Cinque Terre Sunset, Italy

Cinque Terre Sunset

Written by Missy Johnston

Cruise from San Tropez, France to Porto Venere, Italy, on a luxury megayacht charter itinerary enjoying the highlights of both the French and Italian Rivieras. Relax stern-to on board the aft deck of your superyacht in the chic harbors of San Tropez, Nice, Cannes, Monte Carlo and Portofino. Cruise the lovely coastline dotted with quaint fishing villages along the Cinque Terre, and end in Porto Venere, the rustic playground of famous poets on a yacht charter cruising itinerary combining the best of both countries.

Côte d’Azur
St. Tropez – Porto Venere
7 Days

St. Tropez

St. Tropez

Day 1: Join your yacht in Nice to cruise immediately to St. Tropez, the international tourist mecca that has played a large part in the renown of the whole Côte d’Azur. In this almost mythical destination everything is famous: the beaches of Bouillabaisse, Caneliers, and
Salins are amongst 40 on the peninsula; the Place des Lices where movie stars and local stars get together to play a game of boules or sip Pastis under the plane trees; and of course, the leather Tropéziennes sandals that everyone seems to wear!

Settle in, review your itinerary and discover the St. Tropez way with
its glitz, beautiful people and bounty of nightlife. Overnight.

Antibes Old Town Market

Antibes Old Town Market

Day 2: After breakfast cruise to Antibes. Old Town Antibes has a famous open-air market every morning filled with Provence delicacies,especially items made from local lavender. This is also the location of a very nice Picasso Museum housed in one of the original Grimaldi Family Palaces. After exploring Antibes, head to glamorous Cap d’Antibes. Cap d’Antibes has become known as the epitome of luxury on the Riviera, home to the rich and famous.

Enjoy lunch at the famous and exclusive Eden Roc, often described as
the most fabulous hotel in the world. Everyone – from the President of
the Republic and Arab princes, to stars of the stage and screen – all
have stayed here in this security-conscious Shangri.

Eze, France

Eze, France

Leave after lunch for a two hour cruise to Villefranche and enjoy a swim. In the late afternoon, take a taxi up to the famous town of Eze. Enjoy a walk around this charming hillside village. For a spectacular dinner visit Chateau de la Chevre d’Or, a five-star resort and
restaurant atop the mountain which affords an extraordinary view of the ocean and surrounding countryside. This is a great location for a drink. After hike up to the Eze Gardens for a fabulous view of the Cote d’Azur before returning to the yacht. Overnight.

Aerial view of Cap Ferrat French Riviera

Aerial view of Cap Ferrat French Riviera

Day 3: Enjoy breakfast on board. After have the tender drop you on Cap Ferrat to visit the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild. Precious artworks, tapestries, and furniture adorn the salons – in typical Rhothschildian
fashion, with each room decorated in a specific “ancient regime epoque.” Allow plenty of time to also wander in the gardens. They are one of the few places on the coast where you’ll be allowed to experience the lavish pleasures of the Belle Époque Côte d’Azur. There
are no less than seven themed gardens (she liked to collect). The extraordinary ensemble reigns over a hilltop at the crest of the
peninsula, taking in spectacular, symmetrical views of the coastline.
After lunch cruise to the other side of Cap Ferrat to anchor for
swimming and water sports. Head ashore in the later afternoon to
explore the village of Cap Ferrat. Overnight on anchor.

Monte Carlo Casino, Monaco

Monte Carlo Casino, Monaco

Day 4: Cruise in the am to Monte Carlo, Monaco. Head shore to wander around the tropical gardens with its Japanese garden and tour the Grimaldi Royal Palace. If time permits, you may also wish to tour the famous Cousteau Oceanographic Museum. Relax and enjoy dinner at the Louis XIV Restaurant, weather permitting. Alternatively, dine at the exquisite Café de Paris, or have dinner on board on deck. Perhaps
after dinner on board or ashore visit the Monte Carlo Casino to try your luck. After returning on board, the crew will make way for an overnight crossing to Portofino.

