Monaco: 48 Hours in Luxury
Situated on the Cote d’Azur between Cap d’Ail and Menton, just a few kilometers from the Italian Riviera, Monaco enjoys a worldwide reputation for its magic and glamour.
Arriving in Nice today you will be transferred by private car to Hotel Port Palace in Monte Carlo*. Inaugurated in September 2003, the first boutique hotel in the Monaco Principality overlooks the Port de Plaisance and offers a spectacular view of the Mediterranean and the yachts afloat. The hotel’s 50 rooms were designed by Leila Menchari, head decorator for the House of Hermès, with the sleek lines of Poltrona Frau furnishings and the placid colors of Rubelli fabrics. Port Palace offers elegance, serenity and attention to every detail.
Your afternoon is at leisure. Enjoy the hotel facilities. If you wish, book an optional spa service, or a floral decoration class with the in-house florist (must be scheduled in advance).
Dinner is included this evening at the Port Palace’s restaurant. The Michelin star awarded Mandarine, with its large terrace, is located on the sixth floor, with a breathtaking view over the harbor and its mega yachts. Across from the Marina, stands the legendary Princely Palace. Mandarine’s inventive cuisine is full of sun and light, taking inspiration from the surrounding Mediterranean basin. The hotel’s two wine cellars, excavated from the cliff against which the Monte-Carlo Port Palace Boutique Hotel is built, compliment the menu with a carefully collected selection of wines including: Château Margaux, Château Cheval Blanc, Château Yquem, Château Mouton-Rothschild and Pétrus, among others.
*Please have your passport with you.
This morning begins with breakfast at your hotel, followed by a privately guided full day tour of Monaco.
Situated on the Cote d’Azur between Cap d’Ail and Menton, just a few kilometers from the Italian Riviera, Monaco enjoys a worldwide reputation for its magic and glamour. The Principality of Monaco is a sovereign state, independent and prosperous, with its own government and head of state — His Highness Prince Rainier III, since 1949. Bright sunshine is the norm during warm months, best enjoyed in the beautifully maintained parks and gardens found throughout the city. Sumptuous designer boutiques, palatial luxury hotels, and chic restaurants set the tone here, with cultural and sports centers designed to perfection.
Guardian of an ancient tradition, the Prince’s Palace was built on the site of a fortress erected by the Genoese in 1215. Today you will have a chance to see the splendors of the palace first hand. Visit the Italian-style gallery with its 15th-century frescoes; the Louis XV lounge all in yellow and gold; the Blue Room, a harmonious blend of blue and gold; the Mazarin Room covered with multicolored wood-paneling; the Throne Room, decorated with an impressive Renaissance fireplace; the Palatine Chapel built in the 17th century; St-Mary’s Tower, built from the white stone of nearby La Turbie; and the Main Courtyard with its 17th century Carrara marble double staircase.
Lunch is on your own today. Your guide will suggest nearby restaurant options.
This afternoon, continue on to The Jardin Exotique de Monaco, a well established botanical garden growing along three acres at the edge of a steep cliff overlooking the Bay of Monaco. Take in the stunning panoramic view over Monaco and the French and Italian Riviera while standing among the remarkable specimens of cacti and Mediterranean plants.
The exotic garden was started in 1933 but many of the cacti and succulents come from a collection dating to 1895. The maturity of the plants on display is a key feature of this garden which contains more than 1,000 species of cacti and succulents. The plants have been incorporated into the rock of the cliff in a way that looks completely natural and with time and age they have grown and spread to incredible sizes. You may recognize many plants that one normally sees only in small pots, grown to the size of a tree here.
Dine on your own this evening. We will provide you with restaurant recommendations.
Following breakfast at your hotel your day is at leisure.
If you wish, schedule a privately guided visit to the medieval French village of Eze, perched like an eagle’s nest on a narrow rocky peak overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.* The ancient fortified village is still crowned with the ruins of its 12th-century fortified castle (torn down in 1706), sitting on a rocky peak. Narrow roads wend their way upward to the well sign-posted Jardin Exotique Panorama. Located on the castle grounds, the Jardin Exotique, a botanic garden of aloes, euphorbias and cactus created in 1949 by Jean Gastaud, boasts a breathtaking view of the coast.
Alternatively, you may wish to visit the world famous Monte Carlo Casino today. Try your luck at the roulette or blackjack tables inside the legendary Beaux Arts building designed by Charles Garnier, who also built the majestic Paris Opera.
Transfer to Nice Airport by private car in time to meet your return flight or continue on to your next Willing Foot adventure.
*Please have your passport with you.
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