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Discover magical Monaco

This historic and culturally-rich principality on the French Riviera is truly unmissable

The Principality of Monaco, situated on the south-eastern coast of France, is living proof that size isn't everything. Officially the world's second-smallest independent city-state (only the Vatican is smaller), Monaco still manages to cram in a wealth of culture, entertainment, history and glamour into its remarkably picturesque two-square-kilometre area.

Settled by the ancient Greeks in the sixth century BC, Monaco was claimed as a Genoese colony in the twelfth century, occupied and later owned by the Italian Grimaldi dynasty. France regained control of the principality during the French Revolution, with Monaco's sovereignty affirmed by the Franco-Monegasque Treaty of 1861. By this time, Charles III of Monaco had already consented to the development of the state as a recreational resort. Monaco's first casino arrived in 1863 and its first luxury hotel a year later. The arrival of the railway in 1868 significantly boosted Monaco's tourist economy, cementing the city's reputation as a resort of choice for Europe's affluent society.

Modern-day Monaco is exciting and atmospheric, its highlights easily discovered and enjoyed on foot. The district of Monte Carlo, famed for its prestigious Grand Prix, luxurious lifestyle and casinos is abundant in beautiful architecture and public gardens and even boasts a sun-kissed fine-shingle beach. Monaco-Ville, or 'the rock', meanwhile is the city's medieval quarter whose narrow traffic-free alleyways, historic buildings, souvenir shops and other attractions are a delight to explore.

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Showing 1 to 2 of 2 holidays
The French Riviera

Explore the famous sights of Nice with visits to some of the French Riviera's most picturesque resorts, such as Antibes and Cannes before unearthing hidden Villefranche-sur-Mer and the iconic principality of Monaco.

Departs from March 2017 to October 2017.
6 days from £725per personView tour details
Nice Carnival & The French Riviera

The Nice Carnival is one of the largest in the world, with decorated floats, fancy dress and many musicians and dancers. Enjoy a fantastic view of this colourful procession during a break to the glamorous French Riviera.

Departs in February 2017.
7 days from £825per personView tour details
Showing 1 to 2 of 2 holidays

The Oceanographic Museum of Monaco
This impressive museum and aquarium, opened in 1910, is a must-visit attraction for any visitor to Monaco. The aquarium features recreated natural environments containing more than 6,000 specimens including tropical fish, sharks, marine invertebrates and corals whilst among the museum's displays are a full-scale reproduction of a sperm whale, a collection of exotic sea shells and the world's largest exhibition of marine curiosities.

Jardin Exotique
For almost a century Monaco's beautiful Exotic Garden has been home to a spectacular collection of rare and exotic plants. Divided into themed areas linked by pathways, the garden includes a large collection of flowering cacti and succulents, a Mediterranean garden, a subterranean cave known as the 'underground cathedral' and several panoramic viewpoints.

Cathédrale de Monaco
The magnificent Romanesque-Byzantine Cathedral of St Nicholas is the burial place of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier of Monaco and whilst the interior decoration is less grandiose and opulent than that of comparable European cathedrals it is no less beautiful and features a collection of important sixteenth-century artworks and a Renaissance-period wooden altar.

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Rail Discoveries has more than three decades' experience providing outstanding rail holidays.

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