Port d'Antibes
photo by Tab59

Antibes is a city in the French Riviera. The Cap d'Antibes is the break between the Bay of Cannes to the south-west and the Baie des Anges to the north east. Old Antibes and the port of Antibes are on the mainland on the side facing the Baie des Anges, while Juan les Pins is on the Cannes side and the magnificent Fort Carré lies between the port of Antibes and the rest of the Baie des Anges. Although Antibes is best known for its coast, the municipality does stretch up the hills inland.

During the summer, the place is packed, primarily with French families. In the evenings, everyone is out at the many outdoor restaurants in the old part of Antibes and in Juan les Pins. A fun place for a relaxed vacation.


Antibes was founded by the Greeks over 2000 years ago with the name Antipolis. Shortly afterwards it was incorporated into the expanding Roman empire when it was known as Antiboul. With the fall of the Roman empire Antibes was a target of pirates and raiders until the growing power of Genoa removed most of these menaces.

Around the 11th century AD Antibes was a feudal town whose eventual overlord was the Pope. In 1384 it passed into the hands of the Grimaldi family - the former Genovese merchant princes who had now moved westwards to Monaco and Nice - as colateral to a loan that the Pope could not repay. Shortly after this Antibes became the easternmost port of the kingdom of France - at that time Nice was part of Savoy - and thus was extremely important. Over the years, and particularly during the 100 years war, it's port was continually fortified and expanded, culminating in the Fort Carré and the Port Vauban finished in 1710.

The first tourists arrived at Cap d'Antibes in the 1880s and the adjacent town of Juan les Pins was built at the end of the 19th century. Although it expanded, during the early 20th cetury Antibes was less developed than its neighbors on the French Riviera and was thus a haven for artists such as Picasso and later Nicolas de Staël. This under-development did not last and as the 20th century drew to a close the combined municipality of Antibes-Juan-les-Pins was just a part of the unbroken development between Nice and Cannes. It's a fantastic place with friendly people and great food.


The tourist information office is in Place Charles de Gaulle.

Getting there

Both Antibes and Juan les Pins have train stations on the main Nice-Cannes line.

The usual method of driving to Antibes is to take the A8 and exit at the Antibes exit (junction 44) and then taking the winding road down to Antibes. It is possible to approach Antibes along the coastal roads (RN98 and RN7) from Cannes and Nice/Cagnes sur Mer. In summer all these coastal roads can be extremely congested as can the main route from the A8. There are, however, very few alternative methods of access and all of them eventually use one of these roads so if you want to go to Antibes then you pretty much have to expect traffic jams.

There is a regular bus service (no 200) between Cannes, Antibes and Nice from Place Charles de Gaulle. Alternate buses go to Nice Airport and to Cap 3000, a large, pleasant but quite expensive shopping centre near Nice.

  • Plane. The Nice airport is the closest airport to Antibes. It is not a long drive from the airport to Antibes.

Traveling around

  • Walk. Antibes is a beautiful city. Walking to the old downtown is easy and makes for excellent views.

  • Bike. Although Antibes may be very hilly in certain areas, riding bikes is certainly beautiful and somewhat rewarding


  • The Cap (very romantic under a full moon) and beaches

  • The port

  • Old town and covered market

  • Marineland

  • Picasso museum - Don't miss it! It's where he lived, on the sea. Some choice works, painted plates, and a sculpture garden (not Picasso's).

  • Beaches of Juan les Pins

  • Jazz Festival

  • Fireworks

Things to do

  • The covered market (Marché Provençal) offers fresh products every morning except Monday. It is a magnificent selection of meat, fish, cheese and vegetables. You will find the market close to the harbour.

  • Cap d'Antibes is a beautiful yet strenuous walk around the cape. Do not forget the good walking shoes and a bit of water.


Antibes features both standard French cuisine as well as local specials focusing on fresh seafood and produce from Provence. Scenic restaurants can be found around the port of Antibes, in the old town, and in Juan les Pins.


One interesting place to drink at is the Absinthe Bar La Balade (25 Cours Masséna, Antibes - Tel. 04 93 34 93 00 -email: balade@free.fr ). Absinthe, the mysterious green liqueur so much associated with 19th century artists and writers such as Van Gogh and Baudelaire, was outlawed for decades because of the health risks associated with its abuse, namely insanity and death. However these side effects seem to have been due to "quality control" issues and the herbs that go into absinthe are in fact good for you. Absinthe was only reintroduced legally again in about 2003, and there are very few places where it is possible to drink it. The bar is set in the basement of the Olive Oil shop by the covered market (Marché Provençal) of Antibes and is full of charm even without the lure of Absinthe. If there is a group of you the host will normally give each member of the group a slightly different absinthe so that you can try the different varieties. It is quite an experience and will set you back a mere €4 for a glass. Given the price of beer in the touristy bars by the port this is a real bargain.


  • Antibes - Pierre & Vacances Port Prestige , The Residence occupies a prime location opposite Port Vauban and the ramparts, between the lively harbour and historical centre of Antibes. It consists of 5 small buildings, each with 4 floors, all linked by Mediterranean gardens. The Residence has a remarkable layout characterised by the harmonious combination of architecture, water and plants of a magnificient garden with terraces of trees, flowers and ponds. 1 km from the residence, on the seafront road, you will find a free and unsupervised pebble beach and also a free and unsupervised sandy one, 400 m from the residence behind the old port.

Bed and breakfast

The charming villa Panko with its gorgeous garden, 5minutes walk from the beaches of Juan les pins and Antibes


  • Juan les Pins has a number of trendy boutiques

  • In the old town a number of galleries with art for sale including paintings of local scenes

  • Supermarkets - Carrefour and the centre commercial by the A8, various smaller ones down the hill. The supermarkets, especially Carrefour, also sell the cheapest petrol locally.

Get out

  • French Riviera

If you are seeking a career aboard one of the many superyachts in Antibes a good place to register and start looking is Crew Central

Contact & location

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The photos displayed on this page are the property of one of the following authors:

Tab59, Suomi Star, David Baron, Laura Padgett, shimown, www.FranceHouseHunt.com

Some photos courtesy of: . The photos provided by Flickr are under the copyright of their owners.

This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

Klaus, Colin Jensen, Reed, Ryan Holliday, Tim Sandell, Masha, Andreas Ehn, Yann Forget, Michele Ann Jenkins and Evan Prodromou, Inas, Episteme, Jonboy, Huttite, Nils and Dirty Dingus

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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