Golfe-Juan’s claim to fame is the landing of Emperor Napoleon on the 1 March 1815 at the end of his exile on the island of Elba. He chose the coast of Vallauris to escape being noticed by the British navy. His landing marked the beginning of the 100 day period which ended with his defeat in Waterloo on the 18 June 1815.
Every second year an important event is organised by the town and an association to re-enact Napoleon’s landing. It’s a colourful event taken very seriously by the locals. Classic yachts and old rigging, actors dressed up as Napoleon, as the troops, with authentic weaponry and equipment. There are also conferences, exhibitions, side events, and even the staff of restaurants or shops take great pleasure being dressed in costumes from this era.
Also of interest is Napoleon’s Column which marks the beginning of the Napoleonic Route and has been in its present location since 1932. The stele, a plaque, can be found in the port of Golfe Juan and suposedly marks the exact spot where Napoleaon landed : « Napoleon landed here on 1 March 1815 »