My husband and I will be staying in Antibes for a week in early August and will have a car. We are interested in suggestions for day trips. It seems that there is so much to do and see. We particularly want to be sure to see the countryside, the Roman ruins, and art museums. Since it is our first time in this part of France, we would love suggestions for places to visit that would make sense from Antibes. We very much want to see the countryside and places that are less touristy and more typical. From my guide books, it looks like Nimes, The Carmargue, Arles, and St. Remy might be ideas. But, I'd love suggestions.
Frejus, which is on the same train line as Antibes, has Roman ruins. Since Antibes is so close to Nice, that is definitely worth visiting even if it is touristy.
I don't understand what Lee (above) means by calling Nice, "touristy." It's a vibrant real city, which happens to have some quite good tourist attractions, like the Matisse and Chagall museums. There are some Roman ruins, as well. The area bordering the historic center has been redeveloped into an enormously attractive open space, with walking and cycling paths, playgrounds, fountains, and sculptures. We were there last month and found it very appealing; however, the places you named are all quite wonderful, as well.
Rosalyn: I really love Nice but I got the impression from sindy that she wanted to explore less visited places, which is why I said Nice was touristy.
thanks for your responses. They are very helpful. We will have a car. In addition to Nice, I am trying to figure out what the beautiful small towns are that can be reached for a day trip from Antibes.
I thought Lee said Antibes, not Nice, was touristy?
Kent, no I didn't say Antibes was touristy.
sindy: Other towns you might like to visit are Grasse, Vence and Saint-Paul de Vence.
With a car, would be a shame to miss the jaw-dropping views from the Corniche looking down on the Côte d'Azur. Eze-le-Village (not Eze-Bord-de-Mer, on the coast) is one of the best views, it is about 1,500 feet up and northeast of Nice, on the Middle level of the Corniche. Absolutely jaw-dropping views if you get up on the Corniche looking down on the Côte d'Azur.
If you're looking at Rick Steves books, be sure you have his Provence And The French Riviera. His general France book has MUCH less information about this region.
In addition to Eze (on the Middle Corniche), be sure to go to La Turbie (on the High Corniche). The Roman Trophée des Alpes is there, and the views down to Monaco and the Mediterranean are great. The drives on the Corniches themselves are also extremely scenic (rent Hitchcock's To Catch A Thief for a preview).
The Fondation Maeght just St. Paul de Vence is a fascinating art museum. And very close to Antibes, I really liked Juan les Pins.
The places you listed (Arles, Nimes, Camargue, St. Remy) are a 2 hours or more drive from Antibes, each way, just so you're prepared. I went to Nimes and Arles and found both very worthwhile, but you may want to focus on closer destinations.
Thank you Harold. Do you think we should spend a night or 2 in the Arles area. Our original thought was that it would be great to be on the beach for a bit of relaxation each day and take day trips into the country. Now, I'm thinking that we might miss so much if we are only in one part of the South of France.
Now you're getting to the part where you can't do everything you dream of in one week. If you spend a week day-tripping around and inland from the coast, I don't think you'll be bored. But if you're going to drive to the St. Remy area, I'd rather spend two or three nights to see more of what's there.
I agree with Laura. And the wording in my post was carefully chosen. I am not saying you can't see Arles, Nimes, etc., from Antibes; I just wanted you to be prepared for the driving times. If you don't want to spend that much time driving, you can either see places closer to Antibes (there's no shortage of these) or spend some overnights further west in Provence (with a car, a small town makes a better base than Arles).