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Visiting Antibes: 2024 Insider’s Guide to a Riviera Gem

  • Isabelle Hoyne
  • February 29, 2024

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Experience the authentic charm of the French Riviera through this comprehensive Antibes travel guide, drawn from my experiences having spent two enchanting weeks visiting Antibes. From sun-soaked beaches to quaint cafes, it’s an insider’s journey into Antibes’ irresistible allure.

Antibes is a destination that transcends the ordinary beach resort experience.

As a cultured voyager, I always yearn for more than mere idling under the sun’s rays, and Antibes delivers in spades with its intoxicating blend of breathtaking vistas, boundless relaxation, culinary delights and its cultural trappings, starting with the fascinating Picasso Museum.

I was lucky enough to spend two incredible weeks in this charming town, and by the end, I couldn’t help but dream of making it my long-term home. Every morning walk along the pristine promenade felt like stepping into a dreamscape, where the vivid hues of the sea painted a mesmerising portrait of serene turquoises and gently bobbing yachts, against a backdrop of pastel blue skies and wisps of candy-floss clouds.

In this all-encompassing Antibes travel guide, we’ll delve into Antibes’ vibrant history, unearthing its significance as a sanctuary for art enthusiasts seeking inspiration amidst its picturesque streets. You’ll discover the spots to indulge in tantalising gastronomic delights that grace this sun-kissed haven, and learn how to embrace the glitz and glamour of the French Riviera with flair when visiting this special spot.

Antibes was the roaring hotspot of the 1920s, where Rudolph Valentino and the enigmatic Charlie Chaplin revelled in unforgettable escapades. But it was Picasso, the maestro of art, who discovered his own paradise within Antibes’ warm embrace, passionately painting as he immersed himself in the liberated spirit of the Mediterranean from his studio in Château Grimaldi. His masterpieces encapsulate the sheer joy of life and vibrant colours found in this idyllic haven.

Read on to discover what you need to know about visiting Antibes (based on my own thorough research and experience there), including its hidden gems, its must-see attractions, its culinary delights, where to stay and how best to bask in the sun on its pristine beaches, as well as which nearby attractions to visit that will complete your Riviera experience.

Essential links for your trip to Antibes

Airport transfer : book your airport transfer here Car rental : search car rental companies and compare prices here Trains : search train schedules & book tickets here Top rated tours & experiences nearby: ☆ Private Solar Catamaran Cruise in Antibes Juan les Pins ☆ Monaco and Eze Small Group Day Trip from Cannes ☆ Ferry from Cannes to Saint Tropez ☆ Nice Small-Group Walking Food Tour with Local Specialties & Wine Tasting ☆ Mediterranean Coastal Sightseeing Cruise from Nice (good value) Cultured Voyages accommodation picks: ➨ Hôtel La Villa Port d’Antibes & Spa // * top pick, where I stayed * ➨ Mas Djoliba // gorgeous boutique gem with pool ➨ Hôtel Le Petit Castel // family run, good for exploring Cap d’Antibes ➨ Appartement La Tourraque côté mer // apartment option

Table of Contents

What to know before you go to antibes, beaches and beach clubs, what to see and do in antibes, where to eat in antibes, where to stay in antibes, day trips and excursions from antibes, practical information for planning your visit, faq for visiting antibes, is it worth visiting antibes.

Antibes is an enchanting riviera escape that transcends the ordinary beach holiday. From its captivating streets to its unique attractions, this charming town offers a perfect blend of immersive experiences and picturesque beauty.

Stroll along the sun-kissed promenade, where the azure blues of the Mediterranean Sea stretch out before you. Explore the labyrinthine alleys and cobbled streets adorned with colourful bunting, getting lost in the town’s irresistible character.

Also, Antibes is a haven for fine dining enthusiasts, boasting a culinary scene that caters to the most discerning palates. Indulge in exquisite seafood and savour the flavours of Provençal cuisine, each dish a delightful exploration of the region’s gastronomic treasures. Even if fine dining is not your thing, there are oodles of restaurants that just ‘do cooking’ very, very well. 

Furthermore, you can immerse yourself in the town’s rich cultural heritage at the renowned Picasso Museum , where you can marvel at the masterpieces of the iconic artist. Lose yourself in the vibrant history and hidden corners of Antibes as you wander through its streets, discovering its captivating past.

Beyond its cultural offerings, Antibes invites you to embrace outdoor adventures. Sail along the sparkling coastline, discover secluded coves, or relax on pristine beaches, basking in the Mediterranean sun. I loved tracing the craggy shoreline on foot around the Cap d’Antibes when walking the stupendously beautiful Sentier du Littoral .

Personally, Antibes stole my heart with its azure beauty and undeniable charm. Even after exploring renowned French Riviera destinations like Cannes and Nice, I was drawn back to Antibes. Its unique blend of history, culture and natural beauty makes it a must-visit for any traveller seeking a better-than-usual beach escape.

If you need any more convincing, however, you can also read our dedicated post: Is visiting Antibes worth it?

RELATED READING | Is Antibes Worth Visiting? Discover Why This Riviera Gem Is a Must-Visit

Historical background

Antibes boasts a rich and storied history that spans centuries. Originally established by the ancient Greeks in the 5th century BC, the city was known by them as Antipolis. It later became a Roman settlement, flourishing as an important trading port in the region.

Over the centuries, Antibes changed hands multiple times, experiencing influences from various civilisations, including the Visigoths, the Byzantines and the Saracens.

One of the most prominent historical landmarks in Antibes is Fort Carré. Built in the 16th century by King Henry II of France , the fortress was strategically positioned to protect the coastline from invasions. Its imposing walls and bastions stand as a testament to Antibes’ turbulent past and offer panoramic views of the city and the azure Mediterranean Sea.

During the Middle Ages, Antibes became a fortified town with a thriving economy. The narrow, winding streets of the old town, lined with charming houses and medieval buildings, still retain their enchanting atmosphere. The city’s historical significance continued to evolve, witnessing the rise of maritime trade, the influence of the Provencal nobility, and the artistic inspirations of renowned figures.

Cultural significance

During the 20th century, Antibes gained prominence as a gathering place for the international elite, becoming a hub of artistic and literary inspiration. Influential figures from the Jazz Age, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, were captivated by the charm of Antibes, while artists found solace and inspiration within its enchanting streets.

Picasso, the renowned Spanish artist, discovered his own paradise within Antibes’ warm embrace. In 1946, after the turmoil of World War II, he sought refuge in this idyllic coastal town. Immersed in the liberated spirit of the Mediterranean, Picasso painted with fervour from his studio in Château Grimaldi, creating masterpieces that celebrated the joie de vivre of the French Riviera.

Antibes’ Picasso Museum, housed within the very same Château Grimaldi, showcases the artist’s profound connection to the region. The museum’s collection includes many of Picasso’s works created during his time in Antibes, capturing the vibrant colours and lively spirit of the Mediterranean. Visitors can walk in Picasso’s footsteps, exploring the rooms where he worked and admiring his masterful creations.

Today, Antibes continues to evoke the spirit of its artistic heyday. The echoes of Picasso, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and other cultural icons of the time can still be felt within the city’s winding alleys, elegant promenades and vibrant artistic community. Exploring Antibes offers not only a glimpse into its storied past but also a chance to be inspired by the artistic legacy that continues to thrive within its sun-kissed embrace.

Geographical location and climate overview

Antibes enjoys a prime location on the French Riviera, nestled between the bustling city of Nice and the glamorous town of Cannes. It is conveniently situated just 20 kilometres (12 miles) from Nice and 10 kilometres (6 miles) from Cannes, allowing for easy access to these larger cities and their attractions.

The climate in Antibes is typically Mediterranean, characterised by mild winters and warm summers. Summers are sunny and dry, with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 30°C (77°F to 86°F), while winters are mild with temperatures averaging around 10°C to 15°C (50°F to 59°F).

The region benefits from a refreshing Mediterranean breeze that keeps the temperatures pleasant throughout the year. I found this to be true when visiting in the summer – while warm I never felt like I was baking, always feeling enticed to be outdoors enjoying the good weather and trappings of the area.

Antibes’ proximity to other renowned destinations on the French Riviera makes it an ideal base for exploring the region. Whether you’re seeking the glamour of Cannes, the vibrant energy of Nice, or simply the stunning views from Fort Carré, Antibes provides a tranquil escape while still being within reach of larger cities and other points of interest.

Antibes vs Juan-les-Pins

Nestled on the glittering Cap d’Antibes, you’ll find two distinct areas often considered as one: Antibes and Juan-les-Pins. They share the sun-soaked coastline and the azure embrace of the Mediterranean — but that’s where the similarities end. Despite their proximity, these two towns offer remarkably different experiences, each appealing to a different kind of traveller.

In my time on the sun-dappled Côte d’Azur, the contrast between the historic Antibes and the vibrant Juan-les-Pins was unmistakable.

Antibes, with its cobbled lanes and charming old town, exudes a relaxed, almost timeless appeal. The stone ramparts, art-filled streets, and bustling marketplaces are a cultural traveller’s dream.

If you’re a history buff, the centuries-old Fort Carré or the Picasso Museum, located in the Grimaldi Castle, provide ample indulgence. For those who prefer to simply soak in the atmosphere, the allure of Antibes lies in its ability to slow time down – to transform a casual stroll into an immersive journey through time.

Juan-les-Pins, on the other hand, feels decidedly more contemporary and vibrant. Known for its lively nightlife, beach clubs, and music festivals, it pulsates with an infectious energy that can delight a different kind of traveller. If your ideal holiday involves sun-soaked beaches by day and buzzing bars by night, Juan-les-Pins is your haven.

To be honest, I didn’t find the town of Juan-les-Pins to be particularly attractive – it’s rather built up in comparison to Antibes old town and environs.

The beauty of Antibes and Juan-les-Pins, however, lies in their complementary nature. They cater to different moods, different preferences, and, indeed, different travellers, but together, they form a destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re seeking quiet introspection or spirited revelry, you’ll find your corner in this enchanting part of the world.

There are a range of both beaches and beach clubs on offer in both Antibes and Juan-les-Pins. Public beaches tend to have decent facilities, including showers and (often rudimentary) toilets. There are typically cafés and restaurants either lining or close to these beaches too, making it easy to grab supplies during your day on the sand. 

Beach clubs in both Antibes and Juan-les-Pins tend to fall more into the upmarket category. Some, like Plage Belles Rives, come appended to gourmet facilities – which in Belle Rives’ case, includes a Michelin starred restaurant. 

Antibes old town & close proximity

Antibes boasts a variety of beaches, each offering a different vibe.

Plage de la Gravette , nestled between the old town’s fortified walls and the marina, offers a cosy, sandy spot for relaxation, perfect for those seeking a more intimate experience. We found this spot perfect for popping out to for a few inexpensive hours of sun during the day. 

Plage de la Salis , closer to Cap d’Antibes, is larger and attracts a broader crowd. Whether it’s beach volleyball, windsurfing, or simply basking in the Mediterranean sun, this beach is a hub of activity. From here, there are also beautiful views of the old city ramparts and the distant Alps on the horizon far away. 

Plage de Ponteil is a busy beach that offers a kilometre long arc of fine sand, azure waters and an unmatched view of the Esterel mountains. Its proximity to the city centre makes it a favourite among families. Here, you’ll find private sun loungers at Royal Beach , a chic beachfront location that’s perfect for soaking up the sun in style.

Plage de la Garoupe is located on the eastern side of the Cap d’Antibes. It’s a small and charming beach that features silken sands and crystal-clear waters, ideal for relaxation or water sports. Much of the beach is taken over by private beach clubs (such as the upmarket Plage Keller , with its private pier and gourmet restaurant) during the summer months, with two small areas available without charge. 


Juan-les-Pins, meanwhile, is famous for its extensive sandy beaches. Plage de la Gallice and Plage des Ondes , with their calm, clear waters and golden sands, are ideal for families. In general, public beaches in Juan-les-Pins run from the town centre to the exit towards Golf-Juan. You’ll find facilities like toilets, showers and food outlets lining them too. 

Beach clubs in Juan-les-Pins are just as lavish as those in Antibes, if not more so.

You can’t mention beach clubs in Juan-les-Pins without mentioning the glamorous La Plage Belles Rives . Perched right in front of the legendary Hotel Belles Rives, where F. Scott Fitzgerald once resided, this beach club oozes 1920s charm. As you recline on a plush sunbed, you can almost imagine the whispered conversations of the jazz age in the rustling palms overhead.

