Monaco, an ancient principality steeped in a rich and colourful history, is considered by many to be Europe's most fascinating country. Though the Principality covers but one square mile, it stands as a proud monarchy with his Serene Highness Prince Rainier III as its head of state. Today people visit Monaco and its glittering district Monte-Carlo not simply for vacation, not just to test their standing with lady luck, nor merely to see and be seen, but to revel in the memorable life-enhancing experience that is Monaco.
A sovereign and independent state, the Principality of Monaco has borders on its landward side with several communes of the French Department of the Alpes-Maritimes; from west to east these are Cap d`Ail, la Turbie, Beausoleil and Roquebrune Cap Martin. Seawards, Monaco faces the Mediterranean.
The Condamine Harbor Area, Monte Carlo, was created in 1866, in the reign of Prince Charles III who gave it its name, with its internationally famous Casino, its great hotels and leisure facilities: Larvotto beach, the Monte Carlo Sporting Club, and the Boulingrins Gardens. Fontvieille, a great technical achievement with the filling-in with rock of 40 meters of water to produce a platform of 22 hectares supporting an urban, tourist and sports complex adjoining a yachting harbour and a pollution-free industrial zone. Moneghetti, the Révoires and the Exotic Gardens.
The climate is mild in winter (average in January and February : 8.2°C) and warm without excess in summer (average in July and August : 25.5°C). The average temperature for the year is 16.31°C and the Principality enjoys an exceptional amount of sun.
Monaco's nearest airport is The Nice - Côte d`Azur International Airport located 22 kilometres away from Monaco. Helicopter and bus services, taxis and hire cars provide permanent links between the airport and the Principality.
The two harbours of the Principality, the Condamine (Hercule harbour) and Fontvieille, are equipped to handle yachts of all tonnages while intercontinental liners are able to anchor in the bay of Monaco. The Principality, the crossroads of the world of sport with its world-renowned events - the Monte Carlo Rally, the Grand Prix, the International Tennis matches and so on - is also a think-tank for the official bodies which govern sports.