We have visited and painted in this area many times. We have generally stayed near Antibes or in Beausoleil beside Monaco. The following are our thoughts strongly influenced by the Arty-farty perspective. We usually fly to Nice and hire a small car-this makes it easier to visit places to paint. Antibes is now easier to park in since they built an underground car park near the Port. It makes a great base to visit other towns or inland in Provence.
This is the pick of the towns we use as a base. Very nice old town, walls, museums, bars and restaurants, shops and sights. Good parking now in underground. Nice Market in main square. James Close St has wide variety of restaurants. Great variety of painting scenes. Monet used paint, including view of city from across water. I have often stood in that spot – privileged or what? Nearby Cap is a must see-walk or drive.
Main town. Really nice place. Old town and markets great for a ramble. As is the long Promenade des Anglais and the port area. The Mid road (cornice) east gives great views – I have painted from here. Easy parking in park near P d A. Lots of cafes, bars and galleries in Old Town. Several art Museums including Marc Chagall, Matisse, Beaux Artes. Great drives to neighbouring towns – St Jean Cap Ferrat, Beaulieu Sur Mer, Villefrance, etc., and all the way to Monaco, Menton and Italian border.
Monaco Monte Carlo
No Question – a very pretty place which breathes affluence. Being a bit of a “king has no clothes “ chap, I have always fond it a bit lacking in character and atmosphere compared to e.g. Antibes and Nice. Having said that there are lots of place to visit and ramble around most notably the Palace.
I was a bit put off when, one day, I had set up to paint the Casino and the local fuzz came and cleared me off (jus cos I looked a bit hoboish is suppose!). (I went around the corner and found a better scene-so there!) And I was accosted in an art shop for fondling the paint brushes !!!. Also charged €17 one night for a beer in a bar. There used to be a Portuguese bar in Beausoleil, but now closed. Grocery shops quite reasonable for food and drink. Lots of reasonably priced cafes on streets off the port.
Easily reached on the mid cornice between Nice and Monaco, this is a really pretty perched village. It’s big attraction of course is the art and the number of galleries – well worth a visit.
A famous town, more for it’s residents than town itself. In so far as it goes it is a nice enough place – restaurants, bars, art galleries, etc. It is nice place to ramble around.
Between Monaco and the Italian border, this is a really nice place to visit restaurants, rambles, etc. It has a long promenade for pleasant walks.
Famous, of course, mainly for the film festival, it is at other times a nice town, nice streets, cafes, etc. Really comes alive during the festival when there is a great buzz and it is interesting to sit in street cafes and observe.
Villefrance Sur Mer
Another really nice town east of Nice. Next door are Beaulieu sur Mer and St Jean Cap Ferrat.
Villages of Provence
We have often done these tours – The landscape is very picturesque, leading from village to village. Typical really nice villages to visit are Gourdon, Tourette-Levens, Falicon, Levens, Aspremont, all within easy reach.
We have done a number of drives north. Fascinating scenery and travelling over the mountains that the Tour de Farnce cyclists have to overcome.
Gorges of Verdon
Well worth seeing – magnificent chasms and breathtaking views.