A strategic port for Greeks, Napoleon and the jet set, today the marina is a flutter of white sails and elegant classic yachts. The true charm of the city is in the cobbled streets and Provencal market. Château Grimaldi exhibits Picasso ceramics which he created here, another museum of Napoleonic memorabilia is largely the collection of André Sella, founder of Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc.
The capital of the French Riviera, originally named by the Greeks Nikaia, ‘City of Victory’. Stroll along the palm lined Promenade des Anglais, it was the English upper class who began the city’s Belle Epoque. Visit the daily flower market in Cours Saleya which transforms in summer evenings to a craft market, and the nearby Matisse and Chagall museums.
Famed for the Cannes Film Festival and La Croisette, a curved boulevard of chic shops. Pick a bar and sip a pastis enjoying the air of glamour. For fabulous views climb up to the 14th century Tour de Suquet and cast your mind back to quieter times for Les Cannois, when fishing not fashion was the centre of everyone’s life.
Prince Albert’s great great-grandfather, Charles III, opened a casino in Monte-Carlo in 1863, and the principality has been renowned ever since as a playground for the rich. Drop in for the Grand Prix in May or the clifftop Oceanographic Museum anytime, the Exotic Garden is fabulously stocked after 75 years of planting.