The main place in the Mediterranean for budding new yacht crew to flee and pursue their yachting career. Antibes is a lovely, little and rather quaint French town that has a defiant English community.
Most shop owners and restaurants will speak English and, for yacht crew, it becomes a home away from home. You can pop into Geoffrey’s and buy all your English produce or head off to the local pub and be certain that you will know half of the people there, and that’s in low season.
It’s the South of France, expensive, and if looking for a job you will have to be motivated enough not to get wrapped up in the heavy social scene and everyday partying, which can be an easy trap and dangerous money burner. If you’re there on holiday, however, then throw yourself in to that scene! I love Antibes for its little shops, fun night-life and beautiful runs.
Le Collier www.lecollier-hotelrestaurant.com
A nice, clean and budget priced hotel very close to the train station. A good option as a place to stay if heading to Antibes for the weekend if your boat is based out of Antibes.
The Royal Hotel www.hotelroyal-antibes.com
One of my favourite hotels in Antibes! Given that it’s 4*’s and has a lovely adjoining beach and guest spa the price is very reasonable. It gets booked up in peak season quickly though, so book ahead.
Antibes is great fun to explore and also in a fabulous location to visit surrounding towns, both along the coast and up towards the Alps. If you’re off work then try to venture as many places as possible, trains are cheap and hiring a car is easy. Here are some things that I loved to do in and around Antibes.
The Provencal market (everyday from 6am-1pm)
In the Old town there’s a large covered hall (Massena) that you can’t miss, The market held here everyday until 1pm is a necessity visit. It never really gets boring and you can purchase the most fragrant fresh produce here.
Unless you’re looking for a job or work on a boat it’s lots of fun to walk through the port in Antibes and look at all the yachts. I still enjoy it if I’m in a different port to where my boats berthed, it never really gets old. I love to think about what I would call my boat if I had one.
I love art so I may be biased here but I don’t think that you could visit Antibes and not go to the Picasso museum. The artist was greatly influenced by the Cote D’azur with some of his pieces having been painted in and around Antibes after moving to the South of France from Paris.
Old Town Shopping
There are some beautiful authentic French shops in Antibes, it’s fun to stroll through the back streets and see what you come across. Try to get a little lost and be certain to buy something.
Blue Lady Quiz night
If you’re wanting to meet fellow yachties, immerse yourself amongst some English speakers or just have a bit of a laugh then the Thursday night quizzes at The Blue Lady pub are where to be. They are always lots of fun and there’s usually quite good prizes on offer, if you like alcohol that is.
Gorge du Verdon
Driving up here makes a fabulous day trip with your friends. Go for lunch and explore or opt in for a good hike where you can find waterfalls and beautiful views. It’s only about an hours drive from Antibes and if you don’t have a crew car, vehicle rental isn’t too pricey at all.
Bikes and scooters: www.loca-bike.fr
Eze Sur Mer
A train journey and walk up to Eze is an ABSOLUTE MUST!!! The climb up is tough and rewarding when you reach the beautiful views and small quaint village with lots of lovely restaurants and shops. Stop for an afternoon cocktail at Chateau Eza for stunning terrace views over the French Riviera.
Hopstore, Le Village and Kiss Club
If you’re looking for a night out, look no further. For a guaranteed dance-on-the-table kind of night head to these locations on a Friday or Saturday. The Hopstore is more of a very large pub that transforms itself and will be filled with yachties due to its central Antibes location. Le Village and Kiss, alternatively are a 20 minute walk away in the neighbouring town of Juan Les Pins. They are proper, pay to get in clubs where you’ll find big –ish djs and a lot more French youngsters.
Its very easy to find good food along the cote d’azur, though a lot of it is very expensive which is to be expected. You can find Michelin starred fine dining restaurants in Antibes, or supermarkets and bakeries if you’re really on a budget, so there are options for everyone. Hunt out a good rotisserie chicken, crepe and personally, I love the Vegan restaurant in amongst the old town, it’s called Chez Helen.
As any woman does, yacht stewardess or not, you want to know that you’re going to get the job done correctly when you go to a hairdressers or waxing salon. Not wanting to splurge on treatments, having difficult, unruly hair and and being experimental I have had my fair share of bad experiences getting treatments done away from home, and so my suggestions below may not be extensive but they are very reliable and you’ll most likely find someone who can speak English on the other end of the phone if you ring to make a booking.
The Cutting Shop by Marc Ramo
An Antibes favourite, you will hear about them everywhere and it’s because they are good and reasonably priced. They also offer beauty treatments and massages so yacht crew flee there after charters; well I know I did.
It may be harder to find someone who speaks good English here but they are very professional and I have always left happy. They have lots of branches in France so you always know it’s a safe option. Price wise they’re like a Toni & Guy in the UK.
Offering Yoga classes and teacher training courses over the year in French and English. Classes are only €10 a session and they offer packages too.
In between the cinema and train station this fitness centre offers a gym, diverse classes and a physiotherapy centre. One off drop ins for 15 euros and membership deals are available.