What’s On: French Riviera 17 – 18 September

The beauty about living in this region is that festivals and events aren’t limited to peak seasons or summertime.  You can find something to do year round!

This coming weekend 17 – 18 September there’s no shortage of things to do now la rentrée has well and truly passed:

– European Heritage Days (Journées Européennes du Patrimoine) is an annual weekend whereby monuments, gardens, museums, art galleries and other sites of cultural or historical significance open their doors to the public for free; many with guided tours though click on the links below to check if pre-reservation is necessary.  Some of the participating locations this weekend are:

Musée Picasso, Villa Eilenroc, Musée Archéologie, Fort Carré in Antibes and a pottery market all weekend at Esplanade Pré des Pêcheurs

Fort Carré, Antibes

Fort Carré, Antibes

Musée National Fernand Léger in Biot

Musée Renoir, Château Musée Grimaldi plus a 1900’s picnic at Domaine Renoir  in Cagnes sur Mer

A 1900's-themed picnic will be held at Domaine Renoir (image cotemagazine)

A 1900’s-themed picnic will be held at Domaine Renoir (image cotemagazine)

Guided tours of the Film Festival auditorium Palais des Festivals in Cannes

Guided visit of amphitheatre Jean Cocteau at Cap d’Ail

amphitheatre Jean Cocteau

amphitheatre Jean Cocteau

Mini trips on the ‘pointus’ fishing boats on the Cap d’Antibes at Port l’Olivette

Guided visits of the village and Jardin Exotique in Eze

Jardin Exotique in Eze

Jardin Exotique in Eze

Musée Bonnard in Le Cannet

Musée d’Art Classique de Mougins in Mougins village

Mougins Museum of Classical Art

Mougins Museum of Classical Art

Muséé National du Sport and Palais des Rois Sardes in Nice

Château de Roquebrune at Roquebrune Cap Martin

Château de Roquebrune (image: laurentetsandra.free.fr)

Château de Roquebrune (image: laurentetsandra.free.fr)

Guided tour of the village and oil mill at Saint Blaise

The 3 museums in Tourrette Levens

(image: tourrette-levens.fr)

(image: tourrette-levens.fr)

Musée Magnelli in Vallauris

The museums at the Citadelle in Villefranche sur Mer

Musée Volti (image: aamv.fr)

Musée Volti (image: aamv.fr)

Auguste Escoffier tour in Villeneuve Loubet

MORE INFO about the European Heritage Days can be found here:  www.journeesdupatrimoine.fr

– Les Régates Royales begins on Sunday 18 September and features the largest and best known classic yachts who will race in the bay of Cannes and La Napoule.  Visit their website here for more info:  http://www.regatesroyales.com/en/   Alongside the race, Port Pierre Canto is hosting a free festival ‘Cannes fête le Port Canto’ from 10am to 6pm on Sunday 18 September with stands, workshops and an orchestra performance.

Les Regates Royales de Cannes (Image: Alexis Courcoux)

Les Regates Royales de Cannes (Image: Alexis Courcoux)

– Mougins presents another weekend of their Apéros Food nights that have been held every Friday and Saturday throughout July, August and September.  On Friday 16th and Saturday 17th September you can head to Place des Patriotes between 6pm and 10pm for a Vietnamese food truck and concert from BlAst (pop, rock, disco, funk).

Apéros Food is every Friday and Saturday night in Mougins

Apéros Food is every Friday and Saturday night in Mougins

– The 25th Festival d’Art Sacré begins Friday 16 September and runs until Sunday 25 September in Antibes.  The festival features chamber music, choirs and orchestral music at the Antibes Cathedral, Chapelle Saint-Bernandin and N0tre-Dame de la Garoupe.

– This weekend is your last chance to see the Nicolas Lavarenne sculpture exhibition in Antibes.  It has been great to see these fantastic sculptures placed around Antibes old town and the town remparts, try to get along to see them.


