Sophia Antipolis, France

Sophia-Antipolis is a “Silicon valley” approach at the French riviera – Côte d’Azur. It is build into a number of road loops cut into the foot hills north of Antibes. Schools, office buildings and parking lots are framed by trails and bike routes leading through the local forest.

The three most important tips for Sofia Antipolis are:

  1. Get a rental car
  2. Get a rental car
  3. Get a rental car

Otherwise you will be stuck in an industrial park with nothing to do except getting hammered at the hotel bar. If you get a rental car you will be able to enjoy the nightlife of nearby Cannes and Nice. And besides a taxi ride (one way) will cost you about 50 euros anyway…

What to do

  • Take a tour of the Picasso museum in Antibes!
  • Go fishing – bring your fishing rod and use an angling web community of your choice! It’s legal on the coast – anywhere outside posted, regulated protection areas!
  • Visit the neighboring fortified town of Biot, famous for its glass makers. The central road im the middle offers many glass artist’s workshops and some nice restaurants.
  • Drive up the road via Saint-Paul-de-Vence to the fortified moutain village of Gourdon. You will, in addition, pass the river Loup with its canyon, Gorges du Loup.

Where to stay

  • Either stay at Nice, Antibes or Cannes and make use of your rental car.
  • The Apart City Hotel Antibes is close to the motorway, practically in SophiaAntipolis, and next to a giant Carrefour supermarket. Unbeatably cheap, too. In addition, they offer long-term rent of appartments, in case you decide to outsource yourself to Sophia Antipolis for the summer.
  • Or stay at the Best Western (yes that’s the one with the pool).

Getting around

  • Guess what? Yes by rental car!!!

Where to eat

  • Restaurant Le Jardin, Antibes. This old town restaurant with a fancy garden is well decorated with French food guide recommendations. Consequently, prices are a bit over what you might be used to. However… this chef is composing his menu anti-cyclic to the current wave of French Nouvèl Cuisine. Actually, he’s a grease lunatic. An eccentric. Fabulous. Who else would blend smoked eel in spicy Crème Fraiche? Bake a fat duck breast crispy in Pancetta? Dissolve hailbutt in liquid butter? If you can afford one decent French restaurant per year, get a reservation in Le Jardin! The only other region where hefty food is composed in such delicate ways is Alsace.
  • Restaurant Le Tilleul, Saint Paul de Vence. There is nothing comparable to a dinner on the wall of the fortified mountain village of Saint Paul de Vence after a miserably hot day down in Sofia Antipolis. Walk around the wall on the outside – and back through the small roads full of tourist shops until you reach the Place du Tilleuil. The restaurant has some tables out on the wall, with a nice view of the mountains northeast, and the Boule & Pétanque square where the locals play their favorite waste of evening time with some glasses of Pastis.
  • The notorious restaurant square of Sophia Antipolis, where your host will take you to in case there’s no buffet waiting for lunch. Medium- to-low-quality food at French Riviera prices. Get a sandwich, and save your money for one of the above restaurants!

What to bring home

  • Whatever the fancy market for locally produced specialities sells.
  • The fashion shops, on occasion, sell essential promenade and yacht fashion on sale discounts.
  • Locally grown olive oil.
  • Clay pottery painted in local styles, mostly yellow with olive twigs decoration.

Maps

Current weather

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