night with magic show and disco.

Details:

Fun City Halloween 2019

Friday 25th October from 8pm to midnight

Kids: €20 each including entry to Fun City play zones, disco, magic show and kids menu (nuggets, crepe, candy)

Adults:  €22 each as above with adult food option being lasagna and tarte au citron

Tickets:  Pre-book by emailing them direct before 21st October at :  contact@fun-city.fr

Fun City Cannes La Bocca is throwing a number of Halloween animations, including a party on the evening of 25th October

Châteauneuf Grasse

The 16th edition of ‘Fete de la Courge’ will take place on Sunday 20th October at place Clemenceau from 10am to 6pm.  It’s a family-friendly day with live music, kids games and the place to see big courges!

More information is at: https://fr-fr.facebook.com/FeteDeLaCourge

Fête de la Courge will be held on 20th October in Châteauneuf

Le Rouret

Little monsters aged 5 to 12 years can head along to an afternoon Halloween party at the Thêatre du Rouret with facepainting, candy bar, and Halloween animations.

Details:

Le Rouret ‘Bal des Petits Monstres’ 2019

Wednesday 30th October from 3pm to 4.30pm

Kids: €5 each

Adults:  €3 each

Tickets:  Reserve your place with the Le Rouret Mairie on phone : 04 93 77 20 02

Bal des Petits Monstres in Le Rouret at Halloween

Monaco

Stars n Bars is well-known as being a good place to take kids if you’re in Monaco.  During Grand Prix and the Monaco Yacht Show it’s a lively business networking and socialising hub, but outside of those events it’s a fun location to take kids of all ages.

For Halloween, they’re throwing a Spooktacular evening with trick or treat, a candy treasure hunt, photo booth, magician, inflatable castles, fire jugglers, candy floss and more.   Fancy dress is prerequisite so take your kids along as vampires, mummies, zombies, skeletons etc!

Details:

Stars n Bars Halloween 2019

Thursday 31st October from 6pm to 9pm

Kids: 5-13 years are €27 each which includes animations and all-you-can-drink sodas/sirops.

Adults:  14 years upwards are €17 each which includes animations and all-you-can drink sodas/sirops.

There is a buffet on offer which is additional cost and will run on a ticket system.

Tickets:  It’s advisable to buy your ticket in advance for Stars n Bars Halloween party as it is expected to be busy!  Get your tickets here:  Stars n Bars Halloween Party 2019

Stars n Bars will have lots of fun stuff happening for Halloween

Mougins

Mougins is aiming to appeal to different age groups for Halloween this year with a range of activities.

Details:

Mougins Halloween 2019

Wednesday 30th October and Thursday 31st October – various times

Kids:  If you have young children, there are story sessions on Wednesday 30th October – babies to 3 years are at 10.30am and 3 years+ are held at 4pm.  The story sessions are free of charge and will be held at Médiathèque de Tournamy Mougins et Médiathèque et Espace Jeux de Mougins-le-Haut

Kids aged 6-10 years can join a treasure hunt in Mougins village on Thursday 31st October from 5pm-7pm with the Seven Dwarfs and Snow White.  The cost is €5 each and limited to 40 children.

Tweens and teenagers from 12 to 17 years are invited by the conseil municipal to a Halloween night ‘Soiree d’Enfer’ at the Salle de Courteline from 8pm to 11.30pm; there will be drinks and candy on offer.

Tickets:  To reserve a place for the baby/toddler reading sessions, contact phone: 04 93 75 33 82.  To reserve a place for the Seven Dwarfs treasure hunt, contact the Mougins Tourism Office on phone: 04 92 92 14 00. The teenagers ‘Soiree d’Enfer’ party is free entry.

Additionally, the Musée d’Art Classique Mougins is having Halloween tours at 3pm, 4pm, 5pm and 6pm on Thursday 31st October – you will meet the mummy and explore the museum in the dark!   The cost is €7 per person including bon bons for kids in costume; there are limited places so you have to pre-book via email: reservations@mouginsmusee.com  or phone: 04 93 75 18 22

You can visit the Musée d’Art Classique de Mougins in the dark on Halloween! Pre-booking necessary.

Nice

While the music industry memorabilia at their Nice restaurant may be lost on some younger kids (James Brown’s suit, a drum kit from Guns n Roses, Michael Jackson’s fedora from Smooth Criminal etc), nevertheless The Hard Rock Café is a good option for families with lots of neon and cool stuff to look at and plenty of room for groups.

They’ll be throwing a ‘Fantastic Beasts (Les Créatures Fantastiques) Halloween party on 26th and 27th October with American buffet breakfast, spooky touch wall, ‘decorate-your-own’ Halloween donut session, create a magic book craft session and a Fantastic Beasts magic show (magic show lasts for 45 minutes).

Details:

Hard Rock Café ‘Les Créatures Fantastiques’ Halloween 2019

Saturday 26th or Sunday 27th October from 9.30am to midday

Kids:  2 years and under are free. 10 years and younger are €14.95 each

Adults:  €19.95 each

Note:  In my opinion, I think it’s pretty rubbish to charge an 11-year old an adult price as they’re not technically adults.  It reminds me of the travel industry where children are charged adult fares from 12 years up….regardless, the price is decent for 2.5 hours including breakfast and animations.

Tickets:  You can buy tickets in advance for the Hard Rock Café Halloween breakfast events – note, the booking portal adds a €1 fee to each ticket. Tickets here: Hard Rock Café Halloween 2019

St Martin Vésubie

Parc Alpha is very good at organising events to attract visitors to the area and will be hosting Halloween animations for the whole of Toussaint school holidays.   The park has picnic areas and food onsite, and they have 3 wolf packs that you can watch being fed three times a day (look on the Parc Alpha website for feeding times).

Every day during school holidays from 2pm to 4pm, kids can meet witches and join craft workshops to make a spooky lollipop, magic potion or bewitched puppet.

On 31st October, there will be witches and Little Red Riding Hood and a show at 3pm.

Parc Alpha is running Halloween activities the whole Toussaint school holidays

Details:

Parc Alpha Halloween 2019

Saturday 19th October to Sunday 3rd November open every day from 10am to 5pm

Tickets:

Kids:  On 31st October only, kids under 12 years will receive free entry if they are dressed in Halloween costume – note, it must be a proper costume not just a scary hat or face paint!

