Cruises have become a popular way of exploring a variety of places in one go. With just a short stopover in every city though, you’ll want to be well-informed to make the most of each day.
Many Mediterranean cruises stop in Cannes. This beautiful city on the French Riviera boasts picturesque Provençale houses and stunning Baroque architecture, as well as great restaurants, quirky shops and beautiful sandy beaches. If your cruise stops in Cannes, follow our itinerary to make sure you get the full experience without wearing yourself out.
Stroll Down Boulevard de la Croisette
The best way to see Cannes is on foot. Enjoy a gentle stroll down Boulevard de la Croisette. Lined with palm-trees, it’s a lovely promenade that curves around the bay and lets you get a feel for the city. Take a minute to sit on the beach and admire the stunning view. Don’t rest too long though, there’s lots to see!
Visit the Palais des Festivals
If you continue up from the Boulevard, you’ll reach the Palais des Festivals, which is certainly worth a visit.
Opened in 1982, it’s the home of Cannes’ infamous film festival.Though entry to the main area of the building is restricted, keep your eyes peeled for handprints on the ground. Down the side of the building, various celebs have left their mark on coloured stones set into the pavement.
Look Out for the Fabulous Belle Époque Carlton Hotel
On your stroll along the seafront, you’ll walk past the stunning Belle Époque façade of Carlton Hotels.
Over 100 years old, this breath-taking building is one of Cannes’ mythic palaces. The edifice is coated with two colours and features two crowning cupolas which are said to have been designed in honour of Carolina ‘la Bellle’ Otera’s bountiful breasts.
Visit La Malmaison
La Malmaison is a private 19th-Century mansion just off the Croisette.
Since its renovation in 1984, it has been a public art gallery which hosts the work of renowned painters like Matisse, Picasso, Miró and César, as well as contemporary collections. It’s open from 11am to 8pm Tuesday through Friday between July and September, and from 10am to 1pm and 2 until 6pm between September and April.
Return to Cannes’ Roots: Visit the Old Town
Before becoming a glamorous hotspot, Cannes was a quaint fishing village on Suquet Hill. This old part of the town is entirely pedestrianised and stretches from the North-West corner of the harbour to the old castle. For an authentic feel of the place, look down the small side streets and admire the traditional Provençale houses with their beautifully coloured shutters (my favourite are the purple and blue ones which match the lavender fields).
Lunch at Relais des Semailles
If you enter the Old Village via Rue Saint Antoine, you can explore the warren at your leisure. It’ll also lead you to a great gourmet restaurant, Relais des Semailles.
Serving fresh produce from the daily market, their menu varies according to the season. Offering three-course meals from just 32€, the restaurant is open for lunch on Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
Stunning views from the Castle
At the top of rue Saint Antoine, there is a staircase that leads to Cannes’ old castle.
Built in the 11t century by the local monks of Lérins, the castle’s outer part, clock tower and small chapel will capture your attention. If you’re up for it, you can also climb up the middle tower’s 109 steps to get an unrivalled view of Cannes (it’s well worth the 6€ entry fee!). From the top, you’ll see the city and mountains on one side, and the bay and islands on the other.
Musée de la Castre
The Castle has now been converted into a museum which houses an electric range of ethnic artefacts, archaeo-materials and musical instruments.
It’s open all week from 10am to 7pm throughout July and August, or Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 1pm then 2pm to 5pm between October and March or till 6pm in April, May and June.
Baroque Chapelle Bellini and Parc Fiorentina
In the late afternoon, take a taxi over to the beautiful Baroque Chapelle Bellini and Parc Fiorentina. Part of the Villa Fiorentina estate, the 19th Century Italian-style chapel is one of Cannes’ most spectacular monuments. It was commissioned by Count Vitali, whose coat of arms still hangs on one of the walls. Today, the chapel displays the work of Cannes’ very own painter and architect, Emmanuel Bellini.
The exhibition is open weekdays from 2pm to 5pm.
Celebrate a Successful Trip
After a wonderful day spent exploring Cannes, return to Croisette promenade and finish off your trip in style. Enjoy a bubbly glass of Kir Royal at one of the bars on the lovely seafront.
How to Get to Cannes Centre
You cruise ship will most likely dock in Port Pierra Canto, two kilometres from the city centre and Boulevard de la Croisette. To ensure you get to fit in as much as possible, avoid wasting time and book a transfer to collect you straight from the port. Cruise port transfers to Cannes’ city centre only takes ten minutes, so you can explore all this gorgeous city has to offer.
About Shuttle Direct
As Europe and North Africa’s most respected transfer provider, Shuttle Direct guarantees a hassle-free transfer service. A friendly driver will meet you at the cruise port and safely take you to your destination. You can book shared, group or private transfers via our secured website.