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Das historische Zentrum von Antibes, Bild: proslgn / shutterstock

Antibes: the pearl of the Côte d’Azur

Antibes is located in the very southeast of France, directly on the Riviera. The famous cities of Cannes and Nice are each just a stone’s throw away. But to spend a fabulously beautiful holiday, you don’t necessarily have to travel to the neighbouring towns of Cannes or Nice, because Antibes also has a lot to offer.

The seaside resort with around 75,000 inhabitants impresses above all with its picturesque old town, which can boast winding streets and a genuine French attitude to life. In addition, on the azure blue Côte d’Azur, which is right on the doorstep, there are wonderful sandy beaches where you can relax or do sports according to all the rules of the art. And art and culture lovers will not miss out in Antibes either, as the city combines several high-ranking museums, such as a Picasso Museum, in its urban area.

Unwind on the beaches of the Côte d’Azur

Antibes is a popular destination for beach vacationers. This is no wonder, because it is teeming with white sandy dream beaches where you can relax. Just a few steps from the old town is the Plage de la Gavotte. This is a small beach that is a little hidden in a bay near the marina Port Vauban. Despite its good accessibility, the Plage de la Gavotte is rarely overcrowded. The fine-grained sand is interspersed with stones and rocks, which gives the beach a very rustic appearance. Very popular with locals and tourists alike is the Plage de la Salis, which can be reached via the entrance to the peninsula at the small port of Port de la Salis. Families with children also like to cavort here. Just a few kilometres south of the town centre is the quieter La Garoupe beach, which is lined with a small chapel and a romantic lighthouse.

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A walk through the winding old town of Antibes

Plage de la Gravette, Antibes
Sunset at Plage de la Gravette, Image: Sergey Dzyuba / shutterstock

The old town of Antibes is perfect for walks. The small alleys are narrow and winding, in many places they even seem a little enchanted. Drivers are not welcome here, there are very few parking spaces in the city center area, and walking is also much more flexible. There are a lot of quaint buildings and backyards to discover. To do this, you stroll past small shops. The maze of alleys is repeatedly broken up by small squares, around which cafés, bars and also narrow bistros with outdoor seating areas are often grouped. The best conditions to take a short break and drink a coffee or an aperitif. You should definitely stop at the Marche Provencal. This is a covered farmers’ market where all kinds of specialties from the region are offered. If you feel like it, you will find cheese, honey, fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and fish, flowers as well as fresh and dried herbs that have been grown in the region or collected wild. The market vendors are happy to let interested gourmets taste their spices. The best offer is at the Marche Provencal in the morning.

Visit the Château Grimaldi and the Picasso Museum

Château Grimaldi was built as early as the 12th century. From 1385 until the 17th century, it was used by the Grimaldi family, which gave it its name. After that, there were changing owners and the building was under equally changing use. For example, Château Grimaldi has served as a town hall, barracks and seat of various governors. In 1946, the artist Pablo Picasso moved into the venerable walls of Château Grimaldi, which is now home to the Picasso Museum. In addition to works created here by Pablo Picasso, there are also paintings and sculptures by other artists such as Nicolas de Staël or Max Ernst.

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Die Festung Fort Carré

Antibes Cathedral
Antibes Cathedral, Image: Rostislav Glinsky / shutterstock

We then continue to the Fort Carré fortress, which is not far from the port. Fort Carré was built in 1553 on a small hill that was already located directly behind the port of Antibes. Initially, Fort Carré served to protect and defend Antibes and its harbor entrance. Over the centuries, the building has been expanded and rebuilt several times. The building, which is a listed building, is now open to the public and can also be visited inside. A visit to Fort Carré is also worthwhile for those who do not want to visit the interiors, because from the fortress there is a magnificent panoramic view of the historic old town of Antibes.

Antibes Cathedral

One of the city’s landmarks is undoubtedly the Cathedral of Antibes, which is located directly opposite the Picasso Museum. It is also known as Notre Dame de la Platea and may seem a little inconspicuous at first glance. More like a normal church than a cathedral. However, when you enter the cathedral of Antibes, the altar of the rosary immediately catches your eye, which is of a very special beauty. The Romanesque-style cathedral was built as early as the 12th century.