Antibes’ “Old Town” is situated right at the water’s edge, just left of the man made jetty that created the harbor.

Fort Carré d’Antibes

Fort Carré, built in the 16th century sits atop a hill overlooking the harbor.  Its star-shaped configuration allowed defensive weaponry to target anywhere around the circumference of the fort and harbor.

Port Vauban, like Antibes itself, caters to watercraft and seaman of the most humble to the audacious.  Despite the fame and popularity of Antibes, this port provides full-service berths at half the price of many comparable marinas.  The mega-yacht “Katara,” in the photos below, is 124 meters long and sports its own helicopter.  She can accommodate up to 34 guests and 95 crew members.  Katara was built in 2010 and is owned by the Qatar royal family.  She is available for charter – not sure the cost – yachts a third her length go for 700 – 895 thousand US dollars per week.

Mega-yacht “Katara”
Fort Caré overlooks Antibes harbor (and Katara)

On the first evening of Margaret’s and Burt’s visit to Antibes we opted to eat out at a restaurant festooned with fresh local produce.  My recollection is that both Margaret and Burt had magret de canard (duck breast) – prepared medium rare, the best comparison is fillet mignon.

Dinner in Antibes

The following days in Antibes were spent walking the old town and checking out the interesting shops.  Burt wanted more comfortable walking shoes and bought a pair of Teva-Like closed toed water shoes.  Margaret was on a mission to check out the local watercolor artists.  We found many artist shops, but none as promising as one Margaret had seen earlier in the day when all shops were closed for lunch.  We retraced our steps over and over (and over) again, to no avail.

Then suddenly, we realized we lost Burt.  He went off on his own and we could not find him.  We each took  off in different directions looking and calling for him.  Just as we found him, George announced he had also found the artist’s shop that Margaret was looking for.  Of course we had walked past it numerous times.

The shop was closed with a sign that indicated it would not be open again before we planned to leave Antibes.  Margaret stood by and guffawed as I left a telephone message in my fractured French.  As soon as I was finished, George drew our attention to the fact that a woman and her dog had just entered a side door and both were now inside the shop.  Happy ending.

Margaret found Antibes to be the town most to her liking, of any of the towns we visited along the Mediterranean.  We spent three days there and had such a good time.  Margaret and Burt were getting comfortable and Margaret decided she would like a pair of the same shoes Burt got.  George told Burt where we were heading and Margaret and Burt headed off on their own.  Some time later, after they found us, Margaret told us that Burt said George and Susan were heading to a lingerie shop.  Margaret found this a little surprising but as there had been some lingerie shopping earlier they began to search for a lingerie shop.  It was a strike of luck that Margaret saw the BOULANGERIE shop in the picture below with (BOU) obscured.  Just like famous detectives, Margaret suddenly realized what George had told Burt.  Now wasn’t that clever of Margaret?  Burt is mighty clever, too, but his French is not so good!!

(BOU)LANGERIE – A Bread Shop

Artwork is displayed prominently throughout Antibes – some a signature of the town like “The Nomade” below – some an outdoor art show featuring one or more artist’s work.  We found that between 2017 and 2018 trips, the art work was rotated out to make room for different art exhibits.

“Nomade” – Artist Jaume Pensa installed,
2010, is formed from individual letters

A sculpture, entitled “Nomade” of a person, sitting with knees bent to chest in front facing the Mediterranean is situated on the Antibes ramparts.  Just below there is an expansive sand beach.  Look closely and you will see a bit of an artist’s work that was prominent in 2017.  In this case, a rhinoceros – this artist captured an array of lifelike animals engaged in a range of activities.  

Popular sand beach in Antibes with rhinseros sculpture

Horse sculpture – 2017
Wolf sculpture – 2017
The featured artwork in 2018 was a bit more abstract, primarily featuring busts of heads or torsos encompassed within rectangular blocks of metal, and flat painted metal sheets with cutouts of historic and contemporary objects.
2018 featured art
2018 featured art
2018 featured art
2018 featured art

Within Antibes “Old Town”,  we love the imaginative, and artistic adornments that transform the uniform stone exteriors into facades and corridors of exceptional beauty.  Multiply the examples depicted here by hundreds – and you may begin to see what we see every day.

Plants that emerge from small openings within the paved roads are sustained by some magic we do not understand.  These shrubs, trees, and vines transform the narrow passageways.

Margaret and Burt – Antibes 2018

Fanciful adornments of endless variety grace the walls and doors and individualize each home.

Many shops have charming and inviting decorations and entryways.

Le Pain in English means The Bread
This shop makes art with bread dough

We were particularly captivated by plaster figures (examples below) that appeared on seemingly random walls throughout the narrow streets of Antibes Old Town.

Fanciful tile mural on wall in Antibes Old Town
I will try to find time to add a post on our time in Antibes with Allison, Mike, Riley and Tristan in 2017.  For now, I hope I have provided enough of a description for you to see why we never get tired of exploring Antibes.



1 thought on “Antibes

  1. Antibes was definitely our favorite town. The winding and narrow streets are quintessentially European as depicted in the movies. Flowers and artwork everywhere. Shops, restaurants and apartments nestled into every nook and cranny. The French certainly seem to be extremely social people. They can be seen everywhere, sitting, talking, eating and drinking wine. Emphasis on talking. As Susan pointed out on one of our subway rides, the French seem always to be conversing with each other. P.S. \”guffaw\” is a funny word – it makes me laugh 🙂


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