Antibes – How to get there and what to do!
The ancient walled town of Antibes with its relaxed beach feel, beautiful old town, narrow cobbled streets, little cafés, restaurants and covered market offers a calmer and more traditional place to spend a day away from Nice.
In the summer of 1946, Picasso and his lover Françoise Gilot left Paris and headed for the south of France. In her book ‘Life with Picasso’, Gilot describes Antibes and Golfe-Juan, as almost deserted when they first arrived. These days the area heaves with tourists and the beach is lined with sun loungers and trendy restaurants. A great plus is that the beach is sandy, so if you fancy a cooling dip, pack your swimsuits!
The quickest way to get to Antibes from Nice to take a train. The journey takes up to 25 minutes on TER trains and only 12 minutes on TGV. Tickets start from around €4.80 one way.
You can also take a bus number 200 that leaves from the bus stop called Albert 1er not far from Hotel Meridien (check the schedule on Lignes d’Azur website). The journey takes up to 45 minutes. Ticket costs €1.50, note that multi passes can not be used on this journey.
Chateau Grimaldi, Old Town Antibes, +33 (0)4 92905428
Works created by Pablo Picasso during his stay in Antibes reflect the light and love of the seaside town and revival of the painter’s spirits during this intense period of happiness in his life. The works in the collection of the Museum are representative of the period of the late 1940s and early 1950s – one of the greatest creativity in the artist’s life, in which he produced great works in both painting and ceramics.
10.00-18.00 (June 15 – September 15), late openings till 20.00 on Tuesdays and Fridays in July and August
10.00-12.00 and 14.00-18.00 in the winter
Closed every Monday
Free days – The first full week in November (closed Monday)
The first full week in February (closed Monday)
Cours Masséna (covered hall), 06600 Antibes
The Provencal market sets out each morning around 6.00 am except of Mondays. Its fabulous stalls offer fresh regional produce: delicatessen and cheese from the mountains, meat, fish, spices and bouquets of cut or dried flowers, the local vegetables and fruit. The market starts wrapping up around 12.30.
Avenue de Verdun, 06600 Antibes
If you fancy a glimpse of some of the world’s largest and most lavishly appointed yachts including “the regulars” Roman Abramovich’s Ecstasea and Paul Allen’s Octopus, look no further and head off for a walk to Port Vauban.
After having served as a port and partially an ‘airport’ for seaplanes in the early part of the 20th century, its development as the harbour we know it by today started in the Seventies .
It is a port of contrasts, it gathers behind its walls from the 16th century called ‘Les Remparts’ a variety of boats, yachts and mega-yachts with the most modern designs of our time.
Port Vauban now serves as the home of the Yacht Club d’Antibes and is the largest marina (in terms of total tonnage of the boats and yachts moored there) in the Mediterranean Sea.
Cathedral Notre Dame
1 Rue du Saint-Esprit, 06600 Antibes
The largest church in Antibes, with alabaster like facade that represents Provençal Baroque architecture can be found in the heart of the old town. It is a national monument. The very detailed entrance doors carved by Jacques Dolle in 18th century are a piece of art in itself.
Inside the cathedral, Vierge du Rosaire – a piece by Louise Bréa from around 1513 is awaiting. This well known painting illustrates Virgin Mary holding the Child the Saviour with little chuburbs in the background. The panels bordering the Virgin Mary portrait portray the 15 Mysteries of the Rosary: five each of Joy, Sorrow, and Glory. This is the only complete Vierge du Rosaire surviving to date.
Avenue du 11 Novembre, 06600 Antibes, Tel: +33 (0)4 92 90 52 13
Located on the peninsula of Saint-Roch, the Fort Carré is built on a rock at 26m above sea level. The walkway is 43m high and offers a 360 degree panoramic view.
Built on the orders of King Henry II of France in the second half of the 16th century, this astonishing architecture was long used as a watchtower for the nearby border with the County of Nice and as a defensive post for Antibes, the last French port before this border. The Fort is surrounded by a protected 4 hectare park featuring typically Mediterranean flora and fauna.
Opening Hours :
November – January 10.00 – 12.30, 13.30 -16.30
February – May 10.00 – 12.30, 13.30 – 17.00
June – October 10.00 – 13.00, 14.00 – 18.00
Closed every Monday, 1st January, 1st November, 25th December
Admission Fees : Adult €3, students / seniors over 65 €1.50, free under 18 years old
Botanical Gardens – Jardin Botanique De la Villa Thuret
90 Chemin Raymond, 06160 Antibes Juan les Pins, Tel : +33 (0)4 9721 2500
The botanical garden is located on 3.5 hectares of land with approximately 2500 trees representing some 1600 exotic species from Mediterranean, and other hot climates such as South Africa, Australia, California, Chile and Mexico as well as. Japan and New Zealand. About 50 – 100 new species are planted each year.
Opening Hours :
Summer 8.00 – 18.00, Winter 8.30 – 17.30
Closed every Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.
Admission is free.
Villa Eilenroc and its Gardens
Avenue Mrs Beaumont, 06160 Cap d’Antibes, Tel: +33 (0)4 93 67 74
At the tip of Cap d’Antibes, on a plot of 11 hectares, you will find the villa Eilenroc. This extraordinary residence symbolizes the luxury and indulgence of the Belle Epoque. It was designed and built in 1867 by Charles Garnier, the architect of the Paris and Monte Carlo Opera houses.
The park surrounding the villa is planted with traditional species of the Mediterranean landscape. At the heart of this conservation area, a public rose garden offers the fragrances and essences of its thousands of varieties, mostly created in Antibes Juan-les-Pins, the capital of roses.
In 2011, a scented garden was also created at the entrance to the rose garden. In addition, the coastal path allows a 3.7 km stunning walk from the beach of the villa Eilenroc to the Garoupe Bay. From Garoupe Beach you can take a local bus back to Antibes – Line Number 2.
Every Wednesday from 14.00-17.00
The 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month from 14.00-17.00
Admission Fee: €2 (free under 12).
Free between the 1st October to the 31st March, adult and child.
How to get there: Take a bus number 2 from the Antibes bus station and hop out at Eden Roc stop. Walk back for a bit on Bd. J.F. Kennedy before turning right into Av. Mrs Beaumont.
Guided Walking Tour of Antibes
The tourist office of Antibes offers a guided walking tour that helps you to discover and e plods the rich history of Antibes. Reservation is required. You can either call them on +33 (0) 4 22 10 6010 or email firstname.lastname@example.org . The tour takes up to 1,5 hours, costs €7 per person or €12 per couple, children between 8 – 16 €3.50.