Everything in the French Riviera is relatively easy to access by train or car, and makes this area an attractive tourist destination in the South of France. Make Nice your home base (see Part 1 of this series), and take day trips south to the neighbouring resort town, Antibes, and the star-studded home of the Cannes Film Festival.
Antibes is located between Nice and Cannes by taking the Nice-Cannes train route. You’ll notice that this town has been fortified by walls, this is because the Greeks took the port and town in 5th century BC as an active trading port of the Mediterranean. Centuries later in 1774, it was home to Napoléon Bonaparte and his family, until he was imprisoned in the Fort Carré. Aside from the town’s historical importance, it offers culture, arts, markets and 48 beaches.
Juan-les-Pins is a nightlife and resort area of Antibes with sandy beaches, trendy boutiques, night clubs and casino. You can walk from one to the other or drive over the hill of the peninsula to get there. If you’re there in July, don’t miss the Jazz à Juan, one of the top jazz festivals in the world since the 1960s.
A prominent landmark in the peninsula of Saint-Roch is the 16th century star-shaped fortress called Fort Carré that sits on the outskirts of the city. It’s built on rock that is 26m above sea-level and served as a defensive post for Antibes. You can take a tour of the historical monument for € 3
Open: Off season: Wed, Sat, Sun; 10-12h45, 13h30-15h
In the Château Grimaldi and then in 1946, the home of Picasso, you’ll find first ever Picasso museum with an extensive collection of his works – 245 paintings to be exact. The collection includes Mediterranean marine and mythological life done here, and ceramics done in nearby Vallauris. Here you’ll find his paintings “The Goat” and “La Joie de Vivre“. If you’re a art enthusiast you’ll want to add this stop your bucket list.
Open: 15 June-15 Sept: 10h-18h; 16 Sept-14 June: 10h-12h, 14h-18h
No need to cut your ear off to join the party – aka Van Gogh. This famous bar was frequented by revered artists and writers such as Picasso. Now it’s a popular bar for absinthe enthusiasts and first-timers. You’ll find the bar off the Marché Provencal (the covered market).
Descend down what looks like a cavern and you’ll find yourself in a cozy and authentic bar adorned in hats, that pay a tribute to the artists and writers who enjoyed absinthe here in the past. With fountains at each table with taps, spoons and sugar cubes you can experience the infamous green drink in the traditional way.
For a fresh selection of food such as cheese, vegetables, fish and meat, visit the covered market near the water. This bustling market is busy everyday except Mondays, and in the afternoon becomes a craft market with all types of artists, sculptures and ceramists.
Want to see a mega-yacht? This is the place. A maritime aficionados dream, this marina is the largest harbour in the Mediterranean Sea. The ultra-rich call this harbour home for their super-yachts, including Russian businessman Roman Abramovich‘s Le Grand Bleu, a 112 metres (367 ft) expedition yacht.