Approach the villages and calanques of France’s Mediterranean coast from a different angle by arriving in a sailboat

various towns and cities.

Viking River Cruises +44 (0)800 319 6660

Cruise company with routes from Paris to Prague, Avignon to Lyon and around Bordeaux. There’s a range of ship types, including stylish longships.


The English Channel to the north, the Bay of Biscay to the west and the Mediterranean to the southeast… France is flanked by vast bodies of water. As such, its beach resort scene is alive and kicking come summertime. For the spirited adventurer, though, little compares to going off-shore. The Côte d’Azur has long been the go-to destination for the rich and famous. Its blue sea and enviable climate drew flocks of upper-class Brits in the 19th century, followed swiftly by

artists like Monet and Matisse. It was, of course, also immortally glamorised by Brigitte Bardot when she graced St Tropez with her bikini-clad form during a shoot for And God Created Woman (1956).

This veneer of glitz remains steadfast, making the French Riviera one of the nation’s biggest tourist attractions today. Among the visiting throngs are seafarers eager to man the multitude of yachts and sailboats that are rented out here by local and international charter companies. Unpredictable waves, glittering views and lungfuls of fresh, salty air all make for an intoxicating experience in this highly desirable location. You needn’t be a pro, however – skippered and crewed options are often available for those who want the thrill without the skill.

Corsica is another popular spot for sailing. Nestled between France and Italy, this island

belongs to the former whilst strongly retaining the culture of the latter. It’s formed of craggy cliffs, steeped towns, white sandy bays and stunning views of the land from the ocean.

Alpha Yachting +1 954 234 2203

Specialising in crewed and skippered motor yacht charters in Greece, Alpha Yachting also offers Mediterranean cruise packages aboard a luxury ship.

AquaCruise +44 (0)1425 688 146

A bespoke yacht charter helping customers find luxury yachts, specialising in trips around the French Riviera.

Boatbookings +44 (0)20 7193 5450

Grace the waters of the French Riviera or Corsica on a choice of

crewed motor yachts, sailing yachts and catamarans or bareboat sailboats, catamarans, and day charters.

BoatBureau +44 (0)20 3393 3878

Established in Barcelona in 2011, this service is dedicated to helping customers rent a boat online and pursue their dream sailing holiday.

Clearwater Sailing +44 (0)7 979 537 648

A family-run business based in the UK, offering sailing trips, holidays and Royal Yachting Association (RYA) courses around France.

Cool Sailing

+44 (0)20 3499 0697 Be charmed by France’s gleaming coastlines while cruising with

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