On our first visit to the Côte d’Azur in the summer of 2020 we chose to stay in the charming coastal city of Antibes. We stayed at a top floor apartment with a gorgeous view on the town, the sea and the mountains (Alpes-Maritimes). Even the flickering nocturnal lights of the Promenade des Anglais in Nice were visible from its terrace.
Antibes lies in between Nice and Juan-les-Pins and has a sandy beach close to its charming old town with many bars and restaurants. From Antibes many famous places can be visited by car: Besides Cannes and Saint-Tropez you are also very close to Monaco and the historical town of Grasse, the capital of perfume factories.
Grasse is known for its Musée International de la Parfumerie and has preserved very well its architectural heritage like an old-style casino and lovely narrow streets with shops and places to eat. The closer you go towards Italy the more colourful the old houses become.
We visited the perfume factory of Fragonard and discovered so many wonderful smells. Since then I almost daily smell like ‘verveine’ and my wife Inès like ‘bergamote’. The uphill position of the town makes you feel you are really way up in the mountains.
Our longest roadtrip from Antibes was to Monaco and Menton and back in one day. Only 38 km but it takes quite long because of the many winding roads. In Monaco we chose only to visit the famous and impressive Musée d’Océanographie but our French friends drove us on the way out also by its port, glamourous shopping streets and the famous Casino de Monte-Carlo.
The Musée d’Océanographie (1910) rules over the monegasque coastline already for more than 100 years. This enormeous, beautiful building houses many very deep aquariums with sharks, turtles, colourful fish and sea animals, besides a unique, authentic collection of scientific, nautical and historical artefacts.
After Monaco we continued our journey and made it still to Menton for an evening swim with a stunning view on its colourful old town. That day we decided to return the next summer to the Côte d’Azur and and explore Menton a bit more. In a next post some photos of this very Italian looking French border town will be featured.