Portofino Yachting, Italy

Portofino Yachting

Day 5: Wake up anchored near Portofino or stern to along the quay, if there is space available. This is a posh little village. Your crew will need time to regroup after an overnight, so head ashore after breakfast to explore and go shopping. Have lunch ashore at the Restaurant Pluny or perhaps up the hill overlooking Portofino at Chuflay Restaurant at the Belmond Splendido Mare Hotel. Often called the “Pearl of the Riviera” Portofino has long been fashionable with what was once called ‘the jet set’. Originally a billet for Genoa’s merchant seamen, by the turn of the twentieth century it was a quiet, though very beautiful, fishing village. To add to its mystique, Portofino has a history buried in myth. Pliny the Elder claimed the Romans founded the town, naming it Portus Delphini, or Port of Dolphins, because of the large number that frolicked in the Tigullian Gulf.

Discovered by German and British holidaymakers in the 1920s, by the
1950s tourism had supplanted the fishing boats. Portofino thus
became a favorite with, among others, Princess Grace and Richard
Burton and Liz Taylor. Set within an area of stunning natural beauty,
the protected Parco Naturale Regionale di Portofino, the town today is
a chic berth for yachts and offers exclusive boutiques, wonderful
outdoor restaurants, and beachside cliffs that are speckled with pastel colored
villas. After lunch perhaps hike out to Castello Brown, close by,
a castle turned private villa that is now a house museum with a
wonderful view of Portofino and the surrounding area. There is a small
entrance fee to a few lightly decorated rooms, however the piece de
resistance is the view from the top of the castle.

Later in the afternoon head out to be on anchor, if at the town quay,
or if on anchor enjoy water sports and swimming. In the evening,
head back into Portofino, and enjoy the quiet but very chic nightlife.
Overnight.

Cinqueterre Village

Cinqueterre Village

Day 6: Cruise to the Cinque Terre, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site including nearby Porto Venere. This delightful “Land of Five Villages” is best seen by sea, with the beautiful rustic little villages each perched on the end of a promontory with a tiny little harbor.
Each village is connected along the coast by hiking trails, in some areas, little more than goat paths. However, the trails are quite well known and can be described for choices of whether to hike between
villages on a goat path or a shorter less strenuous path. As hiking between villages is a great way to absorb the unique feel of this “Land”. Head ashore by ship’s tender to one village, hike to another,
explore and when ready to head back on board, the ship’s tender will
pick you back up.

Each of the Cinqueterre towns has something different to offer.
Monterosso has the most famous beach, a 16th-century Capucchin
monastery with some fine paintings, and an ancient castle. There are
great views of the other towns in Corniglia, along with a more
secluded beach. Vernazza, perhaps the most dramatic, juts straight
out over the water, with crashing waves below to the left and a
postage stamp boat harbor to the right. High above are the ramparts
of a ruined medieval tower. Riomaggiore is hopelessly picturesque, a
beehive of crumbling pastel-colored houses tumbling down to the
horseshoe-shaped dock, and great snorkeling. Manarola also has
excellent swimming off the rocks. An authentic fishing village, it is
probably the most genuine of the “lands.”

The Cinqueterre is a national park and yachts cannot anchor overnight
in the park, therefore, visiting the Cinqueterre is a day affair, cruising
from norther to south, visiting the villages and ever hiking between
while the yacht idles just off the coast. End the day in a protected bay
near Porto Venere.

Porto Venere

Porto Venere

Day 7: After breakfast head ashore to explore Porto Venere. Both Porto Venere and the Cinqueterre have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With roots back to Hellenic Times, when a Temple to Venus was said to sit on the promontory where the Church
of St. Peter stands, hence the name of the village, Porto Venere has always been prized as a lovely location in which to live. Today visit the Church of St. Peter, the Church of St. Lawrence and the Doria Castle, whose walls now embrace the historic town center. Porto Venere always draws the artistic, due to the natural beauty of the area. In the 1800’s, this village was a favorite of Lord Byron, who is said to have spent hours in a grotto just behind the Church of St. Peter.

Porto Venere is fronted by 3 little islands, and it is in the bay between
these islands that your yacht will be anchored. This bay is extremely
well protected and a great location for swimming and water sports.
Perhaps gunkhole around the islands filled with caves. An excellent
restaurant, Locanda Lorena, is on Palmaria Island, which is an
excellent location for lunch or dinner (reservations required).
Overnight on anchor.

Day 8: Leave early to cruise the 50 miles back to disembark in
Genoa.