Sunday on the French Riviera

Sunday is traditionally a family day in France, you’ll find the boulangerie‘s busy as people queue to pick up a flan or tarte for the family lunch and everyone is on ‘relax mode’.

We love to head outdoors as summer arrives with an early morning swim followed by a treat at a cafeteria on Sundays.


Today, Sunday 26 June, here are some other suggestions of things to do on the French Riviera:


Cannes Festival Autos Motos Rétros is hosting a car show with the theme ‘James Dean is back’ with a parade along the Croisette and retro cars and motorbikes.  Free entry between 10am-5pm at square Verdun parking near Port Pierre Canto.



If you enjoy classical music, Musée Fragonard is hosting the last evening of a 3-night mini festival of classical music.  Tonight, from 9pm enjoy the renditions of Brahms, Schumann and Faure in the gardens of the Villa.  Entry €20.


It’s your last weekend to visit the beautiful gardens in Menton as part of the annual ‘Mois des Jardins’.  The main open days have passed, but there’s still time to get to Fontana Rosa, Serre de la Madone, Riviera Palace, Maria Séréna, Jardins Biovès, Palais Carnoles and the terrace at the Musée Cocteau to soak up the tropical vegetation.

For a list of participating gardens, Mois des Jardins 2016

Villa Maria Serena (image:

Villa Maria Serena (image:

Happy Sunday!




Hiking and Mountain Biking in the Estérels

Summer is officially here!  As the weather starts heating up, the options for outdoor activities expand as attractions and sightseeing operators open for the season.

However, some of the best family-friendly activities are free and right on our doorstep!

Around 40 minutes’ drive from where I live is the start of the Massif de l’Estérels, a coastal region sculpted by rust red porphyry rock, scrubby vegetation, inland lakes, valleys, pebbly coves with clear water and a vineyard here and there.


The area roughly falls between Mandelieu in the east and Fréjus in the west and has one of the most scenic driving routes – the Corniche d’Or – as well as many excellent hiking and mountain biking trails.

The Estérels Côte d’Azur website is a great multi-lingual website for finding out more about the various walks (balades & randonnées) and mountain biking (VTT) itineraries you can do, as well as information about the local beaches and coves.

I also find super useful for photos and descriptions of the facilities at beaches in France; simply choose your region, choose the language option and search!

Three family-friendly walks you’ll find on the Estérels Côte d’Azur website include:

  • Cap Dramont with the Île d’Or which is said to have been the inspiration for Hergé’s ‘L’île Noire (The Black Island)‘ in The Adventures of Tin Tin
  • The Sentier Découverte de 25 ponts (Discovery Trail for 25 bridges)
  • L’Étang Aubert


The VTT trail that is easiest for families is the Mal Infernet-Lac de L’écureuil path with low elevation.

Hiking website link:

Mountain biking website link:

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Fête de la Musique 2016 on the French Riviera

Next Tuesday, marks one of my favourite days every year here in France – Fête de la Musique!

Fête de la Musique is held on 21 June annually throughout France and is a huge success, and continues to grow in popularity.


Why I love Fête de la Musique

I love this day because it’s a fantastic chance to see a wide variety of musical styles, playing in public areas by both amateur and professional musicians.  And all free!

Over the years I’ve experienced everything from swing bands, to jazz, to teen orchestras to DJ’s and rock bands.  I’ve always found the general atmosphere to be convivial and good-natured.

How did Fête de la Musique come about

The concept originated with an American musician Joel Cohen who worked as a music programmer for France Musique (French National Radio). He wanted to initiate an all-day music event to celebrate the summer solstice.

In 1982, the (then) Director of Music and Dance at the French Ministry of Culture, Maurice Fleuret, recognised that one child out of every two in France played a musical instrument and he wanted a way to encourage people to take to the streets to make music and foster love of musical performance.


Fête de la Musique was born and made official by the French Minister of Culture with the first festival held in Paris in 1982.

Today, it is celebrated in various forms (Make Music Day, World Music Day etc) in over 120 countries including Italy, Australia and the USA.

Can anyone perform on the Fête de la Musique date?

