If you’re anything like me, you’ll quickly want to stay in Antibes the entire time you’re in the Riviera.

But let’s be honest, there’s a lot to see along the Cote d’Azur.

Over the years, I’ve spent an insane amount of time here over the last decade, especially over the last four years.

During that time, I’ve taken a lot of day trips, both solo and with local friends.

So I’ve really had a well-rounded experience when it comes to giving advice on the very best day trips from Antibes.

Keep reading to find out all my favorite spots to hit up along the French Riviera.

Top Day Trips from Antibes

Discover Nice

Ally in Nice at Le Plongier

About a 20 minute train ride from Antibes, you’ll find Nice.

It’s one of the more cosmopolitan cities along the French Riviera.

You’ll spend the day strolling along the famous Promenade des Anglais, exploring the charming Old Town with its vibrant market, and taking in the stunning sea views.

If you’re feeling adventurous, climb up Castle Hill (Colline du Château) for an incredible view of Nice at sunset.

Oh, and if you’re feeling fancy, get a glass of Chablis and oysters at the iconic Hotel Negresco along the boardwalk.

And for a truly iconic dinner, make reservations early for Le Plongier. It’s one touristy place that lives up to the hype. Their truffle pasta is delicious, and the views were out of this world!

Local’s Tip: Pick up chocolates at Maison Auer. It’s been family owned since the 1800s and supposedly, it was Queen Victoria’s favorite chocolate back in the day.

Explore Cannes

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Famous for its film festival, Cannes is another great popular option that’s only 15 minutes away from Antibes on the train.

Obviously, you’ll want to go take a photo on the iconic steps of the Palais des Festival—expect a line for the photo op.

Next stroll along the iconic Promenade de la Croisette where all the iconic shops and hotels sit along the shore.

Continue your fancy day in Cannes by grabbing lunch at Armani.

It’s along la Croisette and has fabulous service and a substantial wine list to go along with your lunch.

Afterwards, head to the beach for a lazy afternoon of people watching, or check out more of Cannes fabulous shopping scene.

Local’s Tip: If you’re in town during the summer, check out Bal des Fous. It’s a free dance party with a new theme each weekend. I went last year with friends and had an absolute blast!

See Monaco and Monte Carlo

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If you’re looking for a taste of luxury, a day trip to Monaco and Monte Carlo is a must.

It’s about an hour train ride, so just bring a book from the train ride.

Once you get there, you can spend the day exploring.

There’s lots to see and do, like taking a tour of Palais du Prince, the Boulevard des Moulins and Saint-Charles Church.

If you’re into cars, you can even check out the Private Cars Collection of HSH Prince of Monaco.

Oh, and you’ll also want to scope out the port with some of the largest yachts around.

For lunch, hit up my favorite hole in the wall Italian joint, Il Terrazzino. I love their penne arrabiata paired with a carafe of the house red.

Then, don’t miss out on your chance to be 007, by hitting up the iconic Monte Carlo Casino for a card game, or at the very least a martini, shaken, not stirred.

Fun Fact: Monaco is the entire country, also known as a Principality. Monte Carlo is just one area of Monaco, and is the area in and around Casino Square.

Colorful Menton

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Just an hour train ride from Antibes, Menton is a charming seaside town known near the border of Italy.

It’s so famous for its colorful buildings and beautiful beaches that chances are you’ve seen it on social media.

Spend the morning exploring the charming village, then take in the Mediterranean views with a lunch on one of the many seaside terraces, or grab crepes at La Crepe a l’Envers.

After, relax on one of the many public beaches, or hit up a beach club, like popular La Cabane Plage.

Fun Fact: Menton is famous for its lemons, so while you’re there, you’ll also want to try some lemon sorbet or limoncello.

Charming Villefranche-sur-Mer

Ally in Ville franche sur mer South of France Aug. 2021

Villefranche-sur-Mer is a picturesque village that may look familiar thanks to the second season of Emily in Paris.

The show used the train station and a few other spots around town during the episode where Emily and her friends go to St. Tropez.

It’s only a 45 minute train ride away from Antibes. You can spend the day wandering around the charming little town, hitting the beach, and taking in the stunning sea views.

You should also walk by Chapelle de Saint Pierre des Pecheurs. It’s decorated by Jean Cocteau with Biblical scenes interpreting the theme of Christ and the fisherman.

If you’re really into art, you can venture inside. But fair warning, you can’t take photos, and the woman working there isn’t the kindest person.

