times the Mediterranean was the centre of the
known world, the wellspring of civilisation and
home of the Gods. During this century a
new breed of glamorous gods and goddesses moved
in, with the likes of Greta Garbo, Noel Coward,
Cole Porter, Somerset Maugham and Picasso
setting the style. And then, of course,
Bardot turned St Tropez on and the coast became
as much "celebritied' as it was celebrated.
Today the cachet of the French Riviera remains
and for yacht charter it has few equals' classic
cruising conditions, sophistication, myriad
distractions and a reputation for unbridled
hedonism. In this short stretch of
coastline, the most extravagant 100 miles of
waterfront in the world, there are 30 harbours
and more than 3,000 restaurants. Just reel
off a list of names and let your imagination
run. The Cote d'Azur is lipped with
beaches that lie beneath hillsides heavy in
yellow mimosa and which climb inland to the
snow-capped peaks of the Alpes Maritimes.
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