Outside of 31st October, if you visit any other day of the school holidays then kids under 4 are free, kids 4-12 years are €10 each and adults are €12 each.  They also have family deals (2 adults + 2 kids) available on their website.

More info about tickets is here:  Parc Alpha tickets

Valbonne

Valbonne is highly recommended for trick or treating action.  Families stroll around the village around 5pm with both kids and adults dressed in costume.  It’s busy and people end up at Place des Arcades to meet friends.  Many families take extra candy to give to the shop owners.

Valbonne / Vallauris / Villeneuve Loubet

Kidooland is hosting stages during Toussaint school holidays with various Halloween activities on offer for kids aged 4 to 16 years at their locations at the Hotel Golden Tulip in Valbonne Sophia, Vallauris and Villeneuve Loubet.

As well, all locations will also host Halloween parties on the 31st October.

Inscriptions are necessary, for more information visit here: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/d66ca3_c9d0f6b98a3f49e9992b91c792a1eff0.pdf

Kidooland will host stages and Halloween animations during Toussaint school holidays

Villeneuve Loubet

There will be a Halloween party including a treasure hunt on Thursday 31st October at Valbonne Village.

Details:

Villeneuve Loubet ‘jeu de piste’ & Halloween party 2019

Thursday 31st October from 2pm to 4pm (treasure hunt departs every 15 minutes)

Families:  €7 for 4-5 people, or €5 for 1 adult + 1 child

Tickets: Reservations are necessary, phone 04 92 02 66 16

Where to find Halloween decorations and kids costumes on the French Riviera

I’m becoming more conscious of waste during festive events, so I’m really trying to cut down on buying plastic accessories and individually-wrapped candy.  There are plenty of stores such as Carrefour, MaxiBazaar, Destock, GiFi, La Foir’ Fouille and Maximart on the Côte d’Azur that will be cranking out plastic Halloween items such as tridents, cauldrons or skeletons – so I’m hoping that people will consider their purchases long-term and try and reuse their costumes more than one season or make them from recycled items.

If you want to make your own eco-friendly Halloween decorations and costumes instead, refer to Pinterest, Good Housekeeping, Instagram or A Clean Bee for ideas.

For carving pumpkins, head to the Fête de la Courge in Châteauneuf on 20th October or try your luck at Grand Frais, Nice Carrefour TNL or LIDL.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please share it!  Thank you!  

 

French Riviera Beaches

French Riviera has a mixture of public or private beaches, sandy beaches, rocky coves and pebble beaches so there really is something for everyone.

As well as a huge variety of beaches to suit all ages and preferences, there’s a few helpful tips I can share that may help you on your next visit.

The Côte d’Azur is known for sunny days and a rather glam image of sun loungers, crisp glasses of beachside rosé and long lunches.  This is partially true as not everyone can spend 2 weeks hiring beach loungers and drinking Champagne in St Tropez!

Pampelonne’s beach clubs are changing from 2019 onwards (pic: Shutterstock)

Municipal beaches

For visitors to the French Riviera, one of the best tips I can share is to look for ‘plages en régie communale’ (or municipale).  These are beaches managed by the town that offer equipment for rent at reduced prices than what the private beaches offer; the downside is you won’t have access to that wonderful beach service where a server brings you food and ice cold buckets of drinks  🙂

In Cannes, Plage Zamenhoff on the Croisette is a municipal beach.  It’s located next to the Square du Mai 1945 park at the Port Canto end of Cannes.

You can rent beach chairs, umbrellas etc and of course there are lifeguards (from 01 Jul-31 Aug) a first aid post, lockers, shower and toilet facilities.  BYO Sandwiches and non-alcoholic drinks are accepted.

© Radio France – Laurent Vareille

Hours:  Saturday 15 June to Sunday 15 September, open 7 days a week from 8.30am to 6.30pm.

Price:  A full day chair rental is €8.

Also in Cannes, Plage Macé is a public beach and situated right near the Palais des Festivals.  There are public toilets nearby as well as plenty of snack kiosks and food options.

Plage Richelieu in Juan les Pins is one of the municipal beaches in the Antibes/Juan les Pins area.  This sandy beach is accessed via the Pinède Gould (where the Jazz à Juan Festival is held), on the end of Juan les Pins closest to the Provençal and Hotel Belles Rives.  

The water is relatively shallow so fine for families with kids (the bonus is the local playground is just across the road) and nearby are hire options for water sports. 

Plage Richelieu has 118 loungers for hire, plus there are 6 loungers reserved for people with disabilities and their accompanying carer.

Tip:  Look for the yellow and green sign, and the blue and white beach umbrellas.

On the Cap d’Antibes, La Garoupe is the other municipal beach in the Antibes/Juan les Pins area.  A lovely setting for a day at the beach, this small beach area is a great place and the coastal walkway is fantastic.

There are a few great beach restaurants here including the popular spots Plage Keller and Plage Joseph, plus Le Rocher snack kiosk is right by the loungers.  There are 78 loungers for rent, plus 3 for people with disabilities and their carer.

Plage La Garoupe has loungers for rent for €11 per day.

Hours for both beaches:  Saturday 01 June to Sunday 15 September, open 7 days a week from 10am to 7pm

Price:  €10 for walk-ups / €11 pre-booked online.  There is a limit of 2 loungers per online booking.

For these two beaches, you can just arrive on the day and try your luck with the sun loungers though be warned that it is very busy in summer and they only allocate a limited number of loungers for walk-up customers, plus the locals are there early!

It’s best to pay in advance and reserve your loungers for these 2 public beaches on the Antibes Juan les Pins tourism website. Note:  You can’t reserve the loungers online for people with mobility problems.  For all other loungers, I’ve included the link to book because it’s not particularly clear to tourists how to do it.  Go to https://ticketing.antibesjuanlespins.com/ and click on ‘Plages en Regie’ and follow the instructions.

Beach updates

Juan les Pins and Golfe Juan:  You may notice there is a fresh crop of new beach restaurants which came about from a law regulation for zoning of public beaches.  I’m yet to try them all out, so feel free to comment if you have any you recommend!   Sadly, some of the older establishments have been demolished such as Moorea and Tetou.