Then there’s Les Pecheurs Beach Club , an idyllic spot offering an enticing mix of tranquility and luxury. Nestled on the Garoupe Bay, its Mediterranean menu and breathtaking sea views will whisk you away from the mundane.

Plage de la Jetée is perfect for the bon vivants. Located at the edge of a jetty, this beach club stands out with its spacious sun-soaked setting and a lively vibe. Perfect for those looking to mix sunbathing with socialising.

For more upscale relaxation, head to Helios Plage . Here, plush loungers, exquisite food, and cocktails combined with impeccable service make for an unforgettable beach day.

Another option to look at (and there are more) is Yolo Plage . Relatively new to the scene, Yolo Plage impresses with its modern aesthetics, tantalising menu and a sun-kissed terrace. It’s the go-to place for the trendy crowd.

In terms of what to see and do in Antibes, it’s probably easier to look at this in two areas: first, in the context of Antibes Old Town, and secondly; what to do further out around the Cap d’Antibes and Juan-les-Pins areas.

To this end, I’ve written a comprehensive blog post: “ Best things to do in Antibes, Juan-les-Pins & the Cap d’Antibes “.

RELATED READING | Things to do in Antibes

Wander the old town | Discover the charm of Antibes’ history as you meander through its winding alleyways and bustling squares. The well-preserved medieval architecture and vibrant local scene make the Old Town a must-visit. I loved strolling through its streets and seeing what I could discover.

Promenade Admiral de Grasse | Take a stroll down this stunning promenade for spectacular coastal views and picturesque vistas of Antibes. This became my favourite daily activity during my two week stay in Antibes. 

Visit the Musée Picasso | This museum, set in the Château Grimaldi, showcases a fascinating collection of Picasso’s works created during his stay in Antibes, as well as an extended number of works that have been collected over the years. A fascinating look at this intriguing artist. 

Provençal Market | The Provencal Market in Antibes is a bustling and vibrant hub of local culture, offering an authentic taste of the region’s flavours and aromas. From fresh produce to artisanal goods, the market is a sensory delight that invites you to immerse yourself in the heart of Antibes’ culinary heritage.

Fort Carré | Explore this historical 16th-century star-shaped fort for an enriching peek into Antibes’ past. The fort also offers panoramic views of the surrounding area.

Port Vauban | You can’t visit Antibes without having a gander at its famous port! Be captivated by the impressive luxury yachts moored at this Mediterranean marina.

Nomade Sculpture | Don’t miss this monumental artwork by Jaume Plensa, commanding a stunning presence at the port and symbolising the city’s vibrant artistic scene. Make sure to go inside it and look out. It’s also particularly lovely at night, illuminated against a dark night’s sky.

Cap d’Antibes and Juan-les-Pins

Coastal hike | Traverse the picturesque Sentier du Littoral in Cap d’Antibes, known for its breathtaking coastal views and a peek into opulent villas.

Villa Eilenroc | Tour this magnificent 19th-century villa that embodies the opulence of the Belle Époque, nestled amidst beautiful gardens. Its opening times are very patchy, however, so do check in advance of your visit – when I checked it was only open briefly on Saturdays. 

Bay of Billionaires | Experience the grandeur of the French Riviera by exploring this exclusive bay with its opulent homes. Even better, bring a towel and luxuriate by its crystal-clear waters. It’s an excellent (free) swimming spot. 

Thuret Botanical Gardens | Wander around this botanical gem, home to a variety of Mediterranean and exotic plants.

Beach and water sports | Juan-les-Pins’ sandy beaches offer the perfect day of relaxation or water sport activities. 

Musical Nights | Jazz à Juan is a key highlight, drawing jazz lovers from across the globe each year in the month of July.

RELATED READING | Sentier du Littoral of Antibes

Foodies will not got hungry in Antibes! There is a wonderfully diverse range of restaurants and cuisines available within the town and wider area. You’ll find Michelin-starred eateries at the higher end of the scale, ranging the whole way down to more affordable brasseries and cafés which offer wallet friendly options. 

The following are from my own address book, having been tried and tested during my time in Antibes.

NOMADS Coffee | A personal favourite of mine for its great vibes and superb coffee. Ideal for those seeking the finest speciality coffee in Antibes; it’s a true magnet for expats and locals alike. Come for the coffee, stay for the engaging people-watching – it’s a hub of life and conversation.

La Casita | With a menu spanning tapas to larger plates, La Casita is perfect for a leisurely lunch.  Relax in director’s chairs under umbrella shade, with a menu offering tapas, salads and larger plates.

Restaurant L’Arazur | Nestled down a side street, this charming corner eatery offers a few sought-after outdoor tables, as well as seating indoors. The experience is enchanting, with amuse-bouche punctuating your meal and an array of delightful snacks. Its name, a nod to the daughter  of the seasoned culinary couple behind it, embodies love and gourmet tradition and the owners’ global experience clearly shines through. 

Le Café Brun | A place we returned to time and again, it’s ideally situated on a breezy corner spot (which is very welcome on hot days), perfectly located near the old town promenade. British-owned, it fills the early evening gap before other restaurants open, with superb cocktails and excellent dishes. It’s the ideal spot for a wind-down drink amidst a vibrant atmosphere.

La Taille de Guêpe | Offering an excellent menu filled with colourful, beautifully flavoured dishes topped with edible flowers, a meal here is a delight. The flavours are superlative; my partner’s fish and my beef were superb. Remember to reserve in advance if you want to experience this delightful spot. 

La Trattoria | This place radiates happiness and hospitality! From the mozzarella straight from Napoli, to the Italians singing in the kitchen, it truly felt like a slice of Italy on the French Riviera. The novelty aprons they provide for eating messy pasta dishes added a fun touch to an already wonderful dining experience.

Choopy’s Cupcakes & Coffee Shop | A quiet sanctuary off the main streets, it was a find for me, especially as a gluten-free eater. Generous portions and a quaint location make it a hidden gem worth discovering.

Michelin-starred dining | For Michelin-starred dining, you can look to the likes of Le Figuier de Saint Esprit , Masion da Bâcon and Les Pecheurs   within Antibes old town. Further afield, in Juan-les-Pins, you could consider La Passagère at Belles Rives, or Louroc at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc.

Dining in Juan-les-Pins

During the entirety of our fortnight in Antibes Old Town, we never actually ventured for something to eat in Juan-les-Pins, preferring to eat within walking distance of our apartment. We found that there were so many restaurants to discover within the confines of the old town that we never felt compelled to make the effort to book a taxi to and from a restaurant!

If, however, you’d like to dine in Juan-les-Pins, or are staying there, restaurants I would take a look at include Le J. Restaurant , a small eatery that serves inventive cuisine built around fresh, local ingredients; Ti Toques , an unassuming restaurant that serves creative, quality dishes; and Cap Riviera Restaurant , which serves fresh situated and is located on the seafront, with views of the Lerins Islands.  

Where we stayed in Antibes

Hôtel la villa port d’antibes & spa.

For our first (shorter) visit to Antibes, we stayed at Hôtel La Villa Port d’Antibes & Spa . We loved this hotel, finding it well located on the edge of both the port and the old town of Antibes. This meant that we could easily access the town centre, as well as go for lovely walks along the port later in the day. 

They have a small pool, which is perfect for catching a few hours by. It’s likely that you’ll be at the beach anyway, but we found the pool to be a great option when we had other plans for the day, meaning we didn’t have to lug all our stuff to the beach, but merely pop down to the pool for an hour or two.

Our room was modern and comfortable and we had a small balcony that looked onto the pool below. Breakfast had both a solid continental and hot option, in a light filled room beside the pool. The entire property smelled great too!

Some other places to stay in Antibes

Cultured voyages recommended hotels in antibes.

Hotel le Ponteil

Discover Antibes’ charm at Le Ponteil, a unique hotel set on a quiet street just steps from the beach and old town. Enjoy bespoke decorations, a tranquil garden, and a scrumptious breakfast in a quaint French courtyard, all delivered with warm hospitality. This peaceful oasis offers an unbeatable location.

Hôtel Le Petit Castel

For an authentic French experience, consider Hôtel Le Petit Castel. A light-filled, family-run gem, nestled between the beaches of Juan-les-Pins and Cap d’Antibes. Its favourable location offers easy access to the historical centre and seashore within minutes. Note, rooms are accessed by stairs only.

Mas Djoliba

Immerse in tranquility at Mas Djoliba, nestled in Antibes’ residential area. With a sparkling pool, immaculate rooms, and a short walk from the beach and Old Town, it offers a haven of peace. The exceptionally friendly staff is a gem, ensuring a stay that feels like home. Perfect base for exploring Antibes-Juan-Les-Pins

Appartement La Tourraque côté mer

Relish sea and castle views from the La Tourraque côté mer apartment, located a stone’s throw from Picasso Museum. Boasting a coveted location, this modern, comfy 1-bedroom flat comes with a fully-equipped kitchenette, private parking, and free WiFi. A helpful host adds to its charm.

Antibes and Juan-les-Pins provide the perfect starting point for a plethora of unforgettable excursions, each one a short journey away and steeped in unique experiences.

Cannes, Nice and Biot

Just a stone’s throw away are the glitzy streets of Cannes and Nice, cultural powerhouses of the Côte d’Azur. Cannes, renowned for its world-famous film festival, is a mere 20-minute train ride away and offers a slice of cinematic glamour. Nice, on the other hand, a 30-minute train journey away, brims with artistic heritage and vibrant old-world charm. Nestled inland and reachable by a 15-minute drive or bus ride, the charming village of Biot awaits with its winding lanes and vibrant glass-blowing tradition, ready to immerse you in its rich, artsy atmosphere.

Lérins Islands

A stone’s throw away from Juan-les-Pins, the Lérins Islands beckon. The verdant Île Sainte-Marguerite and the monastery-dotted Île Saint-Honorat can be accessed via a short ferry ride from the Golfe-Juan port. Each island, a quick 15-minute journey to Sainte-Marguerite or a slightly longer 30-minute trip to Saint-Honorat, promises tranquillity, historical intrigue, and stunning natural beauty.

Countryside of Provence

For a complete change of scenery, venture into the Provençal countryside, which sprawls just beyond Antibes’ doorstep. Hiring a car or taking a guided tour is recommended to fully appreciate the picture-postcard landscapes, which encompass rolling hills, blooming lavender fields, and quaint hilltop villages. Though each destination’s driving time varies, expect a journey of approximately 40 minutes (up to several hours) into the heart of Provençal allure.

RELATED READING | 5 Day Perfect Provence Itinerary

Best time to visit Antibes

Deciding when to visit Antibes hinges on your preferences. For glorious weather and the full flush of festive spirit, summer, particularly July, is hard to beat. The Jazz à Juan festival fills the air with sultry notes, and the beaches are a delightful retreat. However, expect larger crowds.

Spring and autumn offer milder weather, thinner crowds, and lower prices. Winter is cool and quiet, but it carries a charm of its own, with the draw of being able to ski and enjoy the beach, all in the same day, likely to appeal to some.

How long should you stay?

The duration of your stay in Antibes will largely depend on your interests. For a leisurely exploration of Antibes and Juan-les-Pins, a 3-day itinerary is a good starting point, offering ample time for museum visits, beach lounging, and meandering through the old town.

If you’re keen on venturing further, or want to relax a little bit more, I’d recommend that you consider extending your stay to a week. This will allow you to fit in several beach days, along with a day trip or two to the likes of nearby Cannes, Nice, and charming inland villages.

Getting to and around Antibes

Getting to and navigating around Antibes is a breeze, thanks to the region’s well-established transport links.

Getting to Antibes from Nice Airport

Nice Côte d’Azur Airport is just 20 minutes away by car, and from there, you’ll find an array of convenient transport options.

Regular bus services run from the airport to Antibes (every 30 minutes or so) but be aware that they can be a slower choice. Try to get on the express airport bus (and not the general line that runs from Antibes to Nice). I took this when the trains were down one day and it took over an hour to reach the outskirts of Nice where the airport is located, as it stopped in so many places along the way. The dedicated airport bus makes the journey in a much quicker time. 

You can also get a tram (which goes from the outside of the airport) into the centre of Nice, and from there get the train from Nice Ville to Antibes. 

