Juan Les Pins is a town in the commune of Antibes, in the Alpes-Maritimes, in southeastern France, on the Côte d'Azur, which is part of the Ligurian Sea.
It is famous for its annual jazz festival in July. New Orleans is a sister city, something which for a series of years was manifested with carnival festivities in the streets of Juan Les Pins, with both local and New Orleans jazz bands parading.
It is a major holiday destination, with casino, nightclubs and beaches, which are made of fine grained sand, and are not straight, but instead are cut with small inlets.
A big contract bridge tournament is organised every year in early spring.
Situated west of the town of Antibes on the western slope of the ridge, halfway to the old fishery village of Golfe-Juan (where Napoleon landed in 1815), it had been an area with lots of stone pine trees (pins in French), where the inhabitants of Antibes used to go for a promenade, for a pic-nic in the shadow of the stone pine trees or to collect tree branches and cones for their stoves.
The village was given the name Juan-les-Pins on 12 March 1882. Why the Spanish spelling of Jean was chosen, is not clear. Other names had been discussed, such as Héliopolis, Antibes-les-Pins and Albany-les-Pins (after the Duke of Albany - son of Queen Victoria).
The following year, 1883, it was decided to build a railroad station in Juan Les Pins on the PLM (Paris-Lyon-Méditerranée) line that had been there since 1863.
Jazz à Juan
Along the street behind the seaside stage where the annual jazz festival "Jazz à Juan" is held, you will find ceramic tiles laid into the pavement with handprints of more than 50 jazz musicians who have played at this festival.