At the Côte d’Azur: Antibes – Domaine du Rayol – L’Esterel

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Welcome to a new blogpost!
Although a little late, I decided to still show you 3 more places we visited during our family vacation at the Côte d’Azur. Prepare yourselves for some major wanderlust (:

Antibes

When we visited Antibes, it was pouring all day long. That was not so terrible, however, as we had planned on visiting one of Antibes’ must-sees: the Musée Picasso, located in the Château Grimaldi.

One thing that made the exhibition very immediate and touching was the fact that Picasso painted most of the exhibited pictures in this very building. Apparently, some of them are painted on old canvases that he found in the cellar.
Picasso spent a considerable time of his life at Antibes, being inspired by the Mediterranean culture and the picturesque town itself. I saw this reflected in the themes of his works that included fish and sailors as well as in the colour spectrum he used: bright and fresh with a lot of ocean-tones.

After the museum, we strolled through Antibes, although my feet were completely drenched after only five minutes. One of the highlights of Antibes is its covered market hall and the old town streets are also very beautiful – we could enjoy them a bit more when we came back the next day and the weather was sunny and warm again 😉 .

Insider Tips: If you go by car, DON’T park in the parking area at the port – it was the most expensive parking we ever used :’D

A really pretty French coffee shop: the Café Clemencau. Also, if you want to enjoy some macarons, visit the Atelier Jean Luc Pelé – not expensive and very delicious!

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Domaine du Rayol

A botanical garden with a unique concept: visitors receive a brochure when they enter the garden with information on how the grounds are organised and what tours one can take. The garden itself is not plastered with description signs, as many other gardens are, because the goal was to preserve an undisturbed landscape. Instead, the gardeners and staff of the garden are supposed to be able to answer the visitors’ questions.

The brochure was so well made, however, that we did not even have to ask anything. We could just enjoy the manifold landscapes that the garden contained. There were tropical and Mediterranean areas, structural elements such as arcades and stairways, and beautiful viewpoints. The Domaine du Rayol also has access to a small private beach where they offer underwater wildlife tours.

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L’Esterel

The red rocks that dominate the hinterland of the Côte d’Azur were the first thing that struck us when we arrived in the area. In order to explore this magnificent landscape, we drove to one part of the mountain massif called L’Esterel where a lot of hiking routes are available (click this link for a lot of information about the massif and an impressive video that gives you a feel for its beauty).

Our hike took no more than two hours and we saw a variety of different sceneries on the way: from the famous red rocks and old cork oaks to beautiful green pine forests and even a lake with water lilies. I personally love to be surprised by something new and unexpected after every bend of the path, and this is exactly what made this hike so fascinating.

Insider Tip: To get to the part of the Massif de l’Esterel that we explored, we drove from Saint-Rapahël into the hinterland and parked the car at the “Col de Belle Barbe”. As this is a popular hiking area, the paths are well labelled and there are enough parking possibilities.

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I hope you liked the second part of my Côte d’Azur highlights (: If you enjoyed the post, leave me a like or a comment below! (:

Also: what are your favourite places in the South of France? I am looking forward to reading your recommendations!

Take care and see you soon

XX

Screenshot at Sep 28 22-50-00

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