Cannes is full of stunning beaches; they offer fine sand and stretch across the azure-blue sea over 7km. The city is sun kissed for the majority of the year; you can easily swim in the sea from May through to October and there are plenty of nautical activities to take part in including kayaking, canoeing and paddle boating as well as kite-surfing. You can visit public beaches or pay a little extra (around 20 euros) for the exclusivity of a private beach which means the most sophisticated and glamorous of Hollywood stars congregate there.
Cannes is recognisable for its festivals (most notably its namesake) and this August will be no exception with Les Plages Electroniques just announcing its 2017 programme. Spread across three stages and one afterparty venue, the event will see 16,000 revellers take part in one of Europe’s biggest beach parties. They will be dancing to the likes of Flume, UK duo Bondax and German techno heavyweight Paul Kalkbrenner, and all set against the picturesque backdrop of the city.
The OId Town
Originally a fishing village set back in the mountainside of Mont Chevelier, the old town sports incredible views across the whole of the bay. Splintered with lovely independent shops, museums, markets and luxury boutiques, traffic is also completely banned so you can enjoy a pleasant amble around old cobbled streets and narrow alleyways that are over a hundred years old! The difference of the old town and its medieval charm to the now glitzy and glamorous hot spot tourist destination is immense. Get lost in the romantic Château de la Castre or scale the hill nearby for breath taking scenery.
Where to eat
Cannes may be known for playing host to the entertainment industry during Cannes Festival in May, but it is unfair to write off the town for other reasons when it offers both high-end dining and affordable and traditional cuisine. The most affordable but tasteful (and tasty!) restaurant Cannes has to offer with a fixed set menu is L’Assiette Provencale which offers a beachside feast for 25 euros. For traditional crêpes and croissants, visit Croisette Corner which is situated in a miniature amusement park known as the ‘Croisette Fun Zone’. At Table 22 you can get stuck into risotto with veal sauce and a rack of ribs with potatoes sautéed with chorizo. The restaurant have recently swapped tired looking décor for a more modern twist but still retains a seaside theme.
Where to stay
You can treat yourself to real luxury or find yourself something more affordable, it’s up to you. We’ve found the best of both. Five Seas Hotel is a 45 room boutique hotel in the centre, only a few steps from La Croisette. Describing itself as the ‘best kept secret in Cannes’ (maybe not anymore!), you are immediately spoilt for choice of rooms and there is a lively rooftop bar which boasts its own pool terrace, two saunas and four treatment rooms. The Hotel is also partnered with a private beach where you can reserve parasols and sunbeds. Smart folks who want to stay in the same area as the fantastic palace hotels but pay less than half the price for a double room opt for Le Mistrel. The staff are friendly, the food is good and the location rivals the best.
Just off the coast of Cannes there is a group of four islands, two of which are ideal for a visit. Just a short ferry ride away, Sainte-Marguerite is the biggest and offers some fabulous picnic spots. The island of Saint-Honorat has an old fortress at the edge of the sea. It sports an old abbey where monks still to this day take a vow of silence, and have been harvesting vines for centuries. You can explore the abbey and its grounds, sample the wines and have lunch. It makes for some great photo opportunities!