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Why visit Monaco

Monaco is not always at the top of people's lists as a destination for a holiday. It features as a place to visit but not always as a place to stay. There are a lot of assumptions made when it comes to this incredibly wealthy tiny country. There are more than one or two myths surrounding this jewel on the French Riviera.

Monaco has a lot of very wealthy residents and very beautiful, luxurious apartments but it is not exclusively an expensive place to be. There are many ordinary people doing ordinary things in this extraordinary destination, shopping, dining out, hanging out at the beach, admittedly in exceptional surroundings which makes Monaco a unique and very special place to choose a holiday rental in.

Monaco from a distanceBeautiful homes in Monacolearning to sail, Monaco

Monaco is a multi-faceted country with residents from all over the world, each bringing in their own cultural mix making Monaco a very cosmopolitan community despite its size. A mix that is very much a part of what Monaco is and what it has been. As with many places along the Riviera Monaco's history is long and varied.

Monaco is the second smallest independent state in the world, after the Vatican city. It is just 485 acres with a coastline that stretches for only 2.5 miles. It also has the highest number of millionaires per square metre than any other country in the world. All of which serves to contribute to its reputation as an intriguing and unique little jewel of a country popular with the biggest names in industry, sport and showbusiness.

Ancient Times

The official documentation of Monaco's history didn't begin until the 1200's although the history of the area dates back to the Stone age and the earliest settlers are known to have been there in 6BC when it was occupied by an ancient tribe called Ligurians. It is suggested that the name Monaco is derived from the Greek word 'Monoikos', which means 'single house' or 'of living apart or alone'.

This perhaps relates to the geographical physical nature of 'The Rock' and the Ligurians sole inhabitation of it but 'Monoikos' was also a name used in connection with the Greek mythological hero Heracles, or Hercules, as the he was called by the Romans. It was used as a sort of surname for him and, as he is thought to have passed through the area, perhaps left it as a dedication. The Port of Hercule exists to this day.

Prior to becoming an independent Principality, Monaco is said to have passed through the hands of Phoenicians, Greeks, the Germanic Lombards and Muslim Saracens. It has been a colony of Genoa, under the protection of France and even, briefly in historical terms, it spent one hundred years catastophically allied to Spain.

Canons protect the Palace, Monaco
Old Ramparts, Monaco Ville
Old Ramparts
Old looks out over new, Monaco
Old watches New
Arriving into Place du Palais
Place du Palais

The Founding Family

The one thing that did, however, remain unequivocal over the centuries was Monaco's importance and desirability. The Port was certainly an important trading post but, with the steep, sheer cliff faces surrounding it on almost every side, the 'Rock' of Monaco was comprehensively defensible. It was an important location to hold onto among the ever increasing warring factions and families throughout Province and Northern Italy. Monaco became a colony of Genoa in the 1200's, the foundations of the fortress were laid in 1215 and so began the official documentation of the State and the beginning of its journey to independence.

The Grimaldi family were an influential Genoese family, whose ancestors date back to the time of the first crusades. They ran maritme expeditions all along the Meditteranean coast, the Black Sea and the North Sea. Ancedotal evidence has it that Francois Grimaldi seized the castle with his cousin while dressed as monks and carrying swords hidden beneath their robes. The Grimaldi coat of arms honours these two by bearing two, sword carrying monks.

Establishing Sovereignty

However it is Charles I that historians truly credit as the Grimaldi responsible for the establishment of Monaco. A clever politician, he forged strong links with France by providing fighting men and partaking in several victorious campaigns fighting for them. He extended Monaco's interests into Roquebrune and Menton increasing Monaco's size significantly and, more importanly, its wealth.

He provided sons and heirs to create a strong family line extending the Grimaldi heritage into Antibes, Beuil, Nice, Puget and Sicily. However, it took a further two hundred years to establish Monaco's sovereignty as indisputable. Other towns along the coast had been granted degrees of autonomy in return for population, protection and development but only Monaco was able to retain it.

After generations of uncertainty the Franco-Monegasgue Treaty of 1861 recognised and finally sealed Monaco's future independence. Today it is run as a constitutional Monarchy with the Sovereign Prince as head of state.

Monaco CathedralDetail of Le Palais de Justice, Monaco
CathedralCourt House
Prince Albert I at the helm in MonacoPalais Princier
Albert IPalace
In 1863 Charles III struck on the idea of opening a gaming house as a way to boost his country's wealth without taxing his citizens further and contruction of the infamous Monte Carlo Casino began. It was this decision that set the tiny country on its way to a successful and wealthy future.

A series of magnanimous leaders followed with Albert I dedicating himself to the study of Science and Research. Amongst other things, he established the Oceangraphic Institute and set up the International Peace Institute, an organisation dedicated to peaceful arbritation.

Recent History.

Prince Rainier II led Monaco onto the world stage and set about expanding the economic interests of his country, as well as establishing it as a full member of the United nations and the Council of Europe. He sealed the world's interest by marrying Hollywood star, and 'American Royalty': the actress Grace Kelly and gained the world's respect by supporting the arts and charitable foundations. He continued the tradition of research and conservation in the world's Oceans.

Today his son, Prince Albert II reigns. The bachelor Prince is expected to continue Monaco's expansion with groundbreaking projects on the horizon which will change the face of Monaco forever. Also, with his keen interest in sport and adventure, Prince Albert II brings a fresh, younger dynamic to the country.

Renting holiday Accommodation in Monaco

Monaco is a tiny country but it is a huge experience and a beautiful place to choose for your holiday. If you are ready to book a holiday apartment in Monaco then simply use the search facility below. To find out more about Monaco then click 'Next' to go through the other sections. Alternatively, to look through all our holiday villas and vacation rentals in all areas then click on 'Browse Rentals' in the main menu.


Some top holiday rentals in Monaco

Monaco Seaview Apartment Beausoleil

French Riviera » Monaco » Beausoleil 50 sq.m. Apartment 0721
»Holiday rental apartment
»Price per night:$176.29
»Per person (x4):$44.07
Sea View
Lovely 1-bedroom apartment in Beausoleil featuring a sunny, corner terrace with breakfast table and sea views. This is a stunning location just minutes from the chic Principality of Monaco.

Royale Apartment

French Riviera » Monaco » Beausoleil 39 sq.m. Apartment 0359
»Holiday rental apartment
»Price per night:$187.50
»Per person (x4):$46.88
Sea View, Contemporary
Large, modern studio apartment with beautiful sea views in the residential area of Beausoleil overlooking Monte Carlo. This apartment sleeps up to 4 people.

Apartment Villa Medicis

French Riviera » Monaco » Beausoleil 35 sq.m. Apartment 0887
»Holiday rental apartment
»Price per night:$192.31
»Per person (x4):$48.08
Swimming Pool, Sea View
A super apartment in Monaco / Beausoleil with a shared swimming pool and a breathtaking sea view. Located only a few steps from the Principality of Monaco and close to bus stops for easy travel. Special offers for last minute or long-term rentals.


Find your holiday rental in Monaco


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