– The Theâtre de la Photographie in Nice has one remaining week until the finish of the exhibition ‘Un monde flottante’ featuring around 200 photos from French photographer Jacques Henri Lartigue.  Well known for his black and white images of race cars, aviation and the Belle Époque the exhibition has never been shown in France before.

Renee, Biarritz, in August 1930 (Photo: JH Lartigue © Ministry of Culture - France / AAJHL)

Renee, Biarritz, in August 1930 (Photo: JH Lartigue © Ministry of Culture – France / AAJHL)

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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

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
(image:  christophemely.com)

(image: christophemely.com)

  • 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.

Free kids sports day – Sat 5 Sept – ANTIBES

This coming weekend on Saturday 5 September is the return of the yearly Fête Jeunesse Sport in Antibes, a great day of discovery for kids of various sports available individually or as teams in the Antibes-Juan les Pins district.

Fête Jeunesse Sport, Antibes

Fête Jeunesse Sport, Antibes

The day offers a chance for kids to test sports and determine if they are keen to continue for a season.

There will be a number of free activities such as accrobranche, pony rides, bouncy castles, and abseiling.  Other businesses that represent dance, choirs, music and theatre will also attend to inform families of their programs.

Local sports clubs and associations will be on hand to provide advice for:

  • Archery
  • Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Boxing
  • Diving
  • Football
  • Gymnastics
  • Hiking
  • Hockey
  • Martial arts
  • Pétanque
  • Roller skating
  • Rugby
  • Sailing
  • Scouts
  • Squash
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Trampolining
  • Triathlon
  • Volleyball
  • Water skiing
  • Yoga

What: Fête Jeunesse Sport

When:  Saturday 5 September from 10am-6pm

Where: Fort Carré, Antibes

FREE entry





Smartphone apps for history & monuments in Antibes

If you visit the town of Antibes, there are a few smartphone applications that you can download that can help you to find and learn about local historical monuments in the Antibes area.

1.   Antibes offered by the Mairie of Antibes Juan les Pins, is a free Android app (you must have version 4.4 and up) where you can learn about local statues and historical places via text, video and images.

It is available in English language, and runs from Bluetooth so you’ll receive a notification when you are close to a monument so you can decide whether you want to receive the information (you can disable notifications too).

Notable monuments included in the app are Fort Carré, Jaume Plensa’s ‘Nomade’ statue at the Antibes port, and the War Memorial Soldier at Fort Carré (Le Poilu).

Antibes Android app (image: Googleplay)

Antibes Android app (image: Googleplay)

2.  Antibes Monument Tracker is available in French, English, German, Spanish and Italian on both iPhone or Android.

With the help of geo-locating and maps you can learn about the history of over 100 monuments and sites of cultural interest in Antibes.  There is the ability to share your discoveries on social media (Twitter, Facebook) via the app.

iPhone:  Download on the iTunes store for €0,99 (Requires version 6.0)

Android: Download on Google Play for €0,99 (Requires version 2.2 of Android and up).

Monument Tracker also offer other French Riviera destinations via their apps including Cannes, Grasse, Côte d’Azur.  Other UK/European destinations include Paris, London, Dublin, Berlin, Rome, Florence, Madrid, and Barcelona. Global cities include New York, San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro, Istanbul and Peking.

Antibes Monument Tracker - Android app (image: Monument Tracker)

Antibes Monument Tracker – Android app (image: Monument Tracker)

I hope these smartphone apps allow you to explore and learn about Antibes.

Panoramic views at Napoleon’s prison in Antibes

The history of Fort Carré

Antibes was founded by the Greeks and settled by the Romans and was known as the town of Antipolis.

In the 14th century, Savoy’s possession of the town was contended by France until it fell to them in 1481, after which Fort Carré was built and the port, today one of the busiest on the Mediterranean coast, was fortified by Vauban.

The Fort is star-shaped, with entry via a small bridge and heavy wooden door.  Inside, are barracks for officers and a chapel, cantine and kitchen quarters.  The remparts are 43 metres high, and allow 360 degree views across to Nice, Antibes and the Cap d’Antibes.

