Category: 2020 (page 1 of 1)

Road trips Côte d’Azur: Antibes, Grasse, Monaco

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 vieille ville

Antibes – vieille ville – © Sam Geuens

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 – © Sam Geuens

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.


Grasse – © Sam Geuens

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.


Grasse – © Sam Geuens

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.

Musée d'Océanographie

Musée d’Océanographie – © Sam Geuens

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.


Monaco – © Sam Geuens

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.

Road trip Côte Opale

At the end of August 2020, before another long covid lockdown was awaiting us, we drove up to the Côte Opale in the Pas-de-Calais region (Hauts-de-France). This is the home of a beautiful coastline with the famous locations Cap Blanc-Nez, Cap Gris-Nez and Le Touquet-Paris-Plage. But even the smaller towns and uninhabited zones near the sea are worth visiting.

Dunes near Audresselles

Dunes near Audresselles – © Sam Geuens

Cap Blanc-Nez is a marvellous place where water, rocks, sand, the clouds and the colours in the sky play every day a wonderful game.

Cap Blanc Nez

Cap Blanc-Nez – © Sam Geuens

We slept in Hotel Ibis Thalassa at Le Touquet beach and this place has a unique swimming pool with view on sea and land. Le Touquet is a historical city with beautiful architecture and nice seafood restaurants.

Le Touquet beach

Le Touquet beach – © Sam Geuens

Don’t forget to also spend a day in the impressive aquariums of Nausicaa in Boulogne-sur-Mer when visiting this region. This is a true unique experience for fishes of all colours and sizes, including manta rays.


Nausicaa – © Sam Geuens


Audresselles – © Sam Geuens

And finally to find some peace and quietness, visit a beach town like Audresselles or drive land inwards to see the white cliffs of Dover from a higher view point.

Cliffs of Dover

Cliffs of Dover – © Sam Geuens

On the way to or when driving out of this enchanting region, we also advise to have a stop at the historical town of Montreuil-sur-Mer.


Montreuil-sur-Mer – © Sam Geuens