At Essential Sailing, we love the history, culture and cuisine of the places we visit almost as much as the sailing to get there. Our Captain’s Blog brings you a taste of what to expect from our luxury crewed sailing holidays around the French and Italian Riviera. In this blog we find ourselves under the magic spell of French culture.
Sit back and be inspired.
Why does the Riviera and French culture remain so popular with connoisseurs of the good things in life, and those who could afford to live and holiday anywhere in the world? Some come for the exceptionally mild winters or the grandeur of the rugged coast. Others favour the art treasures, the ancient ruins and the sleepy villages. many more come simply for the glamour of the seaside resorts. The charms of the Riviera are so varied that most visitors are at a loss to know where to start. First time visitors soon fall under the region’s spell while those who already know it remain enchanted, returning year after year.
Ever since the poet Stephen Liegeard visited the Riviera in 1887 and exclaimed ‘Cote d’Azur’, this dramatic stretch of azure coast with its chic resorts, fishing villages, sandy beaches, and craggy corniches has attracted a rich assortment of actors. artists, writers, film stars and royalty. For this is home of the rich and famous, the cradle if impressionism, the home of the bikini and the world’s most sophisticated holiday playground.
But what is so magical about the Riviera and French culture that it should draw millions of devotees back year after year for their annual fix of heady, Mediterranean joie de vivre? Is it the luxury hotels, designer shops, palm lined promenades and terrace cafes of the exclusive resorts which bask in the scorching Mediterranean sun, with their ‘see-and-be-seen’ ports overflowing with millionaires yachts; or perhaps the thrill of a casino; or the glamorous sun-soaked beaches?
The Riviera is all this and much, much more. For there is another side to the region that is easy to miss. Head inland to the hidden valleys and wild Alpine scenery, where the air is fragrant with the perfumes of Provence, to discover a great wealth of sleepy villages among countryside painted with all the vivid colours of Picasso, Renoir and Matisse.
Richard Reeves is the founder of Essential Sailing and if you have been inspired to relax on a luxury sailing holiday, why not make this idyllic world your reality.