Cap d’Antibes Walk, Côte d’Azur, France

Romance on Cap d'Antibes in February. Opposite is the Alpes-Maritimes.

Romance on a Cap d’Antibes walk in February. Opposite is Cagnes-sur-Mer, St Laurent-du-Var and Nice, backed by the Alpes-Maritimes.

A brilliant, circular Cap d’Antibes walk

Plage de la Garoupe, Cap d'Antibes, Cote d'Azur, France

Plage de la Garoupe, Cap d’Antibes in autumn, with the pleasant and surprisingly inexpensive cafe Le Rocher. Book it if you want lunch there!

If you’re travelling from outside Antibes the trickiest part of this walk is getting to the normal launch pad, Plage de la Garoupe.

If travelling by car it’s best to avoid Juans-les-Pins as that overbuilt, overcrowded town gets very stuffed in anything outside winter. Approaching via Antibes’ Plage de la Salis is the easiest route and the car park beside Garoupe beach is huge.

Alternatively there’s a good value bus from Antibes (called Envibus) that costs just 1 euro to board. It runs from Antibes bus station (Gare Routière Antibes) to Eden Roc hotel about every half hour except Sundays when it may appear every 2/3 hours if you’re lucky.
Get off at Fontaine stop, shortly before the Eden Roc hotel. Walk back and fork right to get to Plage de la Garoupe or go on a few metres and fork left to reach Villa EilenRoc Museum and the dark, narrow path that heads down beside EilenRoc gates (that always seem to be closed! ).

Alternatively hire a bike in Antibes or Juans-les-Pins and cycle to Garoupe easily. It’s very flat and French drivers are well used to giving cyclists lots of space, it’s in their blood to respect bikes.

Plage de la Garoupe, Cap d'Antibes in winter, France

Plage de la Garoupe, Cap d’Antibes in winter, sand piled up out of wave-grab reach.

One can whinge about French efficiency in some areas but organisation of sentiers (paths/trails) is not one of them. The network of marked and maintained hiking trails throughout the country is superb and this one or two hour walk is a good example.

Villa EilenRoc and an alternative start to the Cap d'Antibes walk, France

Villa EilenRoc and an alternative start to the Cap walk, heading right. This is also the end of the coastal walk, though travelers will still need to cross the Cap via roads to reach Plage de la Garoupe and their transport. The Fontaine bus stop is nearere than Garoupe.

The walk is not all flat but the elevation changes by little more than 30 metres, safety rails are in place where waves might drag away hikers (very rare outside winter) and the usual yellow splashes mark the route though hardly necessary considering that the alternatives are climbing a wall or plunging into the sea.
Apart from Plage de la Garoupe at the start of the path there are no beaches, cafés and almost no shade on the way.

Cap d'Antibes walk directions, Cote d'Azur, France

Signs are usefully presented.

After a stormy winter in 2014 quite a few sections of the sentier were trashed by waves though the 3. 2km route was/is still quite easy to negotiate. We are confident that authorities will replace the vanished concrete paths. Eventually.

Cap d'Antibes walk directions, Cote d'Azur, France

The trail goes wiggly around the centre.

Cap d'Antibes path walkers, Cote d'Azur, France

There will be other walkers on the path, some coming in the other direction, either simply travelling in the opposite direction or having walked from EilenRoc Villa. A scuba diver is in the water (and it’s still February! ).

Cap d'Antibes coastal path, south facing view, Cote d'Azur, France

The Cap walk’s best part ends at the towering walls of Russian-owned Château de la Croë and heads inland between the Château and the government-owned Villa Eilenroc. If it’s not July or August a free visit to the villa and its magnificent gardens is a possible diversion tho we’ve never seen it open.

A view towards Eden Roc Hotel from the Cap d'Antibes coastal path, France

A view towards Eden Roc Hotel from the Cap d’Antibes coastal path

Villa Eilenroc (not to be confused with the hotel!) is a fine neoclassic building, constructed in the nineteenth century.
It’s is open to the public Wednesday mornings and afternoons while the great Mediterranean gardens are available to the public Tuesdays and Wednesdays all day. But. . . it’s all closed July and August for Antibes Music Festival concerts.

Some Cap d’Antibes trail walkers choose to park near the villa, visit it, then walk the trail in the opposite direction, walking between the villa and the Russian-owned (some say Roman Abramovitch) Château de la Croë, once favoured by Garbo and Onassis, down to the Cap shore.

A rocky bathing point on the Cap d' Antibes trail, Cote d'Azur, France

You could take a dip here, or have a picnic like the family in the centre, or about 15 mins of easy, reasonably quiet road walking gets you back to Plage de la Garoupe for a meal or swim.