Monaco:  Visitors to Monaco usually stop by Plage Larvotto at some stage.  However, from October 2019 until June 2021, Larvotto beach will be closed for a multi-million euro redevelopment which will include new shaded areas, a bike pathway to the new Anse du Portier district and a children’s playground.  Larvotto beach will temporarily open in summer next year (July and August 2020) with restaurants and shops set to reopen in 2021.

Saint-Tropez : The infamous beach scene at Pampelonne has also been reworked this summer. There are now 23 beach clubs (previously 27) with 5 new ones opening.  All 23 clubs have to be collapsible set-ups; so think those flat-pack, IKEA-style designs to meet the coastal laws.

The concessions extend to 2030 therefore the new clubs have a commitment to stay.  Gone will be some historic spots – Key West, Bagatelle, Plage les Jumeaux (sad for families!), Eden Plage, Pago Pago, Manoah, Shellona, Maison Bianca and Tabou.

Three of the new beach clubs are run by upmarket hotels La Reserve, Byblos and Hotel de Paris, one is run by Christopher Artis and the other is Loulou Beach (a collaboration between the owners of Hotel Ermitage and Loulou restaurant in Paris).  This map below from St Tropez House shows the line-up:


Looking for more information about French Riviera beaches?  Take a look at some of these resources below:

 

 

 

Anjuna Beach at Eze

 

  • Crab in the Air travel blog includes their pick of 7 top French Riviera beaches which has a mix of busy spots such as Larvotto in Monaco and off-the-tourist track locations such as the Esterel beach.

 

  • For information about accessible beaches on the French Riviera and throughout France, refer to the Handiplage site.   Plage Salis and Plage le Ponteil in Antibes have onsite staff in summer months to assist people with motor, visual, intellectual or auditory problems.  There are accessible toilets, showers and adapted equipment for water access.  Plage le Ponteil also offers a transmitting bracelet for beach goers with hearing difficulties.

 

  • Plages.tv is one of my favourite resources to find out more about beaches in France including the Alpes-Maritimes region – the site has useful advice such as photos, maps, parking, recreation, facilities.   Visit their website here:  Plages.tv

What do you think of these beach suggestions?  What is your favourite beach on the French Riviera and why? 

 

Amber Lounge Monaco 2019 : Unlock The Excitement

Amber Lounge Monaco’s events are the highlight of the social calendar during the legendary Monaco Grand Prix.

In 2019, Amber Lounge will host VIP race viewing and celebrity yachts, a one-of-a-kind F1™ Driver Fashion Show, fine dining, live Charity Auction, and three nights of euphoric after parties with unforgettable live entertainment.

The most exhilarating experience into the glamour and excitement of Formula 1’s most anticipated Grand Prix.

“Every Formula 1 driver has Amber Lounge on speed dial after a race; it’s the only place to celebrate with friends and team members.” – Kimi Räikkönen, Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Driver

A World of VIP Parties during Monaco Grand Prix

Plunge deep into the heart of Formula 1 and discover Amber Lounge, where a world of glamour and luxury awaits. Made in Monaco, for over 15 years Amber Lounge has affirmed its infamous reputation as the most vibrant, sexy, star-studded party with great networking opportunities. The original and most exclusive Grand Prix parties that will take your breath away.

Friday 24 May :  Fashion & U*NITE / White Ice Theme

Kick off the Monaco Grand Prix weekend in style with the innovative clubbing concept U*NITE. Combining the prestigious Amber Lounge Fashion Show featuring F1 drivers, charity auctions, gourmet dining and Fashion After Party.

Guests are encouraged to dress to impress as Amber Lounge brings a white/ice theme for the first time! Step into another world in the Arctic Lounge hosted by Arctic Blue Gin where Ice Queens will serve the new Finnish beverage, which was Spirit of the Year 2018.

Sigma, world-renown popular UK act will spin an iconic DJ set at the Amber Lounge Monaco Fashion Show After Party, Friday May 24th.   Sigma have received two Brit Award nominations, landed two Platinum records and attracted over 300 million YouTube views.

They are best known for their infectious tunes from collaborations with top music personalities including their huge dance/pop tune Nobody to Love hit No.1 in 15 countries, while Changing (their catchy collaboration with Paloma Faith), Higher (with Labrinth) and Coming Home (featuring Rita Ora) are played in households across the globe.

Having entertained crowds of up to 100,000 at Glastonbury Festival, Creamfields, Amnesia Ibiza, V Festival and Sziget, Amber Lounge guests can expect an ultra-high energy performance from Sigma on the Friday night.

sigma amber lounge

Sigma is bringing their popular tunes to Amber Lounge Monaco 2019

Saturday 25 May

A brand new concept will be announced in the near future!

Sunday 26 May :  Monaco Grand Prix After Party

The F1™ driver post-race party is the most anticipated night of the weekend where F1 drivers and teams gather for celebrations after the Monaco Grand Prix weekend with iconic live acts, DJ’s and unlimited Champagne.

Experience live headline performances by an iconic international artist and spectacular feature acts.

Previous live acts have included:  Chris Willis, Justin Jesso, Sigala, Jason Derulo, Labrinth, Taio Cruz, Sugarbabes, Pixie Lott, John Newman, Flawless, Pete Tong, Gary Barlow, Big Ali, Nikki Belle.

“An amazing race, an amazing night, at Amber Lounge of course. Where else?” -Daniel Ricciardo, Renault Sport F1 Driver

Amber Lounge Charity Fashion Show

I have attended the Amber Lounge Charity Fashion Show on the Friday night for the past few years as a press guest, and it has always been an amazing time!

amber lounge charity fashion show

Amber Lounge Charity Fashion Show

Amber Lounge’s ground-breaking charity auction at the Fashion Show has raised more than USD 5 million for charitable organisations and it’s the only event in the world to feature Formula 1 drivers on the catwalk.

