Juan-les-Pins, the French Riviera resort on the Côte d'Azur, is the glitzy, modern seaside part of Antibes-Juan-les-Pins, but it is very different in feel from Antibes. Juan, as it's more popularly known, is characterized by its most famous event, the annual Jazz à Juan festival that takes over the town every July. Antibes and Juan-les-Pins are on either side of the Cap d'Antibes, an area of rich private villas and gardens filled with the sweet smells of Provence.
In the background the Mediterranean sparkles, a suitable backdrop to the two resorts.
F. Scott Fitzerald stayed here and there's plenty to see associated with the American writer and socialite.
Antibes-Juan les Pins Facts
- 80,000 inhabitants
- On the French Riviera
- Second largest town on the Côte d'Azur
- Located between Nice and Cannes
You can fly into Nice-Côte d'Azur Airport on direct flights from the USA and the rest of Europe. The airport has two modern terminals and is located 4 miles south-west of Nice and around 10 miles northeast of Antibes-Juan-les-Pins.
With over 10 million passengers per year, Nice-Côte d'Azur Airport is a busy facility, currently servicing almost 100 international destinations. You can arrive by train from other European and French cities, by far the best way to see the countryside. The airport is well connected to both Nice and Antibes-Juan-les-Pins with buses, trains (take the bus to the station) and taxis.
Juan-les-Pins and the Cap d'Antibes are places to walk -- otherwise, how will you be seen in your resort gear along the seaside promenade and in the numerous cafés whose terraces offer obligatory people-watching opportunities? There is a good local bus service, which you can also use to get from town to town or village to village.
Where to Stay
As Juan-les-Pins is first and foremost a resort, there are plenty of hotels to choose from, at all levels and budgets. They range from the top-end, wonderful Art Deco Hôtel Belles-Rives, the former house of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald in the French Riviera's heady days of the 1920s, to the Hôtel La Marjolaine, where the friendly welcome and central location makes up for small rooms. If you want to visit during the famous summer Jazz Festival, book well in advance.
Where to Eat
You're never far from a plate of food in Juan, but beware some of the small restaurants along the beach. They may look charming, but the food leaves something to be desired. If you do want the Mediterranean, then book at Bijou Plage on the Bd du Littoral. Its private beach is a wonderful place for a cocktail looking out to the Iles de Lérins and its prices are reasonable for its position and good cooking.
L'Amiral is a delightful family restaurant a couple of streets away from the sea. If you book for a Thursday, order the couscous in advance.
Where to Be Entertained
There are bars everywhere in Juan, but check out Le Crystal right in the center for late-night drinks which it has been serving to thirsty night owls since 1938.
In keeping with Juan-les-Pins' raffish feel, the Eden Casino, with its slot machines as well as more traditional ways of losing money, is the place for gamblers.
Antibes-Juan-les-Pins Tourist Office
Juan-les-Pins Jazz Festival
Jazz a Juan is one of the best jazz festivals in France, and certainly one with the best location looking out onto the Mediterranean. Always falling in July, it has one night on Bastille Day, July 14th, so as the jazz winds down, the skies light up with the spectacular firework display over Cannes in the distance. It's quite an experience.
If you're in Juan (as everyone calls it), you're a hop, skip and a jump away from Antibes which is a proper working town that keeps going all year round. But it's also got a great port, a citadel, old winding streets, good shops, restaurants and cafes, a covered market, and a superb marina of million dollar yachts.