Katie Jones- Alicia Cranwell

Honest Marine Services’ Guide to French Riviera Ports

In Part II of the guide to French Riviera Ports, we will explore the Cote d’Azur from Port Vauban to Saint Tropez.

In case you missed it, you can find the guide to French Riviera Ports Part I here.

 

 
 
 
 

 


French Riviera – Port Vauban (Antibes)

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The first port of Part II of the guide to French Riviera ports is Port Vauban. Antibes is the home of Motor yacht Dilbar and the largest Marina in the Mediterranean. Port Vauban has 1700 berths, 19 of which dedicated to Superyachts up to 165m on the IYCA quay and a depth of 2m.
 
 
 

Why Choose Port Vauban?

Antibes is one of the most loved cities on the French Riviera and the renowned as the Capital of yachting. While small, it holds a great deal of character with some beautiful views and walks.
 
 
There isn’t much for shopping, but there is wonderful ice cream, great food and fabulous bars to suit all. Some favourite restaurants include: Caffé Milano, Michaelangelo (MaMo), Don Camillo, L’Elephant Bleu, Chez Lulu. If you’re fancying a bit of English cuisine Charlie’s Fish and Chips is the favourite. Alternatively, you can find delicious American food cooked by a real American at Moonshine.
 
 
 
Furthermore, its large port is accommodating and has all amenities nearby. Monaco Marine shipyard is based in the port and HMS is very close for all your yachting requirements including Winterisation, Gardiennage, Cleaning and Maintenance).

Our Honest Remark

Sadly, Port Vauban’s greatest downfall is the flight path to Nice which lies directly above the Port, as a result fallout often showers boats which means they need a good clean. Luckily for you, HMS is only a few steps away to get her looking squeaky clean. Additionally, parking is a prominent issue in Antibes in general, but in particular in the port.
Facilities:
Soft water, electricity on the pontoons and quay, ice, fuel AVIA (capitainerie quay), WC, showers, laundrette, collection of used oil, free WiFi, 1000 parking spots, bikes and electric bikes, travelift (30 and 150t), 2 slipways, lift (30t), carrening area, mail service, upholsterers, Monaco Marine shipyard, as well as Dry-Cleaning, Ship Chandlers, Florists, Mail Shipwrights and Ship Carpenters such as Paul Hussein as well as anything else you may need just outside of the Port.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pricing: Competitive

 


French Riviera – Port Gallice (Juan-les-Pins)

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A very small port just beside Antibes, Port Gallice holds 486 berths (5-43m) of which only 152 berths are public. Very well protected from winds. Port Gallice is often used as an antechamber for Port Vauban or a Winter port for the convenience of Captains that live off board with their families.
 
 

Why Choose Port Gallice?

Juan-les-Pins is the perfect seaside town. It offers shopping boutiques, a casino, restaurants and a few remaining beach bars. Its beautiful beaches have recently been recovered from beach restaurants and bars, making them open once more for public use.
 
Port Gallice is bustling in Summer and has a highly rated night life for yachties and tourists alike. Some favourite restaurants include: Les Pêcheurs, Belles Rîves for a morning coffee or business meeting. Enjoy the International Jazz festival here in the month of July.
 
Its proximity to Antibes and the Cap d’Antibes, Cannes and the Cannes islands makes Port Gallice a very attractive port to berth in. The views from the Port are exquisite. Take the seaside walk to the Cap d’Antibes for an exquisite dining experience at the world famous Eden Roc Hotel.

Our Honest Remark

Port Gallice is however very small with no amenities in the port itself
Facilities:
Fuel at quay and truck deliveries, WC, showers, laundrette, WiFi, containers for waste (inc. filters and batteries) and used oil, collection of black and grey waters on the welcome quay, crane, shipyard and travelift, parking, night surveillance, VHF 9.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Pricing: Expensive

 


French Riviera – Old Port and Port Camille Rayon (Golfe Juan)

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Old Port – 808 berths (<34m), with a depth of 1-3.5m. Port Camille Rayon- 841 berths (<75m), 80 visiting berths and a depth of 2-5m. Very well protected from all winds from the Cap d’Antibes and the hills of Vallauris.
 
 
 
 

Why Choose Port Camille Rayon?

Golfe Juan is a quaint town in close proximity to the Cap d’Antibes, the Cannes islands and Cannes. It is renowned for its artisans: ceramic, wood, glass and more. Additionally, its protection from winds by the Cap and the hill of Vallauris, along with sandy beaches makes it the ideal seaside resort for watersports.

Revered restaurants: Restauant les Artistes. Art 8- Restaurant Vallauris, Au bout du Monde, Le Bistrot du Port, La Cigale du Golfe. However it must be noted that these are more targeted to tourists as opposed to boat and yacht owners.

