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Juan Les Pins, Alpes-Maritimes

Bustling seaside resort
Featured in: Towns & Villages Updated

Located just west of the old town of Antibes Juan Les Pins is a seaside resort with beautiful sandy beaches, independent shopping boutiques and a good selection of lively restaurants, bars and hotels.

Discovered by the Duke of Albany in 1800 Juan Les Pins was a forest of pine trees with beautiful ocean views and a long sandy beach. Having developed and grown over the years you can now wander around a beautiful port and narrow streets enjoying the Mediterranean ambience.

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’Anitbes and is renowned for it's large luxurious villas and estates that can often be seen nestled into the small hills, with fantastic views extending out over the ocean. It is 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 and turned into a popular tourist spot. The whole of the Cap d’Anitbes started to become the place for wealthy Europeans to build luxurious holiday homes and housing.

Now Anitbes, 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.

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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 Mussee Picasso houses some of Picasso art works as well as the art of other artists, located in the stunning Chateau Grimaldi. When visiting the old town of Antibes you will also see the walls that were once much higher and protected the city still remain today, and many of the buildings are made from the traditional Antipolis stone. For a museum slightly closer to Juan les Pins head to the Musee Naval et Napoleonien, where you will see a varied collection of paraphernalia from the Napoleonic period.  

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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.

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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 hear live music, bands and enjoy the buzzing atmosphere as Antibes becomes alive with jazz. Since the 1920s Juan les Pins has 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.

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Main Events in Antibes

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 boutique and souvenir shops, and in true Cote 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 on Fridays. For bigger markets head to Antibes for the Marche des Aritsans, on every day in the summer at the Cours Massena. Food and local produce is available in the mornings, and arts & crafts are for sale in the afternoons. 

The hills located at the Cap d'Anitbes 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 are 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 as 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 water sports 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 Provencal wine on the way.

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Dining in Juan les Pins

Juan les Pins has a range of restaurants from the trendy and relaxed restaurants in town to the smart chic restaurants in hotels and an array of restaurants perched right on the beach front..

Situated on the beach, looking out over the mediterranean with amazing ocean views from the terrace you can enjoy traditional French cuisine at Cap Rivieria. This lovely restaurant serves fresh brasserie style dishes using the finest local ingredients. A perfect spot for a long lesiurely lunch with some Provencal rose or a wonderful dinner venue to watch the sunset. 

For a relaxed dining experience head to Arc  en Ciel restaurant, part of the Plage Arc en Ciel beach club located on the Juan les Pins beach front. The restaurant sits right on the golden sandy beach and serves fresh fish dishes incoroprating the traditional flavours of Provence with a twist of modern european cuisine. Serving lunch everyday and open for dinner on a Friday and Saturday in high season. 

Les Pecheurs provides a gourmet dining exeprience with 1 michelin star already under its belt you can enjoy the fantastic fresh food beautifully presented in magical surroundings. This fine dining restaurant blends tradionational flavours with fresh mediterranean ingredients to produce creative and delicious dishes. The wonderful terrace and lovely surroundings make Les Pecheurs a truly romantic place to dine. For something a little different other than the traditional French Rivieria brasserie try Restaurant le Pousse Pousse. A thai restaurant located just off the coast. and, although the service may be a little slow at times, the food is made with delicious fresh thai flavours and spices giving. 

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Where to Eat in Antibes

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 4&5 star boutique hotels, both on the coast and in hills looks down over the sea.

Cap d’Antibes Beach Hotel is an elegant and chic hotel located right on the coast on the border of Juan les Pins and Cap d'Antibes. The beautiful sea views and modern luxurious styled interior make this hotel a great choice when exploring both Juan les Pins & Antibes. The private exclusive beach, wellness Spa and gourmet restaurants add to the high quality ambience of this small hotel. There is some excellent boat spotting to be done from the beach.

Perhaps the most luxurious of all the hotels is the Hotel du Cap Eden Roc. Perched at the southern tip of Cap d’Anitbes and with its elegant and chic interior surroundings it has become an iconic hotel in Anitbes. It first welcomed guests one hundred years ago when artists, writers and wealthy individuals would choose this as their place to be in the south of France. Today it still remains one of ‘the’ hotels on the Cote d'Azur. Made up of luxurious rooms, suites and villas the hotel offers complete privacy and the best hospitality. You can relax by the infinity pool over the ocean, indulge at the spa or listen to the sound of the waves at the private beach. 

Hotel Juana is  located in the centre of Juan Les Pins. First opened in 1931, the hotel is home to an art deco stylish interior, with 40 luxury rooms and suites decorated in an elegant chic French style. Views over the beautiful bay and capturing the Mediterranean sunlight, it is a truly beautiful romantic hotel. The bistro provides fine dining on a shaded terrace with Mediterranean dishes made from the freshest produce. Hotel Juana provides everything you would expect from a 5 star hotel. 

For a mix of luxury, family activities and fine dining head to the Hotel Belles Rives, the sister hotel of Hotel Juana.  You can experience true luxury with its own private beach, water sports, boat trips to St Tropez, fresh food and the finest hospitality. Traditional French styling and chic interior furnishings, luxury grounds and views out over the Mediterranean make this a wonderful place to stay.  

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Juan les Pins, Antibes

Map of the surrounding area