A Guide to: Antibes

Antibes, in the heart of the Côte d’Azur, French Riviera.

Antibes: in the heart of the Côte d’Azur, French Riviera.

Located mid-way between the glamour resort of Cannes and the Bay of Cannes, and the Baie des Anges to the north east, bordering the magnificent city of Nice. A town of diversity, historical richness; true Provençal life mixed with modern day life and something for all age groups.

Separating the coastline is the stunning Cap d’Antibes with its marinas on both sides. The lively resort of Juan les Pins and neighbouring Golfe Juan, the landing site of Napoleon are on the south west side, and Fort Carré adjoins the Port of Antibes and the Baie des Anges.  

It is a lively resort with an incredible variety of activities throughout the year. Further into the hinterland of Antibes you have the beautiful villages of Tourrettes-sur-Loup and St Paul de Vence. If you are seeking the epitome of medieval French villages with the heady mix of Provençal life, art and culture, then look no further than here.

From the days of the Roman Empire, Antiboul, and later named by the Greeks as Antipolis, it became a feudal town of the Pope and eventually passed into the hands of the Grimaldi family, a Genovese prince who moved west towards Nice and Monaco. 

Antibes was founded by the Greeks over 2000 years ago with the name Antipolis. Shortly afterwards it was incorporated into the expanding Roman empire when it was known as Antiboul. With the fall of the Roman empire Antibes was a target of pirates and raiders until the growing power of Genoa removed most of these menaces. It became the most eastern port of the Kingdom of France when Nice was part of Savoy. During the 100 year war the town was enlarged, protected by the walls still visible today and Fort Carré. By 1710 it was a walled city.

From the late 1800s tourism began to emerge and people flocked to the south of France to enjoy the warm climate, often making it part of the European Tour. In the early 20th century artists were attracted to Antibes as it was still a small and unspoilt resort by comparison to its neighbouring towns. Artists such as Picasso set roots in the city and a visit to the Picasso museum set on the city walls should be on everyone’s to do list.

Antibes is now a bustling and lively city with Sophia Antipolis “the Silicone Valley” in the south of France located to the north of Antibes. This brings prosperity and an international flavour to the way of life to Antibes. 

The old walled town is an excellent place to begin your exploration of this vibrant resort. A morning visit to the covered food market will whet your appetite for sure. Stroll down the little lanes and enjoy boutiques, galleries and shops for all. The other markets for clothes, fabrics, and other Provençal products takes place from Tuesday to Saturday in various places in the town. Take a walk also along the ramparts of the town for some spectacular views towards Nice and the mountain backdrop. Visit the Picasso museum, walk around the Port Vauban and be mesmerised by the magnificent yachts.

On the other side of the Port is Fort Carré, with arrow shaped bastions, this star shaped Fortress dates back to 1553 with later additions in the 1600s. It has references to Henry III, then later the French Revolution, and perhaps the most modern claim to fame was the filming of James Bond, Never Say Never Again. Certainly a great visit and excellent photo opportunity.

The coastline of Antibes is edged with sandy beaches, although the nearer to Nice on the northern side there are more pebbles.Tucked in behind the ramparts of the old town, towards to port, is a large popular beach, white sand and sparkling waters. Other worthy beaches are the Place des Ondes, opposite the private beach of Plage de la Garoupe, it is small and primarily used by the locals, if you are seeking something less busy.  Plage de la Salis a lovely long beach of white sand.

East of Antibes, Juan les Pins and Golfe Juan are stand out places for those long leisurely lunches on the beach, with sand between your toes; perhaps a tasty fresh fish platter, a chilled glass of light pink Rosé all shaded by a large parasol, plus an uninterrupted view of the bluest of sparkling seas.

All our villas within the Antibes, Vence regions have easy access to the beaches and resort activities including the Waterparks and Marineland to name just two.

A day lazing on the beach watching the children splash about in the warm Mediterranean sea should be on everyone’s agenda for family enjoyment, but how nice to be able to drive back to your beautiful villa; your shady garden, kids continue their fun in your private pool, while you prepare an evening barbecue to round off your day. Priceless!