Situated on the Côte d’Azur and tucked in between the towns of Juan-les-Pins and Cannes lies the small town of Golfe-Juan which is located 25 kilometres east of Nice airport. From the airport take the number 250 bus, which is an express service stopping only at Antibes and Juan-les-Pins before arriving at Golfe-Juan. The fare is a mere 8€.
You can also get to the town by train and of course by car either using the Auto-routes (A6, A7 and A8) or the National routes 6007 and 6098 (previously the 7 and 98) depending from which direction you are arriving from.
Accommodation varies from rental apartments to hotels depending on your preference; there are several available in Golfe-Juan and in nearby Vallauris. Please see the following website link for assistance: http://www.vallauris-golfe-juan.fr/-Hebergement-.html
Golfe-Juan started life as a small fishing village and only came of note on Wednesday 1st March 1815 when, having escaped the island of Elba in a flotilla of seven ships loaded with around 100 horses, arms and a few cannon, Napoleon Bonaparte together with some 1,100 loyal soldiers, landed at this insignificant piece of French soil. Once on the shore he gave a solemn speech to his followers and local fishermen. From here began his march to Paris, which although had been wrought with difficulties and setbacks, due to the loyalty of his officers and his exceptional strategies, these were overcome resulting in his successful re-entry into the capital on 20th March 1815.
A re-enactment of the Napoleon landing in full period costume takes place annually on the 5th March at the old port at Golfe-Juan. From there ‘Napoleon’ on horseback followed by his soldiers march along the ‘Route Napoleon’ all the way to the town of Grasse. The latter is re-known today for the creation of essences for the perfume industry.
Only after Napoleon’s landing did Golfe-Juan begin to flourish. In 1862 the first train arrived at the railway station at Golfe-Juan linking it to Cannes and the rest of France. Small industries started to become attracted into the area mostly pottery and ceramics.
In 1896 saw the construction of a port, which is known today as Quai Saint Pierre. Almost one hundred years later, in 1989, the Port Camille Rayon was constructed together with the creation of the Plage Du Midi, and in between the two is an open air theatre, the Théâtre de la Mer.
Today Golfe-Juan is a thriving port and holiday destination to foreigners and French alike.
At the Port Camille Rayon and all along the Avenue des Frères Roustand is dotted with numerous cafés and restaurants catering for all tastes – including traditional French, Vietnamese, Italian, and Lebanese. I can personally recommend La Stella di Gigi and La Fourmigue;both have exceptional cuisine, great service and are reasonably priced. And for entertainment why not join some of the British ex-pats for quiz night from 7pm on Wednesdays at the Rio’s Banana Café and at the same time enjoy a cool refreshing drink.
During the first week of July is La fête de la Saint-Pierre, who is the patron saint of fishermen and of Golfe-Juan. At this time the local fishermen offer to all residents of the town a banquet of grilled sardines and wine. Tables are placed along the entire quay and music is provided by local musicians.
For me Golfe-Juan is a home from home as my mother and elder sister reside here so, when I can (usually every two years) I journey from Sydney to spend some time with them, and to catch up with the many friends I have made at the Rio’s Banana Café and the Hôtel le Provence.
RLB – Tomewriter