City guide: Monte Carlo, Monaco | Private jet charter
The Principality of Monaco lies on the Mediterranean coast between France and Italy. With a land area of 2.02 km2 and a population of just over 38,000, it is the smallest and most densely populated country on earth.
Monaco is made up of four areas: Fontvielle, Monaco Ville, La Condamine and Monte Carlo. The playground of movie stars, royalty and billionaires, Monte Carlo is in a glamourous league of its own. The super-rich frequent the superyachts and the Belle Epoque villas, wine and dine in the prestigious Hôtel de Paris and Café de Paris, and enjoy the Principality’s rich cultural offerings at the prestigious Salle Garnier Opera House. Monte Carlo boasts Monaco’s only beach area at Larvotto and is only 8km from the Italian border.
Top five must-see sights and attractions
The Grand Théâtre de Monte Carlo
The Grand Théâtre de Monte Carlo was the vision of architect Charles Garnier of Paris Opera House fame. Renowned for its 28 Ionic onyx columns and marble atrium, Monte Carlo’s grand opera house – with its stained glass, sculptures and paintings – has hosted prestigious ballets, concerts and operas since its opening in 1879.
This year it celebrates its 140th anniversary with four performances of Falstaff directed by Jean-Louis Grinda, director of the Opéra de Monte-Carlo.
Riviera and Monaco helicopter flight
Driving around the corniche roads above Monte Carlo is exciting, but even more special is a 30-minute helicopter flight over the Principality and beyond to see the best sights in the French Riviera. Take off from Monaco’s own heliport in Fontvieille and head east following the Mediterranean coast towards Italy. You’ll pass the Rock of Monaco, glimpse the superyachts in Monaco Port and even see the Monaco Grand Prix starting grid.
Cap-Martin and Roquebrune villages lead to the bay of Antibes, Nice, La Turbie and the beautiful village of Eze, Villefranche and Cap Ferrat. You’ll get superb views of the breath-taking Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild at Cap Ferrat – worth a day trip in itself.
Luxury shopping at One Monte Carlo District and Le Métropole
Monte-Carlo is the world’s showcase for luxury. Le Métropole shopping centre is an opulent retail space over three floors, located next to the Hôtel Metropole. An addition to Monaco’s luxury scene is the new One Monte-Carlo development. This new, mainly pedestrian district, surrounds the Promenade Princesse Charlène and comprises of luxury boutiques, high-end apartments, top restaurants and retail spaces. Luxury brands to peruse include Chanel, Saint Laurent, Fendi, Prada Homme, Louis Vuitton, Alexander McQueen, and Bulgari.
Princess Grace Rose Garden
Opened in 1984 to commemorate Prince Rainier III’s late wife, the Princess Grace Rose Garden is a homage to this extraordinary woman. Although designed in a formal English garden style, a Mediterranean atmosphere has been created thanks to many centuries-old olive trees, with more than 3,000m2 dedicated to Princess Grace’s favourite flower.
Her bronze statue, created by Kees Verkade, looks out over the gardens. It is a tranquil sanctuary away from the bling and business of Monte Carlo with over 315 varieties of roses and 6,000 rose bushes. There’s an interactive display to help identify each rosebush.
Take a taxi or walk up the steep Monaco Old Town streets and visit the enigmatic Prince’s Palace. The heart of the Principality of Monaco, and home to Prince Albert and his family, this Genovese fortress was built in 1215 with commanding views over the Bay of Monaco.
Treasures inside date from 700 years of sovereignty – from the Renaissance to the Napoleonic periods. Admire the 16th century frescoes in the State Apartments and visit the current exhibition – Monaco: 6 May 1955 Story of A Meeting – with photographs charting Prince Rainier and Princess Grace’s first-ever meeting at the Palace.
The closest airport to Monte Carlo is Nice Côte d’Azur airport just 13 miles from the Principality. Take a 10-minute helicopter across the azure Mediterranean to reach your hotel or villa. Alternatively catch a taxi or hire a rental car from Nice airport. In good traffic the drive takes 30 minutes.
The best way to explore the Principality is on foot or use a car service. If you have a hire car, best to use it for trips outside of Monte Carlo. Parking in Monaco is easy with 40 car parks and spaces for over 15,000 vehicles. A fun way to travel around Monte Carlo is via the solar powered water taxi that sails between Monaco-Ville and the Casino between 8am and 8pm each day. Hiring a Mobee car-share – using an electric Renault Twizzy – is another fun way to discover Monaco.
Best time to visit
As with most northern Mediterranean destinations, the best season to visit Monaco and Monte Carlo is in spring or autumn. Between March and May, and again September to November are the best months when tourists are fewer in number and the weather is sunny and warm but not overbearing. Monte Carlo is at its raucous and luxurious best in the summer when the festivals – including the Jazz Festival and F1 Grand Prix – are at full swing. Expect crowds, heat and book your dinner reservations well in advance.
With an unbeatable location between France and Italy, Monte Carlo is easy to reach via car, plane and helicopter. The area is a haven for refinement, luxury and extravagance in the most stunning Mediterranean setting.
Among the many sites worth visiting in Monaco are the Prince’s Palace, the peaceful Princess Grace Rose Garden, Monaco Cathedral, and the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. Award-winning cuisine is also on the menu in Monte Carlo: the Blue Bay, Café de Paris of Monte Carlo and Le Louis XV are just some of the highly regarded restaurants. The Principality is also renowned for its luxury retail as well as its vibrant cultural scene. Boasting more than 300 days of sunshine, Monte Carlo is a superyacht haven and has exciting corniche roads to explore.
Contact us today to arrange your private jet charter to Monte Carlo.