The festival has always been at the forefront of promoting musical performance.

  • Amateur and professional musicians are encouraged to perform in public areas – on the street, at parks, beach venues, at town squares. Musicians range from teenage garage bands to professional opera singers – it’s a huge mix of music and talent!
  • All music genres are welcome.
  • All concerts must be free, and all performers must donate their time for free.

While there are some noise restrictions in place (especially after hours), there is an unspoken tolerance for the performances in France on this day and I’ve never seen any concerts or performances shut down by the police or removal of audio equipment (and there have been some spectacularly loud ones!).

If you would like to perform on this date, contact your local Mairie (Town Hall) who can advise you what to do.

Fête de la Musique 2016 on the French Riviera

Each town releases it’s own schedule for concerts and music performances.

I don’t have an extensive list as many of the Tourist Offices don’t release times until the last minute, but here is a sample of some of the Fête de la Musique 2016 events happening this year along the French Riviera (all free concerts will be on Tuesday 21 June unless specified below):


From 6pm until late at various locations including place Nationale, Safranier and place de Gaulle (Antibes) and promenade du Soleil, the roundabout by King Kong toy store and Café de la Plage (Juan les Pins).

For the full Antibes and Juan les Pins concert times and locations, download here



From 6.30pm at Place Marinoni, pop, rock, funk, soul with You Know What and Hidden Bombo.


Note:  Music will be on 18 June, not 21 June.

8.30pm – La Cantarella au Sanctuaire St Joseph (choir songs)

9.30pm The Blues Brothers tribute at place de la Liberation

  • BIOT

From 6pm – Place des Arcades
Run Rummers
7 Sundays

From 6.30pm – Place de Gaulle
Espace des Arts et de la Culture (représentation des élèves)
Casual Tribute

From 6.45pm – Jardin Frédéric Mistral
Jazz Junction
Eric Maiolino
Garage GIG


See poster below:

Fête de la Musique 2016 Cagnes sur Mer

Fête de la Musique 2016 Cagnes sur Mer


Various locations, see the official programme at


6pm onwards – At Place des Pins, jazz, funk, pop, rock and blues bands with a coordinated multi-band jam session at 10pm.

  • EZE

From 7pm at place de la Collette, singing, reggae and jazz


From 6pm – midnight – Various bands will play at the Maison du Tourisme Vieux Port, Théâtre de Mer, square Nabonnand etc (pop rock , jazz, country, DJ) in Golfe Juan, and place Lisnard, rue Ramie and Espace Massier (jazz, gospel, pop rock)

Note: The coastal road between the carpark at Vieux Port and quai Napoleon will be closed between 6pm-2am for Fête de la Musique.

Info here:,3430.html?lang=fr


From 5pm at various locations, find the Grasse concert times and locations here :


From 6pm at various locations including Place de Gaulle and Espace Rose de Mai; programme available here:


  • From 6.30pm at Place Théodare de Banville jazz and music from films with Smiley Friends, followed by blues, rock, folk and jazz with Lou Folk from  8pm

From 7pm at Square Seytre with Bob Fred etc


From 8pm, Place Estérel Gallery with a ‘Vintage’ theme.
Allée de la 1ère Division Française


Municipal Library


Terrace at Musée Jean Cocteau

5pm-5.45pm  – Zumba party

Conservatoire Municipal

5.30-8.30pm – Classes from the Conservatoire de Musique de Menton including instrumental and vocal choirs

Jardin Elysée Reclus

7pm-1am – Menton c’est Vous ! Les Obsolètes (pop/rock)

Place Loredan Larchey

8-11pm – Castadiva (international variety)

Salle Saint-Exupéry

9-11pm – Arts Paillettes 2000 (French and international songs and dance)

Esplanade Francis Palmero

5-5.45pm – Samy (French songs)

6-8pm – Con2mine. Breaking Bad band. Ena (French & International songs)

8-10pm – Sourires et Mélodies (French and international songs)

10pm-midnight – New-Feel (French and international songs)

