Taking a sailing vacation means you’ll get your fair share of time on the water, taking in the sunshine, salty sea spray and waves. It also means not being landlocked in one location and dependent on auto or bike transportation. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy BOTH sea AND land attractions while you’re on holiday.
In honor of our exhibit at the Salon Nautic Boat Show in Paris this week, we’re teaming up with our friends at the popular Your RV Lifestyle travel blog (read it here). In this blog article, we’re highlight a few of the land activities and attractions featured in their blog article “100 Things To Do In France” that center around Antibes, France, our destination of the week.
The Lérins Islands
Just a short distance from Antibes and easily accessible by boat, the Lérins Islands are an archipelago of four islands off the coast of the French Riviera. First settled during Roman times, only the two largest islands, Île Sainte-Marguerite and Île Saint-Honorat, are inhabited today.
This Location is Known For: Historic sites. Oh, and holy wars, pirate raids, sieges, and famous prisoners. No big deal.
Things to Do: Spend the day as a land lubber touring the Musée de la Mer (Museum of the Sea) on Île Sainte-Marguerite. Formerly known as the Fort of St. Marguerite, this fortress once which held prisoner the Man in the Iron Mask. The museum also contains artifacts from ancient off-coast shipwrecks.
You can also sail around the smaller Île Saint-Honorat for amazing views of the monastery inhabited by the same sect of Cistercian monks since AD410.
Cannes and St. Tropez
Wander a bit further down the coast for another land adventure and you’ll find famous resort towns Cannes and Saint Tropez. These towns used to be owned by the same Cisterian monks from Lérins Islands mentioned above until AD 1530. The area first became the tourism hot spot it is today in the 1940s.
This Location is Known For: Beautiful beaches, luxury hotels and fine dining – not to mention it’s a popular location for vacationing celebrities! These locations also have the draw of being the venues for numerous international conferences and festivals, including the International Cannes Film Festival.
Things to Do: Time to hit the beach! The French Riviera is famous for its warm climate, so pack a day bag with a swimsuit and towel. Want to go further inland? Take a walking tour of St. Tropez Harbor, home to multi-million dollar yachts and historic walking paths. Ready to shop (or do some celebrity sighting)? Wander up and down Croisette Boulevard in Cannes and peruse its string of luxury shops.
If you’re looking to experience elegant culture, then you don’t want to miss visiting Nice. Nice has a long history of maritime strength and built tall fortifications in defense against the pirates that plundered villages up and down the coast. Formerly a province of the Duke of Savoy, Nice became French in 1860. Today, Nice attracts four million tourists a year and has the second largest hotel capacity in France.
This Location is Known For: With the majestic French Alps as a backdrop, Nice oozes a French provincial feel. Museums, boardwalks and walking paths, and historic cathedrals abound, and there’s no end to shopping and fine dining.
Things to Do: Walk the Promenade de Anglais, the famous street that traverses Nice’s Mediterranean waterfront. Don’t want to walk? Take a bicycle tour through the old city where you’ll see cathedrals and enjoy the city’s Baroque architecture. Either way, you’ll work up an appetite, so be sure to experience the culinary flavors of the province before you leave. Want the full experience? Sign up for a food tour in Old Town Nice or Vieux Nice.
If you love to cook, you can always shop for fresh ingredients and try out the Mediterranean diet. Check out our tips on incorporating the Mediterranean diet in your sailing holiday menu here.
By Land AND By Sea
Combining your sailing holiday with a day trip inland, gives you the best of both worlds. Click on a city to view the list of boats available through Enaviga on the French Riviera in Antibes, Cannes and Saint Tropez.