The Fort is surrounded by 4 hectares of forest with typical Mediterranean shrubs and trees. There is also a pleasant walkway that follows the perimeter of the Fort from Antibes port back to the main road (duration approximately 15-20 minutes).

Did you know? During the French Revolution, Napoleon Bonaparte was imprisoned here for 10 days.  I doubt he was entitled to enjoy the sea views, he was more likely to have been made to sit starving while the smells of the Fort kitchen wafted next to his prison cell as was so common for French fortresses in those days.

It is interesting to note that Fort Carré was never conquered.

Fort Carré, Antibes

Fort Carré, Antibes

When can you visit?

Visits to the Fort are in guided groups only that depart every 30 minutes. The guided tour is included in the entry fee, and is in French however there are printed leaflets with tourist information in English, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese and Russian.

In July and August: Open Tuesday to Sunday, 11am – 6pm

Other months: Open Tuesday to Friday: 12:30pm – 4:00pm and Saturday and most Sundays: 10am to 4:00pm
Last tour begins at 3:30pm.

Closed on public holidays: 1st January, 1st May, 1st November and 25th December.

Double check all opening times on www.antibes-juanlespins.com

How do you get there?

The Fort is located on the edge of Antibes port (Port Vauban), and is just 10 minutes easy stroll from Antibes train station.  If you are driving, free public carparks are located on avenue du 11 novembre across from the athletics fields.  Note: There is a gravel driveway beside the amphitheatre that leads to the Fort entrance and then you must walk 300 metres through the surrounding parkland across rocky ground.

The pathway for entrance to Fort Carré is beside the amphitheatre on the Nice side of the Fort

The pathway for entrance to Fort Carré is beside the amphitheatre on the Nice side of the Fort

What is the entrance fee?

– €3 per adult

– €1,50 for students/persons  65+ years and upwards/teachers (must all provide I.D)

– Free entry for children under 18 years, persons of disability and their accompanying companion, war veterans, journalists, students of art and archaeology.  Unaccompanied children are not allowed to enter the Fort.

There is free entry for everyone on the annual weekends of Journées du Patrimoine (European Heritage Days).

Fort Carré, Antibes

Fort Carré, Antibes

Miscellaneous information

  • The Fort is not particularly accessible for persons with restricted mobility as there are steep stairs of uneven surface inside the Fort, and the grounds around the Fort are very rocky.
  • Baby strollers would also pose some difficulty due to the terrain.
  • There is a free public toilet near the entrance to the Fort.
  • No food facilities are here.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather – take a sunhat and water for hot weather as the remparts at the top of the Fort are very exposed.

I hope you find this blog post helpful if you are planning to visit Antibes or Fort Carré. Bon voyage!



Activities – ANTIBES (Theâtre show, 6 and 7 June 2014)

The magic of the internet and social media bought my attention to an overseas blog the other day educatingcambodia.com and the fantastic work done fundraising for schools and a health clinic in Cambodia.

I have a huge interest in charities affecting children, and this blog resonated with me as a very important cause and a great belief in my eyes that children receive education if possible and a chance at opportunities in life.

How does this link to my own blog here on the French Riviera?  One of their Cambodian schools has been christened as ‘Antibes School’, a lovely gesture in consideration of the hard work and fundraising from local people in this region, including efforts from Hilary King who is based on the Cap d’Antibes.

Hilary King previously directed the Red Pear Théâtre in Antibes, and now produces professional musical and theatrical productions in English in support of the Cambodian cause.

This coming week on two nights – 6 and 7 June – Hilary will be hosting a World  Premiere cabaret at La Timonerie, when National Treasure, Anne Reid returns to the Riviera to give the very first performances of her brand new cabaret “Love Bytes.” 

Anne is one of Britain’s most-loved and respected actors, star of the very popular Last Tango in Halifax, Ladies of Letters, Dinnerladies and Coronation Street.

