Street view at sunset in Monte Carlo, French Riviera
Monte Carlo, French Riviera
A unique happenstance on the Riviera

Monaco Vacations

Extravagant opulence on the Mediterranean Sea: Open to everyone

Monaco is a wildly exquisite country, gorgeous beyond anything, and opulent to the skies. On the crystal waters of the French Riviera, where the rich and famous frolick, and the rest of us dream. Explore this classy coastal extravagance with champagne, caviar, and a step into the ritzy Casino Monte-Carlo.

The Principality of Monaco is an independent sovereign state ruled by the House of Grimaldi on the French Riviera on the north Mediterranean coastline. At just 2.02km², it’s the second smallest country in the world. Only Vatican City is smaller.

The nation of Monaco is smaller than Central Park in New York City. You can walk across the whole thing in a few hours, and with 40,000 citizens, one-third of whom are millionaires, it’s one of the world’s most densely populated countries. You’ll take lots of pictures here in this picturesque coastal nation, with its mild climate and historical sites, halfway between Nice and the Italian border.

In 1863, the company Societe des Bains de Mer, took a leap and got into the casino business in Monaco. At the time, chocolate, flour, and beer were the industries keeping things afloat but a new boost to the economy was needed. It worked. Casinos now account for a large portion of Monaco’s business, and the Casino Monte Carlo opened to rave reviews and drew the attention of Europe’s rich elite families. Today it attracts visitors of all stripes. Three James Bond movies have been filmed at the casino, including Daniel Craig’s Casino Royale.

In 1956, Hollywood star Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier III and became a princess of Monaco. Kelly dedicated herself to philanthropy and joined her husband in their official royal duties. Their second chiId, Albert II, is the current sovereign prince of Monaco. He followed his parents into advocacy and is a big supporter of ocean conservation and ecological preservation. As a younger man he competed in five Olympic games on the Monaco bobsled team.

At a Glance
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Monaco: Luxury and opulence meet sport and gaming excellence

On a spectacular European mountainside that dips into the sea, Monaco is a destination worth saving up for. Known for its culture, luxury services, sports, and business culture, you’re bound to have as relaxing a trip as you’re looking for, but also every opportunity at any moment to pump up the volume and energy if you’re feeling it.

You can go from the serenity of the Japanese Garden, the Mediterranean sea lapping at the shore, heartwarming sunsets, flowers, and natural beauty.to heart-thumping nightclubs and casinos in minutes. Just make sure you check your pulse in the morning.

The city of Monte Carlo in Monaco on the Mediterranean Sea

The Culture

The Grimaldi family has ruled the principality for centuries and plays a significant role in the culture. Prince Albert II plays a central role as his events are popular, and he is seen to work hard at his charity work and environmental interests.

The New National Museum of Monaco, Oceanographic Museum, and the Prince’s Palace Museum offer in depth looks into the history and culture of the past. 

The port of Monaco has long been a strategic location. Italians, Phoenicians, and Greeks have each taken their turns as rulers, and legends say Hercules once passed through the area – the ancient port is named for this god of strength and heroes. 

The palace fortress on the rocky promontory, with an excellent natural defensive location, was first built when German Emperor Henry IV gave it to Genoa. The Grimaldis were one of the aristocratic families in the 12th century and had an interest in leading. In 1297 Francesco Grimaldi, disguised as a monk, entered, killed a guard, and seized the fortress – thus began the dynasty. Over these centuries the Grimaldis have successfully fought to keep their land and sovereignty against the attempts from England, Spain, France, Naples, Germany, Genoa, Pisa, and Venice. Since the takeover, other than a brief time of French occupation during the French Revolution, the Grimaldis have been rulers of Monaco. 

The Grimaldis created alliances with France, and finally reached full independence in 1480.

The princes of Monaco ruled absolutely for centuries until the people demanded, through action in the Monegasque Revolution of 1910, that a constitution be proclaimed. This occurred the following year and today the nation stands as a constitutional monarchy where the Prince has a significant role in leading the government.

The official language is French, but there is a Monegasque language spoken by some residents.

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