Antibes is a Mediterranean resort in the Alpes-Maritimes department of southeastern France, on the Côte d'Azur between Cannes and Nice. The town of Juan-les-Pins is in the commune of Antibes and the Sophia Antipolis technology park is northwest of it.
The Juan-les-Pins part is a seaside resort and nightlife area of sandy beaches, boutiques, nightclubs and casino. The two places are close together, a good walk or short drive over the hill of the narrow part of the peninsula, or a longer and lovely drive around the coastline of the Cap d'Antibes.
Plage de La Garoupe (La Garoupe Beach), on the Cap d'Antibes, used to be the favourite beach of Fitzgerald and Murphy. The Cap d'Antibes, marked by the lighthouse at the highest point, is a lush setting of some very large and very expensive estates, even by "French Riviera" standards. It also has the hotel of choice for some famous people, such as Madonna, who prefer to avoid the bright lights and bustle of the Croisette in Cannes during their short stays on the Côte d'Azur.
Sport is an important part of the local culture; the town hosts the National Training Centre for basketball. On 25 May 1999, the town was the first in the department to sign the State Environment Charter, which pledges to actively conserve the natural environment. Jazz Festival: "Jazz à Juan" in July.
There are 48 beaches along the 25 km (16 miles) of coastline that surround Antibes and Juan les Pins.
Archaeology Museum. This museum sits atop the Promenade Amiral de Grasse in the old Bastion St Andre, a 17th-century fortress. The museum's collection focuses on the classical history of Antibes. Many artifacts, sculptures and amphorae found in local digs and shipwrecks from the harbor are displayed here. The views of the sea and mountains from the promenade are spectacular.
Naval Museum of Napoleon. Housed in a 17th-century stone fort and tower, this museum presents a collection of Napoleonic memorabilia, paintings and naval models. Several wall paintings show historic moments in Napoleon's reign and there are also pieces of his clothing including one of the hats he wore.
Picasso Museum. This museum houses one of the world's greatest Picasso collections: 24 paintings, 44 drawings, 32 lithographs, 11 oils on paper, 80 pieces of ceramics, two sculptures and five tapestries.
La Tour Museum. This small museum in the centre of town brings the contemporary history of Antibes to life through its exhibit of costumes, tools, photographs and other objects used by the local people.
Absinthe Museum. The Absinthe Museum is located in a basement in the Roman foundations of Old Antibes. It is dedicated to the manufacture and appreciation of this green liqueur.
Fort Carré. Open: Off season: Wed, Sat, Sun; 10-12h45, 13h30-15h. This 16th century fort was opened for guided visits in 1999.
Parks and Gardens
The Exflora Park. It is a five-hectare (12 acres) garden open to the public. Next to the large olive grove, there are different styles of Mediterranean gardens, from ancient Rome to the exuberant Riviera of the 19th century. Fountains and ponds stretch along the terrace, making a waterway 500 meters (1,600 ft.) long. Antibes is renowned for rose production, and rose bushes line the path leading to the sea. The luxuriance of the exotic garden and palm grove is reminiscent of the belle époque, when English gardeners succeeded in planting flowers that bloom in winter, the season when the aristocracy visited the Côte d'Azur.
A little further on is the Théâtre de Verdure, inspired by Italian gardens, and a panoramic viewpoint with a view of the sea and the Iles des Lerins. In the style of Provençal gardens of the 18th century, there is a maze with sculpted hedges. Further, on, Islamic gardens are featured, with an orange grove where the ground is patterned with terracotta irrigation pipes similar to those in the celebrated Seville Cathedral in Spain. The vegetable gardens and orchards in the Arsat are planted in hollows as in Morocco to protect them from the sun and maximize shadow and humidity. A representation of a Moroccan house pays homage to the painter Majorelle, creator of the beautiful blue garden in Marrakesh. In another area, the winter garden contains plants that flower in winter, such as mimosa and camellias.
The Eilenroc Gardens. Villa Eilenroc was built on a rock in the middle of a virtual desert. The area was transformed into a garden through the patience and talent of Jacques Greber, landscape architect and consultant to the Great Exhibition in New York in 1939. He was commissioned by Mr. Beaumont to create this luxuriant park of 11 hectares (27 acres).
The gardens with all their luxuriant vegetation lie thirty meters above the sea with a view across the bay of the Cap. Planted with traditional Mediterranean species such as marine and parasol pines, Alep and Canary pines, cypress, oaks, olive trees, arbutus, lavender, thyme, rosemary, eucalyptus, ficus etc., as well as three kilometers (1.9 miles) of pittosporum hedges, a whole part of the park has been created with plants found in the Antibes area in 1920.
