Antibes is a resort town between Cannes and Nice on the French Riviera (Côte d’Azur). It’s known for its old town enclosed by 16th-century ramparts with the star-shaped Fort Carré. This overlooks luxury yachts moored at the Port Vauban marina. The forested Cap d’Antibes peninsula, dotted with grand villas, separates Antibes from Juan-les-Pins, a chic resort with buzzing nightlife and the Jazz à Juan music festival.
At the start of Cap d’Antibes, on the west coast, is a lovely small renovated harbour called Port de la Salis. Built in the early 20th century, this harbour can host 245 boats, as long as they are not more than 7 meters long. The small stone wall allows dreamers to sit for a few minutes watching the boats.
Opposite the harbour is the start of the Chemin du Calvaire which leads to the Garoupe woods and plateau. The Garoupe woods are 9 hectares of dense and unspoiled vegetation. Property of the Conservatoire du Littoral, it is a shady place for relaxing and strolling in a natural environment. A few meters higher is the Garoupe plateau, a unique and not-to-be-missed place in Antibes Juan-les-Pins. It is also accessible by car via Route du Phare. There, you will find the lighthouse and the semaphore, property of the French Navy, the Peynet oratory, and the beautiful Garoupe chapel, which is a listed building.
A little further south, still to the west, Garoupe bay, with its small private beaches, is one of the start points of the coastal path, Sentier de Tirepoil. This area, property of the Conservatoir du Littoral, is protected. The path, a 5km loop, is easily accessible as long as you’re wearing the right shoes (stairs prevent access for wheelchairs and pushchairs).
At the end of the coastal path, before starting back via the road, you will find the Villa Eilenroc and its gardens. Completed in 1867 by the Dutchman Hugh-Hope Loudon, its name is an anagram of his wife’s name — Cornelie. The gardens were completed a little later, in 1873, when the villa was bought by James Wyllie. The villa and its garden were bequeathed to the city of Antibes by its last owner, Mrs Beaumont, in 1982. A foundation was thus created and the city started on a vast program of renovation for the building itself, as well as for the furniture and gardens. In 2004, to complete the project, the eco-museum was created in addition to the olive grove and rose garden.