Basilique Saint-Michel

9-11pm Choir performance


Lots happening in Monaco including in La Condamine, Larvotto and a concert by Sinsémilia at the main port at 9pm

Full programme is found here:


8pm-midnight – At Parc du Château and in town there will be bands of various genres – rock, pop rock, heavy metal,  jazz, reggae, folk


For the programme for Mougins concerts see here (in French) :

  • NICE

From 5pm, free music at Théâtre de la Verdure – Promenade des Anglais:

6.30pm: Les Blondes
7.30pm: Benoit de la Lune
8.30pm: Glamory
9.30pm: Miss America
10.30pm No Jazz
Also, various concerts throughout Vieux Nice and central Nice.
From 6pm until midnight, various animations and food outlets (Quartiers)
From 7pm, all kinds of music welcome in centre ville.




7pm – L’Harmonie de St Paul : music from films, jazz, classics at place de la Mairie

From 7pm – At L’espace Verdet, Tchapakan, Pandore Orchestra and PsyKanopé combine various influences such as ska, rock, reggae

8pm onwards – At place Charles de Gaulle, jazz, funk and soul with Alter Ego Quintet and Good Times Foundation


From 8.30pm – At point du vue, you can hear  JDF Combo Blues et Parnaiba play jazz and blues

9pm onwards – At cour Freinet, songs and guitar with Sand and Christian Passaro

Note:  All public carparking is free from 7pm.

There are also dinners with concerts happening at Hostellerie Les Remparts, Restaurant de Mas de Pierre and Le Tilleul (contact each restaurant for more details).


From 6pm at port de la Figueirette

Concert at 6pm , Salle des Fêtes


From 7.30pm at Parvis d’eglise, a ball with DJ


From 5pm – Place de la liberation (music until midnight – kids songs, acoustic band, hip hop, disco, DJs)

From 6pm- Salle polyvalente – La Bigarade – Pont-du-Loup (kids group)



From midday until late for Haut-Sartoux, Garbejaire, Valbonne village you can listen to DJ’s, Big Band music, Latin and jazz.

For concert times and locations see here:


Various town locations with music from 6pm. Full programme is here:


7pm – Parade through the streets

7-8.30pm – Place Felix Poullan (classical music)

9pm – Patio at the Citadelle (choral music)


7pm – Allée de la Plage – Pulp Over (pop rock)

8.30pm – Street Jam (pop folk) at Villeneuve Loubet village

9.30pm – Ava Corsica (Corsican songs) at Marina Baie des Anges

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Nicolas Lavarenne – ‘À ciel ouvert’ – ANTIBES

From 19 June until 18 September 2016, Old Town Antibes (Vieil Antibes) will welcome 19 bronze sculptures from Niçois artist Nicolas Lavarenne.

Lavarenne has exhibited in the region at St Paul de Vence, Château de la Napoule in Mandelieu, Menton and Roure with other works also displayed in New York, L.A and Denmark.


The sculptures will be placed on the remparts, between streets and on the terrace of Prê des Pêcheurs opposite the port in Old Town – many perched on their signature rods.


In addition to the open-air public sculptures, the Galerie des Bains-Douches will also exhibit Lavarenne’s smaller works during the week.


What:  À ciel ouvert by Nicolas Lavarenne

When: 19 June – 18 September 2016, Vieil Antibes (From 1 July to 31 August, the FG FINE ART team will be present daily from 6pm to midnight in the Galerie des Bains-Douches, 27 Boulevard Aguillon, Vieil Antibes. Throughout the duration of the exhibition, the city of Antibes ensures permanence Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to midday and from 1pm to 6pm).

For a free map of the location of the sculptures in Old Town, download this pdf: PLAN_EXPO_ANTIBES_2016

Cannes Film Festival Recap in City Out Monaco — Screenwriting & Film Production

Highlights of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival in City Out Monaco by Rebecca Whitlocke The link is: photos by Paul Oatway of Oatway Photo

via Cannes Film Festival Recap in City Out Monaco — Screenwriting & Film Production

Free ‘Arts in the Street’ Festival : Déantibulations – ANTIBES

The 13th edition of Déantibulations will be held in Antibes from 09-12 June and feature over 30 free public shows that incorporate theatre,  singing, dance, circus acts and music from artists and companies from France and Spain.

