Its address book includes the names of Russian billionaires and oligarchs, European royalty, and Hollywood celebrities, but if you look past the glamour and classic cars, you’ll discover a whole new side to the beautiful Cap d’Antibes.
Since the glamour boom in the south of France just over a century ago, Cap d’Antibes has established itself as a haven for the rich and famous, making it similar in many ways similar to Cap Ferrat, the stunning peninsular found midway between Nice and Monaco. High society events, luxurious homes, and sprawling estates are all part of the make-up of the modern day Cap d’Antibes, but it doesn’t take much to turn the clock back and re-discover the pure and natural history of this picturesque presqu’île.
The sun is shining and I’m in short sleeves. It might not be a day for the beach (it is only February after all), but it’s the perfect day for a walk around the Cap d’Antibes headland. I’ve always wanted to walk the Cap, but kept getting distracted by the little coves and bays I passed on my way to Plage de la Garoupe, the starting place of the Tour de Cap, in the summertime. With cooler temperatures on my side, I finally gave it a go over the weekend.
The signs say that the full coastal walk takes just less than two hours to complete, but, inspired by former Cap d’Antibes resident and Around the World in 80 Days author Jules Verne, I managed it in just under an hour and a half. I guess that with not too many people about and the thought of a rosé at the end of my walk, I powered on.
From the private beach just off Boulevard de la Garoupe, the pathway peels off to the right and winds around coastline before opening up onto a small bit of headland. From there, the walk is pretty tight and I’d definitely advise a decent pair of shoes – flipflops in the summer or heeled boots in the winter just won’t cut it.
Cut into the rock is a narrow path, with small staircases and plateaux as you travel along. The views truly are exceptional and it is easy to see why this part of the Mediterranean continues to be such a draw for tourists of all budgets. Steer drops into glass-like water, rocky outcrops, salt on the air and silence apart from the sea: it must be up there with some of the best trails in the south of France.
I let the dog off her lead to rummage in the thicket and cool off in the rock pools, tempted to do the same.
Depending on your stamina, the Tour de Cap can be taken as fast or as slow as you like and in can be breathtaking in more ways than one if you try and get round too quickly. I’d recommend getting the Ligne 2 Eden Roc bus from Antibes town centre or driving in if you can as the walk to get to Plage de la Garoupe alone can take up to an hour.
Next time the sun is shining on a winter weekend, this is a lovely destination and the ideal opportunity to get outside. Fresh air and all that..!