Whilst sitting in the sunshine in the garden, it’s easy to reflect back on the sunny shores of Antibes.
The south of France has always been a special place for our family, we were lucky enough to have holidays there every year as a child and then a mini moon after we got married where we stayed in the most romantic apartment in Antibes, part of which is in an archway between two buildings.
It’s so easy to get there from the UK, plenty of flight options and a super quick flight into Nice. And then a quick drive along the coast to your chosen destination. Or bus, boat or train, there’s lots of choice.
If you don’t want to hire a car - you don’t really need one if you’re just here for a few days chilling, you can hop on the express bus 250 direct from the airport, and it takes about 35 mins to Antibes.
Depending where you are staying, it’s about a ten min walk to the old town from the train/bus station, or of course there’s always Uber!
Our apartment through Airbnb was above a supermarket right on the edge of the old town and about a 10 minute saunter to the Provence market and it had a huge terrace.
The Provence market is full of the most delicious produce, just beware how much money you can spend in a very short space of time on cheese and fruit!! Most of the vendors will be happy for you to taste and will actively encourage it too. And then you’re hooked!
Our first night in Antibes was relatively low key, we headed out to find somewhere to eat, and happened upon a little place, which had two main courses, one meat, one fish, so easy for the indecisive amongst us (ie me). They also had the most incredible tomato carpaccio to start.
We had a little wander around the marina after a couple of bottles, imagining our life on the boats, living not working of course! One day we kept saying!!
We then happened upon a little bar, called Enoteca, just inside the walls of the old town, and got chatting to a Naomi Campbell look-a-like, through her stilted English and our even more stilted French, we discovered that she runs a clothes shop in Juan-les-Pins, which we promised to visit, but never did.
A few more wines and we meandered home to our apartment. When we mentioned the supermarket earlier, we thought oh that’s good, easy to pick up a few bits, well we also found out that deliveries start about 4.30 in the morning, and the delivery trolleys sounds like a load of suitcases being wheeled up and down by the bed!! Fortunately only on Monday mornings!!
The weather wasn’t overly kind the next day so we did what we could...found a bar, Le Veil Antibes, had lunch, drank copious amounts of rose and played cards (some of us cheating - not me!!).
The next few days passed with a mix of shopping (there are so many shoes shops in Antibes), trips to the Provence market or local bakeries, lounging, eating and drinking plus we managed a walk everyday. And of course, there are some shops with the divine lavender from the region too, such a relaxing scent.
If you head out of Antibes and essentially turn left to go round the coast towards Cap d’Antibes, you’ll find a few walks up into the hills, one through le bois de la Garoupe and up to Chapelle de la Garoupe, with the most fabulous views over the coastline.
At least the walking makes you feel less guilty about all the eating and drinking!! And all the scents in the forests that we walked through were just gorgeous, a real trip down memory lane with all the pine needles. Pine is a base note of our Citrus & Lemongrass luxury scented candles, which just adds to the refreshing scent of this gorgeous collection.
As you walk around the walls of the Old Town, you'll pass by the Picasso museum and the Archaeology museum, which we didn't venture into, but have heard they're worth a visit. We were too busy admiring the view and the art in and around the city.
If you keep going round the coast, there are plenty of public and private beaches to choose from. The private ones range from about 20 euros for a sunbed and parasol. There is a little public beach Plage de la Garoupe, which has a parasol and sunbed for 10 euros, right next to a little bar Le Rocher, which serves deliciously fresh salads and panini’s and beer and cider.
The sea in June is certainly fresh, but once you’re in, it feels lovely against your sun toasted skin.
We went to a few different restaurants and bars whilst we were in Antibes, all serving fabulous fresh fish dishes and yummy French wine.
Aubergine was a favourite, as was Le Chrono for a gorgeously crisp thin pizza, not overly French but just what we fancied.
We had chosen well with the apartment (apart from the trolley dash on a Monday) as it had a beautiful terrace with table and chairs, deck chairs and sofas. And we spent a couple of afternoons chilling out and making the most of the sunshine before heading back to our bar for happy hour and more cards.
We were only away for 5 nights but wished it could have been longer, as the week went so quickly, and then it was time to go home. Back to the express 250 to the airport.
But what a lovely week it was, relaxing, eating, drinking, and a bit of walking in familiar surroundings. Some people think the south of France can be pretentious, I just think they haven’t gone to the right places!