The Cape d'Antibes: a peninsula on the Eastern part of the French Mediterranean coastline, located in the South of the Antibes and to the east of Juan-les-Pins on the Riviera.
The unique site of Antibes is known since ancient times. Its notoriety increased in modern times thanks to the Cannes Festival and the visit of celebrities from the world of cinema.
The Cap d'Antibes really started to develop around the mid-19th century when the wealthy tourists coming from all over Europe, in particular from England and Russia, were charmed by the area and started building luxurious mansions. The current location of Juan-les-Pins (which was at the time only a pine forest) lined with idyllic beaches, was discovered by the duke of Albany, the son of Queen Victoria, in 1880.
Old Antibes, surrounded by ramparts, harbours many treasures along its seaside: the Grimaldi castle which shelters the Picasso museum (and his work when he was in the Antibes in the 20th century), alleys and small squares, the Peynet museum, a Provencal market, the baroque cathedral, craft markets, its restaurants and coffees. Outside the fortified town: the Vauban port and the Fort Carré: redesigned in the 17th century by Vauban. Not far away: Marineland, a marine zoo proposing shows of killer whales and fascinating dolphins shows featuring sea lions. Antibes is also synonymous with the famous Jazz Festival which takes place in July and which transforms Juan-les-Pins into huge street fiestas with its unique and catchy music and beach festivals.
Today the area is also famous for its botanical gardens and its historical residences. The Thuret Villa is the property of the National Institute of Research for Agricultur and has a noteworthy botanical garden. The Croë castle is a private property and former residence of the king Edouard VIII, its park is filled up of Mediterranean species. The Domaine de la Garoupe is a private estate. The Villa of the Clocher was the property of Francis Bouygues, founder of group BTP Bouygues. The villa Sous le Vent is a private property bordering the billionaires’ bay and where the General of Gaulle lived for a while. Built by the architect Barry Dierks, it is home to a breathtaking Mediterranean botanical garden. On the other side, the Eilenroc Villa is a public property and contains an exotic botanical garden.
During the idyllic weather, the hikers can explore the area thanks to the coastline path known as: “Tire-Poil” path, which sometimes borders the sea, other times leads to the highs overhanging a bubbling sea which comes for a quick interlude with the rocks, covering it up with its white spray. Its route is stretched on 2.7 km from the car park of the Garoupe beach to the Eilenroc Villa. It winds its way through the craggy rocks and along the castles of Garoupe and Croë imposing wall. The panorama is breathtaking. One can easily admire from a distance the bay of Nice and on the other side Juan-les-Pins and Cannes. The islands of Lérins in the west and first peaks of Mercantour in the east will capture your gaze.
Hikers can venture up to the lighthouse of Garoupe, where they can find the vault where the fishermen gather. It is one of the most powerful lighthouses of the Mediterranean coast, with a light intensity of 2,300,000 candelas. Its 103 metres peak dominates the Juan Gulf and the Baie des Anges. Regarding the Abri de l’Olivette, it is a harbour of refuge located on the West Coast of the Cap d'Antibe, where the local boats of the area take shelter from May to October. A beautiful walk also awaits the visitors around the cap d’Antibes, where the most beautiful residences of the Riviera can be found.
Those who are fanatics of underwater excursions can meet up on the car park of the beach of the Croûton, located at 1.7 km when heading to Juan-les-Pins. By the crystal-clear water, on a beach considered as one of the last hidden jewels of the Riviera, is the diving centre: Côté Plongée which proposes explorations, training courses and baptisms, seven days a week.