Antibes is always a good idea!

Written by on July 7, 2019 in Provence-Alpes

People sunbathing on a sandy beach on a sunny day in Antibes, southern France

To paraphrase Audrey Hepburn’s famous quote, “Paris is always a good idea,” I have felt the same way about the enticing old town of Antibes since I first set foot there … let’s just say many decades ago.

These days there are a lot of changes happening in the vieille ville. Progress is catching up with the town in many ways. Tourism is rapidly growing in this part of the Côte d’Azur and these beautiful small towns are often packed with visitors.  However, do not lose hope!

It’s said that Antibes gave Picasso a new lease on life during his brief stay in 1946. I still find it is possible to choose your time, be selective and enjoy this medieval gem. Here are some suggestions for your new lease on life!

Allow me to share my go-to spots:

La Chapelle de Saint-Bernardin

A short stroll along Rue de la Republique and a left turn onto Rue du Docteur Rostan, will bring you to this 16th Century chapel, built on Roman ruins like many other buildings in le vieil Antibes. An impressive restoration has uncovered original frescos. The year 1581 is carved into magnificent side doors … if I had not told you, you might have overlooked them. After suffering a terrible plague, the local survivors had these doors carved to give thanks to God it had finally ended. Not to be missed. La Chapelle de Saint-Bernardin

Le Relais du Postillon

This is the only hotel I choose and I constantly recommend it. With a two- star rating, the building has a storied past and is in an ideal location at the beginning of the old town. Family run and fully renovated, warm hospitality is found in the cozy bar and each of the 16 individually decorated rooms can be chosen from the hotel website.

Commune de Safranier

The narrow, cobblestone streets of this historic quarter are impossible to resist at any time of year. In spring and summer the allure is at its peak with colourful masses of flowering shrubs and vines spilling into the petites ruelles.

Marché Provençal

Amble past shops and restaurants to Cours Massena where the daily morning market (except Mondays between September and May) will be in full swing. Friendly vendors beckon from their colorful stalls overflowing with local produce, meat, cheeses, spices, flowers, and more. At the far end, join the queue at the socca oven for the traditional snack. Cafés line the street bordering the market. The Musée Picasso is only one street back from here, next to the Cathedral and in the midst of the oldest of village buildings.

Gelateria Del Porto

Steps from the marché, the crowd will indicate the shop of this master artisan glacier. Traditional recipes have been handed down through generations. Year after year I visit regularly. You will too!

Beaches and Walking Trails

Woman walking on a hiking trail alongside the Mediterranean Sea in Antibes, southern France

Down the street from the Marché and outside the walls, you will find my favourite beach ~ Plage de la Gravette. The pebble beaches of Nice change to sand in Antibes. This one is a small lagoon nestled into the ramparts of the old town. A short walk around the bay brings you to Plage de la Salis, a much larger public beach with the best places to purchase le snack! Walk along Boulevard Bacon to the more elegant Plage de la Garoupe, where you can pick up the beautiful coastal path, Sentier Litoral, to hike for 1 to 2 hours around Cap d’Antibes. Not tired? Keep going to the western part of Antibes, Juan-les-Pins.

Hôtel Belles-Rives

Sitting on the sea in Juan-les-Pins, the iconic Art Deco 5-star hotel has a celebrated terrace that should not be missed. Travel back to the days of the Roaring Twenties and the history of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda, who lived there for a time when this was a private villa. The Michelin starred dining room, La Passagère, is a bonus. Read more about the Hotel Belle Rives

I could go on. Antibes holds endless pleasures for me and I trust these suggestions will do the same for you. If you can visit during the annual sailing fiesta, Les Voiles d’Antibes, in June, all the better. On y va!

Patricia Sands writes women’s fiction for Lake Union Publishing, including the best-selling Love in Provence series and Drawing Lessons. Book Two in her new Villa des Violettes series was recently published. Find out more at www.patriciasandsauthor.com.

Related Articles

South of France and Lavender tour of Provence

A nine-day tour of the south of France in July taking in the lavender fields of Provence which are at their blooming best… Medieval villages, magnificent castles, cafés with tables and chairs spilling out onto cobbled streets and little squares. Narrow streets lined with pastel coloured houses, shops and galleries. Gastronomic good, wonderful wines and […]

Continue Reading

Menton | Mediterranean charm and gastronomy

When life gives you lemons, it’s time to visit Menton. You can be sure that someone there will find a creative use for your fruit. Shops in the bustling traffic-free Rue St Michel teem with products from candles, soaps and soft toys to food and drink. The town’s claim to be lemon capital of the […]

Continue Reading

Gorbio | Stunning medieval village in Cote d’Azur, France

Gorbio, France is a hilltop medieval village, high-up above Menton, in the south-eastern corner of the Côte d’Azur. This picturesque village is a secret place, seemingly forgotten by tourists. As with other historic perched villages, Gorbio has an impressive view, 354 meters above the Mediterranean Sea. You’ll find it in the craggy mountain side of […]

Continue Reading

The Picasso Museum Antibes

UK arts writer, Tony Cooper, looks in on the Picasso Museum in Antibes on the French Riviera. It’s an area that was loved by the iconic and controversial 20th-century artist… I’m a regular visitor to France and I’m off on yet another great adventure to what I class as my adopted country travelling to Antibes […]

Continue Reading

How to spend one perfect day in Provence

Of course, one day in Provence is never enough but, for those who really only have one day – it can still be super special and leave with you with memories that last forever. Beware, you’ll want to return and stay for a lot longer! We asked Emily Durand of My Private Chauffeur Provence how […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top