The Marriage Celebration of Hannah and Ben

Hey guys! So excited you're all coming to celebrate with us in the South of France. There's lots to know about the region, and we've tried to compile as much useful information as possible, including driving, towns, accommodation etc. If there's any more info you need just send an email.


Much love! Hannah and Ben

Accommodation Recommendations

CAMPING WITH BUNGALOWS/CHALETS FOR LARGER FAMILIES who want to stay for at least a week at reasonable price:

La Vieille Ferme in Villeneuve-Loubet (between Nice and Antibes). The infrastructure is good (pool etc.), people are friendly, lot’s of kids, but don’t expect five star luxury. It’s clean and you can regroup several families. There are several adventure and fun parks in the neighborhood (Marineland etc.). Beaches are gravel so you’ll need a special bamboo mat if you choose to sunbake, although I’d recommend one of the nice sand beaches (more on that later). The campground counts 32 chalets for 2-6 persons. There is lot’s of shade, which is good. Distance to the beach: 1km; to wedding venue: 10km. http://www.vieilleferme.com/?lg=en&c=bienvenue-en&m=menu_left_en


APARTMENTS IN JUAN-LES-PINS FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO SELF-CATER AT LEAST A WEEK These apartments are in the town Juan-les-Pins and close to sandy beaches (walking distance). The wedding venue house is a 5-10 min. car ride: Emeraude Résidence (Charming central Boutique Hotel or also Apartments) 11 Avenue Saramartel, Juan les Pins, +33 (0)4 93610967 as of 250 EUR per nighthttp://emerauderesidence.com


HOTELS IN JUAN LES PINS: Villa Nina: (little quirky hotel, very close to the beach). This hotel proposes double and triple rooms and prefers stays for min. a week (negotiable). Reservations are less expensive when booked directly on their website (120EUR/night). http://villaninahotel.com/us/


Villa Elsa: 17 Avenue Docteur Dautheville06160 Juan-les-Pins, +33 (0)4 93610510

Standard rooms for 2 adults per night starting at 114 EUR, 4 pers. starting at 170 EUR p.n. https://villadelsa.com


Hotel Hélios (Pretty and well located hotel), 22 avenue Hochet, Juan les Pins, +33 (0)493615525 http://hotelhelios.fr Juan Beach (Very nice and well located hotel)

5 rue Sainte Marguerite, Juan les Pins: 200EUR+ http://www.hoteljuanbeach.com LUXURY


HOTELS IN JUAN LES PINS:

*****Hotel Belles Rives (One of the last family-owned five star hotel, absolute centrally located, wonderful, historical luxury hotel with beautiful sea-view, inventor of the ski-nautique)https://www.bellesrives.com/fr/

*****Hotel Les Pêcheurs (Wonderful luxury hotel with 1 star Michelin restaurant, great sea-view suites)https://www.ca-beachhotel.com/en/

*Hotel Eden Roc (the star in luxury heaven, fantastic location at the heart of the Cap d’Antibes, great if you want to meet Brat Pitt and if you are ready to spend it...) https://www.oetkercollection.com/hotels/hotel-du-cap-eden-roc AIR BNB STYLE OLD TOWN


CENTER OF ANTIBES :

*Loft for 5 pers. 140/n: https://www.airbnb.fr/rooms/13411612?source_impression_id=p3_1568120539_z AZ8XUMy62fiLj67&check_in=2020-08- 21&guests=1&adults=1&sl_alternate_dates_exclusion=true&check_out=2020-08-27

*Apartment with patio/flower garden for 6 pers.: https://www.airbnb.fr/rooms/13618489?adults=4&check_in=2020-08- 21&check_out=2020-08- 27&source_impression_id=p3_1568120882_G369eQuyqlCswBmH

*Sea front apartment in the old town for 6 at 218 EUR/n (fun boat design) https://www.airbnb.fr/rooms/24940560?adults=4&check_in=2020-08- 21&check_out=2020-08- 27&source_impression_id=p3_1568121000_tuXvSzvVjkjWVddt

*Ground floor of a nice historical villa for 6 pers. for 240 EUR/n: https://www.airbnb.fr/rooms/2518858?adults=6&source_impression_id=p3_15681 17050_cPJ3q2CW3EhI8WAG


VILLAS CLOSEST TO WEDDING VENUE (but still car distance)

