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Cannes Travel Guide

About Cannes

Cannes might be synonymous with A-list glamour but scratch the surface and you’ll discover a city rich in culture as well as one of the loveliest marinas in France.

A true Riviera town, life in Cannes revolves around the harbour which still boasts fishing boats as well as the super-yachts of the super-rich.

Celebrity is the other fuel that fires Cannes, with big names descending each summer for the town’s iconic film festival. Many will sun themselves on one of its beautiful beaches or aboard the seemingly endless yachts. As a result, the night scene tends towards the glitzy, while the boutiques off the main marina are eye-wateringly expensive.

Nevertheless, step back from the seafront and into Le Suquet, the picturesque old town, and you’ll be rewarded with a completely different side to the city – as well as stunning views over the Côte d’Azur. Sprawling its way up a precipitous hill, those who make it to the top will find the remains of a fortified tower and the 12th-century Chapel of St Anne.

And Cannes has plenty to recommend it offshore too, not least the islands of Ile St Marguerite and Ile St Honorat. The former is most famous for being the spot where the mysterious Man in the Iron Mask was incarcerated and although his identity has never been revealed, his cell at the in the Fort of St Marguerite remains.

Neighbouring St Honorat has been home to monks since AD410 and the ruins of the 11th century monastery can still be seen. The current group of ecclesiasts divide their time between prayer and wine production.

Wine is also to be found in Vieux Port, which sits just beyond the Allées des Stars, a street decorated with handprints left in the pavement by visiting actors. Rather more enchanting is the old port itself, with its odd medley of luxury boats and tiny fishing vessels, rows of palm trees and fragrant flower market.

Yes, Cannes can be all champagne and super cars, but the best things in the city are free - sun, sea, sand and celebrity spotting all included.

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Featured Hotels


Hôtel Le Cavendish

Formerly the home of Lord Cavendish, the British aristocrat who discovered hydrogen, this belle époque building is a charming hotel just north of the railway station. All 34 rooms are serenely elegant, but try to get one in the rotunda. And make time for the free aperitifs every evening.

Hotel Novotel Suites Cannes Centre

The Novotel offers good-value rack rates and some of the best online specials in Cannes. This swish, modern, all-suite hotel is only a 10-minute walk from the railway station but still delivers spacious rooms that all have microwaves and kettles, as well as large working spaces and flatscreen TVs.

Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic

This belle époque palatial hotel along La Croisette fuses classic elegance with modern refinements. It has 349 sumptuous rooms, three Venetian-style lounges, five restaurants, two bars and a swimming pool. It has also hijacked part of the main beach, which means guests can enjoy bathing in private.

Hotel Colette

This 3-star stay is one of the most stylish hotels in Cannes. Its simple yet striking white colour scheme acts as a canvas for the hotel's lively blend of modern furniture, contemporary art and the odd antique. Its location opposite the railway station is convenient, albeit not the prettiest.

Hôtel Martinez

Situated on La Croisette, the 5-star Hôtel Martinez is one of the Riviera's grand palaces. Guests can take advantage of the private beach, swimming pool and spa while staying in the palatial apartments or well-appointed rooms. Its Michelin-starred restaurant, La Palme d'Or, has a reputation for exceptional cuisine.

Le Mistral

This 2-star hotel offers 10 rooms on three floors just a minute's walk from the Palais des Festivals and rue d'Antibes. The interior design is modern and stylish, and art works are usually on display. The rooms are soundproofed and air-conditioned and feature free Wi-Fi and flatscreen TVs.