Thursday , May 23 2024

European Vacation Part I – Juan Les Pins in the French Riviera

Having spent a wonderful summer vacation in Juan Les Pins near Antibes in the French Riviera in 2021, we decided to return to this idyllic place this summer. The area has pristine white sandy beaches, a crystal clear and relatively calm sea, and numerous aquatic activities for kids of all ages.

A Room with a View

The view from our balcony

We found an Airbnb with not only a view of the sea but that was also mere steps from that beautiful beach. This made it very easy to go down to the beach early, stake our umbrella in the sand along with our beach chairs, and get in an early swim. By noon the beach was packed with people every day, but we only had to go a few steps to go back to the flat to get more cold waters for the cooler or make a quick lunch.

Water Sports Delight

My kids participated in several water sports, but their favorite one was going out into the deeper water to snorkel where schools of colorful fish swam alongside them. There are water sports for every age level, including more challenging choices like scuba diving and parasailing.

Convenient Train Station

Despite being an ideal location for all things beach related, there are also opportunities to walk to the convenient train station to take day trips to Nice, Menton, Cannes, and more. The French train system is delightful; trains are air conditioned and get you quickly to wherever you would like to visit.

Joys of French Life

Daily treats awaited us each day in the local patisserie.

There is also the essence of French life here that you will quickly appreciate. Since we had been here before, we quickly went back to our local bakery, grocery store, and cafés where we knew we would get the best coffee. There is no joy that I can find comparable to eating a French croissant for breakfast that has a hint of buttery taste in each bite and requires absolutely nothing like jam to enhance the flavor.     

Dining Delights

I returned to Le Vesuvio to have this glazed duck again.

In the evening the town is hopping with many restaurants and ice cream shops to choose from. While seafood is the obvious choice in this on the water location, there are many other great choices as well. I returned to Le Vesuvio to have my favorite meal from 2021 – glazed duck and mashed potatoes. It was even better than I remembered it.

Early Morning Peace and Quiet

By noon the beach is busy but still delightful.

The truly best time in Juan Les Pins is early in the morning before all the crowds descend on the place. Walking along the quiet beach front before the heat of the day, I appreciated the true beauty of the town and took deep breaths of the clean sea air. I would walk to the patisserie and share greetings with the friendly staff. There were always marvelous treats behind the glass, but I would walk home with hot coffee and a bag of croissants – sometimes getting a chocolate or raspberry one as a special treat.

Time to Leave

When our time was up in Juan Les Pins, I really didn’t want to go; however, a new destination awaited us – Copenhagen, Demark – where none of us had ever been before. I will cover that part of our journey in the next article.

I highly recommend Juan Les Pins in the South of France as a great place to spend a vacation where you can relax, be active, and enjoy the bounty from the land and the sea.

About Victor Lana

Victor Lana's stories, articles, and poems have been published in literary magazines and online. His new novel, 'Unicorn: A Love Story,' is available as an e-book and in print.

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