The lightbulbs pop as the cheer from the crowd greets the latest A-list celebrity as they hit the red carpet. It’s the Cannes film festival. The time when this French coastal town is thrust into the mainstream conscience.
Cannes, however, isn’t just about a yearly film festival. It’s a year-round resort that offers designer shops and bars, a wealth of glamour and chic. Even walking by the glistening red Ferrari’s and silver Porches or looking out to sea at the impressive mega-yachts could be classed as a tourist activity. It’s a place you must visit to truly appreciate it.
Does Cannes retain any of its past? Or is it just a place for the top celebrities to show off their latest movie or expensive car? We delve into Cannes and look for the best things you can do when you visit.
Step away from the festival and the high-end boats moored in the bay, and you find that old Cannes does retain its presence. The harbour is a pleasant area to stroll around, and the surrounding countryside offers that Southern French feel. Vineyards and green pastures. As well as craggy rock formations along the coastline with idyllic small villages. Picture postcard perfect! The old quarter of Le Suquet is worth a wander too.
Look at those boats! That’s probably what you’ll say as you stroll near the celebrity lined superyachts that are moored in the port. It’s the perfect reminder that Cannes is a stopover for the rich and famous.
Wander through the narrow streets of the city’s oldest district. At the top, you’ll find the castle of Place de la Castre. If you continue climbing, you’ll get great views of the bay below.
For art lovers, the Musee Bonnard is a tasteful look at the neo-impressionists work. Pierre Bonnard lived from 1867-1947, and his colourful collection is well worth the time to stroll around and admire. You’ll need to take the bus there (city bus 1) from the train station for the 3km journey among the hills.
Z Plage and Plage du Midi are the main two beaches. They’ve been recently renovated, and for any sun-seeker, the perfect place to lay your towel. Make sure to catch the sunset here. It would make for the perfect end to your day.
There are plenty of places outside of Cannes worth a visit. Provence, of course, is a drive away, and well, just take in its beauty. It’s like entering paradise. Then there is Monaco to visit for the perfect contrast to your current location. In fact, anywhere along the Riviera is worth exploring. After all, it’s France’s premier coastal region. Twisting coastal roads and small villages make exploring this region a joy.
You may not have the glamorous lifestyle of a movie star, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the Cannes trappings. So, make your own movie of your time here and enjoy all that this most famous French destination can offer. Don’t forget to smile!