Why Autumn Is Perfect For A Yacht Charter on the French Riviera

Autumn (fall), is a perfect season for chartering a yacht on the French Riviera where there is a shift in temperature, atmosphere and crowds.

 screenshot-2016-09-22-18-39-08Charter guests venturing ashore will find the busy crowds of July and August have departed from the shopping boutiques, beaches and perched villages leaving the region with a noticeable downtempo in pace.

The weather is clear and crisp with an eagerness to hold onto the remnants of summer, but it’s still pleasant enough to swim in the sea until at least mid-October and the sunshine guarantees time to explore the French Riviera’s beautiful mountain hiking trails and coastal walks.

Autumn is a lovely season for dining ashore as restaurants broaden their seasonal menus and superyacht guests will find it easier to get reservations at the top restaurants where eating al fresco gives much delight.

Three Reasons to book a Yacht Charter in Autumn screenshot-2016-09-22-18-39-15

1. Gastronomy & Wine

The Oxford Dictionary defines gastronomy as ‘the practice or art of choosing, cooking, and eating good food’. It could be argued that France is a gastronomic pleasure year round where produce is bought and consumed according to seasons, but autumn really comes alive with the seasonal changes in food offering a chance to discover new flavours and depart from the lighter menus from summer.

Produce at regional markets includes lingering summer staples such as tomatoes, eggplant, melons and nectarines alongside autumn pickings such as mushrooms, bell peppers, butternut squash, fennel and figs.

Aficionados of cuisine will be quick to check out who’s on offer for this year’s ‘Tous au Restaurant’. The 7th edition runs from 19 September to 02 October and features over 1000 restaurants across France who offer menu specials where you order a meal and the second is free. Some of the participating French Riviera restaurants include Mantel in Cannes, Le Moulin de Mougins in Mougins, Bistrot Terrasse and Plage Belles Rives in Juan les Pins, and Madesens in Le Tignet. Find out more at the site: www.tousaurestaurant.com


Autumn is a fantastic time to enjoy local cuisine-themed festivals – try the Fête de la Courge in Châteauneuf-Grasse (Sunday 16 October 2016), head to Collobrières situated one hour inland from St Tropez; the town is known as the chestnut capital and hosts the annual Fêtes de la Châtaigne (3 dates in October 2016) or drop into the Monte Carlo Gastronomie show, held at the big top in Fontvielle in Monaco it will host over 100 European producers of gourmet products from 25-28 November 2016.

Two popular French events occur during autumn – the release of Beaujolais Nouveau and truffle season.

The release of Beaujolais Nouveau on the third Thursday in November is celebrated nation-wide and most wine bars and haute cuisine restaurants capitalise on the harvest with special menus and wine tasting evenings.

Beaujolais Nouveau, made from Gamay grapes, originates from the Beaujolais region that is home to around 4,000 vineyards which produce 12 AOC-designated types of Beaujolais including some grand crus such as Fleurie and Cote de Brouilly. The most common two are the Beaujolais and Beaujolais-Villages, the former of which accounts for the majority of the annual production.

Truffle season is autumn’s big foodie finale with a calendar of black truffle (rabasse) markets and festivals occurring in Provence – the best one is a weekly Saturday truffle market held from mid-November until March hosted in the small village of Richerenches in Vaucluse. Charter guests can also head to Italy where the white truffle fair in Alba in Piedmont is an excellent experience.


2.   It’s less crowded but still has great events

Autumn sees less tourist crowds but there are a tonne of events and festivals happening to keep anyone entertained from food fairs to sports events and major yachting and trade shows.

Autumn school holidays for Zone B (19 October-02 November) sees a spike in holiday business, but otherwise you should be able to find a ticket or prime seat for autumn events on the French Riviera. Cannes Yachting Festival has already passed us by; for more events for fall here are our suggestions:

  • Les Régates Royales – Trophée Panerai, 18-25 September, Cannes
  • Les Voiles de St Tropez, 24 September – 02 October, St Tropez
  • Monaco Yacht Show – 28 September – 01 October, Monaco
  • Nice Triathlon – 001-02 October, Nice
  • Tax Free World Exhibition – 02-07 October, Cannes
  • Foire de Monaco – 05-10 October, Monaco
  • Festival des Livres (Book Festival) – 07-09 October, Mouans Sartoux
  • NRJ DJ Awards – 12 October, Monaco
  • Art3F (contemporary art fair) – 14-16 October, Nice
  • Fêtes de la Châtaigne – 3 dates in October 2016, Collobrières
  • MIPCOM – 17-20 Ocober, Cannes
  • Festival Historique 1720 – 21-23 October, La Ciotat
  • Sportel – 24-27 October, Monaco
  • C’est pas Classique! (classical music concerts) – 04-06 November, Nice
  • Sweets & Chocolate Fair – 05-06 November, Antibes
  • Salon du Palais Gourmand (Gourmet Festival) – 10-14 November, Cagnes sur Mer
  • NRJ Music Awards – 12 November, Cannes
  • Marathon des Alpes-Maritimes from Nice-Cannes – 13 November
  • MAPIC – 16-18 November, Cannes
  • Monte Carlo Gastronomie – 25-28 November 2016, Monaco
3.    Autumnal hues
The French Riviera is famous for attracting poets, writers and painters such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Bonnard, Picasso, Monet, Renoir, Chagall and Matisse who were inspired by the light and landscapes and it’s certainly true that autumn kick starts adjectives to life.
After a bright summer, the region takes on a magical glow that seem to bounce off the coloured stone buildings and reflect off the sea in hues of warm yellow, orange, and pink. The areas of Le Suquet in Cannes, La Ponche in St Tropez, Plage des Sablettes in Menton and Place Rossetti in Nice are very photogenic during this time of the year, especially at dusk.

When ashore, the public gardens in Menton or the gardens of Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat are lovely to stroll through on a refreshing autumn day. Or, head to the mountain biking trails or walking paths of the Valmasque, or take in the riverside views beside the River Siagne or Loup River as the golden leaves drop into the water.screenshot-2016-09-22-18-39-35

This article was written by Rebecca Whitlocke, who with over 10 years travel industry experience loves to share ‘must-do’ destination tips and hidden spots to discover in France and beyond.

To discuss your French Riviera yacht charter requirements, please contact:


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