Sir Jackie Stewart, H.S.H. Albert II Prince of Monaco, and Sonia Irvine attend the Amber Lounge Fashion Monaco 2017 at Le Meridien Beach Plaza Hotel on May 26, 2017 in Monaco.
Photo: Dave Benett

Past Amber Lounge F1 models : Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Daniel Ricciardo, and Valtteri Bottas.

amber lounge drivers fashion show

Amber Lounge – F1 Drivers on the catwalk

This year, award-winning Canadian designer Christopher Bates will be dressing the Formula 1 drivers, as international models will showcase Ladyship swimwear by Lady Victoria Hervey. Amber Lounge Monaco Fashion Show has been chosen as the European launch of the designer, model and socialite’s new collection.

christopher bates Brands that Amber Lounge has worked with : Jimmy Choo, Ted Baker, Hervé Léger, Missoni, Crisoni, Melissa Odabash, Julien Macdonald, Vionett and Osman.

The Fashion Show is combined with exquisite dining and the famous Amber Lounge after party, all at the same venue for the U*NITE package for an all-inclusive world-class event.

Amber Lounge Table Packages

Where else during Monaco Grand Prix can you experience VIP hospitality that gives you the opportunity to relax, watch, listen, dance and party with the stars?  Amber Lounge Table Packages include:

Ultimate Weekend Package

The most desirable, tailor made weekend package. Enquire for more details.

Methusalem Tables

Simply THE best tables in the house with dance floor position. Tables receive unrivalled service as well as a three course dinner, followed by a 6L Methusalem bottle of Champagne and 3L Jeroboam bottles of premium Vodka throughout the whole night.

Jeroboam Tables

Located in a prime position and surrounded by celebrities and VIPs, guests are served with a 3L Jeroboam bottle of Champagne and unlimited bottle service throughout the night.

VIP Tables

Are well positioned and served with unlimited bottle service including premium Champagne throughout the night.

Classic Tables

Include unlimited bottle service with house Champagne and all other drinks throughout the evening.

Shared Tables

Reserved seating on a shared table in Dining followed by the club which includes unlimited bottle service throughout the whole night.

Individual Passes

Gives access to all areas in the club, open bar including house Champagne and free seating on the chill-out terrace.

Amber Lounge Monaco interior

Amber Lounge Celebrity Yacht

Monaco Grand Prix would not be complete without a luxury yacht experience and Amber Lounge offers trackside yachts which offer unrivalled race viewing and F1 driver appearances. Mix business and pleasure while enjoying exceptional hospitality and dining with free-flowing Champagne and premium spirits.

On Saturday watch the hair-raising F1 Monaco Grand Prix qualifying play out on the tight, twisting Circuit de Monaco.

Then on Sunday, be trackside in the centre of the euphoric atmosphere that the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix has become famous for – an incredible adrenalin rush as the F1 cars speed by at lightning speed just metres away through the challenging street circuit!

amber lounge yacht

Experience the thrill of watching the Monaco Grand Prix trackside on a luxury yacht with Amber Lounge

Previous F1 Driver Appearances:  Sergio Perez, Nico Hülkenberg, Romain Grosjean, Carlos Sainz, Stoffel Vandoorne, David Coulthard, Mika Häkkinen, Eddie Irvine, Marcus Ericsson, Esteban Ocon, Felipe Massa amongst others.

Previous Guests:  Pamela Anderson, Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens, Labrinth, Gareth Bale, Pixie Lott, John Newman, Casey Stoner, Taio Cruz, Rachel Hunter, Pete Tong, DJ Sigala, Lindsay Lohan.

  • Amber Lounge’s VIP 2-day Package includes:
    -Saturday & Sunday race viewing
    -Trackside mooring with the view of the giant TV screen and on-board screens
    -F1 driver appearances, exclusive interviews & autograph signing
    -Luxurious tender transfers
    -Continental breakfast
    -Mouth-watering gourmet buffet lunch
    -Afternoon Tea
    -All-day open bar including unlimited Champagne
    -VIP gift bags with official team merchandise
    -Program and earplugs
    -DJ

KEY INFORMATION

DATES: 24th, 25th, 26th May 2019

TIMES:

Friday Fashion show: 18:30 – 20:30; After Party: 23:00 – 4:00
Saturday After Party: 23:00 – 4:00
Sunday After Party: 23:00 – 5:00

VENUE: Amber Lounge, Sea Club, Le Méridien Beach Plaza, 22, Avenue Princesse Grâce, 98000 Monaco

MORE INFORMATION AND BOOKINGS:

www.amber-lounge.com/monaco 
Bookings: monaco@amber-lounge.com or call +33607934625 

ABOUT AMBER LOUNGE

Amber Lounge was founded by Sonia Irvine, who has worked in F1 for two decades. Sonia is regarded as a pioneer of F1 nightlife experiences and continues to create the most sought-after events on the F1 calendar.

The Amber Lounge experience consists of Formula 1 race viewing hospitality options as well as post-race afterparties, dining, charity, fashion and tailor-made events throughout the year. In 2019 it will take place in Monaco, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. http://amber-lounge.com/index.php/tickets/

AMBER LOUNGE 2019/ 2020 EVENT SCHEDULE :

Monaco 24/25/26 May 2019

Singapore 21/22 September 2019

Abu Dhabi November 30/1 December 2019

SPONSORS & PARTNERS

GLOBEAIR – Official Private Jet Partner of Amber Lounge Monaco
ARCTIC BLUE GIN – Official Gin Partner of Amber Lounge Monaco & Singapore
CUVÉE SENSORIUM – Official Methusalem Champagne Partner of Amber Lounge and Amber Lounge Hospitality Monaco 2019
CHRISTOPHER BATES – Male Designer for Amber Lounge Monaco
INMANN – Official Hairstylist of Amber Lounge Monaco
GLOBAL HAIR & MAKEUP – Official makeup of Amber Lounge Monaco
LADYSHIP – Official Swimwear Designer for Amber Lounge Monaco
FIJI WATER – Official Still Water of Amber Lounge Monaco & Abu Dhabi
SPARKLING VAN
Q YACHTS – Official e-tender of Amber Hospitality

Video & Photo Credits:  Amber Lounge / Christopher Bates (Maxime Thibodeau / Rai Allen)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Access Riviera named in list of Top 100 French Blogs in 2019

It’s always nice to be recognised for the time and effort I put into my blog and it’s a nice way to welcome January with the news that my blog is included in Feedspot’s list of ‘Top 100 French Blogs, Websites and Newsletters in 2019’.

top french travel blog

Access Riviera makes Feedspot’s list of ‘Top 100 French Blogs to follow in 2019’

How did I end up on this Top 100 list?