For the quickest and most comfortable journey, consider booking a private transfer or hopping in a taxi. We got an Uber from Antibes to Nice Airport and it took around 20 minutes and cost around €20 – which really wasn’t too bad in my opinion, especially when you consider how long the same trip had taken me on the local bus. 

Getting around while in Antibes

Once in Antibes, the town’s compact size makes exploring on foot a joy. For day trips, the train is the quickest and most efficient option. Antibes is ideally situated on the French Riviera’s train network, making it easy to reach destinations like Nice, Cannes, and beyond in a flash.

If your wanderlust leads you to less-accessible corners, such as some of the smaller villages, local buses are available. While these can be slower, they offer a chance to soak in the scenery at a more leisurely pace. However, from my personal experience, I’d recommend the train for day trips where possible. For an extra dose of adventure or for destinations off the beaten path, consider hiring a car or taking a guided tour.

With the right planning, Antibes can be your gateway to the wider Riviera and beyond.

Is it better to stay in Antibes or Juan-les-Pins

Both Antibes and Juan-les-Pins have their unique appeal, and the choice depends on your preferences. If you enjoy cultural pursuits and a more traditional atmosphere, Antibes, with its historic old town and bustling market, might be more to your liking. If you’re after a lively nightlife scene and sandy beaches, then Juan-les-Pins would be a better fit. Consider your preferences when deciding where to stay on the French Riviera.

How do you spend a day in Antibes?

A day in Antibes could start with a leisurely stroll in the old town, exploring the Picasso Museum and the Provencal Market. Follow that with a walk around Port Vauban to marvel at the yachts. Enjoy lunch at a beachfront restaurant, and spend the afternoon sunbathing on a sandy beach or exploring the Cap d’Antibes. As evening falls, choose a cosy eatery for dinner, and finish the day with a stroll along the ramparts for sunset views.

Is Cannes or Antibes better to visit?

Both towns are worth visiting, but they offer different experiences. Antibes has a more laid-back and authentic feel, ideal for those who love history, art, and local culture. Cannes, on the other hand, is famous for its film festival, luxury shopping, and celebrity sightings. If you like going large, then Cannes may be a better fit for you. If you want to stay away from day trippers, and those on on-shore excursions from visiting cruise ships, then Antibes is a better pick. 

How long should I spend in Antibes?

I’d recommend at least three to four days to fully enjoy Antibes. This allows time to explore the old town, visit the museums, relax on the beach, and take in the marina. It also provides an opportunity for day trips to nearby towns or villages.

What is Antibes famous for?

Antibes is famous for its historic old town, the Picasso Museum, and Port Vauban, the largest marina in the Mediterranean. It’s also known for its annual Jazz à Juan Festival.

Is Antibes or Menton better?

Both towns are delightful, but offer different experiences. Antibes has a vibrant arts scene, a world-class marina, and proximity to other popular Riviera towns. Menton is quieter, known for its beautiful gardens, lemon festival, and Italianate feel.

Are beaches in Antibes free?

Yes, Antibes has several public beaches that are free to access, although there are also private beach clubs where you can rent a sunbed for a fee.

Does Antibes have sand beaches?

Yes, Antibes has some beautiful sandy beaches, particularly in the Juan-les-Pins area.

Is Antibes expensive?

As a destination on the French Riviera, Antibes can be more expensive compared to some other parts of France. However, it offers a range of options to suit different budgets, from luxury yachts and upscale dining to more affordable eateries, public beaches and reasonably priced attractions.

Related reading for the French Riviera and Provence

French riviera .

  • Antibes  | Things to Do in Antibes: 23 Must-Visit Attractions & Memorable Experiences
  • Is Antibes worth visiting? | Is Antibes Worth Visiting? Discover Why This Riviera Gem Is a Must-Visit
  • Antibes travel guide | Visiting Antibes: Insider’s Guide to a Riviera Gem
  • Sentier du Littoral Wall | Walking the Sentier du Littoral of Antibes – Essential Guide
  • A day in Cannes | coming soon
  • 1 day in Nice | coming soon
  • Nice wine tours | 10 Fantastic Nice Wine Tours Worth Taking
  • 4 days in French Riviera | coming soon
  • South of France Road Trip | coming soon
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Provence (excluding the French Riviera)

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Vieille ville d'Antibes

  • Cities on the Côte d’Azur
  • Visit Antibes, the Mediterranean city-state

Antibes Juan-Les-Pins is a town on the Côte d’Azur that should be on everyone’s itinerary. Thanks to its numerous historic monuments, many guided tours are on offer to explore it from every angle. History buffs will delight in wandering through the old town so full of anecdotes, while it is easy for budding photographers to have fun, given all the sumptuous views the town has to offer.

5 carefully chosen visits with official guides from Tour Guides France will take you into the heart of the town, which has retained a special Provencal character.


Antibes was founded at the same time as Marseille, in the 6th century BCE, by the Greeks from Asia Minor, the Phocaeans. Today, the areas that the Greeks occupied, correspond to the current sites of Sainte-Marie Cathedral, Cours Masséna and Rue de la République.

The Romans arrived in the town around 150 BC: they had been called in by the inhabitants, who were being threatened by the Oxybians, a Celtic tribe. The Romans built a temple dedicated to Minerva and two aqueducts to supply the town with drinking water: the Fontvieille aqueduct, which took water from Biot , and the Bouillide aqueduct, which brought water from Valbonne via Vallauris . The Antibes Archaeology Museum conserves the treasures of the town’s rich ancient past.

Your guides from Tour Guides France will take you back in time. Follow them to learn more about the ancient history of Antibes.

  • Your tour of the ancient walled town of Antibes/Antipolis
Voir cette publication sur Instagram   Une publication partagée par Antibes Juan-les-Pins Tourisme (@antibestourisme)


Old Antibes is the oldest part of the town dating from the Middle Ages which continued to be occupied through to the modern era. It was surrounded by ramparts some of which still stand today on the sea front and at Vauban port .

In the 5th century, the town became the seat of a bishopric and remained so until 1244, when this was transferred to Grasse . In place of the temple of Minerva, the inhabitants built a cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

In the Middle Ages, Antibes became a seigneury of the County of Provence, administered by the bishops and the Grimaldi family.

Tour Guides France offer a guided tour of the old town centre to discover the secrets of Old Antibes.

  • Your visit to Old-Antibes


In 1946 , an illustrious Spanish painter, whose had established his reputation with ‘Guernica,’ moved into the second floor of the Château Grimaldi. Pablo Picasso spent two years in the town alongside Jacqueline Roque, and painted ‘ Ulysses and the Sirens ‘ and ‘ The Woman with Sea Urchins .’ This last work echoes the time the artist spent in Golfe Juan, after work or during his lunch break: Picasso bought and ate sea urchins with the many acquaintances he made in the town and the surrounding area. He met Mr and Mrs Ramiés who ran a ceramics business.

In 1948, the painter moved to Vallauris . The studio he occupied on the second floor of the Château Grimaldi in Antibes was transformed into a museum : there you will find works painted by the artist as well as ceramic objects decorated by him.

Voir cette publication sur Instagram Une publication partagée par Antibes Juan-les-Pins Tourisme (@antibestourisme)


Antibes is the most Provençal of all the Côte d’Azur towns, both because of its architecture or the varied produce on offer at its daily market on the Cours Masséna. A visit is a must, if you are a foodie or love such culinary specialities as olives, anchovies, tapenade, fruit and vegetables.

Tour Guides France open the doors of the best local food producers of the Old Antibes: enjoy tastings of various dishes and alcoholic products, based on aniseed, though please drink responsibly. They will take you to the best addresses in Antibes through a gourmet tour, follow them!

  • Awaken your senses with a taste tour


Antibes underwent a major transformation at the end of the 19th century with the arrival of the railway: the town spilled out of its ramparts, which were partly destroyed.

The fortifications, which had been built in the time of the kings, as a defensive barrier against the Spaniards and Austrians, lost their usefulness when the county of Nice became French in 1860 and the town of Antibes became part of the newly formed administrative department of Alpes-Maritimes.

New districts were created as a result of residential and tourist growth in the town: it was in this context that Juan les Pins was built in 1882. Its development was driven, among other things, by the arrival of illustrious figures such as the author Guy de Maupassant and a new clientele from the United States of America.

  • Your visit 'Modern-day Antibes'

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Musee Picasso

© Francois Pages 1954

A painting of a woman standing next to a horse

Musee Picasso (Chateau Grimaldi)

National museum in honour of Picasso in a beautiful medieval castle

The Picasso museum is housed in the Chateau Grimaldi in the centre of the town of Vallauris. The chateau was built over a Roman fort in the 16th century.

Picasso lived in Vallauris from 1948 until his death in 1955. He created many works here and was instrumental in the revival of the pottery industry and arts movement of the area. Following Picasso's success the building where he had once rented a room later became a museum dedicated to him which houses 300 of his paintings.

There are also pieces by artists Léger, Miró, Chillida, Klein, Modigliani, Picabia and Calder, among many others.

The castle, on the other hand, has its origins in the 14th century, when the Grimaldi family lived here. Turned into a town hall in 1792, it was bought by the town of Antibes in 1925. Picasso used one of its rooms as a workshop, where he made paintings and drawings, many of which he gifted to the town of Antibes.

Worth knowing

The museum is named after his work entitled 'War and Peace'. It is the last major political composition produced by Pablo Picasso. Completed in 1952 it was permanently installed in the Chapel in 1954, and then donated by the artist in 1956 to the French State, which established the Chapel as a national museum.

Watch out for

As with most museums, shops and smaller galleries in France, they shut at lunch time! Beware!

Visitor comments

  • "Imagine an antique fortress nested in the old village of Antibes. Take the access ramp, and enter the intimate Musée Picasso. It offers that perfect mix of historic beauty with modern art, the one resonating, echoing and enhancing the other. Because the city and the area have so much to offer, this 'little' museum will not require your whole day - it is an easy and rather rapid visit... but you can of course take plenty of time to wander, admire the art (include temporary exhibitions), and dream from the terrace of the chateau while admiring the sea, the ballet of the boats and the nearby coast." - Trip Advisor
  • "The new Picasso museum deserves to be visited. Nice building, from the ground up to the third floor where the woodwork can be seen. Art collection well enhanced. Two hours there, time has flown... We strongly recommend the visit." - Trip Advisor
  • "Would highly recommend this museum. Many works and changing displays. Affordable entry charges for young and old. Expand your mind a little in a beautiful building." - Trip Advisor

When to come

The museum is open every day except Tuesdays, but hours vary depending on the season: Winter: 10:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 17:30 Summer: 10:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 18:00 (In July & August it stays open until 20:00 on Wednesdays & Fridays)

How to get passes

You can get tickets on arrival, however if you wish to book for a private tour, or a large group it may well be worth contacting them in advance.

Tickets cost 6€. Only 3€ for students, persons over 65 and teachers. Free for disabled persons and under 18.

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  • From  16 September 2023  to  14 June 2024
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  • From  15 June 2024  until  15 September 2024
  • From  16 September 2024  until  14 June 2025
  • 04 92 90 54   ▒▒ 04 92 90 54 20
  • www.antibes-juanlespins.com


  • Close to a motorway
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Home » Travel Guides » France » 15 Best Things to Do in Antibes (France)

15 Best Things to Do in Antibes (France)

A Mediterranean resort that also includes Juan-les-Pins, Antibes has 25 kilometres of coastline and is a getaway for the very rich but also one of the French Riviera’s preferred destinations  for French families.

You can mix afternoons at the beach with day-trips to Nice and Cannes, which are both minutes from the resort on the TER train.

There’s much to occupy you closer by, with a coastline made for walking, and a waterfront fortified by Vauban in the 1600s, now the preserve of the world’s richest people, who moor their gargantuan superyachts in the port at eye-watering expense.

Lets explore the best things to do in Antibes :


When you add it up you realise that Antibes covers a very large area, made up of the old town, the entirety of the peninsula and of course the summery resort of Juan-les-Pins.

There are almost 50 private and public beaches close by, and that doesn’t include the informal coves along the Sentier de Tire-Poil where you can bathe on the rocks and slip into the water to cool off.

To select just one: Plage de la Salis is a free, white sandy bay next to the yacht club with smooth, glistening sea on clear days.

2. Musée Picasso

Musée Picasso

Even before you consider what lies inside, this historic building is a treasured slice of Antibes’ heritage.

It was built on top of the original Greek Acropolis, and the first few metres of the walls are Roman.

