Nice was nice but was a little crowded for us. The French Riviera that we had envisioned was a little different than what we were experiencing in the towns of the Cote d’Azur. So we decided to spend one day in Antibes and Cap d’Antibes and lunched at the fabulous Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc for a perfect French Riviera Getaway!
The beaches along Promenade des Anglais were beautiful but covered with galets, hard round marble-like pebbles sometimes as large as golf balls. The Côte d’Azur has acquired an international glamour, embodied in the Cannes Film Festival and summer pleasures. After a few days of exploring Monaco, Saint Tropez and few other little towns of the French Riviera, we set out to find our French Riviera getaway. We found it one afternoon at Cap d’Antibes at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc over gold-dusted desserts and coffee with a side of Mediterranean views. No wonder this is the favorite summer home for stylish families and artists from all over the world.
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One day in Antibes
The blue skies and light in the region have attracted the world’s most famous painters, Picasso lived in Antibes and Cannes, Matisse created his masterpiece “Chapelle Matisse” here, Renoir’s home is also here, the legacy of the great artists is intrinsic to the region’s character. Marc Chagall was a regular guest at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc and known to have stayed here every August for 15 years. Exploring the hills and hidden coast of this region, it is easy to see how the scenery captivated these great masters.
We took a train from Nice to Antibes. It was a ten-minute walk from the train station, down Avenue de la Libération and then Avenue du Verdun, to the Port Vauban. At the Port we spent some time at the port of Antibes looking at the different boats and superyachts.
The 16th-century Fort Carré is hard to miss as it dominates the approach to Antibes from Nice. It served as a border defense post until 1860s.
A must stop on your one day in Antibes will have to the Picasso museum at Château Grimaldi. This museum features works of art from the artist while he lived in Côte d’Azur. Although Picasso only lived at the Château Grimaldi for a couple of months he left 22 paintings and over 40 drawings to be kept on display in the space. Picasso donated these works to the museum and had wanted them displayed in Antibes. The museum building also offers scenic views facing the sea, make sure to allow for enough time to enjoy both!
We then entered the Old Antibes located within the city walls. It is a fascinating town and best explored by getting lost in the alleyways and cobblestoned streets. After a stroll in the old city of Antibes (Vieil Antibes) stopping at small cafes and galleries we went to check out the Provençal market at Cours Massena. It was a covered market bustling with activity, we found olives, cheese, flower stalls and enjoyed a cappuccino and some french pastries.
There are plenty of things to do in Antibes, we barely scratched the surface and I’m definitely itching to go back! If you had more than one day in Antibes you can visit the Antibes’ Cathedral that was built on the site of an ancient Greek temple, beautiful botanical gardens and Musée d’Archéologie that houses ancient Roman artifacts, coins & other historic finds in a seaside fort-museum.
If you have more time you can spend it on the beaches in Antibes and then you can walk along the ramparts from the small sandy beach of Plage de la Gravette all the way around the bay to Plage de la Salis on the Cap which has nice views of the Alps. We were short on time and took an Uber to the Hotel located on Cap d’Antibes, for lunch.
Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc at Cap d’Antibes
Eden Roc is perched on the tip of Cap d’Antibes, overlooking the seawater pool blasted out of the rocks below, and bathed in sunshine, this was the place to savor the pleasures of the French Riviera. Perhaps one of the most famous and exclusive luxury hotels in the world it is a favorite of A list celebrities and the world’s elite. It is set amid a fragrant pine forest occupying 22 acres of perfectly manicured gardens right to the cliffs of the Mediterranean Sea.
Hotel du Cap Eden Roc was originally constructed in 1870 in the purest Napoléon-III style and was initially christened “Villa Soleil” before becoming the legendary Grand Hôtel du Cap in 1889. It is one of the few genuinely glamorous rendezvous spots left in the world. It is sophisticated and exclusive making it an absolute must for the well seasoned and well to do traveler during a vacation on the Cote d’Azur. You need pretty deep pockets to stay here. We spent the afternoon at Eden Roc Grill and bar just enjoying a lazy afternoon of cocktails and lunch watching the sea lapping at the rocks below, while the big and small yacht made their way along the Mediterranean Sea.
Lunch and the View at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc
The views spectacular and service at the Eden Roc Grill was immaculate, we felt as if we were suspended between sea and sky above the rocky coast with breathtaking views of the Lérins Islands and the Esterel coastline.
The menu created by chef Christophe Marc is gourmet simplicity – we had the pasta, club sandwiches, some salad and a few Rose… the dessert tray was incredible down to the dab of gold foil. We tried the homemade snickers bar, strawberry pie and a chocolate cake. I loved the custom china at Cap-Eden-Rock Grill. It cost a pretty penny but the relaxing day, the amazing view and meal were worth every bit.
Located at the southernmost tip of the Cap d’Antibes, the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc is a no doubt a legendary establishment. This elegant Napoleon the Third style building looks over the sea providing uninterrupted views of the Mediterranean and the Lérins Islands.
Originally a refuge for writers, it became a hotel in 1889. Artists and writers made it their preferred place on the Côte d’Azur, soon to be joined by the aristocracy and later by movie stars. While we didn’t stay here, you can check out the rates here if your budget allows. We just enjoyed our day in Antibes and lunch at Cap d’Antibes along with other pretty people in their sundress and crisp white cotton linens.
If you like Antibes, you might also like Roussillon, Saint Remy, Gordes and Saint Tropez
You might also like: Our Hotel in Nice, Things to do in Monaco and see our French Riviera Itinerary
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