Antibes is a city in the French Riviera. The Cap d’Antibes is the break between the Bay of Cannes to the south-west and the Baie des Anges to the north east. Old Antibes and the port of Antibes are on the mainland on the side facing the Baie des Anges, while Juan les Pins is on the Cannes side and the magnificent Fort Carré lies between the port of Antibes and the rest of the Baie des Anges. Although Antibes is best known for its coast, the municipality does stretch up the hills inland.
Antibes was founded by the Greeks over 2000 years ago with the name Antipolis. Shortly afterwards it was incorporated into the expanding Roman empire when it was known as Antiboul. With the fall of the Roman empire Antibes was a target of pirates and raiders until the growing power of Genoa removed most of these menaces. Around the 11th century AD Antibes was a feudal town whose eventual overlord was the Pope. In 1384 it passed into the hands of the Grimaldi family – the former Genovese merchant princes who had now moved westwards to Monaco and Nice – as collateral to a loan that the Pope could not repay. Shortly after this Antibes became the easternmost port of the kingdom of France – at that time Nice was part of Savoy – and thus was extremely important. Over the years, and particularly during the 100 years war, it’s port was continually fortified and expanded, culminating in the Fort Carré and the Port Vauban finished in 1710.
The first tourists arrived at Cap d’Antibes in the 1880s and the adjacent town of Juan les Pins was built at the end of the 19th century. Although it expanded, during the early 20th cetury Antibes was less developed than its neighbors on the French Riviera and was thus a haven for artists such as Picasso and later Nicolas de Staël. This under-development did not last and as the 20th century drew to a close the combined municipality of Antibes-Juan-les-Pins was just a part of the unbroken development between Nice and Cannes.
Places to see do
The Cap (very romantic under a full moon) and beaches
Old town and covered market
Beaches of Juan les Pins