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I have been a regular visitor to Antibes
for the past twelve years, although I first got a glimpse
back in 1961 on a family holiday. The old arch overlooking
Port Vaubaun still looks like it did all those years ago.
Many visitors who fly into Nice will see
Antibes and all those yachts and boats as they approach
the runway at Nice. If you are flying through France
you will suddenly see the sea on the horizon and the plane
will turn left just over Cannes and follow the
coast for the remainder of the journey.
The port of course has changed and increased in size to
accommodate all those "super yachts" that you can see from
the historic old town walls over that arch. Some of these
yachts even have their own helicopter and there are numerous
companies involved in maintenance and food supplies.
Roman Abramovich keeps one his yachts there, however the
port is still not big enough for vessels that are even bigger
and an extension is planned.
Just outside the old town walls opposite
the port is a large area of land, this has been used as
car parking for many years, but had to be closed when an
exhibition was being held on the site. The town decided
to solve the parking and exhibition problem by building
a 600 place underground car park and the open land above
will hold exhibitions and other events. The project is due
to be finished in the summer of 2013.
If you are visiting Antibes by car, it is
best to park it. You can park in the port area, or for a
really long interesting walk park in the car park opposite
You can then see many of the yachts and visit
Le Nomade sculpture by Jaume Plensa en route.
As you walk into the old town (Vieille Ville d'Antibes)
up the hill past the English book shop on the left and look
at view over the small sheltered beach and harbour.(below
Continue that walk and visit the Musée
Picasso on the right of the battlements. It is open
all year except on Mondays. It is closed on New Years day,
1st May, 1st November and Christmas day and is well worth
You can continue your walk along the sea front past an area
where local play boules and within site of the streets of
the main town of Antibes. Continue past the plage de la
Salis (they have firework displays in this area on Bastille
day) which is a very well maintained public beach with plenty
of car parking, although can be rather busy in July and
At the end of the beach is a picturesque harbour and opposite
that a stepped walkway leading to the lighthouse (Phare
de la Garoupe) area on Cap d'Antibes. You can
also drive up there as it quite a climb and at the top the
seafarers chapel (Nôtre Dame des Amoureux ) is well
worth a visit recording the victims of drowning in the sea
below. The views are magnificent day or night.
of taking those stairs up, start walking around Cap d'Antibes,
in the early evening it is a joggers paradise. The houses
are expensive, you will also find for sale signs in three
languages nowadays. French, English and Russian. At this
point you might want to turn back as it is a long walk to
Juan-Les-Pins and collect your car.
Follow the route back past the beach and stop and
take a look at the view of the old town with the odd picture
in the painters trail, near the Royal Beach restaurant.
Instead of walking around the walls of the old town go downhill
(and up) into the old town itself. Here you will find the
historic market place. This is always full of activity,
from produce being sold to artworks available and tables
and chairs galore from local restaurants.
At one end of the market place is the Hôtel
de Ville - town hall. Take one of the streets opposite and
you can spend ages exploring the old town itself.
you have down this Collect your car and drive along the
ramparts past the plage de la Salis and onto the road going
around Cap d'Antibes. Turn left into baie de la garoupe
and if you want another walk park your car here and venture
around the walking area of the Cap. It is well worth a visit.
on and drive past the very smart Hôtel du Cap, The Oetker
Collection owns the hotel now and apparently the hotel (like
many others) closed for the summer until in the early 1930s
the owners were persuaded to open it. Summer holidays suddenly
came along. Just past this magnificent hotel you will see
the Musée Naval et Napoléonien (Museum).
a few more gentle bends and ahead of you will be Juan-les-Pins.
Back in the 1880's it was a quiet little fishing village
and in the 1960's became a resort for the "jet set" according
"Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)?", by the singer Peter Sarstedt.
copyright Gilles Lefrancq) Today it is a very
popular town and the music continues with the annual Juan-les-Pins
Jazz Festival - Jazz à Juan (see
the cotedazurrental.com comprehensive feature here)
this is normally held in July over a period of ten days
in the evening with a magnificent setting in the Pinède
overlooking the Mediterranean Sea
are kilometers of beaches at Juan-les-Pins, public
and private and they go on right out past Golfe-Juan
on the way to Cannes.
Enjoy your visit to Antibes, the Cap and Juan-les-Pins
Suter jml Property Services - January 2013
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