If you are looking forward to discovering the south of France on your next holiday with your family, Cannes is an ideal city in which to do so. It has good weather, great sightseeing opportunities, plenty of activities to keep the whole family (including older children) entertained, and a vast selection of restaurants where you can try both local and international cuisines.
From more relaxing days at the beach to an exhausting session of laser quest, here are a handful of ways you can spend your days in Cannes. You can organise the different options below in whichever order suits your family (and the weather!) best.
Musée de la Castre (Castre Museum)
Just a lovely 10-minute walk up a hill from Cannes, within a quaint 11th century château, is this small but curious historical and ethnographic museum. Its surprisingly varied collection of weaponry, paintings by local artists, ethnic artefacts, and ceramics has something of interest for everyone. Teens especially will love learning more about centuries-past warfare while adults might enjoy exploring the remarkable objects from various continents.
The outside of the museum is also worth a wander. Aside from the medieval castle, there is a tower (Tour du Suquet) and a chapel (Chapelle Sainte-Anne) worth visiting. You can climb the former to enjoy panoramic views of Cannes, including the bay, the Croisette and the Lérins Islands and visit the latter to explore a wonderful collection of musical instruments from all around the world.
Laser Quest Cannes
If the children’s interest levels are dimming towards the middle point of the holiday, there is no better way to reenergise them than by taking them for an exciting morning or afternoon of laser quest. A great activity for everyone, teens tend to be particularly keen on it, and it is a great way to come together and bond as a family.
If your teens are particularly keen on things like superheroes, pirates, or zombies, it is a good idea to check out the timetable for 2016, as there are a few themed events available throughout the year. The rules are very easy to follow and everyone has unlimited lives for the duration of the game, meaning no one will be sitting bored at a corner while everyone else has fun.
Laser Quest Cannes is open Monday-Friday from 11:00h to 00:00h; Saturday from 14:00h to 00:00h; and Sunday from 14:00h to 19:00h.
You can buy a 20-minute or a 40-minute game. 20 minutes cost €9, after which a second game costs €6 and a third one €5. 40 minutes are available on Mondays from 15:00h (excluding July and August) and cost €10.
Kayaking is another sporty activity that will appeal to both teens and adults alike but, unlike laser quest, it will give you the chance to enjoy the hot sun and gorgeous views of the Cannes coastline. From Cannes you can kayak to the Lérins Islands on double kayaks with the help of an instructor who will give you tips on how to paddle most efficiently and which spots are best for taking in your surroundings.
You can either rent the kayaks for independent use or you can book a guided tour with a certified instructor, who will take you to the different islands and show you hidden spots you wouldn’t easily reach by yourself. Sessions are available for a day, half-day, or at sunset, so you can choose which slot fits best into your day.
Rental-only fees are €32 for a day and €25 for a half-day. Guided tours are €40 for a day and €30 for a half-day.
If you have had a couple of exciting, active days and are looking forward to relaxing and sunbathing next to the sea, a beach in Cannes is the perfect spot to do so. French resorts have both private and public beaches, with the former setting you back around €20 per visit. Despite the cost, private beaches are less crowded and, therefore, a better place if what you are looking for is a peaceful day of reading and floating in the water. Some of the best examples are L’Ecrin in Port Canto and Baoli Plage in Croisette.
Nevertheless, if the thought of paying for beach access doesn’t sit comfortably with you, the public beaches on the western side of the Pointe Croisette are great. Full of young people and families, you won’t feel out of place and your children will be able to play beach games comfortably without worrying about bothering your beach neighbours.
One of the two Lérins Islands mentioned above, Saint-Marguerite Island is an almost paradisiacal retreat only a 15-minute ferry trip from Cannes. Full of eucalyptus and pine trees, you can smell the change the moment you set food on the island. As opposed to the bustling city of Cannes, Saint-Marguerite is a calm and quiet space where nature and relaxation come together in harmony.
Various marked trails can be followed to explore the island, which hosts a significant number of migratory birds and unique plant species. However, Saint-Marguerite is perhaps best known for its Fort Royal, a fortress prison famous for housing the so-called Man in the Iron Mask (who actually wore a mask made of black velvet). Many legends and theories exist about this prisoner and the reasons why he was held for decades until his death, and both older children and adults alike enjoy learning more about this fascinating part of French history.
An adult return tickets costs €14. Children between 11 and 14 years old pay €13 upon proof of age. The ferry’s timetable can be found here.
How to Get to Cannes from Nice Airport
Travelling to Cannes from Nice airport is really straightforward. Booking an airport transfer in advance from Nice to Cannes is the best option budget- and time-wise, as you avoid struggling to hail a local taxi once you land being unsure of what a fair price is and you get to your destination is just under half an hour.
Where to Stay:
Hotel Les Agapanthes de L’Esterel – Situated right in the heart of Cannes’ city centre, this hotel offers comfortable rooms, a lovely roof terrace with panoramic views where you can have breakfast, and happily welcomes children of all ages. Staff are very helpful when it comes to recommending places to eat or visit according to your interests.
Hotel Carolina – Modern and spacious, this hotel is just 200 yards from the La Croisette beach and is very close to shops and restaurants. It is renowned for its staff’s friendliness and helpfulness. Continental breakfast is served every day and it is varied enough to cater to most teenagers’ palates.
Résidence La Palme d’Azur Cannes Verrerie – A complex of self-catering apartments, it offers two outdoor pools, a restaurant, and a furnished terrace in every apartment. Kitchens are fully equipped with fridges, stoves, and dishwashers, so you can enjoy lazy breakfasts before heading off for the day. Moreover, it is just 50 yards away from the beach and a mere mile away from central Cannes.
About Shuttle Direct
Shuttle Direct is a trusted and respected provider of airport transfers throughout Europe and North Africa. We provide a fast, friendly and convenient service from the airport or cruise port of your choice, and our easy to use booking system allows you to make all your arrangements before leaving home. Choose between a private or shared transfer, make an online booking, and let us do the rest.