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What to see in Antibes

Antibes is really all about the sea and the beaches. With such a large marina it has been a natural evolution for Antibes, once a military stronghold, to become a marine focused vacation spot. With all the luxury yachts and international boat owners and crew it has a dynamic and vibrant atmosphere during the summer months.

juan-les-Pins beaches draw a large French crowd of holiday makers while the peaceful Cap d'Antibes has captured the hearts of the worlds wealthiest visitors. Beaches and boats aside Antibes has some other extra ordinary sights too.

Forty shades of blue, AntibesRamparts, AntibesHistory adapting, Antibes

Historical Antibes

Like Nice, Antibes was first established as a trading port by the ancient Greeks. They called on the Roman empire to help defend the coast from invasion and the Romans used it to further expand their campaign into Gaul and Northern Europe.

Antibes has been a border control, a military outpost and host to Napoleon Bonaparte. It has, to say the least, a significant history and relics of the same are dotted throughout its domain mapping and retelling its story on a daily basis.

Fort Carré, Antibes

The Fort Carré perched high over the town of Antibes on the Saint Roch peninsula is intrinsically linked with the history and development of Antibes. In ancient times, before the arrival of Christianity and prior to the forts existence, the site was host to a pagan temple, built by the Romans and dedicated to the god Mercury.

With the advent of Christianity it was replaced by a chapel dedicated to Saint-Michael. This in turn became deserted in the 11th century and fell into ruin. The site did not become strategically significant until the changing circumstances of the area dictated a prominent future.

The entire region was enduring an unsettled period of history with invasions and wars threatening the local population and the frontiers of French territory. It became apparent that serious fortification was going to be necessary for the protection of the region, not just the harbour.

In 1550 the construction of the Fort commenced, under the instruction of King Henry II, with a circular tower erected on the site of the small chapel of Saint-Laurence which had been built on the ruins of the chapel Saint-Michael. It took three years to complete.
A narrow view in AntibesThe clock tower in Fort Carré, Antibes
A glimpseA prayer
Nice tower in Fort Carré, AntibesThe kitchen in Fort Carré, Antibes
A viewA home
In 1564, indicative of the burgeoning threat, four towers were added each one named after the direction in which it faced; France, Corsica, Antibes and Nice. The pointed towers surrounding the central circular tower give the Fort a star shaped appearance in something of a contradiction to its name, which means 'Square Fort'.

The Fort was built 43metres above sea level to a height of 23metres and with walls 4.5metres thick. The sloping walls make it impenetrable and during the 15oo's it housed soldiers, captains and generals.

The Fort included a chapel, living quarters, a toilet, kitchens, food stores, munitions stores, canon houses and lookout points called pepperpots.

The Fort held 18 canons, two made from bronze and 16 made from iron, in further proof of the significance of this stronghold. During this era it was common military practice for there to be allocated just one canon per thousand men, here it was considerably more. In stark contrast to the fate of Nice's own hilltop fort, the Fort Carré still stands, unscathed by time or force. Rumour has it that Napoleon stayed here and there is little to doubt it as where else would a general stay to protect his own safety and visit his troops.

It's a great day trip and the views are panoramic and serene making it hard to imagine times of war. There is a free parking and shuttle service up to the Fort but it is not a long walk, nor unreasonable steep. You will pass through sports grounds built by the military and come across an imposing statue of a WWI soldier.

Parks and Gardens in Antibes

In the course of Antibes history it has achieved notoriety as a border town, the last port in France before Italy. It has a long history as a military outpost, housing armies in its Fort Carré barracks until the late fifties. Today it is more famous for its port which houses some of the biggest, glitziest floating palaces on the French Riviera.

Throughout the ages, however, its natural beauty has never failed to capture the hearts of its many visitors and Antibes is home to some of the loveliest gardens on the French Riviera.

Natural beauty

Antibes has so much going for it that its parks and garden can sometimes be overlooked. It has, however, some of the most comprehensive displays of indigenous plant life that have been planted and tended to for generations by the loving hands of their owners.

The grandest setting is that of the villa Eilenroc on Cap d'Antibes. In the late 1800's a wealthy Dutch aristocrat bought land on the wild and deserted Cap d'Antibes. He commissioned architect Charles Garner, who was responsible for the Paris and Monte Carlo opera houses, to build a magnificent trophy home for himself and his wife.

The villa was completed in 1867 and was named Eilenroc, an anagram of his wife's name, Cornelie. The house was a landmark villa on a near deserted Cap but the dutch Loudon's did not stay long and six years later sold the villa, complete with all its furnishings to a Scotsman named James Wyllie.

