department: alpes-maritime (06)
region: provence alpes cÔte d'azur

cannes definitely can

Renowned for its annual Film Festival (held in May), Cannes is a delightful place to visit at any time of year, boasting a lovely old quarter, an up-market town centre and a glorious beach promenade: all-in-all a spectacular setting.

This gem of the Côte d'Azur became popular in the early 19th century as a place with a mild climate, bringing it to the attention of the world's wealthy in search of a therapeutic winter resort. The town's fame arose from a visit by a former Lord Chancellor of England, who stayed here, and liked the place so much that he built a villa, and returned every year, initiating a period of growth and leading to the development of the town as a holiday resort, and finally classified as such in 1915.

© ATOUT FRANCE/Michel Angot

The place to be is along the infamous boulevard de la Croisette, with its luxury hotels, boutiques and Palais des Festivals, and the wide, attractive sea front, with gardens, palm trees and a splendid sandy beach. Much of the 19th-century elegance of the town can still be seen in its grand villas, built to show off personal wealth, and, in design style, ranging from medieval castles to Roman villas. It's all a bit bizarre, but in a nice way.

The older part of town is known as Le Suquet, ranged across a steep hill near the old port, the Vieux Port. This is the place to be for night life and restaurants, with the nearby Tour du Mont Chevalier offering a fine view over the beach, the bay and the tranquil Lérins Islands.

© ATOUT FRANCE/Emmanuel Valentin

CANNES: holiday ideas

Coastal drive
Take a drive across the Massif de l'Esterel, which stretches along the coastline of the Var as far as Fréjus. This is an ancient mountain range with Mont Vinaigre as its highest peak at 614m (2,050ft). Driving the coastal road is a dramatic sight, the rugged, reddish rocks contrasting with the azure blue sea.

Shopping and luxury
This is a great destination for fashion lovers, offering all the biggest names in high fashion, luxury off-the-peg clothing and jewellery.

Island visit
Just a few miles away, the Lérins Islands offer delightful walks that embrace nature, history and the sea shore. There are two protected islands: St Marguerite and St Honorat. Historically, the former was a State Prison, where its most renowned resident was the Man in the Iron Mask. St Honorat has a fortified monastery, wherein the monks produce a very palatable wine.

© ATOUT FRANCE/Emmanuel Valentin

Visit the Vieux Port
The old Suquet district runs from the stalls at the Fortville Market to the shops in Rue Meynadier, and is very much the pulsating heart of the city. The old town is higher than modern Cannes, and so offers a stunning view across the city.
Anyone looking for fresh seafood and Provençal produce, will find that the Fortville market is the place to be.

Visitors will be hard pushed not to find something to their liking; there are over 300 restaurants, bistrots and bars in Cannes, including some of the finest in the world. Not surprisingly, seafood is available almost everywhere; it just needs a chilled glass of Provençal wine to wash it down.

Festivals and events
Cannes is renowned widely for its International Film Festival, but there are many more events going on all through the year, such as the international festival of fireworks, plays and concerts.

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1, boulevard de la Croisette, 06400 Cannes
Tel: 04 92 99 84 22

getting there

Nice Côte d’Azur Airport
Located 24km (15 miles) from Cannes, Nice Côte d’Azur Airport has over 10 million passengers a year. The smaller Cannes-Mandelieu Airport is also nearby. Cannes Shuttle operate a regular door-2-door service between Nice Airport and hotels/accommodations in Cannes.

TGV rail services to the Gare de Cannes provide access from major French cities, including Nice, Marseille, Lyon, Paris and Toulouse. Other cities with rail connections include Brussels (6 hours), Milan (5 hours), Basel (10 hours), Rome (10 hours) and Venice (10 hours).

Coach services arrive at the Gare Routière de Cannes, in the centre of the city, near the Town Hall.

Ferries are available in Nice harbour from Bastia and Calvi in Corsica, with services provided by SNCM Ferryterranée and Corsica Ferries.