Monte Carlo…a MUST

Monte Carlo…a MUST

18/01/2017 Off By Deborah Welsh
Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo…the mere mention of the place conjurs up images of the rich and famous hopping on and off their luxury yachts with glamorous chums in tow, sipping champagne in their designer togs and basically, looking like they belong in this exclusive spot on the French Riviera. For me, it really is the playground of the rich and famous and I want a piece of the action.

Monaco Cathedral

Ever since I saw Grace Kelly on screen, I knew she was the epitome of star quality. This leading actress, sadly now deceased, simply exuded glamour, elegance and style. It seems appropriate that Grace went on to marry her prince and went off to live happily ever ever in a beautiful palace. That prince and that palace just happened to be in Monaco, the small but beautifully formed principality on the French Riviera. Princess Grace and her beloved Prince Rainier are now buried within Monaco Cathedral, their final resting place but their son and heir, Prince Albert carries on the Grimaldi family name to this day.

Monaco is divided into four areas; Monaco-ville (the old city), Condamine (port quarter), Monte Carlo (business and recreation) and Fontvieille (recreation and light industry). It is the smallest country in the world, after the Vatican, suggesting it would be pretty easy to get around and see all of it on a short break.

Nice Promenade des Anglais

I am researching this area a lot right now. It’s my destination of choice for my next French adventure but would like to take in a few hotspots along the Cote D’Azure as well but it’s Monte Carlo that’s really pulling me in. All of the men in my family are motor racing fans and over the years I’ve caught some of the action when the F1 Grand Prix comes to Monaco. Naturally, being one of the most prestigious sporting events on the planet, it brings with it the international jetset from the business, sport and leisure worlds. The place must be dripping with wealth and glamour when this rolls into town.

Some fantastic excursion and day trips with Viator are available during a stay in and around Monte Carlo and these will be on my list when I finally get here. They look a lot of fun and at reasonable prices too.

A scenic helicopter ride over Monaco sounds pretty exhilarating and with breath-taking views from the sky, it seems an ideal way to see the place from another perspective.

Or I might take up the ultimate driving experience in a performance car such as a lambourghini or a Ferrari. Imagine taking the wheel in a car like that and whizzing through the streets like a film star?

Due to the location of Monaco, it’s possible to visit three countries in one day! You can get a taste of both the French and Italian Rivieras on an excursion from Monaco. This one looks good, especially if you like a rummage in the local markets.

More and more Monaco is appealing to me. I’m a fan of old school glitz and glamour and I can just imagine the Belle Epoque style of a bygone era still being present in the Monte Carlo of today. The glitterati flock here in their droves in summer and boy, do I want to rub shoulders with them…even if I don’t quite fit in. Afterall, holidays are all about living out dreams and fantasies far from our everyday lives. I’m sure with a tan and some sparkly frocks I could mingle with the best of them!



Monaco really does look like one of the glitziest spots in Europe and a much sought after address, coveted by many, myself included. I really do want to be based right in the heart of Monaco but I suspect I would have to blow my budget to do so and a lot of the higher end hotels that appeal to me are rather pricey all year round but particularly in the summer months during high season.

So, I am planning to stay somewhere nearby and here are the places that might fit the bill for me. They are within easy driving distance of Monaco but may be a more economical option but without losing any of the ambience or the standards I have come to expect on my two week escape. I don’t do budget hotels. A huge part of my holiday is having somewhere rather nice as our base. It’s not snobbery, I just genuinely don’t see the point in being miserable in poor accommodation. If I can’t afford a decent standard of hotel, I don’t go. It’s that simple.

These are the resorts that are taking my fancy that could be the perfect base, not just for visiting Monaco but the rest of the Cote D’Azure as well:-
• Villefranche
• Saint Paul de Vence
• St Tropez
• Beaulieu sur Mer
• Antibes
• Port Grimaud

St Tropez

It would appear that flights are pretty easy to come by and at the time of writing, not too expensive either. Monaco and the Cote D’Azure is mostly served by Nice airport and easyjet fly direct from several UK airports, including Edinburgh.

Expedia offer flights from Heathrow, Gatwick and London City(regional connections available).

So, as my quest for the high life continues I will be sure to post where I end up and what adventures befall me. Wouldn’t it be nice to just be like a movie star or an enigmatic princess even just for a day…or 14!