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Think of places that are linked with glamour and wealth and Monte Carlo is almost certain to spring to mind. Its stunning location perched on a rocky outcrop where the Alpes Maritimes Mountains reach the Mediterranean, has been an attraction for those seeking an exotic and exciting holiday since Victorian times.
Access to Monte Carlo is easy with Nice Airport being just 15 miles away. Frequent buses will whisk you into the town centre in around 45 minutes. If you hire a car and drive yourself, then you’re in for a treat as the roads into Monte Carlo offer some of the most wonderful scenery imaginable. Don’t forget that car hire insurance often carries a high excess charge so it could be worth considering covering this with car excess insurance direct.
Once you’ve arrived you’ll be raring to get out and about to see what Monte Carlo has to offer. Here is a small selection of the treats that the town has in store for you.
Monte Carlo may be the playground of the rich and famous but you can spend a day relaxing on the beach, a few hundred yards from the centre of town, without paying a penny.
Larvotto Beach is a public beach with all the facilities that you expect to find in a well-run seaside pleasure area. It is clean and has free showers, toilets and a good choice of bars, ice cream parlours and restaurants.
If you like sandy beaches, then your first sight of the beach might fill you with disappointment as it is a pebble beach. Don’t worry, the pebbles, which are imported from North Africa, are small and gravel-like, and they don’t hurt your feet when you walk on them. They are also dazzlingly white and beautifully clean.
No visit to Monte Carlo would be complete without a visit to the world’s best-known casino. You need to be over 18 to enter the gaming rooms and there is an admission fee, currently ten euros.
This is a small price to pay, however, to wander around and soak in the history and luxury of this gambler’s paradise. If the roulette and card tables are not your forte, the casino has a huge choice of slot machines to play on, most of them providing the chance to win an attractive jackpot.
Jardin Exotique et Grottes de l’Observatoire
If you like cacti and succulent plants then this garden should be on your list of places to visit whilst you are in Monte Carlo. The garden is built on a rocky hillside which provides an excellent habitat for the millions of species that grow there. The elevation also gives superb views over the town: an unexpected but welcome bonus.
The entrance fee to the gardens includes entry to the “Grottes de l’Observatoire”, a prehistoric cave which is 60m below the surface. Here there is an abundance of stalactites and stalagmites which have been forming for millions of years. Be warned that there are about 300 steps to be negotiated to reach the entrance to the cave.
As can be seen, Monte Carlo has much to offer its visitors. Add to the beautiful scenery the equally lovely climate and you have a recipe that almost guarantees a superb holiday.