Beauty and nature on the Cap d’Antibes
- Credit: Archant
Discover a range of flora and fauna at these five sites in the south of France
There is so much natural beauty and biodiversity in the south of France, so it is always good to know that areas are being protected. The ‘Bay and cape of Antibes - Lérins Islands’ has been classified as a ‘Natura 2000’ zone since 2013 to protect important natural assets such as its seagrass meadows and rich coral massifs. Here are five sites you can visit on the Cap d’Antibes to see and discover more about the majestic landscape:
1. Follow the 3.7km-long Sentier de Tirepoil coastal footpath around the cape to discover an incredible variety of flower species - including endangered sea lavender - which grow despite the seemingly harsh conditions. It is best to wear comfortable shoes for the rocky route and, as always, be respectful to the area and leave it as it was when you arrived. You will be rewarded with stunning views over the sea and if you are lucky, you may even spot a dolphin.
2. At the southern-most tip of Cap d’Antibes, pine forest leads to rocky cliffs overlooking crystal-clear water. Visit the marine and coastal centre at the Batterie du Graillon to learn about the flora and fauna that make up the local ecosystem.
3. Created by French botanist Gustave Thuret, a variety of exotic trees and shrubs have been carefully cultivated at the Thuret Botanical Gardens since 1857. The gardens are open to the public whilst remaining a site for scientific research.
4. Home to several rare species of tree such as the spurge olive as well as some centuries old Holm oaks, the Garoupe woods at the heart of the peninsula offers walkers a refreshing haven of peace even in the height of summer.
5. Fort Carré, with its unique star shape designed by Henri de Mandon, was built in the late 16th century on the orders of France’s King Henry II and today offers visitors an incredible vantage point over the town and the bay. Surrounding the fort is a protected four-hectare park filled with Mediterranean plants.
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