It’s 2016 and another glorious spring has arrived to cast a soft and gentle spell on the land in the South of France. It is also that time of year to look ahead at some of the most exciting events that are set to take place in this beautiful region, over the coming months.
Better known as the playground of the rich and famous and one of the most sought-after luxury travel destinations, the French Riviera is not only famous for its beautiful weather, but also plays host to a number of highly-acclaimed festivals, carnivals and sporting events that attract high-profile visitors and celebrities from around the world. It is well worth a visit, if you are planning a memorable and exciting luxury travel holiday.
Here, at St Tropez House, we have put together a list of the top 8 events that you just absolutely cannot afford to miss.
1. Monte-Carlo Rolex Cup
Venue: The Monte-Carlo Country Club
Dates: April 9th to 17th
One of the most popular events on the international tennis circuit is the Monte-Carlo Rolex Open. It takes place at the Monte-Carlo Country Club every April. The setting is indeed incredible. Fans get to enjoy the fast-paced action of dare-devil tennis matches while simultaneously breathing in the breathtaking, panoramic view out over the gorgeous, azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The ATP tournament attracts some of the biggest names in tennis such as Novac Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray.
2. Top Marques Monaco
Dates: April 14th to 17th
The adrenaline-pumping, supercar show “Top Marques” takes place during the last weekend of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. Billed as the most exclusive supercar show in the world, it is the ultimate, luxury supercar show. You just don’t want to miss this if you are a die-hard fan of luxury cars. The four day exhibition is primarily a supercar event, where every car is for sale. But there are also areas dedicated to other gizmos and accessories that make for a luxury lifestyle such as super exclusive watches, unique designer jewellery and superboats for adventure lovers. The event takes place in and around the Grimaldi Forum which is an award-winning exhibition centre in the heart of Monaco, located just a short walk from Casino Square and a stone’s throw from the Mediterranean. You may get to test drive the supercar of your dreams on a Grand Prix circuit.
3. Cannes Film Festival
Dates: May 11th to 22nd
This event definitely needs no introduction. The Cannes film festival is arguably the biggest movie extravaganza anywhere in the world which takes place at the Palais des Festivals on the promenade in Cannes. This will be the festival’s 69th edition and more than likely to attract the biggest names in the film industry from around the world. They come not just to premier their movies, but also to see, be seen, and have fun.
4. Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix
Dates: May 26th to 29th
Another hugely popular event on the Cote d’Azur is the Monaco F1 Grand Prix, which takes place around the streets and Port of Monaco. The circuit winds its way through tunnels and hairpin bends in the world’s second smallest country, watched by thousands of fans who throng the course on constructed stands or balconies of the principality’s prime real estate. Then there are also the lucky ones – who get to watch the vehicles race around the circuit from the decks of their private superyachts berthed in the Port of Monaco.
5. Bastille Day
Date: July 14th
This quintessential French public holiday is celebrated across the country regardless of the day of the week. La Fete Nationale, or Bastille Day, commemorates the storming of the Bastille, a French prison, on July 14th 1789 which started the French Revolution. It is marked in almost every French town and village, no matter how small, with parades, red, white and blue flags and fireworks. One of the best spots from which to admire the fireworks is Pampelonne beach in St Tropez. Or even better, the holiday villas overlooking Pampelonne beach.
6. Cannes Yachting Festival
Dates: September 6th to 11th
The Cannes Yachting Festival is widely reputed to be Europe’s leading in-water exhibition with more than 500 boats on display. It annually draws crowds of more than 40,000 and is an exciting event for seasoned yachtsmen and amateurs alike. It is also the first yacht show after the hugely busy charter season in the Med and takes place in the Vieux Port and the more modern Port Pierre Canto, in Cannes.
7. Monaco Yacht Show
Dates: September 28th to October 1st
Less than an hour down the road, and just over two weeks later, the world’s leading, annual superyacht show takes place in a blaze of glory at the heart of Monaco. The Monaco Yacht Show or MYS is where some of the newest luxury yachts are on display. It hosts more than 100 superyachts, a superb selection of toys for boys and some pretty cool tenders which are all proudly showcased in and around the waterfront in Monaco.
8. Les Voiles de St. Tropez
Dates: September 24th to October 2nd
The last event on our ‘must-see’ list happens at St. Tropez and is one of the most spectacular sailing events on the globe. Les Voiles de St. Tropez is one of the most eagerly awaited regattas in the sailing fraternity and takes place on the beautiful waters of the Bay of St Tropez. Organised by the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, the regatta attracts a dazzling array of yachts ranging from day sailers to superyachts and some of the finest-looking maxis and performance cruisers in the world. But what really catches the eye are the bevy of beautiful classic yachts of all sizes, daintily lined up for display, stern to the quayside in the harbour of St. Tropez, providing an amazing and colourful spectacle of nautical beauty for the thousands of visitors who come to view the regatta each year.