Monaco and Monte Carlo

The Principality of Monaco otherwise simply known as Monaco is a small state that is found on the northern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It is neighboured (for the most part) by France. Other than its small size, which is about, 2 square kilometres, Monaco is known as a place reserved exclusively for the rich, and with a small population of about 33,000 people, it is not hard to maintain the status quo.

Its administrative centre is Monte Carlo, which on its part is better known for its casino than anything else. Monaco has a rich history which begins in the ancient Greek myths and Hercules’ name is mentioned severally. However, it was first established by Emperor Henry VI as a land grant in 1191. In 1297, Francesco Grimaldi captured Monaco dressed as a monk and since then, the principality has been ruled by the House of Grimaldi. The current reigning monarch is His Serene Highness Albert II, Prince of Monaco. Surprisingly in Monaco, you don’t refer to the monarch as King or Queen but as Prince.

Though Monaco is small in size, it is known to hold the world’s most prestigious grand prix, the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix, which takes place annually on the renowned Circuit de Monaco at Monte Carlo. The Monte Carlo is also acclaimed for holding other great events. The World Backgammon Championship, the European Poker Tour Grand Final and boxing bouts that are feature world champions. Monte Carlo’s enticement does not end there, it is ranked highly among European tourist resorts and this is mostly because of its great weather.

If thinking of visiting the principality any time soon, you need to consider the means of travel that you are going to be using. If you are considering flying there, then you should know that the nearest airport is located in Nice, that is, the Nice Cote-d’Azur. This is about 40 kilometres from the Monaco border, but you could connect via bus to Monte Carlo. This shuttles run on a daily schedule. If you prefer, you could travel by taxi. However, this means is not recommended due to the high likelihood of dealing with shady taxi drivers who will have turned on their meters before the road trip begins.

If you have got a couple of bucks to spare, then a helicopter ride would make your short trip from Nice to Monte Carlo pleasurable. Depending on the season, the helicopter fee could range from €100-€700. These fees are at their highest usually in May, when the Cannes Film Festival is held.

Train is another way to travel to Monaco. The Monaco-Monte Carlo train station offers good services, usually running up to 2-4 services every one hour to Nice.

If you think that Monaco is to expensive for you and you simply wanted to get around the frontier, then you could consider travelling on foot. One thing that you should be aware of is that the ground is not level. In some places there’s a sudden elevation (for instance the Exotic Gardens) which make for a tough climb.

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