Luxury Destination: Monaco
Monaco oozes luxury right from the opulence and magnificence off the yachts parked on the Monte Carlo Harbour to picturesque scenarios of the French Riviera. This tiny principality between the French and Italian Rivieras covers not quite a square mile of territory, but don’t let size fool you, Monaco’s reputation belies its size.
Known as one of the smallest French speaking countries in the world and is comprised of Monaco-Ville, Monte Carlo and La Condamine. The country is one of the most sought out destinations for celebrities because of the classy lifestyle, extravagant nightlife and casinos, in addition to the exclusive shopping it offers. If an indulgent destination is what you are aiming for this summer, then Monaco is the ideal choice – a place where you can relax in the lap of pure luxe.
Monaco boasts favourable beach weather, which contributes to the ever-growing popularity of this city-state as a tourist attraction. The warm and temperate Mediterranean climate permits tourists to visit Monaco throughout the year, with late spring and early autumn being the most favourable times to visit. July and August, are peak tourist periods in Monaco with temperatures peaking over 30 degrees Celsius and attracting innumerable tourists from around the world. Monaco’s beaches are swarmed with tourists during this time of the year and it is advisable to book hotels well ahead in advance. Winters are cold yet comfortable enough for tourists to immerse in the scenic and elite ambience of Monaco.
Flying in helicopters is an exciting experience for international tourists to commence their tour of this beautiful landscape city-state. The fares for helicopter service may vary depending on the season and range from €100 – €300 in lean seasons and spike up to €700 or more during the heavy tourist season. An alternative, and perhaps much cheaper mode of transportation is renting a motor scooter in Nice – this way is a popular and very unique way to explore Monaco. For those readers who may not know, Monaco can be reached by railway services. The Monaco-Monte Carlo station provides good service to neighbouring cities in France and Italy. International trains ‘Ligure’ links Marseilles and Milan; ‘train bleu’ connects Ventimiglia and Paris; and the high speed TGV runs between Nice and Paris.
Monte Carlo offers a wide array of exclusive shopping districts featuring some of the finest couture on the market. If you are on a budget, then Monte Carlo is probably not for you. This locale has everything a label lover will be excited with – Hermes, Christian Dior, Gucci and Prada offering chic and designer clothes and Bulgari, Cartier and Chopard displaying their elegant designer wares. The shopping tours are from 9a.m. to noon and 3p.m. to 7p.m. Most tourists enjoy the leisure of window-shopping in Avenue Monte Carlo. The Condamine market, however, is always bustling with the presence of tourists looking for souvenirs in the tiny shops and boutiques. The Fontvielle Shopping Centre offers a more practical shopping experience with more than 36 shops where tourists can purchase CDs, furniture and clothing at affordable prices. Hand-woven tapestry and carpets are exquisitely woven and are a must buy. Pratoni, a fashion brand, which offers men’s clothing and accessories, is definitely worth checking out for good-looking garments.
There are several waterfront high class dining options along the ports in Monaco. Monte Carlo offers some of the best in French cuisine, in addition to an extensive range of Seafood, Spanish, Asian, Italian and Mediterranean cuisines. Bouillabaisse offers some of the best in regional dining and attracts food lovers for a unique yet flavourful dining experience. Some of the restaurants are very exclusive, but many moderate-priced cafes and entry joints offer excellent food and service. American foods such as pizzas, burgers and sandwiches are available 24 hours a day. The classy and elegant Café de Paris is known for its exceptional service and vibrant ambience. The majority of Monaco’s most exclusive and high-quality restaurants are in the Principality, which is known for its exotic cuisine and astonishing panoramas.
The city of Peille offers historical attractions of the 12th Romanesque church and the remains of a 13th century castle. The magnificent Monaco St Nicholas Cathedral was built on a site where a 13th century old church was previously based. The Monaco Cathedral built in the year 1875 is a church (Romanesque-Byzantine) which is made in the memory of Saint Nicolas. This church has preserved the remains of Princess Grace and former princes of Monaco. The church square also offers a diverse range of bustling and lively cafes, restaurants and eateries.
La Condamine is situated north of Monaco Ville in the central principality of Monaco. La Condamine boasts a wide array of luxury yachts in addition to vast marinas and ports, which are definitely worth a look. La Condamine also offers a unique and extensive shopping experience boasting over 200 shops that cater to every taste. Hercules Port is located right below La Condamine and is of the few deep-water ports in the French Riviera in addition to being one of Monaco’s most important harbours. The alluring and charismatic atmosphere in Hercules Port is one of the finest that Monaco has to offer. If you are going in May, you will not want to miss the Grand Prix, which attracts car aficionados and at times the hottest celebrities from around the world on an annual basis.
Monte Carlo is the epitome of luxurious living and is one of the most distinguished and trendy destinations in Monaco. Known for its scenic exquisiteness, spectacular architecture and posh casinos, the Monte Carlo experience is one that is not to be missed. The Metropole Shopping Centre caters to only the most exclusive of tastes and is a designer haven offering more than 80 shops and 3500 designer names including Swarovski and Christian Lacroix. And for chocolate lovers everywhere, Monte Carlo boasts a wide collection of exclusive chocolatiers and mouth-watering candies that you won’t find at home.
Monaco is renowned for its glamorous and affluent setting and is the ultimate playground for the wealthy. Whether your indulgence lies in cars, casinos, fine dining, yachts or five star hotels, Monaco will not disappoint. It also offers, nature sports for the adventurous and museums and churches for the tourists who are keen on exploring. Exotic beaches and crowded beaches, helicopter rides and luxurious cruises. Monaco has it all. With adventures and pleasures suited for every individual taste, Monaco is the quintessential luxury destination. No holiday experience can be as exhilarating and explorative as this unique city-state. Monaco is definitely worth checking out.