Our Honest Remark

There is little to do in Golfe Juan, it is more of an antechamber for Port Vauban and used in the winter period for Captains living nearby. However, that being said it is in close proximity to Cannes and Juan les Pins and can be good fun. 
Facilities:
Soft water, electricity at quay and on the pontoons (220 V/125 A), WC, showers, Rodriguez Shipyard who helped us prepare Excelerate Z, free WiFi, fuel station (quay Napoléon in Port Camille Rayon), cranes, showers, toilets, laundrette (quay St Pierre), grey and black water discharge, 24/7, recycling point, free discharge of black and grey waters on the welcome quay, mobile crane Old Port (16t), fixed crane Old Port (15t), crane Camille Rayon (36t) and travelift Camille Rayon (100t) carrening area, plenty of activities, VHF 12.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pricing: Golfe Juan Vieux Port – competitive, Port Camille Rayon – medium

 


French Riviera – Cannes Port Canto

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The newer of the two Cannes Ports, Port Canto holds 598 berths. It is possibly the most desirable port for owners due to the fact that it is undisturbed. It is too far for the Cannes tourists to want to wander down and stare at you like animals in a zoo.
 
 
 

Why Choose Port Canto?

This port is a favourite due to it being home to the world-renowned nightclub, Baoli where all High Net Worth Individuals party, particularly during the Cannes Film Festival. It is also the Port closes to Gotha Club, another favourite.
 
 

This side of the Croisette is significantly different to the Old Port side, with fewer restaurants and bars and greater residential areas. However, there are a couple of beaches behind the port and if you walk to the end of the first quay, and climb over the wall you can sit on the rocks and look out to sea in complete tranquility. It is also an ideal spot to view the Cannes fireworks during the international competition.

Our Honest Remark

The Old Port is forever busy and you must move your boat or pay extortionate prices to remain during the festivals which go on all Summer long. Access to port discouraged in the night time. Affected by strong Easterly winds.
Facilities:
Soft water, eletricity (220-380 V), ice, Fuel (Quai Croisière), Refuse & Waste Disposal, mail service, WC, WC handicap access, showers, laundrette, telephone, free WiFi, used oil containers, black water discharge pumps, mobile crane (12t), travelift (100t), carrening area, shipchandlery, yacht club, VHF 9.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pricing: Medium to expensive

 


French Riviera – Cannes Old Port

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Situated beside the Palais des Festivals et Congrès, Cannes Old Port holds 724 berths of which 60 are dedicated to superyachts and 242 to visiting berths with 5m depth at the entrance. Depending upon your preferences, Cannes Old Port can either be the best or worst place to have a berth.
 
 
 

Why Choose Cannes Old Port?

During the season, Cannes comes alive with over eight festivals between May and September, and with the numerous Cruise Ships that come to anchor in direct view from the Croisette.
 
 
Restaurants and bars: La Cresci for Pizza on the Old Port, Charly’s bar in the Old town just below the Cathedral and the most highly recommended, Mantel in the Old Town. Mantel is a Michelin star restaurant that serves the most exquisite food and provides excellent service.
Nightlife in Cannes centre can also be exciting, Rue des Frères Pradignac is for those who like a little more of a wild night out, the Old Town towards the Church is fabulous for luxury dining followed by a cocktail.  However, for an exquisite night out, the rooftop bar on Hotel 3.14 or Radisson Blu offer stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea.
Shopping in Cannes is particularly highly rated with high end luxury fashion lining the Croisette, the Galerie Gray d’Albion Centre and Galeries Lafayette. Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Versace, Roberto Cavalli, Dolce and Gabbana, Saint Laurent, Gucci, Dior and Salvatore Ferragamo to name but a few.

Cannes islands, Saint Honorat and Sainte Marguerite are a favourite destination for boat owners in Summer with restaurants such as La Guerite and La Tonnelle.

Downfalls

The Old Port is forever busy and gets the most amount of footfall during the shows which means that you have to move your boat or pay extortionate prices to remain. Access to port discouraged in the night time. Affected by strong Easterly winds.
Facilities:
Soft water, eletricity (220-380 V), ice, Fuel (Quai Croisière), Refuse & Waste Disposal, mail service, WC, WC handicap access, showers, laundrette, telephone, free WiFi, used oil containers, black water discharge pumps, mobile crane (12t), travelift (100t), carrening area, shipchandlery, yacht club, VHF 9.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pricing: Competitive, no pricing for annual reservation available

As we leave Cannes in our guide to French Riviera Ports, it should be noted that the Ports before Saint Tropez become much quieter and less tourist-oriented.

 


French Riviera – Mandelieu-La Napoule

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This Seaside resort situated next to Cannes (7km away) offers 917 berths.
 
