Published on May 29, 2019Updated on June 19, 2023
With the Mediterranean as its sole heritage, the tale of the Principality always highlights the joys of the sea. Seen from offshore, the coastal paths form a winding trail back and forth between France and Italy. At the Monte-Carlo Beach, the Riviera’s scenery brimming with sunshine, olive and citrus trees, is rediscovered in the dishes. While in Roque-brune Cap Martin, in holiday mood, the adventure of the Modernist movement comes in the guise of the esthetic purity of Eileen Gray’s villa E-1027 and Le Corbusier’s cabin.
Step 1: Luxuriant nature
At the heart of Cap Martin, beneath the silvery foliage of century-old olive-trees, the park plays host to contemporary sculptures – and children delighting in their freedom. Its splendid olive-tree 1,800 to 2,200 years old, planted when the first Romans colonized the area, has since become a place of meditation.
Step 2: Nature on the seafront
From the tip of Cap Martin as far as Monaco, the coastal path of La Dragonnière is a natural promenade offering opportunities for contemplation. Buffeted by the waves, at the crossroads of a garden with native species and exotic plants, where all the Mediterranean’s many shades of blue merge together.
Homage to the architect: Around a bend in the path, a bust of Charles Edouard Jeanneret aka Le Corbusier invites you to visit his famous cabin.
Step 3: Modernist architecture
The most inspiring pages in 20th-C. architecture were penned on the shores of Roquebrune Cap Martin. Facing the vastness of the sea, nestling on terraced embankments with their lemon trees, the Cap Moderne site hosts Eileen Gray’s villa E-1027, L’Étoile de Mer, the holiday units and Le Corbusier’s cabin. An icon of Modernism, the villa E-1027 stretches out like a steamboat, indolent and white, sleek and rectilinear. Le Corbusier’s cabin sums up the architect’s philosophy and the results of his research into living ac-commodation reduced to its simplest expression.
Legend of the primitive cabin: Touches of colour soften the austerity of the cabin 3.66 x 3.66 metres, built in 1952.
Step 4: Beside the seaside
Created by architect and designer India Mahdavi, Elsa’s dining-room has the eternal freshness one rediscovers on the menu. In this 1930’s palace, a taste for fine dining has elected domicile in the light and airy cuisine of chef, reflecting the sun and the Mediterranean. His organic 10-acre vegetable garden is, in fact, just close by, on the mountainside. He pursues responsible creativity inspired by the pleasure of the simple things in life.
Happy days: With crisp, freshly picked vegetables, sprinkled with olive-oil.
Step 5: Cruise east or west
From the pontoon of the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort or the quay-side of Port Hercule, the sea is a stylish affair. The coast is comprised of a multitude of creeks and bays heading towards either Sanremo or Saint-Tropez. A memorable day, a cruise with a skipper on a boat chartered to meet your specific needs.
Step 6: Happy hour
The sea is hypnotic. All year round, the Blue Gin’s terrace welcomes an international clientele. Fifty cocktail creations, a fusion finger food menu dreamt up by chef Marcel Ravin. During the cocktail hour, subdued lighting and disco-funk music create an electrifying atmosphere.
Blue for passion: A lounge atmsophere, cosy inside, or open to the horizon.