Even though it boasts the biggest yachts, the richest harbour and often more bling and buzz than many other hot-spots on the Riviera, Antibes is quite possible the most unspoilt town along the Côte d’Azur. It’s down to the fact that the tight-knit mixture of mediaeval walled city and 19th-century grid has been preserved because there’s no space or will to destroy a pretty old town and replace it with a car park.
Thus, you’ll find lots of character strolling through the streets of Antibes, whether standing outside the former home of artist Nicolas de Staël and admiring the blue Mediterranean from the ramparts, perusing the shaded quiet streets of the Independent Commune of the Safranier or relaxing in the Absinthe Bar.
This latter feature is a genuine hidden gem – no website, no nonsense – and located midway down the wonderful daily Marché Provençal. It opens bright and early at 06:00 and runs until 13:00 (every day through the summer and closed on Mondays from September to April inclusive), presenting a dizzying display and eclectic collection of fragrances, essences of Provence, food from the sea on their doorstep… Michel the fisherman, Dominique the florist, Marielle the market gardener: they’re all here in the daytime and by night, it transforms into something even more wonderful – a craft market.
(Click below to see where it is and to explore the ever-evolving Tootlafrance Market Guide map of France)
Meanwhile, enjoy some images from city the Greeks called “Antipolis” (the city opposite), courtesy of GoshGallery