 

Why Choose Port Mandelieu-La Napoule?

One great aspect of Mandelieu-La Napoule is the small airport and helipad which enables you easy access to Nice, St Tropez and Monaco. Additionally, this is a popular port due to its proximity to Cannes (only 3.3M).
 
 
 
 
 
The French Riviera Port of Mandelieu-La Napoule has obtained a Blue Flag which means that its waters are regulated and kept clean. Additionally, this flag means that if the waters test below excellent, tourists are not permitted to enter its beaches.
Favourite restaurants include : Dolce Farniente, Le Mizuna, Le 8, La Rotunde.
 
 
La Napoule is home to the Mandelieu boat show in April which is increasingly becoming more international.

Our Honest Remark

Sandbanks and caution due when a strong Easterly is blowing creating difficulty to enter the port. Anchoring is not permitted due to it being a swimming zone.
Facilities:
Soft water, electricity at quay and on the pontoons (220-380V), ice, WC, showers, small airport, 24/7 surveillance, WiFi, fuel 7 days a week, WiFi, TV, waste and used oil containers, black water discharge pumps, chemical WC discharge, mobile crane (8t), carrening area, shipyard, VHF 9.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pricing: Medium

 


French Riviera – La Rague (Mandelieu/Théoule)

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The home to the renowned family shipyard Arie de Boom and dealership of Dutch built luxury tenders VanDutch. The Port contains 423 berths (<30m), 104 visiting berths and 50 dry dock places. To avoid confusion in the night, the fantastic viaduct with 6 arches is lit up. The port is generally well protected from winds, thanks to the massif de l’Esterel.
 
 

Why Choose Port de La Rague?

La Rague’s key attraction is its diving centre situated in the heart of the Esterel-Théoule maritime park.

 

Le Repère is the go-to restaurant for many in La Rague with outstanding views of the Esterel. Additionally, there is Le Bistrot, La Cambuse, La Plage des Iles and Riviera Beach Hotel

Our Honest Remark

Strong Easterlies and danger of the Trompette rock at la pointe de l’Aiguille.
Facilities:
Soft water, electricity at quay and on the pontoons (220 V/32 A), Arie De Boom Shipyard, Fuel at the end of the jetty, Diving centre, Sailing club, Restaurants, showers, WC, WiFi, 24/7 surveillance, black water discharge pumps, carrening area, travelift (20 and 70t), crane (10t).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pricing: Similar to Frejus, with higher pricing for an annual reservation
 

 


French Riviera – Saint Raphaël

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Old Port holds 275 berths, with a capacity for <45m and a depth of 1-4m.
Santa Lucia holds 1630 berths with a depth of 1.6-6m and has two basins, north and south.
 
 
 

Why Choose Port Saint Raphaël?

The ports of Saint Raphaël hold incredible history, once attached to Africa before the formation of the Mediterranean Sea and once affected by volcanic activity which has led to the striking red rock we see today along the Esterel. The liftestyle on this side of the Côte d’Azur is exquisite and far more tranquil than the above. Some favourite activities are walking along the Esterel, deep sea diving, golf and visits to the Old town of Saint Raphaël.
 
One highlight of the Santa Lucia port is that it faces the Lion de Mer, a rock which pertrudes 20m from the sea.
 

Our Honest Remark

Affected by all winds with very strong SE winds. Although the Lion de Mer is an attraction to see, it is also a danger with such strong winds. Due caution must be taken when a strong mistral is blowing. There is very little here other than absorb the incredible scenery.
Facilities:
Old Port: Soft water, electricity on quay Nomy and basin Kennedy (380V/63A to 125A) and on quay Albert 1er (16A to 32A) as well as 16A monophase on Quay des Pêcheurs and the floating pontoon, WC, showers, fuel, free WiFi, containers for used oil and waste, black and grey water discharge pumps. 24/7 security, parking, laundrette, VHF 12.
 
 
Santa Lucia: Soft water, electricity at quay and on the pontoons (220V/16-32-63 A), ice, restaurants, fuel (at entrance), WC, showers, telephone, free WiFi, videosurveillance, laundrette, waste and used oil containers, black and grey water discharge pumps, travelift (50t), cranes (2 and 15t), VHF 9.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pricing: The vieux port is priced highly competitively, but Port Santa-Lucia is very highly priced.
 
 

 


French Riviera – Fréjus

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Fréjus accommodates 789 berths, of which 40 are dedicated to visiting berths with a capacity for <40m and a depth of 2-3.5m.
 

Why Choose Port Fréjus?

Fréjus has a great deal to offer contrary to popular opinion. From its history dating back 2000 years, to its art and beaches. Labelled a Ville et Metiers d’Art, Fréjus is slowly regaining the artisans and artistic scene that had disappeared in the 18th Century.