Thuret Park. In 1857, Gustave Thuret discovered the wonderful, unspoilt Cap d'Antibes and bought five hectares (12 acres) of land where he built a villa and began the creation of a park. Bequeathed to the state by his heirs, the Jardin botanique de la Villa Thuret is now managed by the INRA (National Institute of Agronomic Research). The superb collection of trees and exotic plants, and the rich earth, provide many opportunities for learning, and the cross-fertilisation of plant species that grow on the Mediterranean coast.
Marineland. In 1970, Roland de la Poype created this animal exhibition park in Antibes. First, it was a small oceanarium with a few pools and animals, but now it is one of the biggest in the world and receives more than 1,200,000 visitors per year. It is the only French sea park featuring two cetacean species: killer whales and dolphins.
Garoupe Lighthouse. The old lighthouse of Antibes provides one of the best views in the region from its lofty hilltop. To get here, you must walk about one kilometer up the Chemin de Calvaire from the Plage de la Salis. It makes for a nice half-day stroll.
Church of the Immaculate Conception. The central church in Antibes was first built in the 11th century with stones used from earlier Roman structures. Its current façade was constructed in the 18th century and blends Latin classical symmetry and religious fantasy. The interior houses some impressive pieces such as a Baroque altarpiece and life-sized wooden carving of Christ's death from 1447.
Hôtel du Cap-Eden Roc.This villa, set in "a forest" at the tip of the Cap d'Antibes peninsula, re-creates a nineteenth-century château. Since 1870 the glamorous white-walled Hotel du Cap on the French Riviera has been one of the most storied and luxurious resorts in the world. Guests who flocked there included Marlene Dietrich, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and Winston Churchill. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton conducted an affair and honeymooned there.
There are many yachting harbors, which provide moorings for a range of ships ranging from fishing vessels to full sized yachts.
Port Vauban: The largest yachting harbor in Europe, with more than 2,000 moorings, can accommodate craft of more than 100 meters. This old port was the heart of the ancient Greek city of Antipolis and has a long and colorful history which includes Ligurians, Romans and Crusaders on their way to the Holy Land. Today, it is the largest marina in Europe, serving both local fishing boats and luxury yachts.
Port Galice: 542 moorings
Port de la Salis: 233 moorings
Port du Croûton: 390 moorings
Port de l'Olivette: Situated in the sheltered cove of the same name, this is a harbour for sailors and their wooden fishing boats who enjoy the old marine, Provençal traditions.
Theatre and music
The Théâtre Antibea, Théâtre des Heures Bleues and Café Théâtre la Scène sur Mer all offer a variety of performances from orchestra music to dramatic plays. Music of all types, from live jazz to DJs spinning techno, can be found in the bars and nightclubs and there are a number of festivals and special outdoor concerts during the summer. Jazz is still the speciality around here, and the Juan les Pins Jazz Festival is one of the best in the world.
Antibes and Juan les Pins host a number of festivals, mainly during the summer months. There's not much in the way of traditional cultural festivals in Antibes; most of the festivals focus on music and contemporary activities.
Jazz à Juan remains one of the top jazz festivals in the world. Since its inception in 1960, it has attracted many famous Jazz artists each year to play outdoors. (July).
Antibes Yacht Show
The Antique Show of Antibes attracts thousands of collectors for two weeks in April. It's one of the largest shows of its kind in France (April).
Voiles d'Antibes is one of the world's biggest gatherings of old teak and brass sailing vessels. They converge on the port for one of the most regal regattas in the Mediterranean (June).
The Festival of Saint Peter is the annual celebration of the patron saint of fishermen. A colourful procession through the town is followed by all the local fishermen adorning their boats and floating along the coast (June).
The Festival of Sacred Music takes place in Antibes Cathedral, which has renowned acoustics. Sacred music is the theme of this popular festival, which attracts huge crowds each year (January).
Marché Provençal (covered market):
Sept-May: Tue-Sun mornings; June-Aug: all mornings
At the Cours Massena, in front of the Mairie
Fresh fruit, vegetables, fish and flowers, along with other regional products
Artisanal - Marché Provençal (covered market):
Foire (clothing market):
Rue Fontvieille, behind the post office
Thursday, Saturday; 8h-19h
Place Jacques Audiberti, between the Porte Marine and the Place Massena
The Gare d'Antibes is the railway station serving the town, offering connections to Nice, Cannes, Marseille, Paris and several other destinations. The railway station is in the centre of town. The nearest airport is Nice Côte d'Azur Airport.