Weekend in Monaco

Friday, January 23rd, 2015 4:23 pm by .

Tucked between The French and Italian Riviera, Monaco may be the second smallest country in the world, but it more than makes up for a lack of size with style, glitz, and glamour. So a weekend in Monaco is a perfect short break destination.

It seemed I was in luck today. Standing there, on the promontory high up in Monaco’s fabled Moneghetti Gardens, the crystal clear view below was breathtaking. The famous Monte Carlo Casino; the sweeping harbour of La Condamine with its luxury yachts – more familiar as the home straight of the Monaco Grand Prix; the towering luxury apartments of Monte Carlo’s super rich; and of course the rugged limestone peninsula of The Rock, home of the Grimaldi family’s stunning royal palace dating back to AD 1200: an absolute must-see.

6924539694_70ea153caf_b

All of this, framed by the dramatic embrace of the Mediterranean endlessly stretching out behind. There’s elegance and beauty everywhere you look, from the chic cafés and designer shops in town, to the sleek lines of the super yachts in the marina. Let’s face it: it’s not every day you see a shopping mall made from Italian marble and crystal chandeliers!

7017368319_b722cab778_b

The wonderful Moneghetti Gardens contain over 7,000 different species of exotic plant life, but buried 60m below them lie the immense illuminated chambers and limestone stalactites and stalagmites of the prehistoric Observatory Caves.

6815487108_b1602d3d19_b

Visit the Cathedrale de Monaco and view the last resting place of the legendary Grace Kelly, the former Hollywood star-turned Princess of Monaco; and then onto the famous Hotel de Paris adjacent to the casino, where gamblers always rub the knee of Louis XIV’s statue for luck.

What to do and where to eat in Monaco

Locals start the day at La Condamine market. Take breakfast or coffee at a table in the shade there and simply people watch and enjoy the sounds and smells of the market.

After dark, the legendary Monte Carlo Bar (MCB), 1 Avenue Prince Pierre, is an unpretentious and great-value eatery, unchanged since the 70s, where you might bump into a famous face or two..

7044304995_892638a343_b

The Monaco Grand Prix

Every May sees Monaco transformed into a complex system of guard rails and
temporary structures for two legendary races. Classic racing cars from the 1920s to the 70s take part in the Historic Grand Prix; then two weeks later, the famous World Championship F1 race (you can tour the road circuit as part of a bus tour or just take a taxi around the track).

A top tip for local food is Barbajuan, Italian-influenced triangular-shaped fried
ravioli stuffed with chard or red squash, ground meat, eggs, cheese, and rice.

6921912222_0824c9ca39_b

The terrace of the Port Palace Hotel offers quite simply the quintessential view of the Côte d’Azur; glittering lights at night, sleek yachts of the harbour by day. The fare on offer in the Michelin-starred Mandarine restaurant more than matches the view.

Share

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Enjoyed this review? You might also like these reviews too!

  • Hiking Ecrins National ParkHiking Ecrins National Park I’d always wondered what life is like in those high altitude French Refuges, often no more than wooden shacks, nestling in the shade of the mountains. Even better, when I hear about a Tour […]
  • Walking the High Alps in FranceWalking the High Alps in France I’m always looking for a challenging walk but find that many self-guided walks offered by the hiking companies are not tough enough for me. Since you always get thrown out of your hotel […]
  • Flemings Mayfair Hotel. London.Flemings Mayfair Hotel. London. Half Moon Street is like many others of its kind in London's Mayfair; a row of fabulous Georgian town houses lining both sides of it. However, take a stroll through the front entrance of […]
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrsstumblrinstagramFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrsstumblrinstagram

Poll