Monaco is synonymous with many things; luxury, yachts and real estate, yet it is the Grand Prix which really gets pulses racing in the Principality year after year. One of the most popular races in the Grand Prix calendar, the legendary street circuit covers many of the most important sites in Monaco and Monte Carlo, and what’s best, is that for more or less 360 days of the year, anyone can drive the majority of the track. At just 3.34km it is a short Grand Prix circuit, but as is typical in Monaco, it is packed with a variety of interesting landmarks. Take the opportunity to discover the must-visit areas of the Principality by driving the Monaco Grand Prix track and decide which of the many sites and landmarks you would like to see in more detail.
The race starts with a short sprint up Boulevard Albert 1er before reaching the first bend, a 90 degree turn onto the Avenue d’Ostende. Sprint up the Beau Rivage and admire the view as you ascend – from here you can see over to the castle on the other side of the port. Upon reaching the top of the Avenue d’Ostende you will see some of the finest boutiques in the Principality on the street to your right, the Avenue de Monte Carlo. This small street boasts boutiques from Prada, Hermès and Gucci among numerous others, in addition to a fine view over the Port Hercule, which boasts some of the finest Monaco properties. Follow the road into one of the main highlights of the Grand Prix, the Casino de Monte Carlo.
Descend down to Casino Square, to see the impressive casino and Opera house. It is of course a legendary place to play in the evening, or alternatively enjoy a cocktail on the terrace and has featured in numerous films such as James Bond Goldeneye. The square also features the Hotel de Paris, a Five star hotel with a fabulous lunch menu.
Directly after Casino Square is ‘the world’s most famous bend,’ the Fairmont hairpin. The Fairmont itself has a fantastic rooftop pool with a view over the Mediterranean and Monte Carlo. Right next-door is the infamous Buddha Bar, the Asian influenced bar/restaurant that is located in a 20th Century concert hall. The bar is perfect for a nice evening meal, an early evening cocktail at happy hour prices and of course, some late night entertainment, when resident DJ PAPA begins his set.
Moving away from the Fairmont and the hedonistic Buddha Bar, follow the more than 180 degree Fairmont bend around at a slightly lower speed than the F1 drivers reach, and head passed Mirabeau and the beautiful Japanese Garden on your left and into the tunnel, a highlight of the drive itself. Enjoy potentially the most famous stretch of Formula 1 track in the world and emerge from the tunnel to see the Yacht Club de Monaco on your left. Opened in June 2014 by Prince Albert II, the Yacht Club, which is also the base for the popular Monaco Classic Week of sailing in September, has one of the finest restaurants in the Principality and is open for business on a daily basis.
Heading passed the Yacht Club and you can take the time to admire both the yachts and the fantastic real estate around Port Hercule. The yachts take centre stage in Monaco and the port is the perfect location to view some of the largest superyachts in the world. The track follows the port around onto the straight, passed the numerous cafés that line the seafront and the Olympic sized open-air swimming pool Stade Nautique Ranier III, which is open between 9am and 8pm between June 6th and September 6th. The track follows on to the final turn before hitting the home straight.
The penultimate bend is known as La Rascasse. La Rascasse is also a lounge bar and one of the best locations to enjoy the race from, with a view down the stretch of track along the Port Hercule. It is also the perfect spot for the evening, with an event agenda that is updated on a monthly basis, with DJs and live music. Another testing bend for the drivers as it is immediately followed by the Anthony Noghes bend which marks the entrance to the home straight back on Boulevard Albert 1er for a sprint to the finish line.
Rent a luxury car in Monaco here, to drive the track in style.