Feedspot uses search and social metrics to scan thousands of top French blogs to compile their list (which is updated weekly) and the list includes travel, lifestyle, culture, fashion, history, language and food blogs.

The blogs are ranked based on the following criteria:

  • Google reputation and Google search ranking
  • Influence and popularity on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites
  • Quality and consistency of posts
  • Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review

Little old Access Riviera is placed at number 79, see the full list of Top 100 French Blogs 2019 here 🙂

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

More in store for 2019

I’ve learned a lot since I started my blog – what works and what doesn’t regarding good content and reaching out to an audience.

This year, I’m hoping to create more long-form blog posts !

Here are 6 of my most popular blog posts to date:

Promenade Le Corbusier

Top 15 French Riviera viewpoints

Ventimiglia : Day trip from France

Why visit Villefranche-sur-Mer

Villa Nellcote : A palatial mansion with a lengthy past

Heritage trail in Juan les Pins

Thank you for your support and following Access Riviera!

 

 

 

350K visitors! THANK YOU!

This Christmas, I’m planning on having a relaxed family Christmas in France, however my blog has recently passed 350,000 visitors so that is cause for celebration!

Firstly, the biggest support comes from my family, without them I wouldn’t be able to dedicate so much time to keeping my blog running and updated with fresh content. They have been understanding beyond words with my snippets of history while out and about, trawling off information about festivals (while we are there!) and random moments of inspiration.

For my readers and followers, THANK YOU to everyone who has subscribed, liked, followed, commented or shared my blog posts because I see every interaction and you are very much appreciated!

travel french riviera

Access Riviera is a blog about the French Riviera covering travel, lifestyle, events and more

What started as a part-time blog (I hear all the bloggers laugh!) has resonated with readers in 149 countries and snowballed into a juggernaut.

I’ve learned more about the history, places and people on the French Riviera than I ever thought possible – and I’m still learning.   There are so many topics to cover that I’ve merely scratched the surface.

I’ve answered every email I’ve received via my blog; lovely messages from people from all over the world that I’ve helped you with travel ideas, planning for yachting events, transport, accommodation, recommendations for restaurants and more.  The most special ones are the emails saying I’ve helped them with advice for their dream trip to the French Riviera.

Naturally, advice for families and/or people who have restricted mobility are at the core of what I write about and I always maintain to write honestly and factually.

I hope you continue to follow my blog in 2019 and beyond, you never know what I’ll write about next…..

THANK YOU!

 

Toussaint school holidays: 8 things to do with kids on the French Riviera

October school holidays run from today until Sunday 4 November on the Côte d’Azur and it’s a time to sample some of the autumn activities in the region.

There are lots of school holiday options for kids that aren’t attending the centre de loisirs/centre aérés or booked on stages for holidays – I’ve written this post to highlight some of the free or low-cost activities for families with kids of all ages on the French Riviera.   Have a safe and enjoyable Toussaint vacances!

Saturday 20 October and Sunday 21 October

JUAN LES PINS:  The 4th edition of Village des Sciences et de l’Innovation is being held all weekend at the Palais des Congrès in Juan les Pins.  The event has more than 60 stands with games, educational activities and demonstrations.  If your children are interested in robots, tech, planets and science this is the place to go!  Entry is free of charge all weekend.  Opening hours are 1pm-7pm on Saturday, and 10am-6pm on Sunday.  See the programme here:  Village des Sciences et de l’Innovation 2018 Juan les Pins

fete de science juan les pins

Village des Sciences and de l’Innovation 2018 (image: AntibesJuanlesPins tourist office)

MOUANS-SARTOUX:  The RE-PLAY festival is being held at Gymnase René Friard in Mouans Sartoux and is a great option if your kids are into video gaming, cosplay or computers with retro games on display, competitions and workshops.  Entry is free for children under 10 years of age (limit of 2 kids per family), all others entry is €5.  The festival is open from 10am to 7pm all weekend.

replay festival mouans sartoux

RE-PLAY Festival 2018 in Mouans-Sartoux (image: L’agenda Geek)

Wednesday 24 October

CAGNES-SUR-MER:  Perfect for small children around 3-4 years of age, ‘Le grenier magique de Lili’ is a theatre show of 50 minutes duration with songs and magic.  It will be held at the Centre Culturel, 28 avenue de Verdun in Cagnes-sur-Mer at 3pm. Tickets cost €5 each and can be pre-purchased from the Tourism Office on boulevard Maréchal Juin.

Saturday 27 October and Sunday 28 October

FRÉJUS :  The Festival International de l’Air is a kite festival and is a great place to go where kids can watch over 100 kites in flight, as well as join in on free workshops.  The festival is hosted at Base Nature François Léotard (1196 Boulevard de la Mer, 83600 Fréjus) with free parking there.  Entry to the festival is free of charge, and opening hours are 10am-6pm on Saturday and 10am-5pm on Sunday.

Festival International de l’Air 2018 is a kite festival in Fréjus – video below is by ‘Là-bas, vu d’ici’.

Until 28 October

NICE:  The 3rd edition of Quinzaine des Théâtres is presenting a number of musicals, comedies, dances and recitals that coincide with Toussaint school holidays.  As well as a diverse programme, it gives local residents the chance to discover 21 theatres and venues in and near Nice.  Some of the family-friendly shows on offer include:

  • Beauty and the Beast (suitable for kids 7 years and upwards, duration 1 hour, cost €6) and Même pas peur! (for kids 5 years and upwards, duration 1 hour, cost €6) at the Théâtre Bellecour
  • La Fôret Magique, a show with magic and songs (suitable for kids 5 years and up, duration 50 mins, cost €5-7) at Théâte de la Cité
  • Les Contes du Maneki-Neko is a show based on traditional Japanese stories (suitable for kids 6 years and up, duration 50 mins, cost €6) at Théâtre de la Semeuse.

