Some places captivate us and invite us back again and again. Antibes is such a place. Antibes, an enchanting coastal town on the Cote d’Azur, known for its rich history, picturesque beaches and breathtaking sights.
In this article, I will tell you more about the fascinating town of Antibes – from its fascinating history to its best activities.
Where is Antibes?
Antibes is located on the French Riviera in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. More specifically, Antibes is located in the south-east of France on the Mediterranean Sea.
The town is located between the well-known cities of Nice and Cannes and is part of the Alpes-Maritimes region. Nice can be reached in about 30 minutes (22 km) and is also the nearest airport. Cannes is only 12 km away. Antibes’ picturesque location on the Mediterranean coast makes it a popular destination for tourists who want to experience the beauty and charm of the Côte d’Azur.
The history of the city
The history of Antibes goes far back into the past and is marked by different civilisations and cultures. The city was founded by the Greeks in the 5th century BC and was known as “Antipolis”. Over the centuries, Antibes was an important trading post conquered by the Romans and flourished under their influence.
In the 20th century, Antibes came to new fame through the artistic presence of Pablo Picasso. This famous artst lived and worked in the Château Grimaldi, which today houses the Musée Picasso and exhibits an impressive collection of his works.
Where can I park in Antibes?
There are several car parks in Antibes, but we prefer the car park directly at Port Vauban or the Q-Park Pré aux Pêcheurs across the road. From there you can be in the old town in less than 5 minutes without getting lost.
These parking spaces are also recommended for long-term parkers (if you are planning a longer boat trip). You can also book the Q-Park Pré aux Pêcheurs in advance.
The old town of Antibes
The first thing we advise you to do in Antibes is to take a stroll through the old town. Antibes Old Town, also known as ‘Vieil Antibes’, is a picturesque gem that reflects this coastal town’s rich history and irresistible charm. A walk through the cobbled streets of the old town is like stepping back in time, taking you back to bygone eras while experiencing the vibrant heart of today’s civilisation.
The narrow streets of Antibes’ old town bear witness to its long history. Here, you will stroll under the shady arches of historic buildings adorned with pastel-coloured façades and decorative shutters. The architecture ranges from medieval remains to Renaissance buildings that retain the charm of times gone by.
The Musée Picasso
The Château Grimaldi, once a medieval fortress, now houses the Musée Picasso. An impressive collection of the renowned artist’s works is on display here. The area surrounding the museum is worth a visit in itself, as it offers a breathtaking view of the Mediterranean.
Antibes’ marina, Port Vauban, is not only one of the largest and most historic marinas in Europe, but also a place where the picturesque setting comes into its own. Here you’ll find an impressive array of luxury yachts and sailboats bobbing on the turquoise sea, with the Historic Fortress in the background. On my last visit to Antibes in July, we started our sailing trip along the Côte d’Azur in this port.
Take a walk along the waterfront to admire the majestic ships, or visit the “Musée de la Marine” to immerse yourself in maritime history. In the summer months, there is a market by the harbour selling all kinds of souvenirs and jewellery.
The beaches of Antibes
Antibes is surrounded by first-class beaches. The Plage de la Gravette and the Plage de la Salis offer fine sand and clear water for swimming and sunbathing. For water sports enthusiasts, there are many activities such as snorkelling, jet skiing and kayaking.
If you need further information about the more than 28 beaches, click here.
The Fort Carré
The Fort Carré is a historical monument perched on a hill overlooking Antibes. The fort not only offers an interesting history, but also spectacular views of the town and surrounding coastline. A visit is worthwhile for historians and photographers.
Artists' studios and galleries
The Cap d’Antibes peninsula is a paradise for nature lovers. Here you can walk along the coastal paths and enjoy breathtaking views of the Mediterranean. Visit the lighthouse at the southern end of the peninsula for spectacular panoramic views.
If you are interested in a walk with spectacular views, click here.
Gastronomy in Antibes
Provençal cuisine plays an important role in Antibes. The old town is home to numerous cosy cafés, restaurants, and bistros where you can enjoy the delicious specialities of the region. Taste the fresh seafood, olive oil, Provençal herbs and, of course, the exquisite wine while enjoying the relaxed atmosphere of the old town.
Antibes is an incomparable destination on the Côte d’Azur, enticing visitors with a mix of culture, history, nature and relaxation. From the masterpieces at the Musée Picasso to the natural beauty of the Cap d’Antibes, there are endless reasons to explore this city. Whether you want to enjoy art, history or sun and sea, Antibes will undoubtedly enchant you, as it did for me.