© La Pinede Plage
Located just west of the old town of Antibes, Juan Les Pins is a seaside resort with beautiful sandy beaches, independent boutiques and a good selection of lively restaurants, bars and hotels.
In the day the beaches are lined with umbrellas and people dotted around the white sand catching the strong rays of the summer sunshine. The promenade is lined with boutique shops selling jewellery, art and handcrafted goods and in July the town comes alive with the famous Jazz festival. When evening rolls in and the sun sets you can often see street performers creating a buzz, restaurants welcoming elegant visitors through their doors and bars filled with chic young fashionistas enjoying luxury cocktails.
The peninsula to the south east is known as Cap d’Antibes and is renowned for its large luxurious villas and estates that can often be seen nestled in the small hills, with fantastic views extending out over the ocean. It's definitely worth exploring these quiet hills and surrounding scenery outside the centre of Juan Les Pins by car, moped or just walking, the private villas and views are worth the adventure.
History & Culture in Juan-les-Pins
Juan Les Pins was discovered by the Duke of Albany in 1800 when it was just a forest of pine trees with exceptional ocean views and a sandy beach. The potential of this spot was obvious and the seaside resort of Juan les Pins grew, turning into the popular tourist spot it is today. The whole of the Cap d’Antibes is 'the' place for wealthy Europeans to build luxurious holiday homes and housing.
Now Antibes, Juan Les Pins and their surrounding areas almost merge into one large big expanse of the Cap d’Antibes that sits between Nice and Cannes. It can be hard to see the defining areas from a map but the towns themselves still remain very different today.
Sights & Attractions in Juan-les-Pins
Juan les Pins itself does not have many museums or galleries to browse but the neighbouring Antibes old town has plenty of history and culture that you can absorb.
The Musée Picasso houses some Picasso works as well as other artists, and it's located in the stunning Chateau Grimaldi. When visiting the old town of Antibes you will also see the walls of the city still remain, albeit not as high as they once were when they protected the city, and many of the buildings are made from the traditional Antipolis stone.
Beaches in Juan-les-Pins
The resort follows the coastline which stretches several kilometres up to the marina at Golfe-Juan. The beach is fairly narrow but very long, and the sand is soft and golden. The beaches by the centre of town are dominated by beach clubs, to find a quieter beach head further west.
Events in Juan-les-Pins
The biggest event in Juan les Pins is the re-enactment of Napoleon's landing after his exile in Elba. Every March the scene is played out on the beaches on Vallauris Golfe Juan. A great historical experience.
Juan les Pins is the host of a fantastic Jazz festival once a year, normally during July, where you can listen to live bands and enjoy the buzzing atmosphere as Antibes becomes alive with jazz. Since the 1920s Juan les Pins has had a history of being a meeting place for intellectuals and artists and with this came the popularity of jazz. Originally set up to pay tribute to Sidney Bechet it is said to be the inspiration behind larger Jazz festivals such as the Montreux Jazz festival.
Other music events include a Reggae festival in July, and Les Nuits Chaudes - a series of outdoor concerts during the summer.
During May, there is a Spring Festival where the town transforms itself into a wonderful flowery garden.
There is a small market on Fridays, and a large annual street fair with hundreds of stalls at the end of September.
Things to Do in Juan-les-Pins
Being the busy and bustling town that it is, there is plenty to do and enjoy in Juan les Pins and the surrounding areas. The centre of the town is lined with souvenir shops, and in true Côte d'Azur style you will find many high end fashion stores and boutiques dotted around.
There is a clothing market on Fridays at Place Dulys, and for bigger markets head to Antibes for the Marché des Artisans, on every day in the summer at the Cours Massena. Food and local produce is available in the mornings, and arts and crafts are for sale in the afternoons.
The hills located at the Cap d'Antibes are definitely worth exploring, hop on a bike, jump in the car or just take a stroll on foot and soak up the beautiful sea views over the Mediterranean and discover some of the spectacular villas nestled into the hillside. Often with gated entrances these exclusive villas have wonderful views and are often surrounded by lush gardens and the pine trees that Antibes is known for. There are also plenty of walking routes where you can explore the beautiful surroundings of the Cap d'Antibes.
For something more active head to the coast and enjoy the wonderful sandy beaches and beautiful sparkling blue sea. Great for families, the sand gradually rolls into the sea so there are plenty of shallow parts for children to splash around in. You can also enjoy some of the watersports on offer. Try your hand at waterskiing, wakeboarding, banana boating and much more. Children and families will also enjoy Marineland water park located on the other side of Antibes towards Cannes, where you can see the creatures of the sea, watch an animal show, seek some thrills on a water ride and even play some adventure golf.
To explore the coast of the French Riviera in style you can hire a boat or yacht for the day. There are a number of companies that will take you out on a trip at sea for day, giving you the opportunity to explore the whole coast and the other wonderful beaches and towns that line this beautiful part of France. You can head to the famous and well known St Tropez and anchor there for the day or just explore the sandy beaches and deep blue sea, stopping for a fresh Mediterranean lunch and glass of Provençal wine on the way.
Hotels in Juan-les-Pins
Juan les Pins itself has a good selection of moderate resort hotels and apartment blocks. For something a bit more luxurious, head towards Cap d'Antibes where you will find plenty of four and five-star boutique hotels, both on the coast and in the hills looking down over the sea.