The “Timeless Cannes” Travelogue
When we speak about Cannes, what easily comes to our mind is the annual Film Festival. But there’s more to it than the plush event that attracts many to this cosmopolitan place on France. Yes, the red carpets and evening gowns serve as its icons since modern times. But coexist with this modern taste is the traditional spirit that pervades its atmosphere. There is an authentic air that visitors enjoy as they cherish the charm of this Mediterranean city. Cannes mixes tradition and modernity to mesmerize many, from sheiks to nouveau-riche, to come and see its beauty. This travelogue will tour you to the timeless city of Cannes.
Where “Cannes” We Find It
Cannes’ commune is located in what we call the Alpes-Maritimes département in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. It is in the South-east part of France. North-east is where Nice is located. The name Cannes most probably came from the ancient word “canna” or canes of reeds once abundant in its shore.
A Mediterranean Climate
Enjoy eleven hours of sunshine every day during summer which is July. Mild weather is imminent in winter from December to February. The temperature reaches a high point of 30° C (86° F) on its long summer days from June to September. On winter, the temperature drops down to 10° C (50° F). Rainfalls are relatively low on both seasons, mostly occurs on October and November. One can enjoy warm spring and autumn days.
Classical albeit Cosmopolitan
The trademark of this chic city is its modern festivities and events. We had this insatiable obsession with nightgowns and red carpets because of the famous Cannes International Film Festival. It is remarkably a “global village.” Yet it is not all the gaiety, glitz and glamour that lures tourists. It’s long preserved culture rooted in tradition matches the delightful sceneries of the Mediterranean.
The villas such as the Quartier des Anglais and Villa Domergue are some of the oldest residential areas in Cannes. Reflecting the wealth and standing of their owner, they also testify to the inspirations from medieval castles and Roman villas. Le Suquet, the “old town,” was a Roman outpost on ancient times. Some remains are still evident along this section of the coast. If one wants to escape the outpour of tourists, one should head here for a serene saunter through the scenic streets. One can notice that locals favor walking or cycling rather than driving. To experience Cannes like a local, one can hire a bike and start peddling around.
Want to know more of the locals and how their world goes by? The markets are a sure spot, with local produce available every day. Vieux (Old) Port is a place where local fisherman brings their catch for centuries. The classical ambiance still what makes Cannes a remarkable travel destination.
- Promenade de la Croisette- the famous waterfront avenue lined with palms that follows the whole curve of its picturesque sand-beach. Restaurants, cafes, and boutiques are trooped by tourists enjoying a stroll or watching the affluent residents jogging, walking their dogs, or chatting on the chairs on the route.
- Le Suquet- the “Old Town” as mentioned earlier, with climbing, winding cobbled lanes. It also provides a good view of la Croisette.
- Palais des Festivals et des Congrès – the site of the renowned Cannes Film Festival.
- Île Sainte-Marguerite- serves as a fortress-prison for the infamous Man in the Iron Mask, whose identity remains a debate among historians. It now has a museum, Musée de la Mer, which houses discoveries from shipwrecks around the sea of the islands.
- Île Saint-Honorat- monks that are sworn to secrecy on making Chartreuse-like liqueur called Lerina lives here for centuries. These monks owned Cannes on the peak of their power.
Unlike the pebbled beaches of other neighboring places, Cannes boasts of its white sandy beach. There are private beaches to enjoy the sea, sand, and sun exclusively. West of the old Port is where one can find some of the best least-crowded beaches. Activities like outrigger canoe ride, snorkeling, stand-up paddle-boats, diving, and boat trips are available. Some known beaches are:
- On the west part is a city beach, Plage du Midi, with chairs and umbrellas, great mountain views, with other amenities and dining. It is near Le Suquet where most people enjoy the friendly vibe of the area.
- Plage de la Croisette is a long public stretch of sand running alongside, well, the famous La Croisette.
- One of the famous private beaches is Plage du Carlton. It offers loungers, waiter services, showers, and lockers. It is 14 minutes away east of Plage de la Croisette.
- Another public beach along the bay of Golfe Juan is Plage de la Bocca. It offers swimming, sunbathing, volleyball, with nearby eateries. Its location is west around the bay from La Croisette.
- Plage des Pierre Hautes is a public beach on Île Sainte-Marguerite where naturism is permitted.
What not to miss
- Definitely the beaches.
- The premiere Cannes Film Festival celebrates mainstream and indie cinema. It happens every May, with celebrities, entertainments’ and media’s biggest names, and journalists walking their way up or down the red carpet. Go down the famous La Croisette during the festival and you will surely spot those celebrities. Its home is the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, where the red carpet fiasco happens in front of its Lumière Theatre.
- The Yachting Festival gives everyone a chance to admire luxurious yachts and other super-crafts and boats on sale. Happens in two locations the Old Port and Port Pierre Canto, it attracts tourists on which half coming from overseas.
- One cannot miss people watching, celebrity spotting, and sight-seeing in La Croisette, Le Suquet, Le Marie (the Town Hall), and the Vieux (Old) Port.
Shopping. Dining, Clubbing
- The chicest and most opulent shops and boutiques are also here, making shopping (and window shopping) a favorite activity. Go to Rue d’Antibes or Rue Hoche and enjoy watching the super-rich buy their favorite branded trinkets. La Croisette also hosts some of the prominent French brands like Chanel, Dior, and Yves-Saint-Laurens. Cannes Shopping Festival happens annually around May or April with fashion parades and exhibits.
- The Marché Forville, the main market in town, is where one can taste local delicacies and other treats. Fresh goods are available every day. It is also a good place to know how locals do their everyday dealings.
- Rue Meynadier in Le Suquet offers the best dining experience in town. Have a fresh pancake at La Creperie. The wine cellar of Cinquanta Caffe gives quality drinks for every meal. A La Maree serves fried quail with grape cream and chicken stewed in beer sauce. Many local restaurants serve dishes based on fresh seafood like oysters, shrimps, lobsters, or crabs. There is a lot to choose from. Local bakeries have a large variety of buns and pastries. Cannes is also a haven for cheese and wine lovers.
- Holidaymakers recommend Bar de Stars for those who enjoy night-life and clubbing. Experience fired-up parties in Le Cat-Corner. Morrison Lounge Pub is a good place for those who like beer and modern music. Vibrancy extends from morning ’til night in Cannes.
Other things to consider and places worth visiting are the numerous museums, casinos, parks, and gardens that always provides enjoyable and exciting activities. One will never have a dull day in this wondrous, timeless place of Cannes.
Visit the Cannes Tourism Portal