Chilling Out on the Cote d’Azur

Read more about my Self Care Sabbatical and the other places I’ve visited! 

I knew I wanted to visit the French Riviera / Cote d’Azur during this trip if only for just a few days. I only had 3 nights (and 2 full days) to spend there, and I visited after the main season had ended so I probably got a different experience than had I gone earlier in the summer. The good thing is that it was not super crowded. The bad thing was that some restaurants/bars had closed for the season already as it was mid-October. And I didn’t really get any beach time. The weather was not totally in my favor and I got a lot of rain during my two days. The last morning I was in Antibes, however, was totally gorgeous so I got to soak up a little bit of the town (and Mediterranean views) in the nice weather. 

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I noticed that things are definitely more expensive in this area (as I also saw in Nice). Shopping at the market in Antibes was actually not that much cheaper than buying similar items at the Carrefour. And after a quick comparison between Antibes and Lyon, it was clear that Antibes Carrefour prices were much higher.

Getting There & Around: It’s possible to fly into Nice and then take a bus/taxi/train to Antibes or other towns along the coast. You can also take the train from elsewhere in France to Nice; you may be able to book a train directly to one of the other towns like Antibes as well.

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Where to Stay: At first I wasn’t sure if I should stay in Antibes or Nice, but I had read that Antibes was a nice, chill alternative from Nice and that sounded a bit more appealing. Once I started looking at accommodations, I was even more convinced that I should stay in Antibes. I was able to find much nicer places for less money in Antibes and knew that I would be able to do a day trip to Nice. Besides, Nice seemed a bit like a big impersonal city and Antibes seemed to offer a bit more charm.

I am SO GLAD I chose to stay in Antibes. First, the place I stayed was awesome. It was another chambre d’hotes, where I had a rather large room to myself in a duplex apartment with my host. I had full access to the kitchen and common areas as well so I could buy groceries, cook, etc. (Especially great given the prices at some of the restaurants!) The apartment was located in the middle of the old town in Antibes which is incredibly beautiful and charming (even in the rain), and it was the perfect place to explore this charming little town. When I got to Nice, I was immediately grateful I wasn’t staying there. It felt big and busy and nowhere near as charming as Antibes.

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Things to Do:

  • If you are there in warm weather, hit the beach. There is a small beach I found in Antibes, though not sure if there are other areas with larger beaches further away. 
  • Visit the Picasso Museum. It’s about the same size as the one in Paris and in a beautiful building on the water where Picasso used to work when he was living in Antibes/Juan-les-Pins.
  • Check out Le Marché Provençal right in the center of the old town. The market has vendors selling fruits and veggies, as well as other local products. At night, this area becomes outdoor seating for the restaurants lining the edges of the market.
  • Take a day trip to the surrounding beach towns, including Monaco
  • There’s a cinema just outside the old town in case you get caught in the rain or need something to do at night!

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Eating/Drinking:

In the old town, there are restaurants along the market which are open pretty late. Most of them looked pretty touristy and not that great though Da Cito was recommended for its pizza and pastas. You will see that most of these restaurants offer the same general menus

Cafe des Chineurs is a nice restaurant closer to the port, offered salads, grilled meats and fish.

Drinkers Club was recommended for cocktails

As you walk over towards the beach area, there are also a few restaurants and cafes though I didn’t have a chance to try any of these.

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