Cannes totally took me by surprise! I had no idea that my hair would literally stop traffic. I was completely humbled by the adoration from the locals who told me how much they loved my huge Afro. My paparazzi moments aside, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Grand Prix this year. If you know me, then you know tennis and racing are my loves – they might not know it, but Rafael Nadal and Lewis Hamilton are both my husbands and we are married in community of property. As you can tell, a few conversations still need to be had…
Another tick off my bucket list – Monaco is located on the French Riviera is the perfect playground for lovers of luxury who want to travel in the most extravagant style. The yachts are probably bigger than your house, champagne is the national drink and the seafood is out of this world. If you’re like me and you are married to money only in your head, you can take comfort in knowing that you too can live among the rich and famous and fit right in!
WHEN TO VISIT
The last few weeks of May every year are quite chaotic on the French Riviera – you have two major events that cross over (The Cannes Film Festival, and Monaco Grand Prix) as well as numerous other local events such as Le Pain en Fête in Golfe Juan, Printemps Musical in Mouans-Sartoux and Fête ses Cultures in Vence.
Accommodation prices spike to coincide with the influx of visitors, and public transport is pushed to capacity.
However, while some residents despair about the month of May (and the craziness it brings to the region), I love it ! Both the Cannes Film Festival and Monaco Grand Prix are unrivalled for atmosphere, experience and thrills – and you don’t need a hefty credit card limit to enjoy them.
A-listers may travel to Monaco by helicopter, but for those of us on a tighter budget there are plenty of airlines that offer cheap seats. The nearest airport is Nice, which is about 14 miles from Monaco itself – but you can hope on the #100 bus that takes you directly there in just under an hour, and costs just €1.50 each way! Or hire an ubercopter because, I mean, you are on the French Riviera!
THE MONACO GRAND PRIX
The Monaco Grand Prix is the most exclusive sporting event on earth. This is the one race of the year that every driver dreams of winning. A combination of precision driving, technical excellence and sheer bravery is required to win in Monte Carlo, facets which highlight the differences between the great and the good in Formula One.
The Monaco Grand Prix is iconic and one of the most famous motor races in the world. Situated on a race circuit hugging Port Hercules and Monaco’s city streets, the race brings excitement, glamour and a huge dose of atmosphere to one of the world’s smallest principalities and it can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of your budget.
Traditional race fans of Grand Prix may find the Monaco circuit lacking – it is the slowest circuit of the Formula One championships. However, it is beyond exciting, and whilst there is rarely over-taking as the circuit width is narrow, the course has elevation shifts and tight bends and all of the driver’s skill is in negotiating the narrow and twisting roads. The longest period at full throttle is through the Fairmont tunnel, about 7.5 seconds.
To get you up to speed (no pun intended!) here are some interesting facts about the F1:
- The circuit is the shortest Grand Prix track measuring just 3,340 kilometres, but it has the most number of laps : 78
- Monaco Formula One is about the endurance of drivers. Drivers must make almost 4,200 changes during the entire race.
- It is also one of the oldest Formula One racing. The event was first held back in 1929.
- To set the circuit up, it takes six weeks and to remove it, it takes about half the time : 3 weeks.
Sundowners at Nikki Beach
After enjoying the day at the race, theres only one place to be for sundowners before all the after parties and that is Nikki Beach. Nikki Beach is located on the rooftop of the Fairmont in Monte Carlo and this is where the world’s most beautiful people gather to grab few drinks (or a lot) while they gaze at other beautiful people.
We really had a lovely time here over great cocktails and we met very friendly people from all over the world.
I made it into the after movie! (1:51 don’t blink or you’ll miss it!)
The Grand Prix Closing Party hosted by Lewis Hamilton at VIP Room
And then the unthinkable happened!
Planning your budget for the Grand Prix Weekend
- Estimated weekend cost approx. €494 ($595 USD)
- Grandstand on Thursday = €80
- Rocher General Admission ticket (Sat + Sun) = €174
- Hostel bed in Nice (€30 per night x 3) = €90
- Spending money (€50 x 3) = €150
- Estimated weekend cost approx. €1210 ($1455 USD)
- Thursday grandstand = €80
- Grandstand T Lower (Sat + Sun) = €605
- Mid-range hotel in central Nice for 3 nights = €225 (per person/double or twin share)
- Spending Money (€100 x 3) = €300
- Estimated weekend cost approx. €2063 ($2190 USD)
- F1 Experiences Trophy package with Grandstand T Upper seat + exclusive extras = €1580
- Four-star hotel in Nice for 3 nights (per person; double/twin share) = €600
- Spending money (€200 x 3) = €600
For more information on budgeting for your trip click here.
The next race is on May 24-27, 2018
Praying hard that I make it back!