A branch of the Genoese Grimaldi Family (for whom it’s named) held it until the 1600s when the French crown took over.

Fast forward to 1946 and Picasso was invited by the city to use the newly restored castle as a studio, and he obliged, completing several works here that summer.

In 1966 the museum was inaugurated and it now has 245 of his paintings, ceramics and drawings.

There are also sculptures by Joan Miró and Germaine Richier, and paintings by Nicolas de Staël.

3. Port Vauban

Port Vauban

What you’ll see from the quay at Port Vauban is surely the most stupendous concentration of wealth on the planet.

Where oligarchs’ superyachts are now moored there’s been a harbour since the before the Romans, and in the 1600s it was fortified by Vauban, the military engineer-extraordinaire.

Since the 20th century though it has welcomed boats belonging to the world’s mega-rich.

These yachts rival cruise liners and make some look small by comparison.

Rates for a berth are well in excess of €1m, and the extraordinary tonnage of the craft moored here make Port Vauban the largest marina in The Mediterranean.

4. Le Nomade

Le Nomade

Eight metres high, on the terrace of the old Bastion de St-Jaume in the Port Vauban is a monumental sculpture designed by Barcelona artist Juame Plensa.

It was installed in 2007 and depicts the figure of a person looking out to sea.

When you get close you’ll notice that the figure is made up totally of letters made of aluminium.

To try to paraphrase the artist, these signify the constructive potential that letters contain, as they allow us to construct thought.

The sculpture is open on one side, so you can walk inside.

The best time to see it though is after dark or at sunset when it is illuminated.

5. Sentier de Tire-Poil

Cap d'Antibes

You can thank the French government for wonderful walks like the one that twists through Mediterranean vegetation around the rocky southern reaches of the Cap d’Antibes.

In 1986 the Loi Littoral restricted coastal development and granted free public access to coastal paths like this.

It links the l’Argent Faux cove with the beach and La Garoupe, and continues for 3.2 kilometres around the perimeters of sprawling estates, through tunnels in the rock, along cliff tops and past seascapes that vary according to their exposure to the sea and coastal winds. As you head up the east side of the peninsula  the winds ease and the sea starts to look very inviting.

So don’t forget your swim gear!

6. Garoupe Lighthouse

Garoupe Lighthouse

The simplest walking route to the 29-metre-high lighthouse on the Garoupe Plateau is up the Chemin de Calvaire from Plage de la Salis.

It’s about a kilometre from the beach but the incline is pretty steep and it’s one to attempt in the morning or evening in summer.

The view down to Juan-les-Pins over the stone pines and olive trees will make you forget the effort though.

There are two chapels next door belonging to the Garoupe Sanctuary, one containing a byzantine icon of Sébastopol from the 1300s.

Both chapels are there to bestow good luck on Antibes’  sailors.

Here’s an interesting factoid for you: The lighthouse is among the most powerful on France’s entire Mediterranean coast.

The 500 watt bulb has a range of 60km for sea-going vessels and 100km for planes and helicopters.

7. Fort Carré

Fort Carré

Guarding the northern lip of the Port is a fortress that Vauban bolstered in the 1680s as part of his defensive plan for Antibes.

It’s on the Saint-Roch peninsula in four hectares of parkland, and with an elevated position 26 metres above the water.

The fortress was effectively the first line of defence against the County of Nice, a province of the Piedmontese State and so an enemy of France in the 17th century.

Vauban made various smart tweaks to the structure, such as replacing stone with brick because its splinters weren’t as deadly when hit by canon fire.

The fortress has survived undamaged, and there’s a splendid 360° view from the ramparts, 43 metres above sea level.

8. Musée Peynet

Musée Peynet

The 20th-century cartoonist Raymond Peynet settled in Antibes in 1976. He soon made many friends and threw himself into local life, holding exhibitions and designing posters for events here.

In the 80s he helped set up this museum, which now displays 4,000 illustrations charting his 50-year career.

There are exhibits of the jewellery and porcelain he created, as well as full-sized figures of his famous “Les Amoureux” characters designed for the window display in the Galeries Lafayette in Paris in the 50s.

They were the inspiration for an extremely popular and iconic series of dolls, selling in the millions since they were first released more than 60 years ago.

9. Musée d’Archéologie

Musée d'Archéologie

The Bastion Saint-André, designed by Vauban and built in the late-17th century is the fitting home for Antibes’ collections of historical artefacts.

The exhibition space is small as the bastion is little more than a solitary coastal tower, and the museum is unassuming.

But it will drive home the rich and long history of the area.

The waters off the cape are notoriously treacherous and claimed Roman, Etruscan, Greek and Phoenician ships, and their contents are on show at the museum.

There are amphorae and other pottery, coins, mosaics and an enlightening assortment of everyday objects.

You can also go up to the battlements for views down the eastern side of the cape and up to the hills behind Cagnes-sur-Mer.

10. Jazz Festival

Jazz Festival

For the last 66 years a pine grove next to the water in Juan-les-Pins has welcomed some of the world’s top musicians for nine nights of concerts.

A quick breeze through just some of the names to have performed at Jazz à Juan tells you all you need to know about its standing in the music world: John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong have all performed on this stage.

The curators take pains to ensure the festival looks to the future, and has given more recent artists like Wynton Marsalis, Marcus Miller and Joshua Redman a platform.

There’s also a “jazz-off”, in which ensembles compete against each other for a prize each year.


La Croisette is where you’ll feel like a film star, if only for a few minutes.

On one side is the golden sandy bay, fenced off by private beaches, with a free municipal section at the end.

On the other the luxury fashion emporia line out in their dozens.

The Palais des Festivals is the building at the centre of attention for two weeks every May for the Film Festival, awarding the Palme d’Or, one of the most coveted prizes in the business.

You can stop for a photo on the red carpet, or cut through the glitz and trace the history of old fishing community in the steep, meandering streets of Le Suquet.

12. Île Sainte-Marguerite

Île Sainte-Marguerite

Ferries shuttle back and forth to Sainte-Marguerite from Juan-les-Pins throughout the day.

You could stop at the market or local shops in Antibes or Juan-les-Pins for provisions, before setting sail.

Once there, unwind on the quiet forest trails and have a picnic lunch below the fragrant stone pines and eucalyptus trees.

At the top of a cliff on the north shore is Fort Royal, where the mystery Man in the Iron Mask was imprisoned at the behest of Louis XIV in the 17th century.

The prison has been replaced by a museum, but the cells are still intact and you can also survey the artefacts recovered from two local shipwrecks, one Roman and the other Moorish from the 900s.

13. Château de la Napoule

Château de la Napoule

Carry on a bit further around the Golfe de la Napoule and you come to this château 25 kilometres from Antibes.

Right down on the seafront, the building’s origins go back to the 1300s, and for the next few hundred years it went through a number of rebuilds until it was bought by the wealthy and eccentric American artist Henry Clews Jr.

in 1918. He and his wife Marie spent more than a decade restoring the building themselves, infusing it with their own inimitable style, visible in Henry’s quirky stone carvings here and there.

The formal gardens, with their sculptures by Clews, fountains, topiaries and avenues are set in four acres and designated a “jardin remarquable”.

14. Parc Phœnix


One of the best family days out on the French Riviera is about two thirds of the way to Nice from Antibes.

It’s only a few minutes on the TER train and is a big hit with little ones.

The park covers seven hectares, combines botanical and zoo attractions, and represents great value for money as kids under 12 go free and parents pay just €3. The headline is the 7,000 square-metre tropical greenhouse, with a balmy environment  supporting ferns, orchids, and hibiscus flowers.

There are terrariums with caiman, and Chilean flamingos, Mandarin ducks and iguanas roam freely.

Outside there are enclosures for otters, macaws,  wallabies and porcupines, while swans, geese, pelicans and turtles are allowed to go as they please.


The mythic capital of the Côte d’Azur is 18 minutes on the TER and there are up to five trains an hour on weekdays.

So before you know it you could be sauntering through the Vieille Ville, where the city’s historic Italian influence is plain to see in its renaissance houses and baroque cathedral.

The Promenade des Anglais arcs for seven kilometres around the Baie des Anges and is known the world over for lavish Belle Époque buildings like Hotel Negresco.

There are myriad ways to make your time worthwhile: Trundle down to the sea on the pebble beaches, savour the art of Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse or scale the Colline du Château for the definitive view of the city.

15 Best Things to Do in Antibes (France):

  • Musée Picasso
  • Port Vauban
  • Sentier de Tire-Poil
  • Garoupe Lighthouse
  • Musée Peynet
  • Musée d'Archéologie
  • Jazz Festival
  • Île Sainte-Marguerite
  • Château de la Napoule
  • Parc Phœnix

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Cultured Traveler

On Picasso’s Trail, From Antibes to Avignon

tour grimaldi antibes

By Andrew Ferren

  • May 20, 2009

SOUTHERN FRANCE is always Picasso country, but this summer is an especially good time to follow Picasso’s trail on the Riviera and in Provence. Two major exhibitions explore pivotal themes in his long and varied career, and the French tourist office is suggesting a 10-stop self-guided Picasso tour from Antibes, the location of the enchanting Musée Picasso, to Avignon, which Picasso first visited in 1912 with his fellow painter Georges Braque.

Until June 14, the lyrical Picasso works permanently on display at the museum in Antibes will share space with others imported for “Picasso, 1945-1949: the Era of Renewal.” More than 150 paintings, sculptures, drawings and ceramic pieces are on display. The exhibition celebrates the museum’s recent renovation and sheds new light on the work of Picasso’s Antibes period, which is characterized by an almost palpable sense of joy owing to the presence of a new love in his life — Françoise Gilot, who was 40 years younger than he — as well as the end of World War II.

In the summer of 1946, Picasso and Gilot were staying in a nearby villa. The Château Grimaldi was a provincial antiquities museum to which its enterprising curator, Romuald Dor de la Souchère, had hopes of adding a collection of modern painting. During a chance meeting on the beach one day, he approached Picasso about donating a painting, and though Picasso at first demurred, in the end this conversation led to Antibes getting a museum full of Picassos.

Dor de la Souchère later recounted the scene in a short and slightly apocryphal text called “Chance.” Picasso, after rather weakly promising to look for a drawing of Antibes to give to the museum, complained that he had never been given large walls on which to paint. “Walls? You want walls? I can give you some walls,” Dor de la Souchère responded, and offered the artist a room in the chateau to use as a studio. Picasso accepted and, in an astonishing burst of activity, began painting frescoes and then quickly switched to painting just about everything else in reach. One day it seemed that one of the museum’s many 19th-century military portraits was missing, until it was discovered that Picasso had painted over it with a work known as “The Sea Urchin Eater.”

Picasso’s at-hand art supplies during those early days of postwar reconstruction included panels of fiber cement and Ripolin — basically Sheetrock and house paint — as well as plywood, and Picasso used them all to create pastoral scenes like “La Joie de Vivre” in which a curvy female nude clearly modeled on Gilot dances joyously in an idyllic Mediterranean landscape amid flute-playing fauns and dancing goats. The painting, the unofficial icon of the Antibes period, is among the most beloved treasures of the museum’s collection, which also includes portraits of striped-shirted fishermen and dreamily reclining nudes.

Both the artist and the museum curator acknowledged that had they set out to create a Picasso museum, it may never have happened. In the end, the sheer quantity and scale of the works determined that some sort of legacy would remain at the chateau. The current exhibit reunites those large works, which Picasso could not take with him when the cold drove him from the drafty chateau in November, with smaller ones that he did carry away (and that are now returning for the first time). Included among them are many drawings never before exhibited that provide a window into Picasso’s artistic process, which Bernardo Laniado-Romero, former director of the Picasso museum in Malaga, Spain, describes as “the laboratory” of his ideas. “If you want to understand the meanings of his paintings, you need to look at the drawings he was creating at the same time,” Laniado-Romero said in an interview.

Several drawings on view trace Picasso’s evolution of the theme of the “femme-fleur” — images of a woman (again, Françoise Gilot) transformed into a flower — that seem almost childlike representations of fertility. Indeed, in the fall of 1946, she was already pregnant with the first of their two children, but as she recounted in her 1964 memoir “Life with Picasso,” their day-to-day existence was not all flowers and joie de vivre. She eventually left him in 1953 — the only one of his lovers to do so.

