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Touring the french Rivera Antibes and Cannes

The French Rivera is home to several spots of interest which makes up part of the Côte d’Azur. It is a scenic coastal region facing the Mediterranean seas. Towns on interest here includes villages in Nice, as well as Antibes and Cannes. Lets see what’s on offer by traveling along this French Riviera from Cannes, Antibes to Nice.

View of Le Jardin d'Èze, Frnech Riviera coastal hill top town along the Cote d azur
View of Le Jardin d’Èze, Frnech Riviera coastal hill top town along the Cote d azur.

Villages and views along the French Riviera

Furthermore, passing along the coastal French Rivera brings you along a hilly ridge line passing through several sights of interest worth stopping. A drive from a day trip up to Monaco, for instance, points of interests includes Antibes, Cannes and various traditional villages.

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In the town
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Botanical garden
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Town on the kills

Also, the coastal roads here are craved through mountain landscapes through steep cliffs. Here, the roads along the Cote d’Azur French Riviera requires you to pass through a few series of rock blasted tunnels which clings onto the coastal ridgeline.

Moreover, one such village I came through is the Le Jardin d’Èze Riviera Cote d azur. It is a small rustic and cozy European town offering breathtaking views of the Mediterranean seas. Stories tell that it served as an inspiration point for writers and actors to invoke their creative juices.

Fragonard perfumery at Le Jardin d'Èze Riviera Cote d azur
Fragonard perfumery at Le Jardin d’Èze Riviera Cote d azur.

Also, here, there is a botanical garden overlooking the vast Mediterranean Sea and a perfumery by the name of Fragonard. If you are on a tour, there a guide will bring you there to view the manufacturing processes, and probably encourage you to buy some to take home.

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Cannes and festival theater

Cannes, France is one city which is worthy of a short visit but probably does not have much points of interest to warrant a full day commitment. It has a population of about 75 thousand and is known to host several large scale popular international events annually.

Welcome to Cannes
Welcome to Cannes!

Moreover, this includes the International Yachting festival and the Cannes Film Festival which started in 1946. The Festival de Cannes at the Cannes theater (Palais des Festivals et des Congrès) is typically held in May.

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On the red carpet! 34096

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The theater is highly recognizable with the main entrance spotting the iconic grand red carpeted staircase. Here, you can also find a Hollywood walk of fame style street with rows of celebrity ground palm imprints.

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Art musing 34097

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Church of Our Lady of Good Voyage 34098

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Moreover, Cannes is a popular yachting spot, with a beautiful promenade waterfront by the sea with known as the Promenade de la Croisette. Several large villas and hotels dot the landscape with streets lined with lots of cafes, restaurants and sunny beaches.

Quayside carousel

Antibes beaches and Picasso musings

Form Boat! Cannes Antibes french sailing
(Small) Boat out for sailing!

Moving on from Cannes, Antibes is another coastal city in the Alpes-Maritimes department of southeastern France, which is nice for a short trip. It is also a coastal town with sandy beaches and one more focused on arts and history. Antibes is home to a population of about 70 thousand people.

Swimmers on the island and from visiting yachts and boats
Swimmers on the island and from visiting yachts and boats.

Also, if you have a day out and like the sand, sea and beaches, do check out the Sainte Marguerite island. The island has mostly green space for picnics and hiking and surrounded by sandy beaches.

Lazying on the island beach
Lazying on the island beach.

You can catch a ferry from Golfe Juan in Antibes, which is about a 30 min train ride away from Nice, France, a city you ought to check out too for their long sandy beaches.

Island sport activities
Island sport activities.

Additionally, a Golfe Juan to Sainte Marguerite return ferry ticket by Riviera lines costs about 19 Euros. Also, there is a museum and observatory, though those are not recommended places of visit here.

On the island
boat to island
Beach side

Additionally, a highlight here at Antibes be the Picasso Museum and Absinthe Museum. The Picasso museum (Musée Picasso) is a chateau museum where the artist  lived & worked during 1946. It today houses one of the world’s revered and greatest Picasso collection on display. It comprises of 24 paintings, 44 drawings, 32 lithographs, 11 oils on paper and five tapestries. Additionally, for figure works, there are also 80 pieces of ceramics and two sculptures.

Picasso museum (Musée Picasso)
Picasso museum (Musée Picasso).

Moreover, ever wondered how the French artists like Picasso gets their creative “highs” with Absinthe? You can check out or have a go at the Absinthe Bar to discover about this green highly alcoholic spirit.

Sandy beaches
The Lagoon
Museum exterior

A place for Absinthe liquor

Absinthe bar serving the potent alcoholic drink
Absinthe bar serving the potent alcoholic drink.

Also you can learn more at the Absinthe Museum. The museum is located in a basement in the Roman foundations of Old Antibes, and is dedicated to the manufacture and appreciation of the green liquor. Interestingly, the bars are pretty lit with green lighting to emphasise the green alcoholic drink.

In the Absinthe bars
In the Absinthe bars.

Also, the legend says that French artists seek art inspiration and ideas by getting drunk on the drink. Who knows what kind of abstract art you can produce like Picasso when drunk.

Funky green bar theming
Funky green bar theming.

The museum is also located near the Marche Provencal, an old-style covered French marketplace which you can visit to grab a lunch too. Also just off the Picasso museum is the Antibes Waterfront fort and beach. Also known as the Plage de la Gravette. It is a vast but rather busy white-sand beach hemmed in by medieval walls, popular for swimming in shallow waters.

Antibes Waterfront fort and beach side
Antibes Waterfront fort and beach side.

Antibes Cathedral

Additionally, the Church of the Immaculate Conception (Antibes Cathedral) was first built by Bishop Armentarius in the 5th-century. Notably, the building you see here today is the third major rebuilt of the original. The original cathedral was first destroyed on 1124 by Saracen pirates, and in 1746 by the Austrians during Siege of Antibes.

Antibes Cathedral
Antibes Cathedral.

Also, the church exterior is styled with a taste of classical Latin, but is otherwise rather plain on the exterior where a place of worship goes. Also, the Church interior houses a Baroque altarpiece, as well as a life-sized wooden carving of Christ’s death from 1447, both impressive pieces.

All in all, Cannes and Antibes are great secondary cities you can visit along the French Rivera. You can typically cover both cities in a couple of hours, with much history and culture along with it.


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