I have been lucky enough to visit Monte Carlo several times since 2008 and on each visit I manage to do something different. I think that’s why I enjoy this port of call so much — there are so many Monte Carlo shore excursions that one visit is just not enough.
Before my cruise in June last year, I decided that my next visit to Monte Carlo would be a little more “outside the box.” I wanted to briefly leave Monaco behind and explore somewhere I had never been before. That’s when I came across the Exclusive Monte Carlo, Eze and Le Turbie excursion. I read the information to the trip online but that was it; I didn’t do any research because I wanted to be entirely surprised when I got there.
When our ship arrived, we waited on the dockside for our tour guide, who was on time and very friendly. She gave us a brief run-down of where the tour would take us and mentioned that we were very lucky — there was no one else booked this particular excursion, so if we wanted to we could alter the itinerary as we wished! We decided to cut out the visit to the perfume factory and instead head straight to the medieval town of Eze.
The drive to get to Eze alone was picture-perfect, but when we finally arrived in the town I knew we had made the right decision. I have been to many places since I started traveling, and I must say Eze is one of the most beautiful! The views from the top of the hill were absolutely breathtaking and the architecture and gardens were beautiful. We did get a little disorientated once or twice as every little street looked the same, but it was impossible to get lost with our guide with us. It seemed there was one way in and one way out.
As we had opted out of our visit to the perfume factory, we were able to spend a little more time here than normal, and I was incredibly grateful for it. It’s not very often you come across a place that leaves your mind entirely empty, but Eze had that effect. In fact, parts of the town reminded me a little of Savoca in Sicily, another quaint little town nestled deep in the hillside. We enjoyed free time here and explored a few of the local shops as we made our way back down the hill to meet up with our guide.
We left Eze behind and made our way back toward Monaco, stopping en-route for a stunning birds-eye view of the country from a hillside in France. Again this was an absolute hidden gem within this tour! Never had I seen Monaco like this before and our guide pointed out exactly what we were looking at. In one direction we could see France, below was Monaco and to the east we could even see Italy! It was out of this world! I also had a rather awesome view of our cruise ship.
We entered the principality of Monaco and made our way towards the Prince’s palace. We were just in time for the changing of the guard, which was quite a show. Again we enjoyed free time in the palace grounds and visited St. Nicholas Cathedral, the resting place of Grace Kelly and other Grimaldis. The exterior of this building is stunning and the interior just as impressive.
We visited on a rather busy day, but we never felt rushed. We grabbed some lunch (not part of the tour) and enjoyed a stroll through the narrow alleyways until we were back at our meeting point. I would also like to point out that you can only enter the palace grounds in a vehicle with Monaco plates. Lucky for us, our guide’s vehicle had Monaco plates and we avoided a rather steep climb to reach our destination. It’s little things like this I feel make a big difference on the overall enjoyment of the excursion.
In all, the tour lasted around four hours, which was ideal. We had a fabulous morning exploring and took in some wonderful sights. The afternoon was now ours to do as we wished. Like I said at the beginning, there is always something new to do in Monte Carlo.
Looking for other options? Browse all the Monte Carlo shore excursions.