With garden, pool, space, sea view but 15 min by car to the sea:

*Chemin des vieux Brusquets, up to 8 persons, min. 7 nights, 314 EUR/n https://www.airbnb.fr/rooms/13472929?adults=6&source_impression_id=p3_1568 117671_8+XQGULnKhguoWqQ

*Villa for 10 pers. 475 EUR/n: https://www.airbnb.fr/rooms/13610212?adults=8&source_impression_id=p3_1568 119497_XlUOfr4jT1sYilIk&check_in=2020-08- 21&guests=8&sl_alternate_dates_exclusion=true&check_out=2020-08-27

*Provencal villa with charm and view for 8 persons for 550 EUR /n https://www.airbnb.fr/rooms/13610212?adults=8&source_impression_id=p3_1568 119497_XlUOfr4jT1sYilIk&check_in=2020-08- 21&guests=8&sl_alternate_dates_exclusion=true&check_out=2020-08-27


Air BNB has heaps of available villas in the area, and when you have enough people, its more economical to hire one of these than pay hotel rooms.


Notes on Car Hire and Driving

You can easily hire a car at the airport, or one of the town centres. There are some things to know about driving in the South of France: - The main highway (by far the most efficient was to travel) costs between 1,50 (Nice to Antibes) and 3, (Nice to Cannes) depending on where you are travelling to and from. Most Visa/Mastercards are accepted but I would highly recommend to always carry enough coins to cover your trip as the card machines are not always reliable. -

Take the maximum insurance possible, most cars here have dings and its likely some damage may occur.

- Driving in the South could not be more different to driving in Aus. For one, you’ll be on the opposite side of the car, the opposite side of the road, and as most cars are manual you’ll need to change gears with your right hand.

- There are much fewer traffic lights as most traffic control is done with roundabouts. These are crazy. You need to push to get on them, and most are give way to the left, with the exception of a few in Juan-les-Pins, in which case the locals will expect you to know to give way to the right, even if you are already on the roundabout. Once on the roundabout, you need to look all around you, as often people will cut from the inside lane across your path to turn out. And there are lots of pedestrian crossings just on the exits, so you may try to exit then need to stop for people crossing. Lots of drivers wont bother indicating. Sometimes people decide to stop and park in roundabouts and other times the “Jillet June” (protesters in yellow hi-vis) will take them over completely. Have fun ;)

- There is a give way to the right rule in European towns; in which case, people will pull out onto the road in front of you without warning. Double check the other drivers have a stop or give way sign before moving through an intersection. There are also some main roads (for example between Juan-les-Pins and Cannes where the small roads to the right have priority, even though you are already on the big road. This is called “prioritie a droit.” If they pull out in front of you, it’s your fault.

- Sometimes people will run into you, or you into them, but they won’t be that bothered and won’t want to stop. (This has happened to me no less than four times.)

- Roads can be incredibly narrow, with blind corners and just enough space for one car. You will often have to stop and pull to the side, and sometimes reverse up. French drivers will come around these blind corners at incredible speeds, with no where to go, so make sure your reaction times are on point and you cover your brake.

- Keep an eye out for the reckless kids tailgating and doing wheelies through the traffic. There is also an unspoken rule that all drivers pull to the far edge of the lane to allow motorbikes to pass either through the centre or along the left side of the lane. They’ll get pissed off if you block them. When changing lanes also check for motorbikes as they often tear up the middle of the traffic lanes.

- Traffic can be heavy, but French drivers typically know how to keep it moving. If you leave a tiny space in front of your car, someone will push in. In heavy traffic, its generally one car over one, and the normal give way rules don’t apply.

- Hire a small car. Parking spots are tiny and hard to find. Be ready to “kiss” the car in front and behind to squeeze into a spot. June should be slightly less busy than the normal summer months of July/August.

- We will provide transport the night of the wedding so no one needs to drive. Please don’t risk drinking and driving, it’s a whole other game over here.


Ok, now the fun stuff:


BEACHES

My favourite is on the Cap, its called and is a bit of a locally-known gem. There is parking on the road just above it, and a short walk down the hill will have you there in a few minutes. Make sure you check the view up the little path to the left, and if you continue following this around, you will find cliff jumping spots and a little hidden rock cove popular with groups of young ones and yachties. Its mixed sand and rocks. We take floaties and music and beers and paddle around for the afternoon.

