"Antibes for Dummies" Top 5 Page for this destination Antibes by NiceLife

Antibes Travel Guide: 196 reviews and 491 photos

Welcome to the yacht capital of the Med

Antibes is about beaches, big boats, and Brits. Most important are the boats, especially the giant privately-owned motor-yachts

Rather Big Boats
Attached to the outer harbour of Port Vauban, the International Yacht Club of Antibes (IYCA), is where the giant personal motor-yachts of the world's multi-millionaires are berthed periodically for maintenance and a "wash and brush up"

Inadequately referred to as "millionaires row" - a place in the harbour here requires more than mere millions - anything up to £300m or more for one of the world's top ten superyatchs. In the world of megayachts each foot in length costs approximately £1m.

Pictured in Antibes, what was briefly the second largest yacht in the world, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's £113m 416 foot long "Octopus"., She contains a music studio, cinema, basketball court, swimming pool, two helipads and its own submarine. (Couldn't quite get the football pitch in, eh Paul?)

Megayachts are scrubbed and manicured to perfection by bronzed young men mainly from Australia or Britain, until every bit of chrome sparkles in the mediterranean sun. In yatching I am told running costs are estimated at 10% of purchase price. 10% of £100m is..is..is.. gulp! I can do that sum!

Some can be hired at £20-30,000 for a day, typically for the launch party of some film or new brand of perfume. The writer Clive James memorably once described looking up at people on the deck of a yacht looking down at him, on their faces the expression "I'm on a yacht, and you're not".

Roman Abramovich regularly parks some of his several yachts here , and spotted recently climbing on board was Jose Mourinho, manager of Abramovich's Chelsea Football Club. Various Chelsea football players can often be spotted around the Riviera - including one last week looking a bit out of place in Villefranche on and off his mobile phone. (Bit of advice, mate: stick to home. You're out of your league here)

The sandy beaches of Antibes

Antibes has three main beaches. Directly through the portal of the old city walls at Port Vauban is the sheltered bay and popular beach La Gravette. Handy to retreat from to nearby restaurants and bars.

A short walk down from old Antibes down Av Amiral de Grasse around the rocky city outlet brings you to the modern Plage de Peilon. Fine yellow sand which shelves gently into the sea is perfect for families, and is served by kiosks serving cold drinks and sandwiches.

Further down the Boulevard James Wyllie the Plage Sallis continues as far as a small fishing boat harbour which marks the end of the bay. All the while the entire sea front of Antibes is public - no private beach clubs sunbeds or parasol hire. And the municipality provide frequent showers, and theres a reasonable loo at Sallis

Walk further past Pointe Bacon some 2 km and discover Antibes "fourth beach" Plage de la Garoupe, and discover the fabulous villas which dot the Cap d'Antibes beyond, culminating with the world-class Hotel du Cap Eden Roc. Taken as the model by F Scott Fitzgerald for Hotel des Etrangers in Tender is the Night, Hotel du Cap Eden Roc is at the tip of the peninsula and has a seawater lagoon swimming pool as there’s no beach. Stars who take refuge here are granted rare privacy.

Vielle Ville - old Antibes

Once you have had your fill of lounging on the beach and the floating excesses of the yacht club, there is a maze of pretty streets to wander and explore in this quintessentially seaside resort. Restaurants, bars, bistros and boutiques jostle in the town to which resident Graham Greene would stroll for lunch each day (He would dine at Chez Felix, at the arched entrance from Old Antibes to the Port)

There is a large English community in the town, so expect to see lots of men still wearing socks with their sandals, baggy shorts, British food in supermarkets, and English newspapers - Daily Mail or Express - to follow the latest bad news back home from a comfortable distance..

For a bit of culture, up in the Chateau Grimaldi is a fine collection of works by Picasso. In 1946 he was offered use of part of the Castle and four months later donated 181 drawings and paintings to the town.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Yachts, history, and old town charm.
  • Cons:Lacks the glamour of nearby Cannes
  • In a nutshell:Worth looking in
  • Last visit to Antibes: Mar 2007
  • Intro Updated Sep 13, 2009
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Reviews (34)

Comments (16)

  • giampiero6's Profile Photo
    Aug 15, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    And this page is up 46%!

  • omidamini's Profile Photo
    Aug 13, 2009 at 10:30 AM

    wow , your Antibes Page is very nice. thanks , i hope see you here.

  • janetanne's Profile Photo
    Feb 23, 2009 at 11:47 PM

    I could force myself to live in that vacant villa of 10 acres. Even the wood paneling could be tolerated, if I could keep the drapes and windows open:):) Great pages, as usual.

  • SkipJas's Profile Photo
    Jan 30, 2009 at 12:35 PM

    That's hilarious! I work on a yacht in PV and had noticed that myself.....I guess these small things make them happy!!

  • nicolaitan's Profile Photo
    Mar 5, 2008 at 8:59 AM

    such a pleasure to revisit Antibes after many years with your images and (very) insightful commentary. Coming from the US, our pizza on the main square was at the time a revelation - never forget it. And the Picasso's. Thanks for sharing. N.

  • garridogal's Profile Photo
    Dec 30, 2006 at 12:30 PM

    What a great spot Antibes is!

  • La_Holandesa's Profile Photo
    Sep 25, 2005 at 3:28 PM

    France says "Have fun. That's life." I share your personal view, and I say too"Shoot the lawyers!! It's reaaly fun!!!! Great Antibes page, Magnifique! salut Anita

  • dejavu2gb's Profile Photo
    Apr 25, 2005 at 5:48 AM

    WOOOOW.... why can I not own one of those beauties... sheesh, some are monsters... great page on Antibes... I am little green with envy as I dont own a nice yacht, but I will get over it... :)

  • butlerjones's Profile Photo
    Nov 6, 2004 at 3:31 AM

    Magnifique!

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Nov 2, 2004 at 3:50 PM

    What a quality group of pages! Interesting information and lots of valuable tips. I like the honest evaluations and the superior photographs.

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