Days 12-14: After an amazing 2 days in Avignon (our favorite stop on the entire trip), we had a lengthy train ride to Antibes. Passing through the hills of Provence and nearing the Mediterranean Sea, we finally glimpsed the ocean within the last 30 minutes of the train ride. Off the train, we were headed to our hotel, Le Ponteil. Our research had shown the hotel was about 0.9 miles away, so we figured we’d take the hike there. This was definitely a bad choice – in the heat of the afternoon sun, we finally experienced Mediterranean summer weather – but we were both wearing jeans and lugging our roller bags through town.
Finally we arrived to the hotel, hot, irritated, sweaty and tired. We were greeted by Mr. Gianni Pascal, owner of the hotel. He was very kind and helped us haul our bags up the 2 flights of stairs to our room. The hotel was enclosed in a nice shaded corner at the end of the small street, with cute green painted window trim and terracotta roof tiles and accents. There was also a very nice patio area where breakfast (included) was served. But this was our one stop where we forgot to snap any pics of the hotel.
We were exhausted and crashed in the room for a good portion of the afternoon. I have to admit that in Antibes, we were feeling more homesick than at any other point in the trip – the constant re-packing, moving, traveling, and that up-and-going feeling was really taking a toll on us. Finally we mustered up the energy to walk into town. Antibes is a cute coastal town and is definitely more quiet and laid back than we expected.
Plenty of pedestrian streets offered opportunities to walk up and down and get lost under plant-filled windows and brightly painted buildings.
We finished up the night with dinner at Taverne du Safranier. We both ordered the fresh fish offerings, and finished with ridiculously large desserts.
The next day we planned to take the train to Cannes, to make the most of our time in the Riviera. We went to the Antibes market in the morning and picked up supplies for a beach picnic: fromage, salami, grapes, tapenade, baguette, and a bottle of crisp white wine. It was a large covered outdoor market with delicious colors and smells in every direction.
The train from Antibes to Cannes was about 10 minutes. The city had street after street of expensive boutique shopping but none of the charm of other cities we had visited so far. We cruised up and down a few streets and the beach-front hotel strip, but didn’t see any celebrities.
We found a large rocky area and camped out for lunch time to enjoy our picnic.
We spent the rest of the afternoon back in Antibes, doing laundry and walking the city.
The next morning we packed up early and headed to our next stop along the Riviera: Nice. Antibes was a nice, quiet, and laid-back destination to spend a few sunny days near the Mediterranean sea without as much of the party scene.
Check out our 3 Weeks in France page for a full summary of our trip!