Port de l'Olivette: the hidden jewel at Cap d'Antibes

The sheltered port of l'Olivette and its remarkable fleet of 34 pointus

The sheltered port of Olivette has kept all its cachet and represents today a part of our heritage.

The fleet of 34 pointus from Port de l'Olivette at Cap d'Antibes
The fleet of 34 pointus from Port de l'Olivette at Cap d'Antibes

A true cinematographic icon, the sheltered port nestled in the hollow of the Olivette cove seems out of time. It has been home to fishermen's boats since 1910. It acquired the status of a marina in 1926. Its frequentation does not stop increasing after the war. It is in 1982 that it is placed under the protection of the association of defense and management of the Shelter of Olivette.

But what makes this small 0.7 hectare harbour shelter so remarkable, do you think? It has the particularity of gathering traditional fishing boats, but not just any boats. These are the emblematic boats of Mediterranean Provence, the "pointus", whose origins date back to antiquity. Each pointu is handcrafted in marine wood, and has its own unique colors. The harbor shelter now hosts 43 boats including 32 traditional pointus. A large number of pointus are classified as "boats of heritage interest".

Every year, the pointus boats are honored in Antibes on the occasion of the Saint Peter's Day, patron saint of fishermen, which takes place in June: boat parades, pointus boat races and other festivities take place during 3 days in the town.

During your solar powered boat ride with seaZen, you won't miss this living testimony of our local maritime heritage, represented by these traditional boats that still regularly go out to sea in the summertime, around the Cap d'Antibes.

The Villa l'Olivette, memory of a genius idiot!

Just across the road from the harbor shelter, you have to approach the seemingly ordinary white house to discover its secret: the face of a smiling man carved into the concrete of the surrounding wall. It is the portrait of the owner, Dranem, whose real name was Charles Armand Ménard, a humorist songwriter in the 1900s who was a great popular success and was admired by Boris Vian and Maurice Chevallier.

Villa l'Olivette et la statue du chanteur Dranem
The villa l'Olivette and its statue of the singer Dranem

Described as a "genius idiot" by a critic of the time, this polymorphous artist was particularly productive: interpreter of nearly a hundred songs, about twenty operettas, about fifteen films, plays, radio programs and twelve phonoscenes (the ancestor of the video clip).

Dranem not only bequeathed his house in Cap d'Antibes to posterity, but in 1911 he also created the Château Dranem in Ris Orangis, in the Essonne region of France, which is still today the retirement home dedicated to former French artists.

If you want to know more about this character and his life full of twists and turns, get his autobiography entitled "A Rich Nature".

How to discover the most secret corners of the Cap d'Antibes?

It is by the sea that you may discover the wonders of the Cap d'Antibes such as the cove of Olivettes, the statue of Dranen and many other curiosities as the inaccessible Castle la Croë. You can rent a canoe or rent a boat. The easiest is probably the solar boat tour and it is also very comfortable because it is silent and odorless. You can also book your private guided boat tour online.