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The Côte d'Azur - Fos to Cannes

Photo: Iles de Lerin

The south coast of France, generally known as the Côte d'Azur seems to have few fans among English speakers. It is seen as expensive and far distant from other favourite Mediterranean cruising grounds like the Balearics, Croatia, Greece, or Turkey.

There is no denying that it is a long trot from other popular cruising grounds and there are very few Brits in the Languedoc Roussillon to the south or not many on the Italian west coast. Restaurants, and food and drink are indeed expensive in France, so are technical services but municipal marina prices are fair, not the theft that is Sardinia in particular in High Season. Above all this is a truly rich cruising ground that, if taken together with the NW Italian coast, the Tuscan Islands, and Corsica, is one of the most extensive in the Med. There are numerous charter yachts around Marseille and Hyères in particular.

Our yacht Aramon is still on dry land at Pot Navy, near Port St Louis.just west of Marseilles We re-launch on July 5th, hoping and praying that the various critical elements (batteries, engine, fridge, and autopilot) are all still in working order as they were when we left in November. I would have been happier to have had time on board before the relaunch, but other outside events have conspired against that.

Assuming all is reasonably well, we will be partially retracing our end of 2021 cruise en route back to Corsica for High Season. (We still have vacancies for July 31st and August 6th). The coast between Sausset les Pins and Marseille has numerous attractive smaller bays for a pleasant stop. Between Marseille and Toulon, there are the rightly famous calanques. Last year we anchored in Sormiou.. this year we will aim for either Morgiou or Port Miou. From there we will probably make the longish hop directly first to Porquerolles and then to Le Lavandou that we much liked not least for the fine dinner we ate. The island of Porquerolles is expensive and eating out is not for the impoverished, but there are good anchorages aplenty on both north and sough coasts. The smaller island of Port Cros is a short sail away and is a real wonder, if very crowded in summer. We will try and give the bay of St Tropez a miss this time and head for somewhere around Fréjus. In any event we will overnight at least once on Iles de Lérins putting up with the crowds that we are likely to experience in late July.

In the next post, we will cover the cruise from here to the Italian frontier at Menton.

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