Honestly, this is a fairly small town, so once you’ve seen everything, take a slight detour next door to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat to tour Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild.

This gorgeous pink mansion is a must visit, especially if you can catch one of their evening events.

Taking a Day Trip to St. Tropez

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St. Tropez is easily one of the most glamorous destinations on the French Riviera.

It’s known for its beautiful beaches, great shopping, delicious food, and party scene.

Fair warning, to cross this off your bucket list, you’ll need to catch the ferry from either Nice or Cannes.

You’ll want to book at least a week ahead of time during the summer, because the ferry will fill up.

The ride takes about an hour and 15 minutes each way, and only departs a few times a day, so don’t miss your ride!

Once you’re there, you can spend the day exploring the town, including the famous port, that’s been featured in many iconic French films with big names headlining like Brigitte Bardot and Louis de Funès.

Also, don’t forget to try a famous Tarte Tropézienne. It’s an iconic pastry of brioche dough with pearl sugar, filled with madame cream (mousseline cream with whipped cream).

So far, my favorite spot for one in St. Tropez has been Boulangerie “Aux Deux Fréres”.

I enjoy getting mine and taking it to Plage de la Glaye. It’s not the best beach because of all the rocks, but it’s got great people watching and is nearby.

Since you’ll have a limited amount of time, I wouldn’t recommend doing a beach club your first visit.

As iconic as St. Tropez beach clubs can be, most of the iconic ones are close to port, meaning it’s impossible to do one plus have time to explore town.

Plus, if you’re going to party, it’s best to be staying in town so you can enjoy the full evening of fun.

Historical Eze

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Eze is a medieval town perched on a hilltop with stunning views of the sea.

The annoying thing about it being on a hilltop is that it’s not the easiest spot to get to.

Basically, you can either take the bus, or take a car up from the train station.

The good news is that this charming village is absolutely worth it.

You’ll love wandering around this medieval town, especially Le Jardin Exotique. The views of the Mediterranean from the garden is absolutely iconic.

Afterwards, grab lunch at nearby cafe Deli. They have amazing salads, including fantastic infused vinegar, oils, and an amazing truffle mustard.

Then spend the walk down, hitting up all the cute artisan shops.

Make Perfume in Grasse

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About a 40 minute train ride away from Antibes you’ll find the the adorable and very pink town of Grasse.

It’s famous for it’s perfumeries, even being called by some the “perfume capital of the world”.

Spend the day strolling around town, sampling perfumes, and hitting up the Musée International de la Parfumerie.

You can even sign up to take a class to blend your own signature perfume!

And don’t miss out on sampling sweets at Chocolaterie Maison Duplanteur. This place has some seriously delicious chocolates. I really love the ones with rose and lilac blended in.

Best Outdoor Adventures

Hiking the Cap d’Antibes

Ally Cap dAntibes South of France Aug 2021

The Sentier du Littoral is a must-do along Cap d’ Antibes. This stunning coastal path that offers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea.

Don’t worry if you’re a not much of a hiker, the trail is well-marked and easy to follow.

You’ll see tons of beautiful villas, some rocky cliffs, and lots of hidden coves to swim in.

Local’s Tip: Bring a picnic with you to enjoy when you’re ready to take a break. I like to bring rose, baguette, and some cheese.

Visiting the Lérins Islands

Ally visiting Lerins Islands Cote dAzur

The islands of Île Sainte-Marguerite and Île Saint-Honorat, also known as the Lérins Islands are the perfect day trip.

Depending on the vibe you want, you can visit one or both of the islands on a quick ride from Antibes.

On Île Sainte-Marguerite, you can explore the island, enjoy a picnic, swim in one of the hidden coves, or even go diving.

And don’t miss checking out Fort Royal, where the Man in the Iron Mask was imprisoned.

Then you can grab a fancy lunch at La Guérite. It’s a super chic beach club that’s a favorite of celebs and locals.

From there, you can head to Île Saint-Honorat. Here you can visit the Cistercian monastery and sample the island’s famous wine.

Walk Along Cap d’Ail

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The coastal path along Cap d’Ail is one of my favorite places because it’s not overly touristy.

I love bringing some rose and fruit to have as I sun on one of the many private rocks along the coast.

There’s also a great path that will lead you to some incredible views, and past some enormous mansions.

Every time I’m in the French Riviera, I make a point of taking a day trip here. The best part is it’s only about an hour away. Giving me tons of time to really get into whatever beach read I’m in the middle of.

Once you’re done hanging out by the water, you can wander up into town, though there’s not much to see.

