Ruling the Riviera - Reverse
Sun. Mediterranean. Yacht. French Riviera. HMS Geckos. Sail from Nice and make stops at Cannes and Saint-Tropez while you make your way to Marseille. Live the high life - you deserve it.
Day 1 - Nice
Bonne journée et Bienvenue à Nice.
Be seduced by the glamour of the French Riviera, a graceful coastline full of fine food, exclusive coves and stunning views. Whether sailing across the sparkling waters, walking among the beautiful hills, dining on France's tastiest treats or dancing the night away in a Nice nightspot, the French Riviera - or Cote d'Azur to locals - is well equipped to be enjoyed by everyone.
If arriving early perhaps wile away some time in a delectable café or check out the many museums or beaches. If you have a number of days in Nice you may want to visit the cliff-top village of Eze, known as 'The Eagles Nest'. Just 10 minutes from Nice this medieval town is a true gem. Vaulted, narrow streets are filled with art galleries, workshops and gastronomic restaurants. At the top is a ruined medieval castle commanding one of the most beautiful panoramas on the Cote d'Azur. Alternatively you can visit Grasse, the capital of perfume, Monte Carlo the capital of the Principality of Monaco or grab a sun lounge on the beach of Villefranche.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 4pm on day 1 where you will get to meet the Skipper and your shipmates.Our first port of call is the local supermarket to buy supplies for breakfast and afternoon snacks. These will be bought from the kitty fund. The kitty amount is based on feedback from past travellers and most find that they do not spend the whole amount quoted and put any leftover funds towards a dinner on the final night.
Day 2-7 - Cote d'Azur
It’s time to set sail – and what better way to experience France than from the relaxing viewpoint of the Mediterranean.
Just off the coast of Cannes is the Iles de Lerins, a group of 4 islands. One of those islands is Ille St Marguerite, familiar to those that know the story of the Man in the Iron Mask. There is a small museum on the island and some lovely white beaches. Another island is Ile St Honorat. It has been continuously occupied by monks from as early as the 5th century AD. Visitors are welcome at the small church and the small chapels found around the island. The monks run a restaurant that is open to the public where they serve wine from their own vineyard.
Cannes is most well known for the Le Festival International du Film de Cannes [Cannes International Film Festival] and you can share in a little bit of the limelight by walking the red carpet on a tour of the Palais des Festivals. Or if glitz and glamour isn’t your thing you can take a tour to the Massif de I’Esterel and either walk or ride through the forest to the highest point with affords beautiful views of the Cap.
Once a modest fishing village Saint Tropez is now at the heart of the French Riviera and a holiday paradise for the rich and famous. If celebrity spotting is your thing head to Pampelonne Beach (which is made up of smaller beaches like Plage de Tahiti where part of ‘And God Created Woman’ was filmed). All of the beaches have facilities like toilets and change rooms and the hire of sun lounges. Water activities like jetskis, paddleboards and water skiing are available and if you’re a naturist there’s also a number of nudist beaches. If the ‘jetset’ lifestyle is not your thing a visit to the old fishing quarter of La Ponche might be in order. Made up of traditional paled hued homes and cobbled streets La Ponche will give you an idea of what Saint Tropez was like pre becoming a celebrity hangout. If you want to stretch your legs then there are a number of well marked coastal walking trails that will take you out along the rocky coast offering spectacular views.
At night time Saint-Tropez really comes alive. If you are thinking of heading to one of the many bars, restaurant or clubs make sure you have the appropriate clothes, shorts and sandals won’t cut it here!
Although not as well known as its neighbours along the Cote d'Azur, Cavalaire-sur-Mer won’t disappoint! For starters there’s 3 km’s of fine white sandy beach to discover offering a multitude of water sports, jet skis, windsurfing, water skiing and there’s also mountains dropping into sea offering stunning coastal walks and cycling paths. In the evening the bars and restaurants around the harbour are the place to be with ‘plateau de fruits de mer’ a popular choice among the locals.
IIles d'Hyeres Archipelago
Ile de Port-Cros
The smallest of the islands it does have a big history, with Roman coins and tombs discovered on the island, the establishment of a monastery in the 5th century, raids by Barbary pirates in the 16th century, the founding of an artists’ colony after WWI and the site of the ‘Battle of Port Cros’ during WWII. In 1963 the island it became France’s first marine national park. Flora and Fauna abound on the island and it is a snorkelling paradise. No automobiles are permitted on the island and smoking is not permitted beyond the small village.
Ile de Porquerolles
Our first stop is the largest and most westerly of the islands. Declared as a national park, centuries old oak forests, a ban on automobiles and smoking outside, the island is one of the most environmentally protected areas in the Mediterranean. The best way to get around the islands is to hire a bike and take to one of the many well marked tracks. For those wanting a more leisurely pace you may want to retire to one of the white sandy beaches and discover for yourself why this coast is called the Cote D'Azur.
***The beauty of sailing is that each day is unique and, while we have a destination to reach, if the weather changes or something takes the group’s fancy, we are flexible on the day's itinerary***Breakfast | Lunch
Day 8 - Marseille
Say goodbye to the yacht in Saint Mandrier and transfer to the Hotel Relax in Marseille, where this French sailing adventure ends on arrival. We hope to have you disembarking in Saint Mandrier at 10am for your transfer to Marseille which takes about an hour and a half. If you are flying out today, we recommend not to book a flight before 4pm.Breakfast
What to Know
• expert English-speaking skipper throughout the tour
- International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, all other meals, all optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, trip kitty, tips and items of a personal nature.
Water safety at sea: Travellers that are able and confident swimmers will be able to enjoy swimming & snorkelling off the boat, but please always note the skipper's advise and instructions on when and where to swim and what precautions to consider. Travellers that are not able to swim are certainly welcome on this trip, but you will be required to wear a life jacket when we are sailing.
Trip Dates and Prices
Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price
Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments
What to know
Like all sailing trips, at the end of the day ours are ultimately at the mercy of the elements. So while the above itinerary is a pretty good indication of what you'll get to see on this trip, the course isn't set in stone. After all, who really wants to spend a full day battling headwinds if there's another option for smoother sailing? Likewise, your skipper may suggest a secret spot to drop by. And if everyone's on board with the idea... well, why not?
A trip kitty of EUR80 will be collected by the skipper on day 1.