Europe’s Must-See Pleasure Port

Port Vauban, Antibes, France

Antibes is famously known as Europe’s largest pleasure port in the Mediterranean Sea. Here are four reasons why this central resort town should be your next must-see marina...

The Billionaire’s Quay

Feast your eyes on the world’s most opulent yachts and superyachts at the International Yacht Club d'Antibes (IYCA) – fondly called the Billionaire’s Quay – located in Port Vauban.

This popular attraction sees thousands of tourists every year stretching their eyes to spot the most beautiful boats in this mammoth dock leading 650 metres out into the sea. Created in 1986, it’s able to accommodate mega-yachts up to 170m long!

Fresh From The Sea

Take a quick detour to the edge of Cap d’Antibes to find the family-run Restaurant de Bacon . What was once a humble cafeteria selling Niçois tuna sandwiches, this Michelin-starred restaurant is today known for its sensational seafood dishes, excellent wine list and breath-taking views of Antibes.

Be sure to reserve your table in advance (the terrace is a coveted spot) and try the delicious La Bouillabaisse with a glass of your favourite blanc.

Jazz à Juan Music Festival

Sidney Bechet was one of the greatest jazz saxophonists who adored Antibes. As a tribute to Bechet, the city first hosted its world-famous Jazz à Juan in 1960 and has been a hit ever since! Once a year, in a celebration of music and yachting culture, Antibes is transformed into a sailing town displaying jazz exhibitions, street parades and other surprises scattered around the Village des Voiles and Port Vauban. Proving that jazz is still a musical style able to mix with many genres, artists like Sting, Macy Gracy and ‘Mustang Sally’ singer and guitarist Buddy Guy were among the 23 feature acts performing at this year’s June/July event.

La Vie Est Belle

Ever wanted to learn French while sailing along the Riviera?

Antibes is one of France’s top destinations for foreign students and the perfect pit stop for a short language course. This culture-filled city became the home of lifestyle photographer and avid sailor Sébastien Rohner , who spent three months studying French at Centre International d’Antibes in the late summer of 2001.

“I remember long summer nights with friends sitting outside by the bars along the harbour,” Rohner explains. “I’ve been to Antibes five or six times since then, and I’d love to go back again.” Like most of the pleasure port’s visitors, the former GQ and ELLE contributor finds himself addicted to this much-loved coastal town.

Why not drop anchor in Antibes on your next sailing adventure and see for yourself?

Photography by Sébastien Rohner

Words by Shalagh-Ann Fredericks