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This unique sailing adventure takes you to a side of France few get to see. Explore the exciting portside cities of Nice, Cannes and St Tropez, where glitz, a vibrant culture and lovely beaches await. Then sail to the islands of Ile du Levant, Ile du Porquerolles, Bormes-les-Mimosas and Port-Cros to experience the beauty of France's Mediterranean and the Iles d'Hyeres Archipelago. Swim, snorkel and laze on the deck of the boat and on white-sand beaches, while also experiencing the natural beauty and intriguing history of the islands. There's also delectable cuisine and unique waterside adventures awaiting you in each port.
Day 1: Nice
Welcome to France and the French Riviera. Your adventure begins today with a welcome meeting at 4 pm, where you’ll meet the skipper and your shipmates. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so ensure you bring these details to provide to your skipper.The first port of call is the local supermarket to buy provisions for your trip as a group. If you have any special dietary requirements, please make sure you notify us at the time of booking so we can accommodate your requests. If arriving early into Nice, take some time to explore. Perhaps stroll along the Promenade des Anglais or discover the Cours Saleya Market in Vieux Nice. While away the hours in a delectable cafe or check out the many museums or beaches the city has to offer. If you have a number of days in Nice before you trip begins, you might like to visit the cliff-top village of Eze, known as 'The Eagles Nest'. Just 10 minutes from Nice, this medieval town is full of art galleries, workshops and restaurants. At the top is a ruined castle commanding one of the most beautiful panoramas on the Cote d'Azur. Alternatively you can visit Grasse, the capital of perfume, or the capital of the Principality of Monaco, Monte Carlo. Spend your first night aboard the boat in Nice before setting sail tomorrow morning. Notes: 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. The itinerary is subject to change and may vary depending on weather and berth availability. Your skipper will make the final call to ensure your safety at all times.
Day 2-7: Porquerolles- Iles d'Hyeres
Set sail for the archipelago of the Iles de Lerins, just off the coast of Cannes. Stop by Sainte Marguerite Island, where the Man in the Iron Mask was once held captive. Visit Saint-Honorat Island, sampling wine at a restaurant run by local monks and produced from their own vineyard. This tiny island has been occupied by monks from as early as the 5th century AD. Sail on to the glamorous city of Cannes. Famous for its international film festival, take a tour of the city’s Palais des Festivals and walk down the red carpet. If glitz and glamour isn’t your thing, explore the mountain range of the Massif de I’Esterel and either hike or cycle through forest to the highest point.
Cast off for St-Tropez. Once a modest fishing village, the city is now a holiday paradise for the rich and famous. Head to Pampelonne Beach for some celebrity spotting, where part of ‘And God Created Woman’ was filmed. All of the beaches have toilets, change rooms and sun chairs for hire, or take to the water and try your hand at paddle-boarding. Wander around the old fishing quarter of La Ponche to get a feel of what St-Tropez used to be like, or stretch your legs along the city’s coastal trails. St-Tropez comes alive at night. If you’re thinking of heading to one of the many bars, restaurant or clubs make sure you have the appropriate clothes, as mere shorts and sandals won’t cut it here.
Less known and more modest than its neighbours along the Cote d'Azur, the charming seaside town of Cavalaire-sur-Mer offers 3 kilometres of white sandy beach where you can swim, snorkel or simply relax. Perhaps take a walk along coastal paths to quieter beaches or wander through wooded parklands along the Fenouillet path. In the evening, do as the locals do and feast on a ‘plateau de fruits de mer’ (fresh seafood platter) at a restaurant on the harbour.
Iles d’Hyeres Archipelago
Due to strict environmental protection laws, the Iles d’Hyeres (or Islands of Gold) boast a unique natural beauty. Head to Ile de Port-Cros. The smallest island in the archipelago has a big history, from the establishment of a monastery in the 5th century to raids by Barbary pirates in the 16th century, the founding of an artists’ colony after WWI and the ‘Battle of Port Cros’ during WWII. Rich in flora and fauna, in 1963 it became France’s first marine national park. There are no automobiles on Port-Cros, so walk along trails through unspoiled pine forests and snorkel in the clear waters surrounding the island. You'll also visit the largest island in the archipelago, Porquerolles, which is also a national park. Automobiles and smoking have also been banned on Porquerolles. The best way to explore the island is to hire a bike and take one of the well-marked trails out through ancient oak forests and fruit orchards. Alternatively, you may prefer to relax on the white sandy beaches to the north of the island.
Day 8: Marseille
After breakfast today disembark the yacht by 10 am and transfer to the Hotel Relax in Marseille. This is where your sailing adventure comes to an end. If you’re flying out today, please don’t book a flight before 4 pm in case we’re delayed due to weather conditions. If you choose to stay on in Marseille, France's oldest city, there’s plenty to see and do. Perhaps hike up to the Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde for spectacular views over the city at sunset. One of Europe's most important ports, Marseille is a dazzling fusion of cultures, with souq-style bazaars appearing alongside Provence produce stalls and local artisan shops. Don't leave without slurping down a bowl of bouillabaisse, the local fish stew.
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