Breathtaking Coastal Hike Along the Sentier du Littoral
Even in the early summer, the average beachgoer may have to jockey for a spot on one of the sandy beaches that dot Cap d'Antibes. This was definitely the case when my husband and I honeymooned in the Riviera.
After sunning ourselves at Plage de la Salis, we decided to explore a stretch of Le Sentier du Littoral, which (in theory) stretches along the entire length of the French Mediterranean coastline from Italy to Spain. Note the warning signs: the trail is closed in the event of severe weather.
Out on the trail, we quickly lose the beach crowds. Virtually alone, we strolled past a seemingly endless expanse of white limestone tumbling into the turquoise sea. Along the coast, gates leading to multimillion-dollar estates tease momentarily glimpses into the lives (or at least the real estate holdings) of the astronomically wealthy.
After a couple hours of hiking, we finally reached the tip of the cape—and the gardens of the Villa Eilenroc. Designed by Charles Garnier (architect of the Paris Opera and the Casino Monte Carlo) and built in 1867, the neoclassical villa was later bequeathed to the city of Antibes in 1982 and opened to the public, free of charge.
We wandered the villa's reception salons and fragrant gardens, savoring the atmosphere of a bygone era before heading back to reality: the city bus back to central Antibes was waiting.