My other favourite beach is “Plage des Ondes,” about 1km along the coast from Juan-les-Pins. It has a small sand section, lots of little rocky sections to explore by snorkel, and an old tower you can wade out to and climb up. Perfect for sunset bevvies. Parking is on Chemin des Ondes, just above the beach on the left coming from Juan-les-Pins.

At the start of the Cap d’Antibes walk there is Plage Kellar, with the softest white sand of the area and an overpriced but gorgeous private section and restaurant, as well as the often crowded public section and public showers/squat toilets. On the opposite end of the beach is a cute little café with a gorgeous view serving much more basic hotdogs and salads and ice-cream. Alcohol is available pretty much everywhere in Europe, including small snack stands, 7-11’s and servos.

The Cap walk has no beaches but has many little rock coves, some with purpose built platforms to spend the day. Just watch out for the schools of Jellies that sometimes migrate through. The whole walk is gorgeous and takes about 1 hour round loop.

Juan-les-Pins has plenty of easily accessible big sand beaches, with snack huts every couple hundred metres and lots of really cool beach restaurants and bars.

Further afield you will find long stretches of sandy beaches on the other side of Cannes, although the sand there is “dirty” sand.

Theole-sur-Mer is in a beautiful setting, with red rocky cliffs and if you continue the coastal drive around, you’ll find cool little coves with crystal clear water, well worth exploring.

In the other direction, you have the famous azure waters of Nice, although its all stone beaches.

Towards Monaco you find places such as Beaulieu-sur-Mer, St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat (another cap walk well worth doing) and other small coves. The water over that way is crazy beautiful.


TOWNS

Locally, Antibes Old Town is the biggest and most happening. June is already yachting season, so its full of people from all over the world who work on the boats and party in Antibes, so it’s very international with many English speaking shops. Its lovely just to wander through, with a small sand beach (La Gravette) and a harbour full of mega-yachts. There is a provencal market, way, way over priced, but fun to wander through. There is a year round Ferris wheel at the port with nice views.

Essential to visit restaurants are: Creperie du Port: Make a reservation here, it fills up quickly, and for good reason. The best savoury crepes you will find in the area and a must-eat French meal.

Gusto Pizza Shop – amazing pizzas, no frills décor, lively guys working there.

The Hop Store – sit outside and drink a dirty pint and watch the shenanigans. Melting Pot – great beer list and cosy little bar, with chacuterie plates to nibble.

Gelateria Del Porto– worth lining up for. Totally authentic flavours, the real deal.

Juan-les-Pins has endless beach restaurants, some with party nights, and a few cool Jazz/Salsa bars. Less pretty than Antibes, but good to visit for the beaches. Pam-Pam and Kiss Club are the two hot-spots, just around the corner from each other, but expect to pay big time for drinks. Kiss Club has a 20EU entry fee and is small inside, and, as with most French nightclubs, everyone smokes inside so be prepared to stink of cigarettes for days.

Golfe-Juan is a port mostly, with lots of nice restaurants along the water front.

Cannes is full of elderly ladies wearing Lacoste and carrying small dogs, but its fun to visit for a day, it has a mix of the old city on the hill, nice restaurants, shopping, designer stores, Irish pubs, beaches and of course all the glamour surrounding the Cannes Film Festival. On Tuesday nights, Morrisons has open mic night, which is always fun.

Theole-sur-Mer is backed by a national park with impressive red mountains and cliffs, and has a selction of nice beach restaurants, at a variety of prices, with amazing views back towards Cannes and Nice. It’s one of my favourite spots to lunch.

In the other direction, St-Paul-de-Vence can be found in the hills above Nice. Its famous for its art scene and galleries, in fact the entire town feels like an art gallery. At the base of the town, French gentleman can be seen playing boulles (patonque) and sipping wine. As you wind your way up the streets (no cars allowed) you’ll pass all sorts of interesting little shops and have great photo ops in the little alleys.

Nice is big and busy. The old town has a decent outdoor market, lots of good restaurants and bars, souvenir shopping, gelato shops, cool streets, larger malls with Zara etc, and a great lookout directly above the old town. The train station is a bit out of the way but not too long of a walk. Parking can be found underground easily for a price.

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