Ever since she was memorably electrocuted by a hair dryer in the early days of Corrie, Anne has been a familiar figure to audiences everywhere in her many roles on television, stage and screen.  In 2004 she received accolades and acclaim for her starring role in the film The Mother, as a woman who has an affair with her daughter’s boyfriend, played by Daniel Craig.

Her cabaret career started right here in Antibes in July 2012.  That first show, performed with her award-winning musical director Stuart Hutchinson, went from La Timonerie to the West End where she garnered rave reviews in the national press. 
Never was “book now to avoid disappointment” more sincerely meant! Anne’s unique talents, humour and warmth make for an unforgettable evening of pure cabaret joy.
Please note the show is at La Timonerie and NOT (for technical reasons) at Théâtre Antibea as previously stated. La Timonerie has a ground-floor toilet for show patrons, and any persons with reduced mobility must advise in advance to allow for seating arrangements.
What: Cabaret theatre show ‘Love Bytes’ starring Anne Reid
Where:  La Timonerie, 250 avenue Malespine, 06160 Cap d’Antibes.  Note: Off boulevard du Cap on the corner of avenue Malespine is an estate agent called Kapnist.
Time:  Show commences at 8pm.  All attendees welcomed from 7.40pm onwards. The show is preceded by a short introduction about what they have helped achieve in Cambodia, then Annie’s cabaret is around 1hour 30minutes with a 15 minute intermission for complimentary refreshments.
Cost: Donations of 25 euros (cash please) include complimentary wine and canapés at intermission. All donations go, as always, directly to the schools’ project in Cambodia.
Seating:  There will be a limit for seating, so book now to avoid disappointment.  Contact Hilary King directly to reserve your seats, via French number 06 63 63 19 01
Transport:  La Timonerie is easily accessed via car from nearby Antibes or Juan les Pins. There is carparking on the street outside the venue.  There is no train station nearby.  Alternatively, refer below:
  • Buses:  Number 2 bus with Envibus departs Antibes Gare Routière at 7.10pm. Current timetable is here  ligne002_oct13reed_web Get off at a stop on boulevard du Cap after Jardin Thuret.  You will need to find return transport after the show as these buses do not run late in the evening.
  • Taxis:  You can contact Allo Taxis on local French number 04 93 65 33 87, or why not combine the cabaret show with a sightseeing tour beforehand? – prebook your Tuk Tuk tour with TukTukAzur via www.tuktukazur.com

For more information and to support Educating Cambodia:

Website: www.educatingcambodia

Twitter: @educambodia

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/educatingcambodia


General information – ANTIBES Tourist Office / JUAN LES PINS Tourist Office

Due to the renovation of the façade of the Grand Hotel building that housed the main Antibes Office de Tourisme, the office is now in a new location.

Grand Hotel Antibes at place de Gaulle that previously housed the Office de Tourisme (image: Wikimedia)

Grand Hotel Antibes at place de Gaulle that previously housed the Office de Tourisme (image: Wikimedia)

Previously, you could find the Office de Tourisme here at street-level at place de Gaulle, current from May 2014 it is now located at 42 avenue Robert Soleau (nearer to the train station).

The opening hours are:

September to June

Monday to Friday 9am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-6pm

Saturday 9am-12pm and 2pm-6pm

Sunday 9am-1pm

July and August

Open every day from 9am-7pm

There is also a satellite Tourist Office in Antibes Old Town at 32 boulevard d’Aguillon.

In Juan les Pins, the only Tourist Office used to be on the seafront (boulevard Charles Guillamont). From the last quarter of 2013, this office has moved and is now situated in the Palais des Congrès centre, 60 chemin des Sables, 06160 Juan les Pins.

All Tourist Offices are accessible for persons with reduced mobility.

They have local maps, transport timetables, flyers of sightseeing tours and offer advice on transportation and attractions.

Their official website is www.antibesjuanlespins.com