Top 3 anchorages in the French Riviera

Our charter experts pick their favourite three places to throw down the anchor on the French Riviera

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For good reason, there’s a lot of talk about all the fabulous towns and villages which dot along the French Mediterranean coastline – from the bright lights of Monte Carlo, to the culture and elegance of Nice and Cannes, the Champagne bars and beach-life of Saint Tropez, and the uber-picturesque and colourful villages like Menton and Villefranche-sur-mer that you’ll pass on the way.

But what if you don’t want to spend the night in a glitzy marina, and want to find an anchorage somewhere to sit quietly on your boat and watch the world float by? Well the Cote d’Azur has plenty of that too. We asked our experts about their favourite anchorages in the area (in no order):

Iles de Lerins Iles de Lerins 

It’s crazy that this place is within a mile of Cannes, and yet this collection of islands can be so peaceful and tranquil – particularly in the evenings, once the day-trippers from Cannes have gone home for their fancy nine-course dinners. You won't be on your own, but that's not really the point of this anchorage.

Iles de Lerins PizzaThe place to throw your anchor down (obviously, weather-permitting) is between the two main islands, where there’s a sandy plateau which is just perfect for the job. From here you can swim or dinghy to either of the nearby islands (one is famous for being where ‘the man in the iron mask’ was imprisoned, the other for being owned by wine-making monks), snorkel around the coves here, or laze around in the sun.

But this isn’t my favourite anchorage just because it’s away from all the bright lights, and you’re nestled amongst stunning scenery in the middle of nowhere – no, for me, I love it because there’s a fantastic holiday atmosphere amongst the boaters here, and the fact that there’s a Pizza-catamaran who will deliver delicious freshly cooked pizza to your boat – now that really is paradise!

Cap Taillat Cap Taillat 

Accessible only by foot or by boat, Cap Taillat is one of those hidden gems which most land-lubbing tourists in the area will be completely oblivious to – which is a huge shame for them, as it is possible the best place to be!

You can anchor on either side of the picturesque headland (which basically makes it an all-weather anchorage), then make your way ashore through the clear turquoise water, and the difficult bit is choosing which delightful white sandy beach you want to lay down on first.

Like the Kithnos Sandbar, this place is so beautiful that once you’ve been here, you’ll constantly recognise it on Instagram. It’s a fantastic place to wake up, head on deck, take a deep breath, and think to yourself ‘this is the life!’

Porquerolles Porquerolles 

And of course, Porquerolles - the most famous place to anchor in France. Now a national park which is owned by the French Government, they have done a brilliant job in protecting the natural wilderness of the area – particularly when you think about what they have allowed to be developed along the rest of the coast.

PorquerollesWords can’t really do it justice: Porquerolles has steep craggy cliffs on the South side, but three superb beaches and a number of bays suitable for anchoring on the north, which is also where the village and church are located. There’s forts, churches and lighthouses to visit, but it’s just great to wander around and enjoy the smell of pines and citrus fruits.

With the sunshine, clear waters, and so much lush plant-life, this is the perfect place to get away from it all and to forget all about the hustle and bustle of modern life. Bliss!

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Be sure to check out our destination guides to find out a LOT more about sailing in France, or search in the pink box for yachts and catamarans in the French Riviera / Cote d'Azur with live pricing and availability, or contact our award-winning Customer team through LiveChat, UK Freephone or email!

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This is part of our 'Destination Highlights' week of blogs focussing on sailing in France - including What's so special about sailing the French Riviera, Moor up in Monaco for less than you think, Champagne moments in the French Riviera, and Top 3 anchorages in the French Riviera. You might also be interested in checking out our similar Destination Highlights: Croatia, Destination Highlights: Italy, Destination Highlights: Malta, Destination Highlights: Scotland, Destination Highlights: Bahamas and Destination Highlights: Spain blog series from previous months!