Not far from the museum, Picasso often sketched at the beach at La Garoupe, a cove on the Cap d’Antibes. Today, beyond the usual swimming and sunbathing, the beach offers travelers a lovely promenade winding along the sea. In the old town of Antibes, there are lots of charming cafes, restaurants and crêperies to try out, and a bustling morning produce and flower market changes in the afternoon to a place where artisans sell handicrafts.

A few miles northwest of Antibes is Vallauris, where Picasso and Gilot moved in 1948 and raised their two young children, Claude and Paloma, until 1953, and where Picasso explored the medium of ceramics. Georges and Suzanne Ramié, owners of the Madoura factory, a producer of the region’s traditional platters, pitchers and other pottery, were as clever as Dor de la Souchère had been at the Château Grimaldi. By offering Picasso a place to work, they in turn created a good business for themselves.

He wanted to create large, independent sculptures in clay, but when many of these did not survive firing in the kiln, he set about decorating and sometimes tweaking the traditional vessels and forms that the factory had been producing for years. These playful works — wine jugs molded into curvy women and oval platters painted to look like bullrings — delighted Picasso, and he allowed the Ramiés to replicate some of them in limited editions. (Anyone wishing to start a collection now can check out the works currently shown at Céramiques du Château, a gallery just opposite the entrance to the Picasso Museum in Antibes.)

Vallauris has its own Musée Picasso, in the chateau on the main square where the bronze cast of the sculpture “Man With Sheep” has stood since Picasso donated it to the town in 1949. The museum exhibits some of his ceramics, and from June 27 through Oct. 12 will also explore Picasso’s links to the modernist poet and author Blaise Cendrars. Its biggest draw, however, is the War and Peace memorial, which Picasso painted from 1952 to 1957 to decorate the building’s small Romanesque chapel. Considered his last work of overtly political art, it juxtaposes menacing images of war and idyllic scenes of shepherds and rural life.

From 1959 to 1961, Picasso and his new companion, Jacqueline Roque — whom he married in 1961 — lived near Aix-en-Provence, the delightful Baroque city that is perhaps best known as the home of Paul Cézanne. In “Picasso-Cézanne,” the second of this summer’s big exhibitions, running from May 25 through Sept. 27, the Musée Granet in Aix examines the influence of Cézanne on Picasso. It is one of the first major exhibitions to look at the relationship between these two towering figures of 19th- and 20th-century art. It will feature some 50 works by each artist — paintings, drawings, sculptures and prints — including a selection of the paintings by Cézanne that were part of Picasso’s personal collection.

In 1958 Picasso had bought the Château de Vauvenargues near Aix, at the foot of Mont Sainte-Victoire, the mountain that Cézanne had returned to again and again in his own paintings, and it was here that he and Jacqueline and her daughter from a previous marriage settled for several years. Interestingly, though he was literally in Cézanne’s backyard, it was the work of another French master, Manet’s “Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe,” that inspired much of Picasso’s work at Vauvenargues.

From the Granet, visitors can arrange — during the exhibition — to tour the Château de Vauvenargues, where Picasso and Jacqueline are buried in the garden. Jacqueline’s daughter, Catherine Hutin, is opening the house to the public for the first time as a complement to the museum exhibit. The tour includes the principal rooms of the chateau — including Picasso’s large second-floor studio, dominated by a grand Baroque fireplace surmounted with carved figures and the heraldic crest of a previous owner. Miraculously, this bit of pomposity manages to blend into the otherwise stripped-down and whitewashed room. Easels stand in the corners, and jars of oil paints and brushes are stacked neatly on several tables, as if the artist might return at any moment.

From the windows there are views of Mont Sainte-Victoire rising above the neighboring pine forests — much as Cézanne might have painted it. Also on the second floor is the master bedroom, with its quirky orange-and-gold-striped headboard fashioned from a Catalan flag. The master bath is adorned with a mural depicting a pastoral scene with a faun that Picasso painted in the spring of 1959. According to Ms. Hutin, it was in this room that family meetings often took place with Picasso in the tub, like a 20th-century Sun King at his levée.

Though the chateau has an elaborately decorated 19th-century chapel on the ground floor, the funerals for both Picasso and Roque were held in the more informal and rustic Guards Hall. Its large open fireplace remains full of plants and flowers and is dotted with a few of the artist’s sculptures in a sort of discreet but ongoing tribute.

Visitors will see a seven-minute video montage of family movies showing life in the chateau with the comings and goings of Picasso’s family and friends. The artist even hams it up a bit for the camera in this never-before-shown footage.

From Aix, the other Provençal towns featured on the Picasso itinerary are within easy distance. Worth a visit are Arles, with its bullring and colorful atmosphere that reminded Picasso of his native Spain, and Avignon. Though his pivotal masterpiece “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” was actually painted in Paris five years before Picasso ever visited the town, it was here in this former city of popes that the high priest of 20th-century art began his enduring love affair with the south of France.


Musée Picasso , Château Grimaldi, Antibes (33-4-9290-5420; www.antibes-juanlespins.com); admission 6 euros, or about $8.35 at $1.39 to the euro. “Picasso, 1945-1949: The Era of Renewal” runs through June 14.

Musée National Picasso Vallauris and War and Peace memorial, Place de la Libération, Vallauris (33-4-9364-7183; www.musee-picasso-vallauris.fr); admission 3.25 euros.

Musée Granet , Place St. Jean de Malte, Aix-en-Provence (33-4-4252-8832; www.museegranet-aixenprovence.fr); admission for “Picasso-Cézanne” is 10 euros.

Château de Vauvenargues , Aix-en-Provence; group visits only, advance booking required; arranged through the Musée Granet; admission 7.70 euros.

For the French tourist board’s guide for following Picasso’s footsteps in southern France, visit www.picassoenprovencecotedazur.com.


Hôtel Belles Rives , 33, boulevard Edouard Baudoin, Juan-les-Pins Cap d’Antibes (33-4-9361-0279; www.bellesrives.com); doubles begin at 245 euros in summer.

Hôtel Cézanne , 40, avenue Victor-Hugo, Aix-en-Provence (33-4-4291-1111; cezanne.hotelaix.com), doubles from 175 euros.

Guided Walking Tour in Antibes

walking tour antibes

Explore the beauty of Antibes, France, on our 2-hour walking tour. From the vibrant Provencal Market to the quaint Safranier’s neighborhood, and the fascinating Grimaldi Castle housing the Picasso Museum, every step will be a delight. We’ll reveal hidden gems and take you to the impressive Fort Carré for breathtaking views. Walk along the ancient ramparts and savor the scenic vistas of Cap d’Antibes and Port Vauban. Let us show you the best of Antibes, its rich history, and its stunning coastal charm.

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Explore the enchanting town of Antibes, France, on this immersive 2:30-hour walking tour that will take you through its historic streets and reveal the hidden treasures of its old town. Prepare to be captivated by the charm and beauty that await you at every turn.

We’ll begin our journey at the heart of the city, the Provencal Market, where the bustling atmosphere and vibrant colors of fresh produce and local delicacies will awaken your senses. Take in the scents of lavender, olives, and spices, and perhaps even sample some of the region’s finest cheeses and wines.

Next, we’ll venture into the picturesque neighborhood of Safranier, a charming maze of narrow alleys and flower-filled squares. As we stroll through this delightful area, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time to a bygone era.

Our path then leads us to the magnificent Grimaldi Castle, now home to the Picasso Museum. Discover the works of the iconic artist within these ancient walls and be inspired by the unique blend of history and creativity that the museum offers.


Continuing our exploration, we’ll arrive at the impressive Fort Carré, a historical military fortress that offers breathtaking panoramic views of Antibes and the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. Stand in awe of the fort’s architectural beauty and imagine the battles that once took place here.

But the adventure doesn’t stop there! We’ll unveil the hidden gems that lie off the beaten path, showing you places and corners that even the most seasoned travelers might overlook. From secret gardens to charming local shops, you’ll be delighted by the discoveries we have in store for you.

As we near the end of our tour, we’ll make sure you walk along the ancient ramparts, offering stunning views of the glistening waters and the picturesque Cap d’Antibes. Breathe in the salty sea air and feel the magic of this coastal town seep into your soul.

Lastly, we’ll lead you to the prestigious Port Vauban, one of the largest marinas in Europe. Marvel at the luxury yachts and sailboats that grace the harbor, making it a spectacle of opulence and maritime beauty.

With our knowledgeable guides by your side, you’ll experience Antibes in a way that is both authentic and unforgettable. So put on your walking shoes and join us on this journey of discovery through the charming streets and historic landmarks of Antibes. Let’s create lasting memories together and immerse ourselves in the beauty of this coastal gem.

Meeting point

Meet your guide at the square “ Place General de Gaulle “, facing Monoprix and the Grand Hotel building. There’s also a ground fountain going on some days, he will be just next to it in the shade. On market days, he will be standing right on it as fountains are off!

Important information

This tour will take place rain or shine.

The guided tours

Discover the 1001 facets of the city....

tour grimaldi antibes

Let yourself be guided... with a smile !

To not miss the Antibes Juan-les-Pins highlights

To freely visit a city, a map in one hand, the camera in the other, is great. But to visit it with a smiling guide that will answer all your questions, isn't that just better?

To know the diary of guided tours, please click here

Alone, with a group or your family, the Tourist and Convention Bureau offers you to tour around the city with qualified guides, specialized in its History and its stories.… Theme tours that you can join by reservation only, are organized every month. And if you come in group, ''à la carte'' tours can be organized.

Booking compulsory until the day before 5:00pm at +33 (0)4 22 10 60 01 or [email protected]

Subject to availability (limited to 20 people maximum).

Differents guided tour themes are offered

Old antibes, step by step :.

Departure from the Antibes Tourist Office. During this walking tour, you will discover the fascinating history of Antibes, a city created by the Greeks and developed by the Romans, ravaged by the Barbarians, then fortified under the reign of Henri IV and Louis XIV. Enjoy the beauty of its medieval town, its ramparts walls along the seafront, the Provencal market, the famous Port Vauban and the flowery Safranier neighbourdhood.

Guided tour in the footsteps of the great painters :

Learn to love Antibes through the eyes of the different artists who lived or stayed here and painted the town and its landscapes. Thanks to panels set up on the very spots where the originals were painted, you can follow in the footsteps of those artists and understand how they became fascinated by the extraordinary light and magical colours of the French Riviera.

Antibes, rempart walls ©Gilles Lefrancq

Juan-les-Pins, from the Belle Epoque the Roaring Twenties

A discovery of the resort's History, from its creation back in the 19 th up until today. You can admire the hidden gems of Juan-les-Pins, which was already appreciated by Maupassant and Monet when they stayed on the Riviera, as well as the Belle Epoque villas and their lush gardens; the palaces and dance halls from the Roaring Twenties and the famous names who went there; the international jazz stage of the pine grove, Pinède Gould...

Guided tour on the coastal path "sentier de Tire-Poil"

Immerse in the nature of the Cap d’Antibes : discover with a guide the landscapes, the points of view and the remarkable species of the Tire-Poil path. Sea Lavendar, Jupiter Beard, Common Tern… these are the suggestive names which indicate the natural wealth of this little paradise on the Mediterranean coast. You will meet native and exotic plants and will learn to respect the protected species present on the Cap d’Antibes. A naturalistic, educational, playful and sports activity for the whole family !

Guided tour "discovering Craft Trades"

For the European Artistic Crafts Days, come and discover the different crafts in the heart of Old Antibes! Follow the guide through the streets and squares of the old town and admire the works of artists and craftsmen in a fun way during this walking tour, which includes demonstrations in each workshop (jewelry creation, sculpture, thermoforming, glassblowing, ceramics, etc.). You will end up in the «casemates of creation » making a small creation yourself or being initiated into a craft technique.

Guided tours Antibes Street Art 

Guided tour in the Antibes city centre to discover the unusual works created during the Coul'heures d'automne festival and which are now part of the Antibes urban landscape.

Different artists have let their creativity express itself on the walls and in the hidden corners of the city...take a look and you will be able to admire the graphic and poetic works of Monkeybird, Olivia Paroldi, Isaac Cordal and many others.

To see the city with a different eye and open up to original forms of creation !

Gourmet Antibes (in summer only) :

A greedy gateway that will make you wander in the lovely streets of the Old Antibes in order to taste the local flavors. Let the historical heritage of the city and the local craftsman know-how fill you with wonder! It truly is a delight for the eyes and the taste buds.

Each month, this guided tour is scheduled in French only. This tour is possible for groups, in English, on request.