Wyllie had just returned from India and, inspired by the beauty of the landscape, and employing the indefatigable Bristish dedication to all things horticultural, decided to create a paradise out of his wasteland. So began Eilenroc's initial fame as a landscapers delight.

Under the shade of the parasol pines, Antibes
Towering pines
Natural life, Antibes
Wild and beautiful
Dancing in the sunlight, Antibes
Lets dance
Grand villas on Cap d'Antibes
Painted villas

The property passed through the hands of several different owners until it came under the care of an American couple in the 1920's. Louis Dudley Beaumont and his soprano wife, Helen, commissioned young contemporary artists and designers to refurbish the house and gardens. Jacques Greber, a landscape architect of some repute, was charged with restoring and adding to the 11 hectares of parklands.

In 1982 Mrs Beaumont, in the spirit of her and her husbands life long philanthropy, bequeathed the villa and her gardens to the town of Antibes-Juan-les-Pins. The Beaumont foundation was established and the gardens have been opened to the public with guided tours available on certain days of the week. There is also a rose garden and an eco-musuem.

Find contact details for the villa and gardens in the RG directory under Antibes-attractions-parks & gardens.

Antibes-Juan-les-Pins beaches

Antibes is famous for its big and exclusive marina, especially its 'Billionaire's Quay' where some of the worlds most luxurious and beautiful private yachts are moored. if your focus is not on the water however, it may be that it is beside the water that would suit you. Antibes-Juan-les-Pins is also all about its beaches and with 25 kilometres of sandy beach front laid out over small sheltered inlets and bays combined with long open stretches it offers every combination of beach holiday.

Antibes beaches

Antibes incorporates the popular beach town of Juan-les-Pins and between them they have every type of sea front from rocky craggy headlands, to small private inlets and long sweeping beaches. You can find quiet and sheltered, or big and busy depending on your desire.

Plage de la Gravette, sheltered by the city walls and in view of Antibes old town, is atmospheric and beautiful.

Plage Garoupe is more tucked away with sea footpaths leading off around the beautiful Cap d'Antibes. The water is sheltered and an ideal spot for yound children.

Juan-les-Pins beach stretches long, sandy and uninterrupted for several kilometres. It has great facilities with becah clubs, watersports, ars and restaurants dotted along its white shore.

Whatever you preferred place you will no doubt be able to find a beautiful spot along this coastline. Antibes-Juan-les-Pins has long been a popular holiday resort for the rest of France and what better recommendation than that from the rest of the population.

Rocky ramparts, Antibes
Plage de la Gravette, Antibes
Lazy days, Antibes-Juan-les-Pins
Juan-les-Pins beach at sunset

Renting holiday lets in Antibes

If you are interested in viewing holiday rentals or vacation villas in Antibes or Juan-les-Pins then please use the search facility below. You can also click on the 'Browse Rentals' button in the main menu to see what holiday properties and short term lets are available in Antibes or other areas in the South of France. Continue on to see when is the best time to visit and to see the local weather report.


Some top holiday rentals in Antibes

Villa Cap d'Antibes

French Riviera » Antibes » Cap d'Antibes 220 sq.m. Villa 0282
»Holiday rental villa
»Price per night:$2,005.95
»Per person (x8):$250.74
Swimming Pool
New and stylish villa set in the heart of the famous Cap D'Antibes. It is very elegantly constructed and tastefully appointed. The pool is particularly attractive and well positioned to make the best of this great location. Late availability for August.

Cap d’Antibes Beachfront Villa

French Riviera » Antibes » Cap d'Antibes 150 sq.m. Villa 0694
»Holiday rental villa
»Price per night:$3,267.29
»Per person (x8):$408.41
Tranquil, Sea View
Modern stylishly decorated seafront villa in exclusive Cap d’Antibes, with private beach, stunning views, large terrace and garden, 4 bedrooms, 2 ensuite, fully equipped kitchen, air-conditioning and Wifi. Suitable for weddings and parties.

Villa Valbonne

French Riviera » Antibes » Valbonne 385 sq.m. Villa 0393
»Holiday rental villa
»Price per night:$352.41
»Per person (x8):$44.05
Tranquil, Swimming Pool
A spacious and stunning villa on the outskirts of beautiful Valbonne. This villa sleeps up to 8 guests, has a private, heated pool, sun and dining terraces, an outdoor kitchen with a barbeque and is surrounded by beautiful, landscaped gardens.


Find your holiday rental in Antibes


Immediate Area

» Villeneuve Marina» Villeneuve» Roquefort-les
» Le Rouret» Valbonne» Cap d'Antibes
» Hauts de» Juan-Les-Pins» Vallauris
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