If you want a snack or drink near the water, head to La Panede. It’s a great spot overlooking the Mediterranean.

Planning Your Day Trip

Transportation Tips

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When figuring out how to get to your destination think about the cost, convenience, and the type of experience you are looking for.

I almost only walk or take the train while I’m in the Cote d’Azur. It’s great for your budget and very easy to do.

Though fair warning, you do need to arrive to the station early because there’s always a line for tickets. Or you can download and use the Trainline app. It’s what I use to book the train as I’m heading to the station (normally I’m running late).

If you’ve got mobility issues, or want a more streamlined experience, you can also book a car, a tour group, even a boat depending on the location and your budget.

Booking and Cancellation Policies

Ally reading and watching the sunrise in Antibes France

Before booking your day trip, or any activities, it’s important to check the reviews, and look into their cancellation policy.

It always gives me peace of mind having some sort of option to cancel in case my plans change or the weather takes a turn.

Where to Dine

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My biggest tip for finding an excellent restaurant in any of these spots is to look at reviews ahead of time.

I tend to be last minute and at the very least will pop into maps and decide where to go based on which has the best reviews.

In my experience, it’s also smart to avoid cafes in really touristy areas as they are overpriced and not always as quality.

Also, for pasties you want a boulangerie. It means they make their pastries on premises so you’re truly getting the best France offers.

Summer Tips

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If you’re planning to visit Antibes in the summer, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, it can get insanely hot, so make sure where you’re staying has air conditioning, or at the very least fans.

You’ll also need to use plenty of sunscreen and stay hydrated while exploring.

Second, the beaches can get crowded, so consider visiting early in the morning or later in the day for the most relaxing experience.

Oh, and book as much as you can ahead of time (reservations and tickets) to avoid things selling out.

Also, keep in mind that many restaurants and businesses in France may be close for vacation in August.

Luckily, most places in Antibes remain open because of the high tourism.

FAQs

What are the top destinations for a day trip by car from Antibes?

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Antibes is in the heart of the French Riviera, making it an ideal base for exploring the surrounding area.

Some of the top destinations for a day trip by car from are Cannes, Nice, Monaco, Saint Paul de Vence, Saint-Tropez, and Grasse.

There’s also one of my favorite under the radar spots, Château de la Napoule in Mandelieu-la-Napoule.

This gorgeous seaside castle is super dreamy, and there’s a great beach next to it. Plus the town is cute!

How can I plan a boat trip from Antibes along the Côte d’Azur?

Marina in Cannes water taxi from juan les pins antibes

Lucky for you Antibes is famous for its large port.

You can easily rent a boat or join a guided tour from the Port Vauban marina.

You can sign up for a tour, or charter a boat to one of these nearby Lerins Islands that are just off of Cannes, Saint-Tropez, and Monaco.

You can also take a boat out around the Cap d’Antibes. I got to do this last summer on a friends boat and it was the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon.

Which nearby towns are easily accessible by train for a day trip from Antibes?

Ally in front of Gare de Nice Ville South of France Train Station

One of my favorite things about the French Riviera is how accessible most places are by train.

Some of my favorite spots to head to on the train from Antibes are Cannes, Nice, Monaco, and Menton.

Cannes and Nice are both especially close to Antibes, making them easy destinations.

The best part is that trains run pretty frequently. Though fair warning, they don’t run overnight.

Can you recommend some must-visit places for a day trip from Juan-les-Pins?

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Juan-les-Pins is just a short distance from Antibes, making it the easiest day trip.

Some must-visit places for a day trip from Juan-les-Pins include the Picasso Museum in Antibes, and their famous Marché provençal.

The medieval hilltop village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, and Cannes are also popular choices.

How do I choose between a stay in Antibes, Nice, or Cannes for the best travel experience?

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Choosing between Antibes, Nice, and Cannes depends a lot on the vibe you want.

My absolute favorite place in the South of France is Antibes, so that’s my pick. The people there are so kind, the restaurants are great, and the Old Town is incredibly charming!

It’s the quieter and more laid-back option, while Nice offers a lovely mix of city and beach life.

Cannes is the most glamorous of the three, with a lively nightlife scene, and lots of restaurants and upscale shopping.

Wrapping It Up

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I’ve got to admit before I was even done writing this article I took a break to look up flights to the French Riviera for this summer.

It truly is one of my favorite places in the world, especially Antibes.

I hope this has inspired you to plan the perfect day trip during your stay.

 

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