The principality of Monaco is the place to be this fall. This tiny country, nestled between the French Alps and the Mediterranean, has more high-end boutiques and millionaire residents per square mile than anywhere else in the world. In spring and summer it gets a little too crowded, and in winter it gets a little too cold, but in the fall, Monaco is the perfect place for a quick European getaway. Here are five reasons why this most upscale of countries is a must-see at this time of year.
The weather is perfect | Winter in Monaco is a rather wet affair, while springtime is plagued by the strong winds of the Mistral, and high temperatures combine with humidity to make it very uncomfortable in summer. The months between September and December on the other hand are absolutely glorious, with daytime highs in the low 70’s and plentiful sunshine. These conditions are perfect for any kind of outdoor activity, whether it be sailing, shopping or just enjoying al fresco dining at the many cafes. Gerhard’s café in on the quayside in Fontvieille is the best place to sit in the sun and soak up the relaxed and affluent Monegasque lifestyle.
The French and Italian summer shut-downs are finally over | Regular business visitors to Europe will know that summer is not a time for getting things done. This is especially the case in Southern Europe, when the urban populations of France and northern Italy head to the Mediterranean coast to seek relief from the high temperatures. Monaco’s prime position between the French and Italian Rivieras means it can get awfully crowded in summer, particularly in August and early September. The long lines in restaurants, bars and shops can make Monaco a stressful experience in high season. This all changes in late September, though, and you can enjoy the yacht marina, gourmet restaurants and world-famous Monte Carlo casino without the crowds and traffic. To experience the real luxury of Monaco, you need to visit it in the fall.
The Monaco Yacht Show | Although the crowds disappear once summer is passed, that doesn’t mean Monaco shuts down. On the contrary, the most prestigious and exclusive events in the Monaco calendar occur in the fall, and the first of them is the Monaco Yacht Show. The 2017 event runs from 27th-30th September and showcases over $3 billion worth of elite yachts, as well as luxury cars and even helicopters. If you ever wondered just how the super-rich live, then this is the place to find out, as you can step onboard stunning hand-crafted vessels such as the Jubilee, which is longer than a football field. With a champagne bar and delicious gourmet food available on every corner, this is the ultimate yacht exhibition experience.
The Monaco Jazz Festival | Spanning the last fortnight of November, the Monte Carlo Jazz Festival is a series of concerts taking place in the splendour of the Opera Garnier and the open air Place du Casino. As the name suggests, jazz is the centrepiece of the event, but there is also scope for a number of other musical genres, including opera and pop. Scottish rock band Texas are probably the most internationally known among this year’s line-up, but the local favorite is American singer Stacey Kent, who is so big in France that she has been awarded the Médaille de Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.
The Monte Carlo casino | The casino at Monte Carlo is the most glamorous in the world, and is famous as the fictional playground of James Bond, as well as plenty of real-life high rollers. Early autumn is the best time to visit as there are several exhibitions which allow you to admire world class art while you play. If weather allows it, the open air Salle Blanche allows stunning views over the blue waters of the Mediterranean, and offers Roulette, Punto Banco, Poker and Black Jack. Slot machine fans are well catered for in the Salle des Amériques, which has to be the most elegant gambling hall in the world. Roulette players will be drawn to the Salle Médecin, and they can significantly improve their odds of hitting it big by learning about high and low risk roulette strategies beforehand. Will you be the next big winner at the Monte Carlo casino? It sure will be fun finding out.