A tourist’s eye view of Monte Carlo
Historically, the Monte Carlo Rally was actually a competition that straddled the whole of Europe. But its homeland has always been Monte Carlo, one part of the little Principality of Monaco. For the tourist, Monaco offers a breathtaking combination of spectacular scenery, luxury, gourmet dining and the ubiquitous atmosphere of legendary motoring competitions. Here you can walk the track of one of the most famous Formula 1 races and admire the climbs the cars negotiate when rounding the Sainte Dévote corner (it really is unexpectedly uphill, like the rest of Monaco, so be prepared for that). The city’s hilly terrain offers stunning views of the sea, and you can even spend some time at the famous local Oceanographic Museum. Or take a look at Prince Rainier III’s car collection.
In the past, the famous rally took place on the steep climbs of the streets of Monte Carlo. In its modern form, the stages take place a little further north, in the mountains above the French conurbations of Nice and Marseille in southeast France. From Nice or Monaco, you can easily make your way to the famous Col de Turini pass, for example, which is a legendary part of the famous rally’s modern event. The route is less than 60 kilometres long, but at a normal pace in light traffic it still takes about an hour and twenty minutes to cover, because the local roads, often lined with stone walls, are so twisting. Take the time to enjoy the drive and bask in the beautiful scenery.