The full programme for Quinzaine des Théâtres 2018 is here:  Programme Quinzaine des Théâtres 2018

quinzaine des theatres

Les Contes du Maneki-Neko is just one of a diverse range of shows as part of Quinzaine des Théâtres 2018 (image: Culturo)

Tuesday 30 October and Wednesday 31 October

NICE:  Espace Magnan is hosting the Fête du Cinéma d’Animation over 2 days with films suitable for children 3 years upwards.  Most films for younger ages average around 45 minutes duration, while films for older kids are around 1 hour -1.5 hours in length.  Tickets cost €6 – €7 each depending on sessions and can be pre-purchased via Espace Magnan’s website.  You can see the festival programme here:  Fête du Cinéma d’Animation 2018 programme

Halloween on the French Riviera

Halloween, recognised on 31st October, hasn’t always been traditionally observed in France but it is very popular now.  Schools host Halloween parties and local towns are getting more ‘into the spirit (pun intended)’ by giving out bon bons to children and putting up decorations.

As Halloween falls during Toussaint school holidays, there are plenty of activities happening.  The following day Toussaint (All Saints Day) is a bank holiday and a day where lives of deceased relatives are remembered.

Halloween costumes & decorations : French Riviera

There are many stores on the French Riviera that sell ready-made Halloween costumes and accessories, or for DIY inspiration you can look on Pinterest or Good Housekeeping that have loads of fun and inexpensive ideas.

If you’re looking for Halloween costumes for kids, spooky decorations and party items, the best places to go on the French Riviera are :

  • The €1 and €2 stores – Maxi Bazaar, Maximart and Destock – which always stock things such as tridents, plastic cauldrons and skeletons, and trick-or-treat buckets.
  • La Foir’Fouille in Antibes, Grasse and Mandelieu
  • GiFi in Antibes (near Decathlon), Callian, Cannes La Bocca, Fréjus, Grasse, Menton
  • IdéaFête in Villeneuve Loubet, Nice St Isidore or Mougins
  • Fêter et Recevoir in Cannes La Bocca and Nice
  • Carrefour

Trick or treating in neighbourhoods on the French Riviera is not as popular as other countries, with children mostly going around village shops or towns.

Some family-friendly Halloween 2018 activities this year on the French Riviera are:

  • Valbonne village is very popular for trick or treating from afternoon onwards.
  • Hard Rock Café in Nice hosts Halloween events each year.  This year, on both Saturday 27 October and Sunday 28 October between 9.30am-midday they welcome families for a Halloween-themed breakfast, kids workshop and magic show.  Reservation is necessary; cost is €16 each child under 10 years of age, free for under 2 years of age, €19 for adults. Email them to book: nice_sales@hardrock.com 
  • Espace Magnan in Nice has a special screening of ‘Mary et la fleur de la sorcière‘ at 2pm.  Suitable for kids 8 years up, children can go in costume and participate in a colouring-in competition to win cinema tickets.  Cost:  €6 per child
  • Parc Alpha Loup has Halloween celebrations running all through school holidays until 4 November.  Any children under 12 years of age who come in Halloween costume get free entry – a hat doesn’t justify free entry, you must dress up with some effort!   Note: The Alpha Loup website address given on all posters now redirects to Pure Montagne (the rebranded regional site for Côte d’Azur mountain activities and tourist sites).

Parc Alpha Loup for Halloween 2018

  • Vesubia Mountain Park is having a Halloween night party on Friday 2 November that includes abseiling by black light (essentially glow-in-the-dark!)  Entry is reduced to half price for kids under 12 years that come in costume.  More info is here:  Vesubia Mountain Park Halloween 2018

Until 3 November

CANNES:  P’tits Cannes à You is a family-friendly festival aimed at kids 3-13 years and comprises a programme of marionette shows, creative workshops, dance, theatre and music.  The programme includes things such as a screening of Paddington 2 on October 22 and 25, a marionette show on October 24 suitable for kids from 2 years upwards and regular storytelling sessions for toddlers.  Find the full schedule here:   P’tits Cannes à You 2018 programme

P'tits Cannes à You

P’tits Cannes à You is an annual festival with film, shows and workshops for kids (image: Ville de Cannes)

Thanks for reading my Toussaint school holidays blog post – please share it on social media if you’ve found it useful. Thanks!

 

Monaco Yacht Show 2018 Guide : What to expect

Monaco Yacht Show is one of the key superyacht events in the Mediterranean and will be hosted at Port Hercules from 26th to 29th September 2018.

Each year, exhibitors from across the nautical industry join around 120 superyachts that are displayed, with 40 yachts being world premieres and 50% of the yachts being less than 2 years old.

Monaco Yacht Show 2018 Exhibitors

The hundreds of exhibitors that attend Monaco Yacht Show are a representation of all sectors within the superyacht sector.

They include yacht designers and naval architects, shipyards, engineers, yacht brokers, charter agents, shipyards, marine supplies, yacht toys, tenders, marinas, tourism companies and crew.

The show is separated into zones to differentiate sectors:

  • Quai Albert 1er will host yards, naval architects and brokers adjacent to the yachts they’re displaying
  • Quai Jarlan will host part of the tenders zone
  • Parvis Piscine and the Upper Deck Lounge will display prestige luxury goods, furnishings and interiors
  • Darse Sud has marine suppliers and technical equipment
  • Quai Antoine 1er has the Tenders & Toys zones, the Art Pavilion, the luxury Car Deck, Press Centre and the Starboard Lounge

To find out who is attending, click here Monaco Yacht Show 2018 Exhibitors List

exhibitors mys 2018

Monaco Yacht Show is one of the most important annual boat shows for the marine industry (image: MYS)

Monaco Yacht Show 2018 Yachts

Visitors and exhibitors at MYS are always eager to learn which yachts will be on display.  This year, some of the boats include:

6.31m Williams Diesel Jet 625

williams tenders mys

The Williams Diesel Jet 625 will be on display at MYS 2018 (image: Boat International)

10m Pascoe Open Limousine

33.5m Riva 110 Dolcevita, Riva

yachts monaco yacht show 2018

Riva 110 Dolcevita (image: MYS)

Tansu Yachts 43.7m Cyclone

47.2m Sanlorenzo 500xp, Sanlorenzo

49.98m Cecilia, Wider Yachts

cecilia wider yachts

MY Cecilia by Wider Yachts (image: MYS)

49.9m Flying Dagger, Rossinavi

50m Latona, CRN

54m El Leon in the new Mangusta GranSport line, Overmarine

55.5m Power Play, Damen

57.7m Volpini 2, the first hull in the limited edition 188 series by AMELS

volpini 2

M/Y Volpini 2 by Amels (image: MYS)

