Cannes Travel Guide
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.