The French Riviera: Antibes

Located on the Côte d'Azur, Antibes is a unique blend of history, culture and modern sophistication

by Edel Cassidy
Words Edel Cassidy

A perfect addition to any tour of the Var region is the charming town of Antibes, further east along the coast of Southern France. Like much of the French Riviera, Antibes was established first by the Greeks and known as Antípolis, meaning ‘Cross-City’, as it’s halfway between Marseille and Nice. The town exudes an old-world charm that is tangible when wandering through its cobblestone streets.

One of Antibes’s standout attractions is the Musée Picasso, located at the Château Grimaldi, a 16th-century fortress perched above the Mediterranean Sea and formerly owned by Monaco’s Grimaldi dynasty. This historic site served as both a residence and a studio for Picasso during the 1940s and now showcases an impressive collection of his works from his time spent in Antibes. It was the world’s first museum dedicated to the artist. 

12th-century structure which now houses the Musée Picasso in Antibes
Musée Picasso at the Château Grimaldi.
Orange and yellow facade of the Cathedral in Antibes, French Riviera
Antibes Cathedral

Adjacent to the Musée Picasso stands Antibes Cathedral, constructed in the 12th century on the ruins of a former Roman temple. Combining Romanesque and Gothic influences, the cathedral boasts a striking bell tower and intricate rose window. Inside, visitors are treated to exquisite stained-glass windows and an 18th-century organ, considered one of the region’s finest.

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