Juan-les-Pins guided tour ©S. Leray

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tour grimaldi antibes

A pocket guide to Antibes: the French Riviera town


Recently updated on July 13th, 2023 at 12:03 pm

Famous artists, multi-million-dollar mega yachts, jazz festivals and a charming 16th-century Old Town… you’ll find it all this Antibes guide. While this little seaside town is often overlooked in favour of its neighbours Nice and Cannes, Antibes certainly holds its own as the second-largest town on the Côte d’Azur. It even has the largest marina in the Mediterranean! It’s also a honeypot for renowned artists, drawing the likes of Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Charlie Chaplin and Marlene Dietrich over the years. From stunning coastal walks to ancient forts, read our Antibes travel guide for all the best things to do in the gorgeous town of Antibes.

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Things to do in Antibes

Follow in the footsteps of famous artists.

There’s something about Antibes… This seaside town has been an inspiration to artists right back to Monet’s 1888 painting of the Cap d’Antibes. So many renowned artists fell in love with this Mediterranean town and today you can go to the same spots where the likes of Monet and Picasso set up their easels and captured their beautiful scenes. 

Pick up a map and Antibes guide at the Antibes Juan-les-Pins Tourist Office, then head to the trail, stopping at all the stands showing their works of art. You’ll see the marketplace before it was covered with a cast-iron structure, painted by Emile-Charles Dameron, and see the view of “The Rocks of l’Ilette and the Fortifications” painted by Eugène Boudin. 

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There’s a lovely picture of Salis beach done by Ernest Meissonier, and a Claude Monet picture of Antibes with the snow-capped Alps rising in the background. You’ll even spot a familiar Picasso piece. With soaring mountains, deep blue sea, and rocky outcrops along the trail, this is the most stunning way to learn about Antibes’ artistic past.

GET INSPIRED BY: Riviera Explorer

Visit the Musée Picasso in Château Grimaldi


Pablo Picasso adored Antibes, and in 1946, he transformed the 14th-century Château Grimaldi into his personal art studio. Today, the château serves as the first art museum dedicated to Picasso.

It’s home to 245 paintings and sculptures, many reflecting the light and life of this little seaside town. Picasso himself donated a large number of artworks to the museum, and his wife Jacqueline Picasso donated the rest after Picasso’s death. 


You’ll also enjoy a collection of work by contemporary artists like Joan Miro, Fernand Léger and Nicolas de Staël. Head out to Bastion Saint-Jaume and you’ll see one of the museum’s previous treasures – Le Nomade by Catalan artist Jaume Plensa.

This giant figure is made up of different letters and sits looking out to see. On a sunny day, you’ll see the striking contrast of the white letters against the blue sky, and at night it’s illuminated from inside. 

Wander through the Old Town of Antibes

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Narrow cobbled streets, honey-hued façades, brightly painted shutters, old stone ramparts… the historic Old Town of Antibes looks like it’s barely changed in centuries.

It was the site of the first trading post established by the Greeks in the 5th century, and you’ll still find historic treasures around every turn. See the wooden sculptured façade of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-la-Platea d’Antibes or stop by Chapelle St Bernardin, a gorgeous Gothic church from the 16th century. 

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Stroll through the pavement cafés and shops selling all kinds of local wares like artworks, glassware, white cotton clothes and herbs. You could even visit the Musée d’Archéologie, displaying 4,000 years of history discovered in and around Antibes. 

Wander along the ramparts on the Promenade-Amiral-de Grasse for gorgeous sea views, and see the historic bed and breakfast La Bastide du Bosquet, where the famous French author Guy de Maupassant was said to have stayed while writing short stories and the novel ‘Mont Orio’. 

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Explore the markets

When in the Old Town, you can’t miss the Marché Provençal, where stalls overflow with everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to specialty cheeses, olives, charcuterie, spices, fish and flowers.

It’s open every day in the morning except for Mondays in winter, while in the afternoon it becomes a crafts market, local artists showcase their paintings, sculptures and ceramics. Check with your Antibes guide for up-to-date opening days and hours, as they change during summer and winter.

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If you’re visiting Antibes in the summer months of July and August, there are night markets held on the L’esplanade du Pré-des-Pêcheurs. There are plenty of other great markets in Antibes, including the Foire clothes market, which has a mix of clothing, bags, jewellery and household items, while the brocante (secondhand) market sells all kinds of vintage clothes, shoes, bags and assorted treasures.

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Walk along the coast on Cap d’Antibes

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The beautiful Cap d’Antibes is a peninsula running between Antibes and Juan-les-Pins, and is peppered with gorgeous sights. You can drive it, take the local bus, or follow the coastal footpath on a scenic walk or bike ride.

It’s a wonderful lush area, lined with glamorous villas, pretty gardens and stunning sea views. One of the top highlights is the Jardin Botanique de la Villa Thuret, a magical botanical garden created by botanist Gustave Thuret in 1857. 

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There’s also the 16th-century chapel of Notre-Dame-de-la-Garoupe, an old pilmigrate site. It’s now dedicated to those lost at sea and is dotted with model ships and sea artefacts. 

Nearby, is the Phare de la Garoupe, one of the most powerful on the coast with a beacon that can be seen by boats for 40km out to sea. The lighthouse isn’t open to the public, but you can follow the one-kilometre Chemin de Calvaire pathway up to the lighthouse for a panoramic view over the glittering Côte d’Azur. You can see Juan-les-Pins and Cannes in one direction, and Villefranche-sur-Mer, Nice and Italy in the other.

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For more seafaring history, stop by the Naval and Napoleonic Museum, or if you’re after more greenery, head to Villa Eilenroc. This 11-acre park and villa estate was originally bought by a wealthy Dutch gentleman, who named the estate by reversing his wife’s name, Cornélie. Wander through the dreamy gardens, filled with palm trees, lush lawns and colourful flowers.

Hit the beautiful beaches

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You can’t come to Antibes and not spend at least a few hours enjoying the beaches here. There are stretches of soft golden sand and clear turquoise waters, rocky coves that are excellent for snorkelling, and private beaches where you’ll find umbrellas and bottle service. Your Antibes guide will have plenty of recommendations for where to sunbathe and swim. 

Plage du Ponteil is ideal for families, with plenty of amenities and small boats and kayaks for hire. For something more secluded, head to Plage Mala, supposedly used by Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his lover when they holidayed here. GET INSPIRED BY: Best of France

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 If you’re looking for luxury, Plage de la Garoupe is home to luxury private beach clubs in the summer, and you can hire a lounger with drinks service – but don’t boast about it on social media as this beach has a strict selfie ban! We also love Plage de la Gravette, overlooked by the Old Town ramparts, with a sheltered cove that’s perfect for swimming or enjoying aperitifs at sunset.

Explore historical Fort Carré

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Built upon Roman ruins in the 16th century, Fort Carré is packed with history. Napoleon was imprisoned here during the French Revolution, and it was also used to protect the border between France and the neighbouring county of Nice in the 19th century. After Nice became part of France, the fort was used as a sports college for soldiers who used to abseil down its walls. 

Today it’s open to visitors, and you might recognise it as the villain’s retreat in the James Bond film ‘Never Say Never Again’ . It also offers stunning views over the harbour, with Antibes on one side and Nice on the other. It’s about a 30-minute walk along the harbour from Antibes Old Town, or you can take a local bus or taxi.

Check out the super yachts in the marina

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Want to see how the other half live? Head to Antibes Port Vauban. It’s a natural harbour that’s been used since before Roman times as the ancient Greek trading port of Antipolis. Today it’s the largest marina in the Mediterranean, packed with around 1,800 boats including some of the world’s most expensive superyachts. 

If you’d like to do a bit of fantasy yacht shopping, head to Billionaires’ Quay, where you’ll see uniformed crew polishing the superyachts of the ultra-rich sheikhs, oligarchs and royalty that holiday in the Mediterranean.

Stroll around the Safranier Free Commune

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If you head south of Antibes along the ramparts, you’ll come across Safranier, a small free commune. It’s filled with cobbled streets and fantastic bars and restaurants, including the beloved bistro, Le Safranier. 

The commune was founded in 1966 and is described as a place “to do good and have fun”. It’s also famed as the place where Nikos Kazantzakis wrote “Zorba the Greek”. Wander around and you might even stumble upon a lively festival, from colourful markets to spaghetti eating contests!

Discover thousands of old postcards

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If you love the nostalgia of postcards, head to the Musée de la Carte Postale (Museum of the Postcard). You’ll see thousands of original, international postcards from many different eras, and learn all about how our means of communication has changed over the decades, from postcards, to phones, to the internet. 

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Getting around Antibes

Walking is the easiest way to get around the narrow cobblestone streets of Antibes. Most of them are pedestrianised and there are so many fantastic attractions in the historic Old Town.

You can also use local buses to get to other towns and villages, or you could hire a bicycle and zoom along the stunning peninsula of Cap d’Antibes. You might even cross paths with some of the region’s top Tour de France-level cyclists!

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Where to eat and drink in Antibes

There are dozens of charming bistros in the Old Town dishing up classic Mediterranean cuisine. You’ll find region specialities like bouillabaisse, fresh seafood and Italian-influenced pizza and pasta. There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants right on the water, so you can enjoy your food with a view. Just ask your Antibes guide for the best local recommendations!

If you want to treat yourself to a Michelin-starred affair, make a reservation at Bacon on the Cap d’Antibes. This family-run restaurant is one of the most renowned seafood restaurants in the region, and has been a hit ever since it opened as a seafood shack back in the 1940s. Today, it’s an elegant restaurant with stunning views over the Cote d’Azur.

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If you’re after a drink, you might like to head to Absinthe Bar in the Old Town. The walls of this cave-like bar are lined with a crazy collection of hats, and on Friday and Saturday nights, it turns into a piano bar where you can sing along to jazz classics while sipping absinthe. This once-forbidden liqueur is served in a traditional fashion, complete with a silver spoon and sugar cube.

Special events in Antibes

Jazz à juan festival.

Since 1960, hordes of music lovers have arrived in Juan-les-Pins for a few days in July for the Jazz à Juan Festival . The event attracts dozens of famous international musicians, including past patrons like Stevie Wonder, Dave Brubeck and Ravi Coltrane.

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Head to the sidewalk on Boulevard Edouard Baudoin behind the waterfront stage to find tiles with handprints of over 50 musicians who have performed at the festival. You can also enjoy concerts throughout the city as part of the Jazz Off, including 15 concerts on the streets of Antibes and Juan-les-Pins one evening. 

Pyromelodic Festival

The greatest pyrotechnicians descend on Antibes each August for the Pyromelodic Festival. This enchanting show of lights, colours and sound runs over four dates each year, including 24 August for the celebrations of the Liberation of Antibes.

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Antibes Art Fair

The famous Salon d’Antibes (Antibes Art Fair) is one of the largest antique and art fairs in France and has been held for more than 45 years. It attracts over 20,000 attendees every year, along with serious traders and collectors from all over the world.

You’ll find everything from antiques and designer furniture to jewellery, photographs, rugs and more. It’s held during the last two weeks in April in the Esplanade du Pré des Pêcheurs.

Fancy discovering Antibes for yourself? Take a look at our Riviera Explorer tour. Have you ever visited this artistic Mediterranean town? What are your favourite things to do in Antibes? Let us know in the comments below!


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Antibes travel guide – have the best experience of French Riviera

This travel guide will help you with discovering Antibes, a beautiful small city on the South of France in French Riviera. Situated only halfway in between its eastern neighbour Nice and western neighbour Cannes, this resort is one of the Cote d’Azur more laid-back cities with an easy-going ambience. It is a perfect vacation spot also thanks to its warm climate. Antibes benefits from being on the Mediterranean coast and enjoys almost 7 months of glorious sunny warm days, but also benefits from plenty of sunny days in winter. That’s sounds like a right place to be right?

Then keep on reading this travel guide in order to find out more about this fascinating city and benefit from your travel even more by finding out the best spots to visit and the best things to do

Your travel guide for Antibes – what to visit

Port vauban – europe’s largest marina.

