Monaco may be associated with glam and splendour, but its other charms should not be dismissed that easily. Close to the brightest pearls of the French Riviera and not far from some of Italy’s most popular boating destinations, this cosmpolitan city-state has a lot to offer to visitors opting for a yacht charter in Monaco. Here are some fun facts about the city and its unique history.
It’s a tiny dot on the map
It’s as small as it gets. More specifically, Monaco is the second smallest country in the world, bigger only than the Vatican. As for its population, it’s not bigger than that of a small town (appx 30,000 people), around a third of which are millionaires. And a significant proportion billionaires too…
One of the world’s most famous casinos is there
The ward of Monte Carlo and Spélugues is home to what is perhaps Monaco’s most famous attraction, the Monte Carlo Casino. Established in 1862, this glamorous gambling haunt has been used as a setting for three James Bond films, including the famous ‘Shaken, not stirred’ scene. Interestingly, the locals are prohibited from gambling there! Other famous films shot in the area include Hitchcock’s classic To Catch a Thief (1954), featuring Hollywood powerhouses Cary Grant and Grace Kelly who later became Princess Grace of Monaco. The quarter of Monte Carlo includes Larvotto, a small village where Monaco’s only public beach is located.
It has a rich martitime tradition
Monaco’s Oceanographic Museum, founded in 1910, is one of the oldest in Europe and hosts rare tropical fish and a – somehow scary – shark lagoon. Friends of the sea world will also enjoy a visit to the museum’s Turtle Island where turtles of all sizes and origins live.
Splendid marinas for a yacht charter in Monaco
If you charter a yacht in Monaco in the summer you will see some of the world’s most impressive luxury yachts docked in in the city’s port and its vicinity. For example, Monaco is home to one of the oldest marinas in the world. Port Hercule de Monte-Carlo, conveniently located in the natural bay in Monte Carlo, has been hosting luxury yachts since time immemorial. This is the place where the great and the good of the international jet set meet to showcase the most precious symbols of their wealth: their yachts. The marina has been renovated several times to catch up with changes in boating technology, thus welcoming yachts of up to 100m. For smaller boats of up to 40 meters there is also Port de Menton Garavan close to Nice.
Its raw beauty will take your breath away
As with other gems of the French Riviera, Monaco’s landscape is rugged and hilly. Not coindidentally, its landmark is the famous Rock of Monaco (‘Rocher de Monaco’ au Francais), a 62-metre monolith on the coast that graciously overlooks the city’s port. The Rock hosts Monaco’s Old Town, which is part of the quarter of Monaco-Ville. From there you can admire the Prince’s Palace where the most prominent members of the House of Grimaldi live, including Prince Albert. In the summer, it is a popular gathering spot for tourists who can observe from there the changing of the guards.
With a yacht charter in Monaco you will be able to admire from the sea the steep hill of Monte Carlo. This was the setting of an iconic car chase scene in To Catch A Thief ; tragically enough, the film’s protagonist Grace Kelly, was tragically killed there in a car accident in 1982.
The world’s most famous F1 Grand Prix takes place there
Monaco hosts what is perhaps the world’s most iconic F1 race, the Monaco Grand Prix. Held since 1929 in the Monaco Circuit, the race attracts spectators from all over the world who can watch the world’s best drivers compete from grandstands in the city’s harbour and hotel balconies. With a yacht charter in Monaco you will be able to catch a glimpse of the race from the deck of your yacht.
And what about the Monaco Yacht Show?
Last but not least, Monaco hosts every year the event where the world’s most splendorous yachts are showcased. Monaco Yacht Show, held in Port Hercules since 1991, hosts around 125 yachts and several other parties and events, such as luxury car exhibitions. Glam-wise, the event is rivalled only by the famous film festival in nearby Cannes. Suffice to say that in 2017, participating yachts were worth a whopping €4.5bn!