ANTIBES

Situated between Cannes and Nice on the French Riviera, lies this beautiful resort town rich in history and culture. Admire Fort Carré which stands tall over Port Vauban marina, or explore the old town of Vieil Antibes enclosed behind 16th century ramparts. Its narrow cobbled streets and old stone buildings draped with flowers, make it one of the prettiest old towns on this coast. Just as beautiful in the 20th century, it is no surprise Antibes stole the heart of famous artist Pablo Picasso. Today, there is a dedicated museum at Chateau Grimaldi where he lived for 6 months and left behind some of his artwork. With many of his paintings featuring this beautiful town, art lovers can retrace the footsteps of where he gained his inspiration. If art doesn’t interest you, enjoy the pretty cafés, bars, ice-cream parlours and boutiques, or explore the Provençal market

where your senses will be heightened with the smell of lavender and French cheese. On the far side of the town, golden sand beaches line the curved coast around the famous Cap d’Antibes. Once home to the famous American novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, this forested headland is dotted with grand villas and luxurious hotels, separating the town from its lively neighbour Juan-les-Pins. If you’re looking for a contrasting scene to old town peace, this modern resort boasts a lively nightlife and is host to the Jazz à Juan music festival every summer. On your way, don’t forget to pass the botanical garden Jardin Botanique de la Villa Thruet. With so much beautiful coast to see, some might prefer the panoramic views you can get as you cruise around the Cap d’Antibes on a luxury yacht.

VIEIL ANTIBES
Dating back to ancient history, the town of Antibes was first known as Antipolis when the Greeks used its port for trading. It was later taken by the Roman empire where it remained a peaceful seaside town for several hundred years, before being seized by barbarian tribes causing devastation. It wasn’t until the 10 th century when Antibes was governed by Lord Rodoart, whom took it upon himself to protect the town. In 1700, Rodoart commissioned architect Vauban to build Fort Carré and a stone wall around the city. As Nice and France united to become one country, parts of the wall were demolished and the town began to grow outside the city walls. Although only some of the walls still stand today, no military forces have ever succeeded in conquering Antibes. The first thing you will notice are these medieval walls which surround Vieil Antibes, however the heart of the old town proves an enchanting place to wander. Centering in the middle you will find the Marché Provençal, a local market selling a selection of olives, cheese, vegetables and other French produce. Sheltered under a 19 th century cast iron roof, this market is a good place to escape the intense mid-day sun, until 1pm when the locals start closing their stalls. After strolling around tasting all the different food samples, you are sure to be hungry and ready for a break. Stop in one of the picturesque squares or down the narrow streets which are lined with many appealing cafes, bars and restaurants.

MUSÉE PICASSO

Overlooking the Mediterranean, this museum is impressively positioned in Chåteau Grimaldi on the rampart walls of Antibes. Although it was once the residence of the royal Grimaldi family, Picassos link to the building came in 1946 when he was invited to use the second floor as a studio. On the lower floors, you can admire paintings and sculptures of modern artists and temporary exhibitions. 

JAZZ A JUAN FESTIVAL

Welcoming some of the greatest jazz figures since 1960, neighbouring Juan-les-Pins is home to the oldest jazz festival in Europe. Previous years have seen Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn. Representing a wide diversity of styles and programmes, the rich line ups with authentic jazz and high quality bands bring the town and overflowing streets to life. However, this is not just for jazz lovers, as the town's most recent festival in 2017 saw the famous legend Tom Jones perform.

FORT CARRÉ

Located 26 metres above sea level on the peninsula of Saint-Roch, lies this 16th century fort built on the orders of French King, Henry II. Serving as a border defence post, this fort protected its city for years until Nice became French in 1860. It was then later used for holding foreigners in the second world war, before being slowly restored, opened to the public and declared a historical monument in 1998. Still standing tall today, it keeps watch over the multi-millionaire pound yachts moored up along the quay at Port Vauban marina. 

NOMADE OF BASTION ST-JAUME

Situated at the far end of Port Vauban Marina lies the terrace of Bastion Saint-Jaume. Boasting rich history, this site was once home to a Roman temple, a 17th century fortified tower and until 1985, a shipyard. Lighting up at night, this magnificent piece of modern art shines bright over the Mediterranean like a guardian of the port.

JARDIN BOTANIQUE DE LA VILLA THURET

In 1857, biologist Gustave Thuret decided to buy 5 hectares of land after falling in love with the peninsulas wild nature. Open to the public through the week, visitors can view and study his diverse collection of exotic species on a guided tour with on hand expert botanists. Alternatively, you can take a stroll around the park at your own pace enjoying its beauty. 

VILLA EILENROC

At the end of the Cap d'Antibes lies a beautiful villa set in 11 acres of Mediterranean wooded landscape. Built in the 1860s, Villa Eilenroc symbolises the luxury and voluptuousness of the Belle Époque, sharing the architect who built both the Paris and Monte Carlo Opera houses, Charles Garnier. Although the interior has seen better days, its public rose garden smells and looks beautiful, a must visit for your senses.