Antibes is well-known for being the yachting capital of the Mediterranean. In Antibes you will find a Port Vauban – the largest port in Europe with docks for over 2500 boats. At the end of the port you will see the Superyacht Quay. Here you can admire about half of the world’s biggest yachts, among which you will definitely won’t miss the biggest one ‘Eclipse’ – owned by the Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.  Port Vauban is also famous for its annual yacht show held every spring, and for its ‘ Voiles d’Antibes’ – the world’s biggest regatta for vintage teak and brass sailing boats. This port offers a few benches, where you can relax and maybe wonder how nice it would be to spent some time on one those yachts.


antibes travel guide marche provencial

Passing through the arcade from the port, you are faced with one of the best markets on Cote d’Azur – The Marche Provencal located at Cours Massena. This market offers everything you wish for. The selection goes from seasonal fruits and vegetables to French cheeses and fresh meats, as well as the Provencal cuisine, herbs, olives etc. I recommend you to visit it earlier in the day around 10 am to take advantage of the best election, however, this market stays open until 1pm.


Next to the marina is the Vielle ville (Antibes old town). Enjoy the strolls in the narrow streets of the old town and observe the typical cobblestone streets, small shops, galleries, restaurants, and charming cafes. You should set aside half a day to get lost among Old Town’s charming passageways, stopping for a delicious lunch, café or some crepe. Try to find some time to check the Place Nationale, the site of the Roman forum. It’s a very pleasant place to grab a drink under the broad plane trees.


Rising high above the water, dominating the old town you cannot overlook the picturesque Chateau Grimaldi which houses the Picasso Museum. Previously, the rulers of Monaco, the Grimaldi Family lived in this castle until the revolution. In 1946 this place became a home for a famous painter Picasso where he enjoyed a period of intensive creative period. The château, became the museum in 1966. Nowadays you can see around 254 works by the artist as well as enjoy the beautiful building and the setting on the Cap itself. So, if you are fan of art and beautiful views this place is definitely going to charm you.

antibes travel guide

If you want to get the best 360-degree view of Antibes you should definitely visit Fort Carre. This fort was built in the 2nd half of the 16th century for defence purposes but later on it was used as a prison (cool fact is that Napoleon Bonaparte was held here for some time). This place is perfect spot to discover an exciting history and to enjoy the fantastic scenery view across the harbour. Although in order to get there, you will have to walk from the centre of town for quite a while. But this place is definitely worth it


If you want to visit even more interesting places and have a deeper historical and informational background definitely join the Antibes free walking tour . If you are for the first time in a new location you might feel nervous or unsure of where to go and how to act. A guided tour gives you a sense of comfort since the tour guide understands the culture. He will take you to the best spots and sights you’d otherwise might miss. Participating in a guided tour will definitely help you get the most out of your trip.


The tour lasts approximately 2,5 hours. You will discover the stunning Antibes and its old town. The tour guide will take you to the top attractions including: The Provencal Market, The Safranier’s neighbourhood, The Grimaldi Castle and Picasso Museum, The Fort Carre and many more. You will discover the hidden gems that you wouldn’t have found by yourself. The cherry on top will be the amazing view on the Cap d;Antibes and the prestigious Port Vauban!

Days and times

April to September : Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 10am.

October : Wednesday and Friday at 10am

January, February, March, November, December : Private Tours only

If you wish to learn more information about the tour and the transportation to Antibes, check out these two websites – Antibes free walking tours and transportation options to Antibes .

Enjoy your Antibes experience!

  • Antibes Walking Tour
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tour grimaldi antibes

HOME › Grimaldi Castle-Museum

Grimaldi Castle Museum

Contact details.

Haut-de-Cagnes – place du Château 06800 Cagnes-sur-Mer

Contact: +33 (0)4 92 02 47 35 – [email protected]

July and August: 10am-1pm // 2-6pm. September, April, May and June: 10am-12pm // 2-6pm. From October to March: 10am-12pm // 2-5pm. Closed on Tuesdays and on 25/12 and 01/01.

Adults: 4 €. Under 26s, Cagnois and 1st Sunday of the month: free. Double ticket (applicable to people wishing to visit the Château-Musée and the Renoir Museum on the same day): 8 €.

Intérieur du château musée Grimaldi - Haut-de-Cagnes

Highway A8 + Exits 47/48 CAGNES-SUR-MER + Direction Centre-Ville. Limited free parking on site.

Smart: to avoid parking problems, take the free shuttle bus n°44 from the downtown bus station to Haut-de-Cagnes every 15 minutes 7 days a week from 7am to 12:30am (free parking nearby) Download the route and timetable of the shuttle n°44

The jewel of the medieval village

Built around 1300 by Rainier Grimaldi, Lord of Cagnes, this castle will withstand sieges and assaults before being transformed around 1620 by Baron Jean-Henri Grimaldi into a seigneurial residence combining the charm and wealth of a palace.

Acquired by the city in 1937, it became a municipal museum in 1946 and was classified as a historical monument in 1948 . Today it is a wonderful setting that houses the Musée de l’Olivier , the Solidor Donation and exceptional baroque painted ceilings .

The Château-Musée Grimaldi also hosts temporary exhibitions of contemporary art , as well as numerous concerts .

The Olive Tree Museum

The Musée de l’Olivier presents a particularly extensive collection on this Mediterranean emblem and its traditions.

The Solidor Donation

Exhibition of 40 portraits of the famous cabaret singer, Suzy Solidor, painted by famous artists: Foujita, Kisling, Laurencin, Lempicka, Picabia, Van Dongen…

Download the brochure

Musée de l'olivier - château musée Grimaldi

The fortress of the Grimaldi family

In its original conception, this fortress built around 1300 by Rainier Grimaldi, Lord of Cagnes and Admiral of France, is only intended for watch and defense. For two centuries, the castle will withstand sieges and assaults before being transformed around 1620 by Baron Jean-Henri Grimaldi into a seigneurial residence combining the comfort and wealth of a palace. It is from this period that the transformations visible from the outside date: the monumental double-flight staircase, the monumental door with marble frame surmounted by a balcony of honor, and the large windows that replaced the archways.

Acquired by the city in 1937, it became a municipal museum in 1946 and was classified as a historical monument in 1948. Today, it serves as a sumptuous setting for the collections of the Musée de l’Olivier, the Solidor Donation and numerous temporary exhibitions of contemporary art.

Illustration ancienne du château Grimaldi - Haut de Cagnes

The remains of the ramparts

The medieval village, strategically perched at the top of the rocky spur of the hill, occupies a natural defensive position overlooking the plain and the Bay of Angels from Cap Ferrat to Cap d’Antibes.

These defensive walls, of rather rough construction, had resistance only thanks to their massive thickness of 3 m on average at the base and 1 m at the top. They enclosed the town in a horseshoe shape with uneven branches, which followed the uneven terrain.

These ramparts bear witness to the eventful past of a coveted border zone, since the nearby Var River was for a very long time, from 1388 to 1860, the natural border between the County of Provence and the country of Nice, i.e. between the Kingdom of France and the States of the House of Savoy (now Italy).

The inhabitants then used the collapsed walls as a stone quarry and reused the materials to build their houses on the site of the ramparts that were no longer needed. They drilled doors and windows into the remaining wall sections, which they integrated into their barns and houses.

Guided tour

Built around 1300 by Rainier Grimaldi, Lord of Cagnes and Admiral of France, this fortress will withstand sieges and assaults before being transformed around 1620 by Jean-Henri Grimaldi into a seigneurial residence combining the charm and wealth of a palace.

Acquired by the city in 1937, it became a municipal museum in 1946 and then a historical monument in 1948. Today it is a wonderful setting that houses the ethnographic museum of the Olive Tree, the Solidor donation (40 portraits of Suzy Solidor painted by illustrious artists such as Cocteau, Dufy, Foujita, Lempicka, Laurencin, Picabia, Van Dongen…), and exceptional baroque painted ceilings.

The Château-Musée Grimaldi also hosts temporary exhibitions of contemporary art in a harmonious setting adorned with bright, typically Italian colors and decorated with marble, sculptures and trompe l’oeil.

Guided tours of the Grimaldi Castle-Museum

October to May: Wednesdays and Sundays at 11 a.m. June to September (summer season): Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m.

Meet at the entrance of the Grimaldi Castle-Museum.

Tours of the medieval village of Haut-de-Cagnes

Reservations required on the following days: Fridays May 3 & 17, Fridays June 14 & 21, Thursdays September 19 & 26 and Thursdays October 10 & 17. Reservations required at [email protected] minimum 2 people.

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The best of the french riviera : the old town antibes.

Old Town Antibes, Visit Antibes, Antibes Tour Guide, The French Riviera

Remi Correa

  • The best of France and its regions , Provence Alpes Côte Azur , Provence Alpes Côte Azur , Your guide: a committed professional

Visit the Old Town Antibes

Antibes, nestled on the French Riviera, is a captivating town renowned for its blend of history, culture, and stunning coastal landscapes. This enchanting destination boasts a rich heritage showcased within its historic Old Town, where charming narrow streets wind their way past ancient buildings, vibrant markets, and inviting cafes. The iconic Picasso Museum, housed in the Château Grimaldi, stands as a testament to the town’s artistic legacy, displaying an impressive collection of Picasso’s works.

The allure of Antibes extends beyond its cultural offerings; its coastline, featuring beautiful beaches and crystalline waters, is a magnet for sunseekers and water enthusiasts. The scenic Cap d’Antibes, adorned with luxurious villas and lush gardens, offers breathtaking views of the Mediterranean. Visitors can explore the bustling port, witnessing the juxtaposition of sleek yachts against the backdrop of historic ramparts. With its fusion of history, art, and scenic beauty, Antibes beckons travelers to immerse themselves in its Mediterranean charm.

Visit the old Town Antibes : the best of the French Riviera !

The old town antibes, highlights in the old town antibes : visit the picasso museul.

Old Town Antibes, Visit Antibes, Antibes Tour Guide, The French Riviera

Antibes’ Old Town, known as Vieil Antibes , is a captivating maze of narrow cobblestone streets steeped in history and charm. Enclosed within ancient ramparts, this picturesque quarter invites visitors to step back in time. The vibrant colors of shuttered windows, blooming flowers adorning balconies, and the bustling atmosphere of local markets create an enchanting ambiance. Strolling through these winding alleys reveals hidden gems, from quaint artisan boutiques and galleries to cozy cafes and centuries-old buildings adorned with intricate details.

One of the highlights of Vieil Antibes is the Château Grimaldi, a majestic fortress-turned-museum that houses the Picasso Museum. Inside this historic castle, visitors can explore an extensive collection of Picasso’s artworks, showcasing his time spent in Antibes and his creative process. The museum’s setting within the castle walls adds an extra layer of intrigue, offering both artistic inspiration and a glimpse into Antibes’ cultural heritage.

The Old Town also boasts the stunning Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-la-Platea d’Antibes, a beautiful cathedral featuring a mix of architectural styles, including Romanesque and Gothic elements. Its serene interior and intricate details, including remarkable artworks and ornate chapels, provide a serene escape from the bustling streets outside. Vieil Antibes stands as a testament to the town’s rich past, inviting visitors to explore its historical treasures and soak in the authentic Provençal atmosphere.

Book your Tour in Antibes

The Best Tours in Nice

Highlights around the Old Town Antibes : visit the Picasso Museum

Things to do in Antibes, Picasso Museum Antibes

In the heart of Vieil Antibes lies the renowned Picasso Museum, nestled within the historic walls of the Château Grimaldi. This museum stands as a testament to the time the iconic artist, Pablo Picasso, spent in Antibes in 1946. Visitors stepping into this cultural gem are greeted by an extensive collection of Picasso’s works, showcasing his prolific creativity during his stay in the town.

The museum’s setting within the castle’s ancient walls adds a unique dimension to the experience, merging history and art seamlessly. Visitors can explore Picasso’s paintings, drawings, sculptures, and ceramics, all of which were inspired by his fascination with Antibes and the Mediterranean. The artist’s profound connection to the region is palpable through the vibrant and diverse artworks on display, offering a glimpse into Picasso’s artistic evolution and his exploration of new forms and techniques during his time in Antibes.

Beyond the captivating art collection, the museum itself is a work of historical significance, featuring Roman foundations and medieval elements that create an intriguing backdrop for Picasso’s masterpieces. As visitors wander through the halls and chambers of the Château Grimaldi, they not only witness Picasso’s creative genius but also immerse themselves in the rich heritage of Antibes’ Old Town.

Book your Guide in Antibes

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The best of the French Riviera : Picasso Museum Antibes

The best of the french riviera : juan les pins.

Things to do in Antibes, Juan les Pins, Antibes

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What To Do Riviera


WANT TO DISCOVER THE French riviera MOST BEautiful city? Join a fun and knowledgeable guide on an Antibes FREE WALKING TOUR To make the most of your visit!

