Sail the Côte d’Azur on board S/Y Kairos

27 January 2015 • Written by Captain Matthijs van Middlekoop, Nicci Perides

Mr Matthijs van Middlekoop, captain of sailing yacht Kairos, shares his experience of seven days of yachting in the beautiful Cote d’Azur. Sailing from Ile Saint-Honorat to Rade de Villefranche-sur-Mer.

Day 1: Ile Saint-Honorat – Cannes

After joining the yacht and the initial familiarisation, sail out 12nM from Ile Saint-Honorat, the second largest of the picturesque Lerins Islands, with the hope of catching a glimpse of a few whales and dolphins. Here, we can drop anchor, turn the engines off for a spot of lunch and a swim in the crystal clear waters surrounding the island. Afterwards, a leisurely sail will take us to Cannes for more opportunities for swimming and soaking up the sun.

As the sunsets over the French Riviera, unwind and enjoy the beautiful scenery with the yacht anchored between the islands and Cannes.

The emphasis of this itinerary is very much whale and dolphin watching | Robert Harding

Day 2: St. Tropez

As you enjoy breakfast onboard, the yacht will sail to the historic port of St. Tropez. This glamorous destination is home to renowned sailing events such as the International Rolex Regatta, which you can spectate from the deck during the racing in March.

In the late afternoon, the yacht will moor and you can explore the town at your leisure. Shop to your heart’s content in the designer boutiques or simply soak up the atmosphere and relax with a coffee in a café or patisserie in the cobbled streets. Dinner is served in the privacy. There are, of course, countless bars and clubs onshore should you wish to sample the lively nightlife.

The harbour in St. Tropez is glamorous and allows easy access to upmarket shopping and dining | Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Day 3: Baie de Cavalaire

Before setting sail for the day, passengers can disembark and enjoy a traditional French breakfast in town while experiencing some more of the rich culture that St. Tropez has to offer. Tuesdays and Saturdays are market days, held in the open-air square of Place des Lices, browse the stalls selling fresh local produce as well as clothing and other items.

In the afternoon, we will sail to Baie de Cavalaire, where after dropping anchor you can go snorkelling in the clear turquoise waters and explore the natural beauty of the area. Set away from the crowded streets of St. Tropez, here you can unwind on the three-kilometre long sandy beach or take a stroll through the forest that lines the bay.

Enjoy a leisurely French breakfast in St. Tropez | SuperStock

Day 4:Rade d’Agay

Another gorgeous day of sailing lies ahead as we head towards Rade d’Agay. There are plenty of opportunities to whale and dolphin-watch en route before dropping anchor in the calm waters of the bay. The Rade d’Agay is a perfectly secluded spot, surrounded by the Esterel Mountains, which provide a stunning backdrop to the bay. Spend the day relaxing on the white sandy beaches or, if you are feeling adventurous, you can take a walk along the striking red rocks and discover a secluded cove to snorkel and swim.

The sandy beaches and red rocks of the Rade d’Agay | Getty Images

Day 5: Antibes

As guests are having breakfast, we set sail towards Antibes. At around midday we drop anchor at Cap d’Antibes where there will be plenty of time for swimming and lunch before heading to the harbour at Port Vauban. The marina is at the heart of this beautiful town, which has a rich nautical history dating back to the Greek and Roman Empires. Spend the afternoon exploring the old town with its charming cobbled streets lined with cafes, restaurants and boutiques. Alternatively, visit one of town’s many art galleries, and embrace Antibes’ artistic heritage as the home of Pablo Picasso among others. You will have the evening free to enjoy dinner at a local restaurant and sample the culinary delights of the region.

Explore the old town of Antibes and soak up the Cote d’Azur vibe | Shutterstock

Day 6 Anse de Lilong, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

Start sailing in the morning before dropping anchor at Anse de Lilong, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, where you can enjoy coffee and cake followed by a leisurely swim. Spend the afternoon taking in the wonderful views of the rugged coastline; remember to keep an eye out for the dolphins in the distance.

In the evening, a captain’s dinner is held on the other side of the Cap, depending on the wind direction. This is a perfect way to spend the last evening, as guests enjoy good food and fantastic company underneath the stars.

Mingle with the beautiful people in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat | iStock

Day 7: Final Day

After the last breakfast on-board, the crew and captain wish the guests farewell after a superb week of sailing along the stunning French Riviera.

Take a final look at the beautiful scenery of the Cote d’Azur | iStock

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Aegean Yacht   38 m •  2007

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