72m Solo by Tankoa

74.5m Elandess, Abeking & Rasmussen

77m Go, Turquoise Yachts

superyacht go turquoise yachts

M/Y GO by Turquoise Yachts (image: MYS)

90m DAR a.k.a Project Shark, built in the Netherlands by Oceanco

dar project shark mys 2018

DAR a.k.a Project Shark was built in the Netherlands by Oceanco (image: MYS)

95.2m Kismet, Lurssen

To find out which yachts are attending MYS 2018, click here Monaco Yacht Show 2018 Yacht List

VIP Experiences at Monaco Yacht Show 2018

Private superyacht clients can join tailor-made experiences at Monaco Yacht Show.  The Sapphire Experience and ‘Infinite’ are the official VIP programs of the show and include an invitation to the opening gala, participation in the Monaco Yacht Summit, a courtesy car service and private visits on board yachts at the show.

Monaco Yacht Show has official VIP programs called the Sapphire Experience and ‘Infinite’ (image: copyright 2017 MC-Clic)

At the show

In-show transport

At the show, there are plenty of options to move between exhibitor zones and stands.  Make use of the shuttle boats that cross the port between the main quays, and the electric golf carts that travel between Quai Rainer II and Quai Jarlan.

Here is a Map of Shuttle boat routes at MYS and golf carts.

Food & beverage

Feeling thirsty or peckish?  Here are the in-show food and beverage options:

  • The restaurant and Champagne bar at the Upper Deck Lounge is open from 10am to 6.30pm daily (lunch service from midday).
  • The café at the Starboard Lounge opens daily from 10am to 6.30pm (lunch service from midday).
  • Coffee/snack zone at Café Lucciana on Jetée Lucciana from 10.30am to 6.30pm daily.
  • For uniformed crew, you can visit the C&C Lounge between 8.30am and 7pm.

Wifi

The show Wifi hotspots will enable you to connect to Wifi to reach out to clients and keep on top of your business during the week.  Here is the map of Wifi zones and mobile charging spots – note:  All zones are accessible for show visitors, except the MYS Captains and Crew Lounge is for uniformed crew only.

wifi at mys

Wifi at Monaco Yacht Show 2018

Monaco Yacht Show 2018 parties

During the 4 days of the show, there are a number of charity galas, social meet-ups and cocktail parties.  Here are some of the parties and social events during Monaco Yacht Show 2018:

Tuesday 25 September

The London 2 Monaco charity cycle ride in support of Blue Marine Foundation has their after-party for all the riders and teams after they arrive at the Palace of Monaco – the London 2 Monaco party is sponsored by Icon Connect.

L2M after party

The London to Monaco cycle ride after-party last year (image: Icon Connect)

The MYS Inaugural Gala Party also takes place on the Tuesday night where 400 invited guests attend the 5th Monaco Yacht Show Superyacht Awards; more info is here MYS Inaugural Gala Party.

Wednesday 26 September

4.30pm-6.30pm  Informal business drinks at the Isle of Man stand at Darse Sud

5pm onwards  Yachtneeds hosts drinks, live music and entertainment at their stand (DSE7)

7pm till late The Monte-Carlo Gala for the Global Ocean under the High Patronage of H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco (invitation necessary)

monaco gala for the ocean

Monte-Carlo Gala for the Global Ocean (image: Getty Images/FPA2)

7.30pm till late IGY Marinas James Bond party at the Monaco Yacht Club (invite only)

8pm till late  The SXM Crew party at the ACREW and IMM Crew Lounge at La Rascasse.

Thursday 27 September

5pm onwards  Yachtneeds hosts drinks, live music and entertainment at their stand (DSE7)

yachtneeeds mys 2018

YachtNeeds has live music, drinks and entertainment every day during Monaco Yacht Show 2018

6pm onwards Invite-only cocktail party hosted by Zytexx at La Rascasse.

8pm-10pm  PYA Sea Changes rooftop networking drinks, sponsored by Onshore Cellars and Ocean Pantry. This event is part of the PYA Sea Changes Forum which is free for PYA members; others must register and pay a small fee via the PYA Monaco Sea Changes forum Eventbrite page.

Friday 28 September

5pm onwards  Yachtneeds hosts drinks, live music and entertainment at their stand (DSE7)

5pm-7pm  Drinks and nibbles courtesy of TINO Stone at the ACREW & IMM Garden Lounge at La Rascasse.

6pm-9pm Club Vivanova Summer Yacht Party at Le Méridien Beach Plaza (entry fee applies).

7pm-9pm  Yacht Chandlers hosts an event strictly for Captains and Crew at the Star Deck at Stars n Bars. Details below:

Other events during the week include the Amels/Damen party, Boat International party (video of 2017 party shown below), Feadship’s event, Lurssen’s popular soirée, My Yacht Group’s annual yacht party and China Night.

Monaco Yacht Show 2018 tips

  • Wear comfortable footwear – you’ll be doing a lot of walking.
  • Check the weather forecast – it may be a hot sunny week or thunderstorms; pack for the weather conditions.
  • There is no coat check or luggage storage facility at the show, so bear this in mind if you have valuable items with you, jackets or laptops.
  • Visitors are permitted to take photos and videos within the show zone. The exception is the use of drones which are forbidden inside the MYS perimeter (aside from the official drone operator, MC Clic).
  • Download the Monaco Show app for maps of the show.  You can get it on the App Store or Google Play.
  • Check train schedules to and from Monaco as evening trains run less frequently.  Taxis can be quite pricey, so plan transport in advance.  Monacair offers promotions for helicopter transfers between Nice Côte d’Azur Airport and the heliport at Fontvieille including private car transfers to the show or any address in Monaco.  Use promo code ‘MYS2018’; to book a heli transfer you can download the Monacair app or visit them at the show above La Rascasse at point N on the show map.
  • Follow the show on social media and use hashtags #MYS2018 #monacoyachtshow #MYSexperience
shuttle boats monaco yacht show

Make use of the in-show transport to save time at Monaco Yacht Show 2018 (image copyright Alina Garazhenko / Ameller Malcorps)

MYS 2018 at a glance

Monaco Yacht Show adapts each year ensuring owners, potential buyers and the industry itself evolves through B2B networking and feedback.  Here’s the show at a glance:

Monaco Yacht Show (image: copyright 2017 MC-Clic)

Yearly visitor numbers:  36,400 (stat from 2017 show)

Exhibitors:  590 exhibitors from 38 countries

Yachts:  120 superyachts, 40 debuts, 50% are less than 2 years old, 49m is the average length of yacht on display at MYS.