Old Town Streets

Provencal market, port vauban, picasso museum, antibes free walking tour program.

Joining our Antibes Free Walking Tour is the perfect introduction to the city of Antibes, its culture, traditions and people! Being created by the Greeks 5 centuries before Christ, Antibes is of course full of history but has been transformed along the years by Romans before becoming French. Along with a fun and knowledgeable guide, you will discover every corner of the old town and get to experience key attractions and hidden gems that you’ll probably miss out on your own. Walking through town with a small to reasonable sized group, you’ll check all highlights listed below and surely make new friends by the end of your tour! In short, if you have never joined a free walking tour, we will be very pleased to share with you this fantastic concept who brings people together and where local guides share their knowledge in a fun and friendly way.

Days and Time

New in 2024: 3 times a week incl. Saturdays and Sundays in February and March! May to September: – every day Monday to Saturday @10am. – every Tuesday and Thursday @5pm (to be confirmed through calendar) April & October : – every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday @10am. On the other hand, you can privatize a tour for a personalized experience at a suitable time for you. Don’t hesitate to send us your request by email or via Whatsapp. November to March: Privates only.

Tip Based Only A “Free” Walking Tour is a worldwide concept in itself which stands for tip-based tour. You are “free” to join and, at the end of the tour, you will judge how your experience went and tip the guide accordingly. Our guides are not supported by the council and they are making a living out of sharing their love for our town and our region so we hope you value their work in relation to the service they deliver and the devotion they put into it. As opposed to big cities with very large groups, we limit our group to a maximum of 20 people to deliver a much better service as well as a personal touch adding value to your experience.

Contact the guide

If your are struggling to find your guide, please contact the guide directly or our main number on Whatsapp +33782851997 or via email at [email protected] .


Where we meet, getting to antibes.

A special page dedicated to transportation to Antibes are at your disposal. Always useful! As many visitors are coming by train, here is the itinerary from the train station to the meeting point, nothing easier 😉

As we are operating in small cities, we kindly ask everyone to book a spot online. It’s now mandatory due to organization process. Thanks for your understanding.

The Antibes Free Walking Tour is lasting approximatively 2,5 hours. Meanwhile, we will guide you throughout the city and help you experience the best of Antibes… However, tours may vary depending on weather, public restrictions and group’s abilities.

Meeting Point

On the square “Place Général de Gaulle”, facing Monoprix and the “Grand Hotel”. Look out for your guide in a red shirt. Google maps address:  Place Général de Gaulle, 06600 Antibes .

meeting point antibes free walking tour

Not only we will show you the top spots of Antibes but also the hidden gems that you would probably miss out on your own. Highlights: – the Provencal Market. – the Remparts. – the Grimaldi castle/Picasso Museum (no entrance). – Fort Carré (no entrance). – Port Vauban and its billionaires wharf. – the Safranier’s neighboorhood. – the Chapelle Saint Bernardin and many more.  

Full Day Package

We are also offering a full day tour visiting both Cannes and Antibes for a very special experience. While others take you in 3-4 towns in half a day (spending your enjoyable time in traffic & taking photos behind windows), we concentrate in enjoying 2 towns max at a time and have enough time to first discover with a knowledgeable guide both towns and also leave you a bit of free time to shop, chill with a drink, stop at the beach or whatever you feel like. Be in touch for a customized offer at [email protected]  .


As we are a small tour company in a small city and we don’t charge any fees for booking your tour, we would really appreciate if you can let us know the day before or even in the morning if you can’t join for any reasons. In other words, not only we are not making others wait for you but also the guide will be able to organize himself accordingly. Thanks for your understanding and respect.

Other Tours you might be interested in

tour grimaldi antibes

Antibes Provencal Cooking Class

A 3h provencal cooking class with a chef in the kitchen of a very local restaurant. A very tasty experience to discover the local and French culture through their food!

tour grimaldi antibes

Antibes Provencal Food Tour

2,5-3h unique experience in Antibes tasting local delicacies and sharing nice drinks while discovering town, key spots and best places to eat!

tour grimaldi antibes

Antibes Electric Bike Tour

A 3h memorable ride to discover more of Antibes, Cap d’Antibes and Juan-Les-Pins! With the assistance of e-bikes, you’ll enjoy a breeze while visiting town!

tour grimaldi antibes

Cannes Free Walking Tour

A 2h walk around Cannes with a passionate and knowledgeable guide! Come and discover Beverly Hills’ twin sister! A city of glitz and glamour.

Privacy Overview


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  1. Tour Grimaldi

    The Grimaldi tower is 30 meters high with a square section of 7.50 m per side. The thickness of the walls at the base is 2 meters. The exterior facing has 70 dressed stone courses whose thicknesses vary between 0.55 m and 0.30 m. Many of these stones were salvaged from Roman buildings and some have Roman inscriptions and appear to be elements ...

  2. Picasso museum

    On 27 December 1966, Grimaldi Castle was turned into the « Picasso Museum ». The building was exten- sively renovated between 2006 and 2008. ... including Les Clés d'Antibes (The Keys of Antibes), covering an entire wall surface. When the artist decided to move back to Paris, he left 23 paintings and 44 sketches in the Castle's custody.

  3. Tour Grimaldi

    Antoine Grimaldi (mort en 1358) a commencé la branche des Grimaldi d'Antibes. Quand Henri IV a acheté en 1608 la juridiction temporelle de la seigneurie à Alexandre de Grimaldi pour 250 000 livres, ... La tour Grimaldi a une hauteur de 30 m avec une section carrée de 7,50 m de côté. L'épaisseur des murs à la base est de 2 m.

  4. Visiting Antibes: 2024 Insider's Guide to a Riviera Gem

    Antibes enjoys a prime location on the French Riviera, nestled between the bustling city of Nice and the glamorous town of Cannes. It is conveniently situated just 20 kilometres (12 miles) from Nice and 10 kilometres (6 miles) from Cannes, allowing for easy access to these larger cities and their attractions.

  5. Tour of The Ancient Walled Town of Antibes/Antipolis

    CULTURAL TOUR OF ANTIBES: IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF PABLO PICASSO! In 1946, an illustrious Spanish painter, whose had established his reputation with 'Guernica,' moved into the second floor of the Château Grimaldi.Pablo Picasso spent two years in the town alongside Jacqueline Roque, and painted 'Ulysses and the Sirens' and 'The Woman with Sea Urchins.'

  6. Musée Picasso (Antibes)

    Musée Picasso, in Antibes. The Musée Picasso, formerly the Château Grimaldi at Antibes, is built upon the foundations of the ancient Greek town of Antipolis. Antibes is a resort town in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France, on the Mediterranean Sea.The castle is the subject of a classification as historical monuments since April 29, 1928.

  7. Musee Picasso (Chateau Grimaldi)

    The Picasso museum is housed in the Chateau Grimaldi in the centre of the town of Vallauris. The chateau was built over a Roman fort in the 16th century. Picasso lived in Vallauris from 1948 until his death in 1955. He created many works here and was instrumental in the revival of the pottery industry and arts movement of the area.

  8. Musée Picasso (Antibes)

    Closed today. See all rates. 04 92 90 54 . www.antibes-juanlespins.com. The Château Grimaldi became the "Picasso Museum" on 27 December 1966. Picasso stayed there from mid-September to mid-November 1946 and produced many works. He left 23 paintings and 44 drawings in trust to the town of Antibes. Read more.

  9. Category:Tour Grimaldi (Antibes)

    Category: Tour Grimaldi (Antibes) From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. Jump to navigation Jump to search. Object location: 43° 34′ 52.32″ N, 7° 07′ 41.63″ E ... Antibes, Alpes-Maritimes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Metropolitan France, France: Heritage designation:

  10. Ma fenêtre sur le midi: ANTIBES

    La tour Grimaldi se trouve à côté de la chapelle Saint-Esprit et de l'ancienne cathédrale d'Antibes, dans le département des Alpes-Maritimes, en France. Elle est classée au titre des monuments historiques par arrêté du 16 octobre 1945.

  11. One day in Antibes, South of France

    One day in Antibes - The Blockbuster Château Grimaldi. In the summer of 1946, artist Pablo Picasso was in a good mood. The war was over and he was in the south of France with his new lover Françoise Gilot, who was 40 years younger. Staying in Golfe-Juan, close to Antibes, through a chance meeting on the beach Picasso was offered space for a ...

  12. Picasso Museum

    The Picasso Museum opens every day except Monday. It also closes on January 1 st, May 1 st, November 1 st, and December 25 th. September, 16 th - June, 14 th : 10:00 am - 01:00 pm / 02:00 pm - 06:00 pm. June, 15 th - September, 15 th : 10:00am - 06:00 pm. Tills close at 12:30pm and 05:00pm. More informations about Antibes' Picasso museum.

  13. 15 Best Things to Do in Antibes (France)

    Lets explore the best things to do in Antibes: 1. Beaches. Source: VV Shots / Shutterstock. Beaches. When you add it up you realise that Antibes covers a very large area, made up of the old town, the entirety of the peninsula and of course the summery resort of Juan-les-Pins.

  14. File:Antibes Tour Grimaldi.jpg

    Add a one-line explanation of what this file represents. Summary []. Description

  15. On Picasso's Trail, From Antibes to Avignon

    From the Granet, visitors can arrange — during the exhibition — to tour the Château de Vauvenargues, where Picasso and Jacqueline are buried in the garden. ... Château Grimaldi, Antibes (33 ...

  16. Guided Walking Tour in Antibes

    Explore the beauty of Antibes, France, on our 2-hour walking tour. From the vibrant Provencal Market to the quaint Safranier's neighborhood, and the fascinating Grimaldi Castle housing the Picasso Museum, every step will be a delight. We'll reveal hidden gems and take you to the impressive Fort Carré for breathtaking views.

  17. The guided tours

    Theme tours that you can join by reservation only, are organized every month. And if you come in group, ''à la carte'' tours can be organized. Booking compulsory until the day before 5:00pm at +33 (0)4 22 10 60 01 or. [email protected]. Subject to availability (limited to 20 people maximum).

  18. A pocket guide to Antibes: the French Riviera town

    The beautiful Cap d'Antibes is a peninsula running between Antibes and Juan-les-Pins, and is peppered with gorgeous sights. You can drive it, take the local bus, or follow the coastal footpath on a scenic walk or bike ride. It's a wonderful lush area, lined with glamorous villas, pretty gardens and stunning sea views.

  19. MAISON GRIMALDI: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

    Cannes, Antibes, and St Paul de Vence Full-day from Nice Small-Group Tour. 28. Recommended. 92% of reviewers gave this product a bubble rating of 4 or higher. ... Nice, Monaco, Eze, Antibes. 37. Recommended. 100% of reviewers gave this product a bubble rating of 4 or higher. Full-day Tours. from . £1,130.34 ... MAISON GRIMALDI: All You Need to ...

  20. Antibes travel guide

    ABOUT THE TOUR . The tour lasts approximately 2,5 hours. You will discover the stunning Antibes and its old town. The tour guide will take you to the top attractions including: The Provencal Market, The Safranier's neighbourhood, The Grimaldi Castle and Picasso Museum, The Fort Carre and many more.

  21. Grimaldi Castle-Museum

    Grimaldi Castle Museum Presentation Presentation History History Guided tour Guided tour Presentation Contact details Haut-de-Cagnes - place du Château06800 Cagnes-sur-Mer Contact: +33 (0)4 92 02 47 35 - [email protected] Schedules July and August: 10am-1pm // 2-6pm.September, April, May and June: 10am-12pm // 2-6pm.From October to March: 10am-12pm // 2-5pm.Closed on Tuesdays and on 25/12 ...

  22. Visit Old Town Antibes : Book a guide in Antibes

    The iconic Picasso Museum, housed in the Château Grimaldi, stands as a testament to the town's artistic legacy, displaying an impressive collection of Picasso's works. The allure of Antibes extends beyond its cultural offerings; its coastline, featuring beautiful beaches and crystalline waters, is a magnet for sunseekers and water enthusiasts.

  23. Antibes Free Walking Tour

    New in 2024: 3 times a week incl. Saturdays and Sundays in February and March! - every day Monday to Saturday @10am. - every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday @10am. On the other hand, you can privatize a tour for a personalized experience at a suitable time for you. Don't hesitate to send us your request by email or via Whatsapp.