 
 

Along its beaches you will find opportunities to swim in coves, play Provençal water jousting and enjoy jetskiing, parasailing and surfing. You certainly won’t be short of beaches to choose from with five in Fréjus alone and a further three in Saint-Aygulf next door.

Do not hesitate to visit at least of Fréjus’ ten markets spanning from Provençal to Summer night-time Markets. Or enjoy the Summer Vibes Festival held on the 7th and 8th of August.

Our Honest Remark

North-westerly mistral blows rather aggressively here.
Facilities:
24/7 surveillance, soft water, electricity (220V/16A to 380V/63A), ice, shops located around the port, fuel, slipway (paid and regulated), WC, showers, cranes (30t), travelift (75t), carrening area, laundrette, telephone, WiFi, recycling point, used oil discharge. VHF 9.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pricing: Similar to Frejus, with higher pricing for an annual reservation
 

Further along the coast are three smaller ports which offer outstanding views of the Esterel. The three ports mentioned below in this guide to French Riviera ports are less popular and therefore will only be touched upon. These ports are typically used by boat owners in Winter or as antechambers for Cannes and St Tropez. Saint Maxime, Grimaud (3M from St Tropez) and Cogolin (2M from St Tropez). In comparison to many of the above-mentioned ports. these are priced at an expensive tariff per day, month and year.
 
Marines de Cogolin: 1600 berths, 300 visiting berths (<35m) and 8 berths for 30-50m. Facilities: WC, showers, 5 WC with handicap access, telephone, free WiFi, black water and used oil discharge pump, discharge chemical WC, shipyard, travelift (100-150t), cranes (3-5t), slipway, carrening area, electricity at quay, soft water, ice, fuel at quay. It must be noted that the Port de Cogolin (4M from St Tropez) is much smaller with only 150 berths <12.5m.
 
Ports Grimaud (I-III): 1100 berths, 283 visiting berths, depth 3m. Facilities: fuel, electricity (220V/32A), water, WC, showers, shipyard, sewage and used oil discharge, laundrette, telephone, camping, travelift (27t) and ice. Please note not all of the three ports have these facilities.
 
Port Sainte Maxime: 405 berths, 51 visiting berths, depth 1.6-3m. Facilities: water, electricity, WC, showers, used oil containers and battery recycle point, grey and black water discharge (welcome quay), WiFi, cranes (10t), carrening area (<13m), shipchandlery, laundrette, ice.
 

 


French Riviera – Saint Tropez

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The last of the ports in our guide to French Riviera ports is Saint Tropez. With 800 berths, 100 visitors berths and a depth of 3-5m, St Tropez is split into two basins, the Old Port which accommodates yachts <50m and the Estienne d’Orves quay accommodating <75m.
 
 

Why Choose Port Saint Tropez?

Saint Tropez is the place to party. Its nightlife is unrivalled due to the localities it offers. Here, you will find high-end beach clubs to Michelin star dining and some of the most favoured clubs on the Riviera.
 
The highlight of St Tropez is without a doubt its stunning 12km stretch of beaches. Pampelonne is the most famous gaining its acclaim in the 50s from Brigitte Bardot’s visit. The beaches are home to Nikki Beach (Nikki Beach), Bagatelle Beach Club (Pampelonne) and Club 55 (Pampelonne) all reachable by boat thanks to their respective tender services. 
For restaurants in the town, try: L’Auberge des Maures, Café de Paris and Octave café.
 
 

If you enjoy learning history, the Citadelle of St Tropez is the landmark to visit and uncover the Saint Tropez’s tragic past.

Our Honest Remark

Strong mistral winds making it difficult to enter the port. Additionally, there is only one road into Saint Tropez, which makes traffic pretty heavy during season.

Facilities:
24/7 surveillance, Water, Electricity, (230-380 V/250A) on the quay, (220V/23A) on the pontoons, fuel 24/7 (Jetty Phare Vert), WC, showers, telephone, TV, WiFi, laundrette, ICE (Épi quay), 2000 port parking places 24/7, small recycled waste collection, discharge for black water and used oil, cranes (10t), travelift (15t), carrening area, shipyard, heliport. VHF 9.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pricing: Expensive
 

We hope that Part I and Part II of the Honest Marine Services guide to French Riviera ports has been useful. HMS travels to all ports mentioned and is happy to help you to arrange a berth too. Contact us today for more information.
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Full Disclosure: Our guide to French Riviera ports includes destinations and amenities we wish to recommend. HMS is not paid for any mentions in their blogs. If we mention your company, you could drop us a thank you and even follow up with a share!

Alicia Cranwell

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