France: best stops from Cagnes-sur-Mer to Antibes

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by Hertz - 06 August 2017

Whether you’re going on a city break or exploring the great outdoors, renting a Hertz car keeps you in control of your holiday and helps you get the most from your experience. Wherever you’re going, we want to inspire you to explore and savour the journey.

With this in mind, we at Hertz want to help your journeys become as memorable as the destinations themselves. With you in the driving seat, you can stop off and find the hidden gems you might have otherwise missed, giving you a deeper sense of connection to the country you’re visiting and great stories to bring back home.

We’ve teamed up with the travel experts from Culture Trip, the lifestyle and culture hub, to identify some of the best stops to enjoy when driving in Europe. This summer, why not stop before you get there, and discover new places that will transform your trip from a holiday to an adventure.

See below to find out some of our top stops on the drive from the coast of the south of France from Cagnes-sur-Mer to Antibes.

The Renoir Museum

The French Riviera has long attracted painters because of the special luminous quality of the light, as well as the climate and wonderful scenery—Cézanne, Picasso, and Matisse all lived nearby. The painter Renoir spent the last 12 years of his life in Cagnes-sur-Mer. So when you find yourself on the drive to Antibes, a museum in Renior’s name is the perfect place to stop and see where he worked and how he lived. You’ll find 14 original canvases and numerous sculptures on display, plus lots of his unusual documents and archives.

More than just your average museum, we recommend this place because it is somewhat of a gem. Set in his family home, it offers a personal view of the artist and his life. Whether you love his work or not, the villa is simply stunning, with beautiful gardens to wander that are full of olive trees and citrus groves. It also offers beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding areas— we highly recommend stopping off and taking some time here.

Musée Renoir, 19 Chemin des Collettes, Cagnes-sur-Mer, France

Opening hours: Daily 10.00-12.00, 14.00-17.00

The Renoir Museum

Lunch at Art Beach

A little further down the coast, you’ll find a perfect opportunity to stop and have a spot of lunch on your road trip. Try the aptly named Art Beach, a stunning little beach club where you can revive and sample yet more beautiful art. Located on the shore in Cagnes-sur-Mer and under the careful watch of chef Alain Zapparoli, you can taste some great organic food, made with the finest local ingredients.

If you're really hungry, go for fresh tagliatelle or fillet of beef, or for a light lunch, try a delicious crab salad. If you want to be even more decadent, you can hire a sun lounger on their private beach and sip your drinks by the water. What's more, they display local contemporary art, including photographs by Philippe Schlienger and sculptures by Schumacher and Korean artist Youn. With their water-based activities (they have scuba masks to rent), the art, and food for every taste, there really is something for everyone.

Art Beach, 55 Prom. de la Plage, 06800 Cagnes-sur-Mer

Opening hours: Daily 9.00 - 22.00

Port de l'Olivette

Take a well earned break at the Port de l'Olivette, a pretty little harbour that can be found on the Cap d'Antibes (literally, the Cape of Antibes). Modern Antibes is associated with large villas and luxury lifestyles, but before the headland became home to many glamorous residents, it was a traditional fishing community. By the early 19th century, it had been linked by rail to Nice and was exporting dried fruit, salt fish, and oil. Today, the Port de l'Olivette is where old-fashioned fishing practices still take place and you’ll find sailors chatting on their wooden fishing boats.

We think this is a lovely place to stop and soak up the culture of days gone by—not to mention the perfect spot to try some delicious fresh fish. Have your camera at the ready, this is often dubbed one of the most photogenic beaches on the coast and a beautiful little bay to hang out with friends.

Port de l'Olivette

Antibes' Old Town

The Old Town of Antibes is a wonderful place to stop on your drive and wander the streets. It's the area around the Château Grimaldi, the family who arrived in the 14th century and built a castle on the foundations of the ancient Greek town, Antipolis. The castle became the Town Hall in 1702 and was home to Picasso in the 1940s, when he was invited to stay and paint there for six months. It's now the Picasso museum and has a lot of his art. He bequeathed 23 pictures and 44 drawings to the town on his departure.

The best bits of the Old Town are the streets full of attractive shops, restaurants, and bars. At the right time of the year, you're likely to find antique stalls, art fairs, yacht shows, and farmers markets spilling out everywhere.

We recommend that you walk along the ramparts on the Promenade Amiral de Grasse where the views out to sea are magnificent. Antibes Old Town is definitely a treat to be savoured by any visitor to the region, and a great place to finish your journey.

Château Grimaldi, Place Mariejol, Antibes, France

Opening hours: Open Tuesday-Sunday 10.00 – 18.00

Antibes' Old Town

This summer, wherever you’re going #goviahertz.

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