I sail there every year.
Firstly ,. its a beautiful place. Cannes, Antibbes, Nice, Monaco and all in between.
Secondly, be prepared to spend nights on the anchor
, and forget about getting overnights in Monaco ( Port Hercule or FontVieille) especially during events
. You could try reseving them now, they have a good website. I've never managed a berth there. Best bet is to berth elsewhere and take a train into Monaco, dont use a car to get there during events
, its way too crowded.monaco always feels way too crowded for me anyway.
The rail line, The cote D'azure line runs all along the coast through Cannes, through Antibbes, Nice, Monaco, and on into Italy
, very cheap
and the stations are within walking distance of most of the marinas
. If you get a berth and want to do the cultural stuff, then use it to get around, rather then trying to find berths.
The best way to get a berth is to phone
them in the morning for a berth that evening, or perhaps the day before. Paradoxially, it can be difficult to get berths out of high season as most marinas rely on their owners leaving to have a berth to rent. Then use the VHF
when getting close to the marina to call them up. Usually they will send a man on a bike or in a small boat to show you the way in. you need a mobile phone
on this coast.
I did find some success especially as may is not peak season , in Beaulieu and Port St.Jean Cap ferrat ( great pizza place up in the village) and Nice old port, but it hit and miss. Cannes is possible too , as is Vauban in Nice, ( port can be smelly).
Monaco is much more expensive to eat and drink then the Cannes-Nice coast, and further up into Italy is even cheaper. But the food
here, , ie everywhere, if you like ( your food
.......words fail me. , words like godlike, heavanly,etc) Try and avoid the touristy cafes ( i e the ones with the menu in english). In Cannes seek out the restaurants in behind in the old town, Antibbes is good for great meal as is Nice. Dont forget to try the Icecream. Great fish
restaurant in Beaulieu, ( but I cant remember its name, ask the capitainerie. Remember your in france
, the french do things their way, dont expect to eat 24x7, they have breakfast in the morning, lunch at midday and dinner in the evening, outside that, coffee and gauloises!. Marina toilets facilities can be hit and miss, some great, some poor.
Dont miss the Rade de Villefranche, east of Nice, fantastic anchorage, also good anchorage south of St.Jean Cap Ferrrat, with a rib
thats brings you to the beach bar ( cant remember the name, and the charts
are on the boat).Nice day time anchorage on the east side of Ils Sainte Marguerite offshore
of Cannes. ( and make sure to meet the icecream girl...).
The Rade is good for an allnighter as it the other side anchored off St Jean. If anything nasty blows from the south the whole coast can be untenable.
If the charter
boat doesnt have it ( and it should) there is a free guide to the ports
along this coast called The guide Mediterrane, Plans Pratiques des ports
. Pick it up at any marina, its mostly in french but easy to understand.
Dont worry about the med mooring
, its harder to describe then do. All use "lazy lines" so you dont need to use the anchor
. Just motor
back between the boats into your space with fenders on the rubbing strake ( towrail) , nice and slow. stop a foot or two from the dock
, put on you stern lines , and pick up the slime line and bring it forward ( a glove is useful) , pull up the mooring
line and tie on to the bow. ( with as much tension as you can pull) A tip is to hang the slime line along the boat out of the water
and let the sun bleach it white . Wash your hands in disinfectant afterwards. PS the standard of boat handling is terrible, you will look like a pro. However this is balanced by the standard of "eye candy" semi naked or otherwise.!!!( though the italians do seem to prefer completely nude rather then the french)
all the marinas in this part of the world are top top class, very clean, electricity , water
, often cable TV connections. English
is widely spoken, Diesel
is around euro 1.20 per litre. water is always potable, but I tended to use bottled.
Swiming is great, sailing can be very frustrating, usually no wind
or little wind
, or wind from the wrong direction, often theres a right gale. So you will do a lot of motoring.
PS why mention Portofino, its way to far away, maybe san remo perhaps is about as far east as you will get.( without massive sails)