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Four Fantastic Nights in Antibes France with Kids

April 9, 2018

In summer of 2015 we spent four magical, relaxing days on the French Riviera. Our base was Antibes, a small resort town I had stayed in back in 1997. We found Antibes a refreshing stop mid-way through our two-week trip to Italy and France. (You can read about our whole two-week trip to Italy and France here.)

Lodging

While many people wing it when it comes to their lodging reservations, we decided not to roll the dice, knowing we needed to find lodging for five of us, three of whom are children. Our experience has been that hotel rooms in Europe are pretty small, and with five of us, one of whom was a teenager and only child, we were going to need more space. We also like the option of being able to do laundry while traveling, so we can pack lighter, and a kitchen so that not all of our meals were in restaurants. As a result we ended up getting a rental apartment in Antibes.

In Antibes we had a very cozy but charming apartment on a side street not far off the main shopping area. It was really convenient to everything in town there. The air conditioning didn’t work all that well, but we survived. We booked this apartment through VRBO, which is our usual vacation rental source.

The kids befriended a neighborhood kitty who was always hanging around. They named her Antibes.

Transportation

We took the train to Antibes from Florence, as we did not have a car. While in the French Riviera we relied on trains and one bus (later in this post), but Antibes is a small enough town that it is easy to navigate on foot.

 

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Four Nights in Antibes, France

From Florence we took a train to Antibes, France, a small resort-y town on the French Riviera. After the hustle and bustle of Florence, the laid-back speed of Antibes was a refreshing change of pace.

Water and Beach Time

The kids were quickly drawn to the water and beaches. To be clear, this is really not a beach destination. There is nothing spectacular about them, but obviously kids don’t view it that way. A beach is a beach.

Our son became a pro rock skipper on this trip.

 

Picasso’s Works

My niece and I enjoyed the Picasso Museum in Antibes. Picasso spent a few months at this very site on the water working on his craft, and he donated quite a few pieces from his time there from post-WWII through the 1940’s. This building was (and currently still is) under renovation when we were there, so we could not see everything, but they charged a very reasonable entrance fee (3 Euros, I believe) as a result. This is my kind of art museum…focusing in on one artist. You cannot take pictures in the gallery, but we both enjoyed the art on the terrace and the views of the Riviera.

 

Zip Line and Ropes Course Adventure

On our third full day in Antibes we ventured to Villeneuve-Loubet to find Canyon Forest, a ropes course and zip line on the edge of town. True confessions: on the way to Canyon Forest we were too chicken to try to navigate the bus system in French, so we walked what felt like an eternity to get there. (I’m happy to report that we rectified that on the way back to the train station. We were kicking ourselves afterward for how easy it was!)

Canyon Forest was primarily a ropes course with a long zip line at the end, which was fun. It was all of our first time doing a zip line, and we loved it! You can find our review of the course here.

 

We had hoped to do a side trip to Monaco on our last day in Antibes. However, on that day there was a railroad strike, so services were extremely limited, and it would have been a huge hassle to get there in any kind of a timely fashion. We sadly had to abandon that plan, but the upside was a relaxing final day in Antibes filled with shopping, wandering the beaches, and relaxing.

 

Takeaways:

  • The train ticket machines in Antibes are only in French. Also, the ones we encountered in that area had a weird knob technology. I was lucky to have someone who spoke English see me struggling and help me out.
  • Antibes is a lovely, laid-back destination. If you need a lower-key stop on your trip, this one is great.
  • Our niece was brave enough to try escargot on the trip. (I had tried it on a prior trip.) But we also ended up having burgers on the trip to curb withdrawal symptoms for a few of our pickier eaters. Do what you need to do on an international trip. Not every meal needs to be an adventurous meal.
  • If you are taking a teenager on the trip, do everything you can to ensure they have some space to themselves. That worked pretty well for us (though I should ask her how she felt about it).
  • We have officially created international travel addicts! Our kids can’t wait to travel abroad again.

 

If you found this post useful, check out World is Wide’s other destination posts:

http://worldiswide.com/destinations/

 

14 Comments

  • Reply
    Nives
    April 13, 2018 at 6:41 am

    Wow. I like the cat, I need to notice. And I love to read about other destinations – Antibes seems like one of them – completely different! I didn’t know that there is a Picasso museum, thanks for the information! And I like your transportation choice – train. My favourite one! And I’m glad it worked well with teenager πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Kristie
      April 13, 2018 at 7:05 am

      Thanks! Antibes doesn’t get as much attention as Nice, Cannes, or Monaco, but that’s why we liked it. πŸ™‚ And the Picasso museum is really a gem. Definitely worth seeing, and I don’t tend to like art museums that much.

  • Reply
    amit
    April 13, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    I’m quite surprised to see so many cool outdoor activities I wouldn’t have guessed that for the french Riviera. I would at some point love to do a trip down there myself and taken on board the tip about ticket machines only being in French, and so glad you’ve made new travel addicts πŸ˜€

    • Reply
      Kristie
      April 13, 2018 at 4:33 pm

      I hope you get there and enjoy it as much as we did. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Medha Verma
    April 14, 2018 at 3:25 am

    haven’t read much about Antibes except that it’s in the French Riviera but its good to know that it’s not much of a beach destination, even though it has beaches. I can totally imagine that for the kids, a beach is a beach! I do like the idea of going ziplining though! And the Picasso museum sounds pretty interesting too!

    • Reply
      Kristie
      April 14, 2018 at 6:21 am

      Yes, it’s a smaller Riviera destination, which is why we like it!

  • Reply
    Followingtherivera
    April 14, 2018 at 6:12 am

    Ha, yes, make sure to give the teenager plenty of alone time! I’ve not been to Antibes, but it looks like there’s plenty to do there. I never knew about the beaches either, but now I do!

    • Reply
      Kristie
      April 14, 2018 at 6:22 am

      The beaches are fine, and they are popular, but they are not (in my opinion) on par with other beach destinations. But people should still go. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Suman Doogar
    April 15, 2018 at 4:48 am

    Didn’t know about this place, going to google about it to know more. The zip line and rope activities look very adventurous.

    • Reply
      Kristie
      April 15, 2018 at 8:28 am

      Antibes is a smaller destination on the French Riviera, which is what we liked about it. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Jas
    April 15, 2018 at 11:10 pm

    I studied abroad in France during uni and can’t believe I never got to visit Antibes. The rental apartment sounds great and I think the beach is beautiful! Maybe I’m still a kid at heart too hahaa.

    • Reply
      Kristie
      April 16, 2018 at 6:40 am

      The beaches aren’t bad. I just think in the grand scheme of beaches they aren’t as stunning. But hey, a beach is a beach! Enjoy! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Geemiz Contrarian Traveler
    April 17, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Looks like the kids are having so much fun and Antibes, France is a perfect place to travel with kids. It is also my first time to hear about the place so I have to look it up and oh how lovely is this place. Also, I love rope course πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Kristie
      April 17, 2018 at 1:56 pm

      It’s a smaller town on the Riviera, which is what we liked about it. πŸ™‚ I think you’d enjoy it!

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