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The southern region of France, probably known for its famous ports more than its gorgeous promontory and coves, is surely one of the most classic destination for nautical vacationers


Boat rental in French Riviera In the kingdom of Mistral Climate averages METEOMED™
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Nautica Magazine 398, june 1995


French Riviera

The Azure Coast starts from Marsiglia developing eastward, even if its most famous area, lies between Monaco and St. Tropez, often mentioned on well known films, songs, and novels.

The Mediterranean yachting has had here a fast development due to both shore line configuration and inhabitants age-old tourism tradition. Here, the first and more equipped marinas were made. The largest pleasure crafts fleet in the Mediterranean area is located along this coast and here some of the most beautiful yachts in the word are chartered or sold.

Monaco is really a futuristic town, enjoyable, modern and with wide spaces for the social life, well conceived and cast in the limited space left between the sea and the inaccessible coast climbed by the beautiful "Corniche" bends.

French Riviera IIM Nautical Chart on Pagine Azzurre

Underground the city gets more space, with roads and multilevel parking. The enormous space demands will be satisfied by smartly stealing it from the sea, around the Fontvieille area. Here one of the two main marinas of the Principality is placed surrounded by a large residential area and easily reachable from the Cannes International Airport by helicopters based just next to the marina. 140 berths (but more under construction) are available for boats up to 30 meters LOA.

Yachts up to 130 meters can moor at the famous Unites States dock, in the Condamine Port, in front of which the Gran Prix take place. 700 berths are available (60 reserved for transit traffic) on 7 meters water depth: all of then are directly managed by the local Coast Guard. The yachting club, with a strong racing tradition and chaired by Prince Albert, overhangs it. For those of you calling here a visit to the Oceanographic museum, the most famous in the world for sure, and a tour downtown, are a must. Attention should be exercised when entering both marinas with E and S-E winds. Beaulieu sur Mer, located on the namesake point and sheltered by Cap Ferrat, ensure a safe landing in all condition indeed.

Larger yachts have their entrance route north of the breakwater, while smaller crafts south of it. The port has a commercial area and a marina with 776 berths of which 152 are reserved to transit traffic.

Angels bay, west of Nice, offers two landings. Saint Laurent du Var marina is a modern fully equipped facility with a 50 meters wide entrance, located westward, and 1087 berths ( 239 for transit traffic) for boats up to 23 meters LOA. Yachts with deep draught must exercise caution when landing with strong SSE wind, due to the water depth limited to 3.5 meters. The smallest Baie des Angels marina offers respectively 474 berths in the private port and 53 in the public one; cast in a large residential complex, it offers mooring for boats up to 30 meters, on water depth at docks warring between 2 and 3 meters.

The real yachting real, however, is Antibes. Here the largest private yachts of the Mediterranean have their home port, and the associated facilities can service to the highest standards. It was here that, during the maxi racing sail boats exploit, such yachts were able to find fully equipped yards ( especially for launching and houllaging operations) and here they were used to winterize. The old town, surrounded by fortifications such as Tour du Recrutement and Fort CarrF, was built on the promontory dividing the port from Anse de la Salis. Antibes, with its crowded alleys, characteristic restaurants, fashion stores and cozy bars, offer an exciting night life: one has the impression that sun rise arrives soon!

Vauban port, at the bottom of the promontory surrounded by Fort CarrF, has 1230 berths (350 for transit traffic). It is a commercial as well as a tourist port made of a road, called the Bassin de Grande Plaisance, the old port and the Saint Roch creek. A breakwater, starting from the Five-hundred French bastion, shelters it. Mega yachts, between 70 and 165 meters LOA, can moor on the S-E basin portion, while other zones are reserved to smallest crafts. Yachts up to 50 meters LOA can dock in the Saint Roch creek zone, which is the most suggestive area.

Cannes is even more exclusive but not suitable for large yachts. The town, the real Mediterranean center of international yachting, is located in the northern end of the La Napoule gulf, and is renown the world over for its movie festival. Cannes has two landings: Pierre Canto port, located in the Cannes road to the Croisette end, with 650 berths (100 for transit traffic) and Cannes port, shielded to the west by Max Laubeuf dock and to the east by Albert Edouard breakwater. It is sheltered by all winds but those from east; due to the rocky shallow bottom (well marked by the Tourelle del Secant, a 13 meters high light-beacon) caution must be exercise when landing nighttime. Boats not exceeding 1.2 meters draught and 4 meters high can berth at Cannes marina, a river port with 1733 moorings for boats up to 12 meters LOA. The port is located on the La Siagne river and is made of two wet basins and several privately managed docks.

The Mandelieu la Napoule port is located to the west side of the namesake gulf and is overlooked by the characteristic (and once again homonymous) castle. Sheltered by a long breakwater, part of the Argentiere river mouth, it has 1047 berths ( 200 for transit traffic), but landing is permitted only between 08:00 and 22:00.

Landing is always possible at La Rague port, located slightly to the west, with 521 berths (130 for transit traffic) for boats up to 30 meters LOA.

The stretch of coast lying between Drammont and Camarat capes, is the most beautiful and charming one over the entire Azure Coast. Here, in the area sheltered by the Iles de Hyeres (where some small but well equipped marinas are locate), at Port Cross and at Porquerolles island "yachting" is the word. the most beautiful ports and the more exclusive resorts are located here. This is the VIP tourism, the night life and the sailing yachts realm.

Santa Lucia port, located in the Saint Raphael bay, is made of two wet basins (with separate entrances) divided by an embankment, and sheltered by a breakwater. The northern entrance is not very comfortable, due to its orientation; the southern one can be reached steering trough Lion de Terre and Lion de Mer islets or making good north of the latter. Here 1600 berths are available and landing is always safe.

Three ports are located in the Saint Tropez bay, offering 4500 berths in total. Saint Tropez is surely the most famous, suggestive and attractive one: calling here is a must. Located on the southern gulf coast end,, it is divided up in two basins: the old port is used by fishing vessels and boats up to 15 meters LOA, while the new port is reserved to all other crafts type. In this facility 800 berths are available, of which 100 are reserved to transit traffic. In Saint Tropez, as usual for this area, night life is at top levels and berthing in front of the main walkway is an unforgettable experience (for those lucky enough to find a place). At Port Grimaud and Marines de Cogolin, a berth can always be found. The former, famous for its characteristic lagoon shape, has several channels on whose banks several houses with private berths are located, forming a number of islets connected one another by bridges. The marina has 1910 moorings (450 for transit traffic) in total.

Marines de Cogoline is made of three wet basins: Cascadelle, Galiote and Brigantine, all reserved to the resident inhabitants. A public port, however, is available with a total of 1565 berths (273 for transit traffic). On both facilities, boats with LOA up to 50 meters and draught not exceeding 6 meters can moor. Sheltered from all winds the marinas offer always a safe berth. Only a torpedo testing zone, marked by a red buoy at its N-W end must be noticed, together with the 12 knots speed limit over the entire gulf area.

Now you know where to steer for, to taste the unique flavor of a truly Mediterranean summer.

A.M. Yacht Charter & Broker

Catamaran Center

Forzatre Charter



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