Top Monaco Sporting Events

16 April 2013
Read Time: 2.0 mins

Monaco is a playground for the rich and famous, who make the most of the principality's tax-free status and spectacular location on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. It may be renowned as the place to spot celebrities, but Monaco is also a great location to watch sport, so we've compiled a list of five sporting experiences you shouldn't miss in this tiny city-state.

 Monaco

Monte Carlo Masters - Tennis
One of the most famous tennis tournaments in the world, the Monte Carlo Masters has been played annually since 1897. Hosted in the jaw-dropping surrounds of the spectacular Monte Carlo Country Club – which clings to the side of a hill overlooking the shimmering blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea - this clay-court ATP World Masters 1000 event has attracted the great and good of Monégasque high society for years. Renowned as one of the most glamorous events on the ATP World Tour, the Monte Carlo Masters is practically the personal plaything of Spanish clay-court king Rafael Nadal. He's unbeaten at the tournament since 2005, winning a tour record eight consecutive tournaments in a row.

AS Monaco - Football
The principality boasts a long association with football. For 15 years the UEFA Super Cup between the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League winners was played in Monaco's compact Stade Louis II, although Monaco lost the hosting rights to the showpiece pre-season clash at the end of 2012. That means the best way to watch the round-ball game is to catch club side AS Monaco in action. Founded in 1924, the Red and Whites have enjoyed long periods of success across the border in France. Seven-time French league champions, they've also lifted the French Cup on five separate occasions, although perhaps the best reason to pay the club a visit is to check out the architecturally absorbing Stade Louis II.

Monaco Grand Prix - Formula One
By far Monaco's most famous sporting event and a popular tourist attraction in its own right, the principality's beloved Monaco Grand Prix is considered the toughest race to win on the Formula One calendar. That's largely because it takes place on the hair-raising Circuit de Monaco - a 3.3 kilometre street circuit winding its way through the narrow lanes and alleyways of Monaco's stunning harbour front.  The infamous tunnel underneath the Fairmont Hotel is unique in the world of motor racing and is considered one of the toughest sections of track to negotiate. It's possible to walk large sections of the circuit but more adventurous thrill seekers would no doubt prefer to take a hired sports car out for a spin.

Herculis - Athletics
Long a fixture in the world of athletics, the annual Herculis meet takes place at the Stade Louis II - which to the chagrin of football fans is surrounded by a 400-metre athletics track. These days the stadium hosts a leg of the prestigious IAAF Diamond League series, meaning many of the world's best athletes make Monaco an annual stopover. Surprisingly, only one world record has ever been set at the Herculis, when legendary Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva leapt 5.04 metres to set a new high mark in the sport.

Monte Carlo International - Show Jumping
No trip to Monaco would be complete without a taste of glitz and glamour and that's exactly what you'll experience at the Monte Carlo International Show Jumping event. The picturesque Port Hercule plays backdrop to the three-day equestrian extravaganza, which takes place in a specially-constructed showjumping arena.  One of the most lucrative stops on the Global Champions Tour, the Monte Carlo International is an iconic show jumping event which draws thousands of spectators to its spectacular portside location each year.

Mike Tuckerman

From Europe to Asia and many places in between, there's rarely a town or city I've not enjoyed exploring. When I'm not wandering the streets and discovering new destinations, you can usually find me hanging out with the locals at major sporting events.