The French Riviera is a place to rediscover that love of Christmas that we all felt once upon a time; a place to smell chestnuts roasting and hot chocolate bubbling, and seek treasure for little stockings. To help you make the most of the season ahead, we’re sharing our pick of the Christmas markets in Antibes and beyond.
We love Christmas in Antibes. The streets of our town twinkle blue and white against the back drop of the snow covered alps, lovers glide across the ice rink hand in hand and children laugh as the carousel takes them on an adventure on horseback. Some of our favourite markets to visit in the area are the closest to home:
In the heart of the old town you’ll find children’s rides, tasty treats and festive music to get you in the spirit. It’s a wonderful place to start a festive shopping trail, or spend time with family in the run up to the big day.
If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, head to the 450 square-metre ice rink at Esplanade Pré des Pêcheurs. Don’t forget your gloves! You can also enjoy wonderful views of the whole of Antibes from the top of the Ferris wheel, and the spectacular Christmas light show that plays out across the ramparts each evening. Little ones can post their letters to Father Christmas before they leave, and you can stock up on gifts (handcrafted by elves, of course) for your loved ones.
If you have young children, you won’t want to miss the Christmas village at Place de Gaulle. Grab a cup of mulled wine and watch from the side lines as they enter the giant interactive wonderland that they’ll want to revisit year after year.
Village de Noël is the biggest Christmas market in the south, and will take you right back to Christmas past as soon as you arrive. Be swept up in the festive spirit as you make your way through an enchanted forest of 600 fir trees; hop onto the ice rink and marvel at the ice sculptures; browse 60 chalets selling unique gifts, Christmas décor, gooey chocolate crêpes and mulled wine; and keep the children busy with the best rides around.
For a grown up twist on Christmas, visit the champagne and seafood bars at the Christmas Village in Cannes. If you’re there on 1st December, the opening night, you might also enjoy the freestyle ice skating show that kicks off the skating season in Cannes, and the debut of the traditional Provencal Crèche that is on proud display at the heart of the market. This beautiful nativity scene is one of Prince Albert II of Monaco’s private collection.