Surrounded by vegetation, Port Gallice overlooks the Bay of Juan-les-Pins, the international capital of a certain ‘lust for life’ with its many luxury hotels and its nightlife, which made it world famous. Overlooking the Port, Chateau de Juan-les-Pins was the Riviera home of Rudolf Valentino, the world’s greatest screen lover.
A favourite haunt of the Fitzgeralds in the 1920s, Villa St-Louis witnessed their thrilling social life, interspersed with the healthy pleasures of the beach. Now the recently refurbished luxury hotel, Le Belles Rives has kept its furniture from the 1930s. Its patrons included Picasso, Gérard Philipe, Ramon Navarro, King Umberto of Italy, Josepina Baker and Edith Piaf.
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Jazz à Juan
Juan-les-Pins is famous for its annual jazz festival in July. New Orleans is a sister city, something which for a series of years was manifested with carnival festivities in the streets of Juan-les-Pins, with both local and New Orleans jazz bands parading. Along the street behind the seaside stage where the annual jazz festival “Jazz à Juan” is held, one will find ceramic tiles laid into the pavement with handprints of more than 50 jazz musicians who have played at this festival, among those are Al Jarreau, B. B. King, Chick Corea, Clark Terry, Dave Brubeck, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Eddy Louiss, Elvin Jones, Fats Waller, George Benson, Hank Jones, Jack DeJohnette, Joshua Redman, Little Richard, Milt Jackson, Oscar Peterson, Pat Metheny, Ravi Coltrane, Ray Charles, Richard Galliano, Roy Haynes, Shirley Horn, Sonny Rollins, Stéphane Grappelli and Wynton Marsalis.
Bars and Nightclubs
Then there’s the nightlife! As soon as the weather turns mild, the streets of Juan-les-Pins are cheek by jowl at night as revellers weave from bar to cafe to restaurant to casino. Le Crystal bar-brasserie has been an institution since 1936 but nearby Pam-Pam in the route Wilson (tel. 04 93 61 11 05) for a faux-tropical experience also has its passionate devotees, where you can sip rum drinks in an atmosphere that celebrates reggae, Brazilian, and African music and dance.
If you prefer high-energy revelling, check out the town’s many discos. Whisky à Gogo, boulevard de la Pinède (tel. 04 93 61 26 40), attracts young trendsetters with its rock beat. In summer it fills up with the young and restless. Between October and Easter, it’s closed. Le Village, 1 bd. de la Pinède (tel. 04 92 93 90 00), parties with an action-packed dance floor and DJs spinning the latest sounds from the international music scene. The cover charge is €15, although it’s free for women before 1am on Friday.
The beaches from Cap d’Antibes to Golfe Juan are populated with beach bars such as The Helios, Juanita or The Lido where one can stay all day soaking up the sun and pause for lunch .
ANTIBES – JUAN LES PINS
Maison du Tourisme , 11, place de Gaulle, 06600 ANTIBES,
Tel: (+33) 492 90 53 00, Fax: (+33) 492 90 53 00