The climate in the South of France is generally great, with roughly 300 days of sunshine beaming down across the Riviera each year. However, that statistic does still leave 65 days on average when the sun doesn’t shine.
We can often struggle to dispel a sense of disappointment when a holiday vision of sunshine and sparkling sea is marred by rain or windy weather. Happily, bad weather passes through the Côte d’Azur quite quickly after a few torrential downpours. To help you dispel the gloom and recognise all the fun still to be had when it’s raining on the Riviera, we’ve pulled together a list of the best activities for rainy days in Antibes.
For the sweet-toothed
Grab a table at one of the cafés or patisseries lining the covered Provençal market and watch the world go by. There’s a lovely hustle and bustle in here on rainy days, with the rain hammering on the tin roof and the aromas of lavender, baking bread and French cheeses filling the air.
Order a coffee, break open a flaky, buttery croissant, and soak up the atmosphere. If there are kids in your group, head to Choopy’s café for a rainy day cupcake and a cappuccino or a milkshake. This little café has been best described as a ‘doll’s house’, featuring pretty pastel décor, comfy couches and wooden bench tables creating a lovely warm ambience, as well as the most amazing cupcakes that no kid can resist. Yum.
For the culture vultures
The Picasso Museum is housed in the tower of the 13th-century Grimaldi Chateau, high up on the ramparts. It displays Picasso’s work from his time living in the chateau, as well as work by Nicolas de Staël, Hans Hartung, Joan Miro, and Anna-Eva Bergman.
If you're more into the seventh art, the Antibes cinema shows English movies on various nights of the week. Look for VO or VOST (Version Originale) on the billboards so you know if the movie is in English.
For the active visitors
Stade Nautique is a large pool complex in Antibes, where you’ll find an indoor pool for wet weather as well as four outdoor pools. Be aware that French pools insist on Speedo-style swim trunks for males rather than board shorts – if you don’t have any you can buy them at the venue.
You can also put on your raincoat and head down to the beach. During the off-season, you can still see quite a few people walking along the promenade and even swimming. The Med is often a millpond in wet weather and it can be quite fun to go into the sea in the pouring rain – the kids will definitely love it.
For the kids
They will love Royal Kids, an indoor soft play centre found out by the big Carrefour supermarket on the outskirts of Antibes. There’s a disco, football pitch, and a snack bar on site. Socks are compulsory!
And one for the big kids, head to the Comic Strips Café opposite the movie cinema for a great range of comic books and figurines.
For the adults
The one at Royal Antibes Hotel, on the seafront is one of the best in the area. Booking a treatment here also gets you entry into their spa complex which has a Jacuzzi, a steam room and sauna. If you feel like following up with a cocktail or a meal afterwards, you can watch the rain sweeping across the Mediterranean from the restaurant terrace.
To end a rainy day, you must take part in one of the quintessential experiences in Antibes and visit the Absinthe Bar. Put on one of the silly hats that line the cave-like walls and join in the frivolity. A perfect rainy afternoon or evening activity.