Historic Antibes is in the south of France, on the glamorous French Riviera, tucked between Cannes to the south-west and Nice to the north-east. With its ancient Greek origins and modern Picasso museum, it is a magnet for history buffs and art lovers. Visitors exploring the beaches and fabulous scenery of the Cote d’Azur can travel by train to Antibes from Cannes in a mere 10 minutes on the French SNCF TER (Regional Express Transport) service. Those travelling from further afield can take a train to Antibes from Marseilles in 2h17 on a high-speed TGV train, or from Paris in 5h24. The town’s main station, Antibes station, is right in the city centre, so visitors are well placed to explore the highlights.
Visitors arriving on a train to Antibes can either take the 15-minute stroll south-east from the station towards the city’s cathedral through the narrow streets of the Old Town or via the simpler route of the port-side Avenue de Verdun. Right next door is the Musée Picasso, located in the great Château Grimaldi. It is converted from an ancient fortress, which was itself built on the foundations of the Greek settlement of Antipolis, thus neatly bringing together history and modern art in one compelling visitor attraction. Those tourists wanting to make the most of the lovely coastal scenery can take a 30-minute hike from the museum south along the coastline to the Phare de la Galoupe, a lighthouse that’s a Cote d’Azur landmark and visible from miles around. A climb to the top is richly rewarded with views from Monaco to Cannes, and the Alpine peaks in the distance.
From there, if the trek has worked up a healthy appetite, it’s a good idea to head back to the centre of the Old Town and taste the local cuisine. Cours Masséna market can be found there with its famously fresh Provençal produce. Travellers could shop for a picnic or gorge on olives, fresh salad, vegetables, tapenade and tempting cheeses. Alternatively, once the stallholders have packed away around lunchtime, there are lots of little restaurants nearby. Why not try an aperitif of the famous anise-flavoured local tipple, Pastis? Afterwards, sit down to a hearty Ratatouille, followed by the extravagantly orange-flavoured Tarte Tropézienne. For those with more time in the evening, Antibes boasts beautiful beaches to watch the sunset.