Organised by ACLA (Association Culture Loisirs Antibes), this family-friendly annual ‘Arts in the Street’ festival will take place at the Médiatheque, place des Matyrs de la Resistance by the carousel in Antibes Old Town, Esplanade du Pré des Pêcheurs, place Malespine, place Mariejol and the forecourt at Théatre Anthéa.

My suggestions for fun, family-friendly shows at Déantibulations 2016 :

  • La Folle Allure – 10am Friday 10 June at Esplanade du Pré des Pêcheurs
(image: Folle Allure)

(image: Folle Allure)

  • The nutty, kooky and comical Les Frères Jacquard – 7.50pm Friday 10 June at Esplanade du Pré des Pêcheurs
  • Clown show with Teatro Necessario (Clown in Libertá) – 3.05pm Saturday 11 June at Place Malespine
(image: teatro necessario)

(image: teatro necessario)

  • Brazilian percussion street parade with Pangaea – departs 5pm Saturday 11 June from place de Gaulle through Antibes Old Town


  • Aerial show ‘BOAT’ with hors surface Compagnie – 7.20pm Sunday 12 June at Esplanade du Pré des Pêcheurs
(image: hors surface compagnie)

(image: hors surface compagnie)

For the full programme of events (in French language only), head to ACLA’s website here.

Les Voiles d’Antibes 2016

The 21sth edition of the Voiles d’Antibes – Trophée Panerai started yesterday based until 5 June at Port Vauban, Antibes and marks the start of the first Mediterranean stage of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge.

Les Voiles d'Antibes 2016 - Trophée Panerai

Les Voiles d’Antibes 2016 – Trophée Panerai

Why attend Les Voiles d’Antibes

The event has some magnificent classic yachts berthed in the port and racing the length of the coastline including yachts built pre-1950.

As well as the yacht racing a small village is set up at Bastion Saint Jaume with stands from Yacht Clubs, Selliers, Sailmakers, Photographers and yachting-related businesses.

In the evenings, the Village zone is a great place to enjoy free live music and buy a drink at one of the pop up bars.  The Friday night of Les Voiles d’Antibes is known as one of the best nights out in Antibes – I’ll be heading along to see Riff Tonic and Al and the boys from Blah Blah on Friday night so may see you there!

Les Voiles d’Antibes is free entry and a nice family-friendly event to admire some truly beautiful yachts (though I will add that in the evenings, after 8.30pm the crowd at the Village is large so bear this in mind if you have smaller kids to watch).

For a map of the event location, see below:

Les Voiles d'Antibes

Les Voiles d’Antibes


For a programme schedule, visit the official Les Voiles d’Antibes website (in French only).


The car parks shown on the map above are usually very busy, especially the underground parking at Pré aux Pêcheurs opposite the port.  It’s crucial you check exit times for carparks to avoid lock-ins!   Alternative secure underground pay carparks not shown on this map are at Parking Poirier on boulevard Dugommier, or Parking avenue Frères Olivier click here for details of carparks in Antibes.

If you’re arriving by bus or train, it’s important to note that public transport after 9pm is quite limited and unfortunately there have been many strikes lately.  Check timetables for local buses at or for train times and information regarding strikes.  Taxis can be found outside the Antibes train station.


(image: Still Drone)

(image: Still Drone)

Great aerial photo here of the Voiles yachts last year berthed with the IYCA superyachts too.  This is the view looking toward Fort Carré.

The quays at Antibes Port and the entire Village site are on flat ground and accessible for families with baby strollers and persons with reduced mobility.  In this photo above, the brown area on the middle of the right is the bar zone (evening party zone!) and it should be noted this has one step up to the bar areas as it is temporary decking.

The onsite toilets are shown in the photo above as the rectangular building in the bottom middle right – these toilets are in trailers accessed by stairs only, therefore the closest accessible ground level toilets are on the quay near plage Gravette or at Café Felix by the first archway to the port and Antibes Old Town.