Luxury showcases:  10 prestige cars at the Car Deck, 2 helicopters on display at Parvis Piscine and Quai Antoine 1er, luxury exhibitors at Parvis Piscine and the Upper Deck Lounge including Dassault Aviation, Paola Lenti and ProtectStone

Date / opening times :  Wednesday 26th September to Saturday 29th September from 10am to 6.30pm

Tickets:  Tickets are available for purchase on the official MYS website, or at the show at one of the three entrances.  This year, ticket prices have increased – buy MYS tickets here.  Children under 12 years of age are free.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone there!  Please share this MYS 2018 guide on social media if you’ve found it informative. Thank you!

 

 

 

Review of Antibes Free Walking Tours

Antibes is one of the French Riviera’s most popular destinations and rightly so – it has amazing history, beautiful old buildings, interesting monuments, great restaurants, fantastic festivals, an award-winning market and it’s a photogenic place too!

antibes old town

Antibes is a photographer’s dream with picturesque buildings and streets

Recently, I joined a tour with Antibes Free Walking Tours to discover the best of Antibes in a few hours and find out why this relatively new company is being talked about!

Why did I join the tour when I am a local?

I know A LOT about Antibes, however I was very interested in finding out what this tour offers visitors to the Côte d’Azur and how it shares insight about daily French life, the towns rich history, popular attractions and hidden areas of a destination that only a local would know.

antibes sightseeing

Antibes Free Walking Tours lets you discover authentic back streets like a local

My tour benefits

Whether you’re a solo traveller or visiting Antibes as part of a group, here’s my feedback on the benefits of taking this tour:

  • Even though the tour is guided it moves at a good pace – it is not rushed nor too slow.
antibes guide tour

This tour moves at a good pace – neither too fast nor too slow

  • The tour is fun and educational.  Cédric has a great sense of humour and he knows so many facts and figures about Antibes.  I have been on many tours around the world and it’s so great to meet a tour guide who is smiley and enthusiastic (which is not always the case in different cities!)
  • A true representation of Antibes.  I was listening very carefully and he was 100% correct with historic dates and places so you can be assured that he is giving an honest representation of the town.
visiting antibes

Discover Antibes highlights with this guided tour

  • Chance to meet other travellers.  One of the best thing about travelling is meeting other people.  The day I joined in, other tour participants were from Sweden, Belgium, Canada and England.

Antibes is a fantastic destination and you’ll learn about the history and people on this tour

  • A good mix of locations included in the tour.  The tour visits popular places as well as lesser visited places of interest and back streets. You get to see various areas of Old Town Antibes such as Marché Provençal (the covered market), Free Commune of Safranier, the remparts, Picasso Museum and the port.
picasso museum antibes

Learn about some of Antibes top attractions such as the Picasso Musueum, as well as lesser known places

  • The opportunity to learn about Antibes in a few hours.  I’ve done them all in various global destinations – self-guided walking tours, full day group tours that cram in 50 popular touristy spots (hello, London!), tourist trains, audio guided tours.  This tour is the perfect antidote if you have limited time in Antibes.
  • Not ‘salesy’ or pushy.  I think it’s important to mention that this tour doesn’t feel like a directed crawl to various places that the tour guide gets a commission or backhander for taking people there.  Cedric has a background in I.T but due to a lifestyle change he has realised his passion for tourism and sharing his love for Antibes.  At no time did I feel obligated to buy or try anything along the way, it is a very relaxed yet professionally run tour. Cedric is personable and open to suggesting other places you can visit outside of joining the tour.

Who would suit this tour?

This tour would appeal to many different tourists with wide interests because it takes in so many aspects of Antibes.  Whether you like food, history, art, natural landscapes or finding out about French culture you won’t be disappointed.   Even for a local like me, I found it interesting and informative.  Here is a snapshot of the kinds of travellers who I believe would enjoy this Antibes tour:

  • Small groups – couples, families, friends
  • Cruise ship passengers or yacht charter guests looking for an onshore excursion of a few hours duration that gives an overview of Antibes, its history and top places of interest
  • Art or history enthusiasts (the tour includes information about some well-known attractions such as the Picasso Museum as well as lesser known spots such as Chapelle St-Bernandin and the Peynet Museum)
antibes churches

Step inside some of the beautiful places in Antibes

  • People who like quirky facts (Personally, I really love tours that include quirky or surprising information. You’ll hear some fun facts about Antibes and France including the history of absinthe (pastis’ nemesis!), the evolution of the city’s remparts and famous people who visit the area).
antibes free walking tour

Learn fun facts about Antibes and France on this tour

What time is the tour?

The Antibes Free Walking Tours explores the heart of Antibes Old Town from Tuesday to Saturday.

Tours depart at 10.30am daily from Place de Gaulle, near the fountain in the square opposite Monoprix and last around 2 hours.

Note: The fountain isn’t operating on Thursday or Saturday due to the market, so just look for the guide in the red shirt.  It’s recommended to reserve a place in advance.

How to book 

You can find Antibes Free Walking Tours on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or drop them a line via their website.

I enjoyed the tour so much I have added reviews for them on TripAdvisor where I’m a Top Contributor with over 50 global reviews of hotels, resorts, restaurants and attractions and Wiki Places for Kids.

Disclosure:   I was kindly invited to a Special Bloggers Day with Antibes Free Walking Tours to experience the tour myself.  As I believe in supporting businesses who represent the Côte d’Azur to a high standard, I am listed as a Partner on the website.  However, as always, this review is my honest interpretation of what was offered.

https://fragments.fuzed.io/v1/sdk.js
https://fragments.fuzed.io/v1/simple/iframe/source.html?button-mode=true&rounded-corners=true&info-mode=false&image-mode=true&lng=7.12510199999997&name=Antibes&border=true&shadow=true&key=fec4996ec6e67f30ff5cac218651e4be&lat=43.58041799999999&