The Nice-Cote d’Azur International Airport is a half-hour drive from one of the most unique places on the planet. A district of the Principality of Monaco, Monte-Carlo is located in the French Riviera on the stunning rocky shores of the Mediterranean, not far from Nice and Cannes.
Internationally famous for its casinos, luxury hotels and glamorous lifestyles, Monte-Carlo was founded in 1866 in honor of Prince Charles III.
In 1997, the 700-year reign of the Grimaldi dynasty was celebrated. Francois Grimaldi, the leader of an Italian faction called the Guelphs, seized the fortress protecting the famous rock of Monaco in 1297, disguised as a Franciscan monk. Ever since that time, Princes have guided the Principality in maintaining its unique identity and independence.
So, are you Vegas or Monte-Carlo material? Monte-Carlo enjoys over 300 days of sunshine and mild temperatures year-round. Its arts, culture, haute cuisine, health spas, casinos, the Grand Prix, high-energy activities and sports have become passionate pastimes for the rich and famous.
Visit the Prince’s Palace, the Grimaldi Forum or Princesse Grace Theatre for the real Monte-Carlo experience. Rent a sports car – like a Ferrari 360 Modena F1 for 1580 euros a day – for a taste of the good life! A Mini Cooper for a day will set you back around 150 euros.
A fine hotel on the beach, Le Meridien Beach Plaza offers luxury and serenity for a mere $137 a night. How much to stay at a five-star Palace Hotel, like the Hotel De Paris or the Hotel Hermitage? Well, if you have to ask...ok: low-season ocean view room, 695 euros per night. Double suite, 2830 euros. So many hotels, so little time.
Actually, I found it was quite possible to enjoy Monte-Carlo without being rich and famous. After a peaceful night’s rest near the musee-chagall.fr">Musée National Marc Chagall in Nice and reveling in my favorite artist’s colorful dream world, I rolled along the breathtaking French Riviera into this Principality of high rollers in my vintage Mercedes camper! Now, to find a parking spot for the night with an ocean view. Vegas, eat your heart out!