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Monaco is made for springtime exploring. Its Mediterranean climate is the perfect backdrop for early year breaks and the French Riviera, in general, simply shimmers in this season. Here are eight reasons – not that you should need them – to make a beeline for Monaco in spring.
Springtime is without a doubt the most vibrant season in Monaco. The principality boasts several gardens, including the gorgeous Princess Grace Rose Garden, dedicated to Grace Kelly by her husband Prince Renier III, and from March onwards these gardens and green spaces really come into their own. The rose garden is a must see, as is Les Jardins St Martin, which offers up truly breathtaking views out over the Mediterranean. Le Jardin Exotique, which hosts a large collection of Mediterranean plants, cacti and succulents, is a beautiful break from the city.
The principality names this season the ‘gentle month’ and it does feel like the warm calm before the mad summer storm. For years now, its Spring Arts Festival has welcomed in this season with weeks of art, music, theater and dance. Different venues host different evenings all around the principality and the world-renowned Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra and Les Ballets de Monte Carlo usually feature.
Monaco is nearly the last stop to Italy on the French Riviera coast and so there are sunny days almost year round. The Mediterranean climate is picture perfect in spring, with fresh mornings, warm afternoons, and streets and attractions less jammed than in high season. There are also so many ways to enjoy the sun: there’s the sculpture trail around the center, where you see the principality’s collection of incredible sculptures, there’s Monaco’s own beach, Larvotto Plage, for water-side wandering, and the pretty coastal path, connecting Cap d’Ail to the principality, is just perfect for this season.
A big reason for visiting Monaco in the spring, for motor enthusiasts anyway, is its famous Formula 1 Grand Prix. Monaco’s streets morph into a racing circuit and it is undoubtedly the biggest event on the calendar each year, so it’s important to make reservations well in advance before hotels and restaurants begin to see an influx of people into the world’s second smallest country. On the other hand, if racing isn’t your thing and you’re looking to visit Monaco in the spring, stay well clear of the dates.
Local cuisine in Monaco is a delicious melange of French, Italian and Monégasque. Spring is the time when you can legitimately eat gelato all day, wander and browse the markets for local treats, and spend the warm evenings dining al fresco. Make sure you stop for some Socca – the popular local pancake dish – at La Condamine market and enjoy a cool beer at Monaco’s own brewery, La Brasserie de Monaco.
Held just to the east of Monaco in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, annual tennis tournament Monte Carlo Masters is a real treat for those wanting to combine their love of sport and the Côte d’Azur. First held in 1897, the tournament sees the biggest names in tennis compete each year, with Rafael Nadal currently holding the record for winning eight titles in a row at the same tournament.
Monaco is hardly the most budget-friendly destination so it’s worth giving yourself a head start before you arrive and this means traveling off-season. Spring is the perfect time to catch the better hotel and restaurant deals whilst still feeling like you are basking in the Mediterranean climate. We’ve created our very own budget guide to Monaco, which is the best place to start your planning.
Monaco couldn’t be more ideally situated for exploring the neighbouring landscape. The advantage to travelling in this part of France in the spring is that the temperature is just perfect for day trips and unlike in August when businesses close for their own summer holidays, restaurants, tour companies and everything in between will be promoting attractive deals and packages. Whether you travel east or west, stay on the coast or journey into the mountains, spring is the perfect backdrop.