4 places to explore between Nice and Antibes off the beaten track
It does get confusing when every part of this area is called “Cagnes” something or other – especially when riding without a guide. The center of this town (just north of the seaside) is called Cagnes-sur-Mer, and above that is Haut-de-Cagnes. The wonderful Renoir Museum is about 3km north of the sea up a gradual incline on Chemin des Collettes. There are no bike paths here, but the roads are generally not too busy.
This was artist Auguste Renoir’s family home where he lived at the end of his life. In addition to his home and studio you can wander in the olive grove and beautiful gardens with roses and lemon and orange trees. It’s a wonderful place to visit, relax and enjoy the view. The price of admission is very reasonable and free for those under 26.
19, chemin des Collettes
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Château-Musée Grimaldi and Haut-de-Cagnes
West of the Renoir museum is the heart of the medieval village of Haut-de-Cagnes. It’s on a steep hilltop so you’ll probably want to park your bike and walk up the hill or take the free shuttle bus 44 from the center of Cagnes-sur-Mer. This medieval fortress and castle Château-Musée Grimaldi has been a museum since 1946 and houses the Suzy Solidor art collection. Who was Suzy Solidor? A French singer and actress who obviously left a lasting impression on many artists. There are some 40 paintings of Suzy made by various painters in the early 1900s. It’s a quirky permanent exhibit worth seeing! For a small village, Haut-de-Cagnes has plenty of excellent restaurants. This romantic hilltop village also has the elegant Château le Cagnard hotel and restaurant with an outdoor terrace. It’s a good place to stay for the night if you’ve indulged in too much wine!
If you decide to head north of Villeneuve-Loubet’s modern marina, you’ll reach a very different Villeneuve-Loubet than the one on the coast. Follow the signs to the tourist office where they can help with maps and advice. There are bike paths here but it can get a little confusing finding your way. Persevere along the scenic river path and you’ll be rewarded with a charming French village with narrow streets winding their way uphill. If you’re fascinated by French cooking traditions, there’s the little Escoffier de l’Art Culinaire museum, which is housed in the former home of French chef, restaurateur and culinary writer, Auguste Escoffier, who popularized traditional French cooking methods around the turn of the last century.
Musée Escoffier de l’Art Culinaire
54 rue sous Barri, Nice
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Published: April 23, 2019