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The Cote D’Azur, or as it is more commonly known to English speakers, the French Riviera, is one of the most desirable travel locations in the world.

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Aside the good climate, it is home to many luxury hotels and a lot of fantastic activities that you can spend your trip indulging in.

Of course the region has become famous as one of the homes of casino gambling, and there is no question that a fan of roulette or blackjack will want to sample the gaming at the likes of Casino Barriere (in Cannes) or the Monte Carlo Casino (in Monaco).

It would be a mistake to assume that casino is all this resort has to offer. It is also a marvellous place to visit if your passion is for sports, with sailing being particularly popular. A combination of highly conducive weather and beautiful marinas – for example Port Vauban found in Antibes – have ensured that this is the best place in France to go sailing. Indeed water sports in general are very popular here, including the likes of water skiing, kayaking and scuba diving.

You will find plenty of nautical centres around the Cote D’Azur, as well as independent operators dotted around the beach, able to equip you with everything you need to try these out.

Then again, if you would rather stay on dry land during your Cote D’Azur stay, people often forget that it is an ideal place for hiking or walking trips as well. The region has its share of hills and mountains that are ideal to hike across – or cycle if you are especially fit – with the Esterel Mountains located halfway between Saint Raphael and Cannes being just one of the fine places to hike.

Of course, we have not even mentioned the motor sports – like the Monaco Grand Prix – for those who prefer to watch others do the hard work! So you see the casinos are just one of the attractions on offer for anyone planning to hit the Cote D’Azur.

There are several notable casinos to visit if you are spending some time in Monte Carlo, if you are looking for one which offers a real sense of history alongside top class casino gaming, then there is  one which stands out above all of the rest.

The Monte Carlo Casino is regarded by most as the jewel in the crown of this resort and, with a history dating back all the way to the 19th century, it is certainly the oldest casino on the Cote D’Azur. The inspiration for it came from the unlikely figure of Princess Caroline, who saw the revenues that it could bring in as a possible way for the House of Grimaldi ruling family of Monaco to avoid bankruptcy.

However in its earliest days the casino struggled to deliver these revenues, with Monaco seen as a bad location and a succession of managers proving unable to bring growth. It was the arrival of Francois Blanc and a massive redevelopment between 1878-79 that led to the Monte Carlo Casino truly beginning to reach its full potential.

The new version was the creation of Charles Garnier, the architect behind the Paris Opera House, and saw expansion of the gaming rooms and the addition of a concert hall. However, subsequent redevelopment has ensured that little of Garnier’s design now survives, but the Monte Carlo Casino is arguably the centre of the resort’s economy. For those of you who do not fancy visiting the locations and want to stay indoors, then you can still enjoy the thrill of casino games online on websites like where you are likely to find more variations of the popular games found in actual casinos.

In more recent times, the casino has become part of the popular imagination – a process that began when it was used in some of the James Bond movies (as well as Ian Fleming’s original novels). This enshrined it in the popular imagination as the epitome of high roller glamour and sophistication, and it was recently used as a location for the Ocean’s Twelve film.

It was also the casino that a group of MIT blackjack players tried to cheat by counting cards.

All this makes it easily the casino in Monte Carlo with the most historic interest and appeal.

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