Best Bachelorette Party in Europe | French Riviera, Ibiza, and Barcelona
My girlfriends and I spent 10 unforgettable days in Europe in May 2016. The occasion was my upcoming July wedding. Our bachelorette trip started at Côte d’Azur or the French Riviera, which is on the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France. We visited Cannes, Antibes, Nice, Saint-Tropez, Eze, and Monaco. Absolutely beautiful places! Ibiza, the party capital of Europe, was our second destination. Notorious with its lively nightlife and summer parties, Ibiza also offered Renaissance architecture with labyrinthine streets and wonderful beaches. Our trip finished at the enchanting seaside city of Barcelona, Spain, home of boundless culture and fabled architecture. It was the Best Bachelorette Party in Europe for us.
Since we were staying at an AirBnB in the beautiful town of Antibes, renting a car allowed us to move from one location to another pretty fast. We spent one day sightseeing Éze and Monaco, two beautiful locales on the sunny Southern coast of France.
It’s worth noting that while Éze and Monaco aren’t that far apart geographically (only about a fifteen minute drive along the coast), they are each distinctly unique culturally. Éze is a French commune, which is similar to a civil township, and stretches from the edge of the Mediterranean Sea on the Riviera to the hilltop Éze-Village. It is this magnificent hilltop view that the commune is known for, providing a wonderful panoramic view across the entire area. Owing to its picturesque sights and small, close-knit community, Éze is often referred to as a village musée – a museum village.
In contrast, Monaco is a city-state with an incredibly dense population for its small size. While it is geographically only a fraction of the size of Éze, the population of Monaco is considerably larger- about 38,000 people populating roughly two square kilometers. While Éze is laid-back and scenic, Monaco is fast-paced and exciting. It offers great opportunities for the best bachelorette party in Europe. Tourism is huge here, aided by the attractive draw of low tax, a booming gambling industry, sports like football and rugby, and of course, Formula One racing. The whole city was already geared up for the next Formula One competitions when we visited Monte Carlo.
Between the two locations, our girls’ trip was not short on excitement or relaxation. Here are a few of our favorites from that week:
Sightseeing and Things to Do
Château de la Chèvre d’Or
Chåteau de la Chèvre d’or in located in the Éze Village and the hotel is an absolute pleasure! The place strikes the perfect balance between comfort and opulence, with metallic accents that are warm and welcoming. The furniture is a mid-century modern aesthetic and is styled around large windows that open to that famous Éze view- a lush landscape.
Another asset of this hotel would be its exquisite dining options. It offers five different dining rooms, each with their own unique feel. For the traveling foodie, La Chèvre d’or gourmet restaurant is a perfect way to sample the cuisine of France. Plates are small, focusing on the combination of aromatic flavors and marine cuisine, all of which is caught just a stone’s throw away in the Med. For a less formal engagement, lunch on the terraces of Les Ramparts or Le Café du Jardin are equally delicious options. Restaurant Eden is a romantic spot situated in a botanic garden, the perfect place to spend a night alone with your partner. And finally, to taste those small plates with a glass of champagne (or two!), the Bar on the French Riviera combines the charm of the terrace with the elegance of the other restaurants.
Monte Carlo Casino
The much reputed name of the Monte Carlo Casino fails to fully capture what a truly enormous and exhaustive experience it is to visit; it’s not just one casino, but rather a complex of gambling establishments, connected to the Grand Theater of Monte Carlo as well as the offices of the Monaco Ballet.
Visiting this establishment is an incredible and thorough look at the culture and arts scene of Monte Carlo. There are a variety of gambling games in the casino facilities, from blackjack to stud poker to baccarat, as well as more modern amenities like video slots. One interesting fact, however, is that citizens of Monaco are forbidden from entering the casino’s gaming rooms by law- identity documents are checked at the door to enforce this statute. This was an initiative of the late Princess Caroline, whose idea it was to construct the casino in the first place as an economic stimulation for the suffering economy. Her intent was to use the profits from the casino to save the troubled city-state without plunging its own residents into personal debt an addiction.
Prince’s Palace of Monaco
Seeing the Prince’s Palace was one of the most historically and culturally significant stops on our trip to Monaco. As the name suggests, the palace is the official residence of the reigning Prince of Monaco. Despite the long history of the city-state (the original palace dated back to the 13th century), this palace was updated in 1911. Due to this its architecture reflects more modern attributes punctuating a Renaissance revival style. The interior is just as lavish as the exterior, and perhaps most notable are the state apartments modeled after the ostentatious Versailles in France. And unlike other palaces in Europe, this one combines fashion with function, as it was highly fortified against enemies of the city-state by savvy rulers.
Jardin Botanique d’Éze
Built after World War II on the ruins of a demolished château, the botanic garden of Éze is another gorgeous natural sight and a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. Sure to delight the hipsters among us, the plant life and greenery native to Éze consists significantly of succulents and cacti. The combination of flora, fauna, and salty sea breeze perfectly encapsulates the experience of visiting this village musée.
One place we did not get to visit but would have liked to is the Parfumerie Fragonard, a perfume factory in Éze. Not only does touring the facility excite your senses with a variety of fragrances, but it also delves into the historical significance of perfume in European culture. Of course, you will always be encouraged to sample the wares yourself and bring home a perfume or two, but who doesn’t love a souvenir?