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The star of the Côte d’Azur of course, Cannes is one of the most famous French towns in the world, thanks to its unmissable film festival which has for many years welcomed the greatest directors, actors and actresses of the cinema. Everyone has heard of the Croisette, with its palaces and its beach.

La croisette

Indeed, it is very pleasant to walk along the main beach, dotted with sun loungers and parasols and bordered by palm trees, whilst admiring the facades of the luxurious and elegant buildings which house luxury boutiques and ‘Grand Hotels’. This part of town, between the Croisette boulevard and the Rue d’Antibes, is the domain of the jet-set, with its magnificent residences, chic restaurants of repute, ultra trendy bars and night clubs. The expensive cars parked outside are evidence of the huge fortunes which are represented here. A rather surreal backdrop; only in Cannes!

The InterContinental Carlton
The InterContinental Carlton, photo by Kiev.Victor / Shutterstock.com

For example, like other palaces here, the Carlton, renamed the InterContinental Carlton in 1982, is steeped in stories, in fact has itself featured in classic films. You may for instance remember Grace Kelly and Cary Grant in Hitchcock’s scene in Suite 623. This Belle Epoque-style hotel, over 100 years old, the first to offer private bathrooms, has also been a player in real life history; it hosted the League of Nations, a forerunner of the UN, for the first time in 1922.

Similar to LA’s Hollywood Boulevard, Cannes has its own ‘walk of fame’ along the Georges Pompidou Esplanade at the foot of the Palais des Festivals (a building of renown, with a surface area of more than 35,000m², better equipped for conventions than any other), with its magnificent palm trees and gardens around. ‘Le Chemin des Etoiles’ can so far count over 400 signatures and hand prints of French and international celebrities from the world of cinema!

In the past, Cannes was just a small fishing village, appreciated by the English nobility of the time who came to stay here in wintertime and to benefit from its exceptional climate. And it has remained one of the most sought-after destinations for this ever since, by older people particularly. 

The old port of Cannes

The old port, which lies between Le Suquet and the Palais des Festivals, is populated by all sorts of vessels. There are small fishing boats, which supply the best restaurants and the Forville market with its covered ‘halles’, but magnificent yachts can also be seen, as well as historic sailing ships resplendent with copper and varnished acacia wood. If you fancy taking to the sea yourself, it is possible to take a boat trip from here to the beautiful Lérins islands, whose waters are rich in diversity including prized species such as sea bass and red mullet, with a verdant backdrop of cypress trees, pines and eucalyptus. It is a very tranquil place, monastic even in the case of St-Honorat island, and yet directly in front of the town and the glitzy Croisette.

Cannes Le Suquet

Set above the old port, Le Suquet is the popular historic quarter, crisscrossed by sometimes sloping pedestrian streets, exuding an authentic Provençal charm.

In the La Bocca quarter, the brand new promenade baptised ‘Boccacabana’ has no need to be jealous of its namesake in Rio; the whole seafront has been very attractively developed to appeal to passers-by and visitors, sporty types and families.

14th July in Cannes