Monaco sits in an inlet just up the coast from Nice, its less illustrious neighbour but nonetheless adored by UK tourists. What draws you to Monaco? Curiosity? The need to keep up appearances? Or even the Casino? Whatever your motive Monaco has some top-class luxury hotels to choose from so if you’re looking for an extra-special break look no further.
The climate at most times of year is balmy and comfortable, although the summer months of July and August become very hot, besides getting rather crowded. If you’re not really into walking very far you needn’t worry, Monaco is so small you run out of it within 10 minutes. More time then to spend in the confines of your luxury hotel, enjoying the pool, people –watching or just recovering from your late night at the casino.
Getting to Monaco
Nice is the local airport from where you can either catch a train (not very classy) or take a taxi (better). If you really want to impress someone you can catch a helicopter transfer to Monaco from Nice Airport. This can be booked using Heli Air Monaco. Prices are from a digestible 105 Euro, but book ahead, you may end up getting seated next to someone interesting. Flights to Nice with BA from London Heathrow Terminal 5 would be the preference if you are travelling from the South-East of England although Easyjet offer an equally efficient service from 8 airports across the UK. Ryanair only fly to Nice from Dublin, so you’re spared that experience.
The truly smart way to reach Monaco these days is by TGV. It takes 20 minutes from Nice, although from London it’s about 9 hours. The journey is however stunning, travelling down the Rhone Valley via Lyon and Avignon at over 300 km/h. Alternatively, you can catch a night train at Paris in the evening to arrive in Nice in the morning, allowing you the rest of the day to enjoy the French Riviera. You can book both these options via the Rail Europe website.
Where to stay
Vista Palace Hôtel. Boasting a privileged location overlooking the Bay of Monaco and Cap-Martin, 4-star Hotel Vista Palace is the perfect backdrop for a memorable stay on the famous Côte dAzur.