Flights to Fontvieille
Fontvieille is one of the four quarters of Monaco, and the newest of these as it was built on reclaimed land starting in the 1960’s. Fontvieille has several tourist attractions of its own, but with Monaco being so small it’s easy to get to the other quarters and see everything else that the principality has to offer.
The closest major airport for flights to Fontvieille is the Nice Cote d’Azur Airport (airport code: NCE) in France. It’s about 18 kilometres away and has a regularly scheduled helicopter shuttle that offers flights to Fontvieille arriving at the helipad right in the heart of Fontvieille. To Nice, you can fly with South African Airways or Lufthansa from South Africa. They both have the same one-stop route through Munich. KLM connects in Amsterdam, and Air France goes through Paris. Most flights are between 15 and 18 hours long.
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The Tourist Attractions of Fontvieille:
Because space is at a premium in Monaco and so many people want to live there, it was decided in 1966 that land would be reclaimed from the Mediterranean in order to develop a new quarter for Monaco, called Fontvieille. It took many years to build the foundations for this new quarter, and finally in 1981 the Crown Prince laid the cornerstone for the first construction to take place in Fontvieille. Today, Fontvieille is just as densely built upon as all the other quarters of Monaco, and there are no tell-tale signs that this land was ever reclaimed from the sea!
Port of Fontvieille
The new quarter included a new port for Monaco as the existing one was always very busy. The Port of Fontvieille is smaller and has a tighter entrance so therefore you’re not going to see such large boats here as you might in the main port, named Port Hercule. Even so, the Port of Fontvieille is a lovely place to come for a stroll, admiring all the beautiful yachts and the views out to the Mediterranean.
Jardin Exotique is situated on the hill above the main part of Fontvieille and is one of the top tourist attractions for the whole of Monaco. It is several attractions in one, including the garden, the grotto, and the Museum of Anthropology. There are guided tours that take in the gardens and the grotto – the gardens are very beautiful and include a couple of thousand exotic plants and flowers from around the world. This is also one of the best places in Fontvieille to enjoy the views as it’s on a hilltop. Inside the grotto you’ll see many great rock formations, but be aware that there are many stairs to climb on this part of the tour so it’s not good for the infirm.
Roseraie Princesse Grace
Fontvieille also has another lovely garden, this one dedicated to the Princess Grace and roses. The garden is full of many different kinds of roses and also features several sculptures.
Columbus Hotel Monaco
As with the other quarters of Monaco, Fontvieille offers a number of hotels and the Columbus Hotel Monaco is one of the better known. This is because for a time it was owned by the former British Formula 1 racing driver, David Coulthard.
When Should You Visit?:
Fontvieille has a great Mediterranean climate with plenty of sunshine across the year. Come in the summer months for the warmest weather; July is especially good as the average high is nearly 26C and it’s the sunniest month of the year. Even if you come in the winter temperatures are mild, though this is the wetter time.