Cannes is justly famous for its fabulous annual film festival, for attracting a celebrity following, and for bursting with media hype, stylish shops and elegant palaces. While Porches vie with Ferraris for parking places in the town, the glittery yachts line the harbour and the wealth and glamour is everywhere here, there is a hidden side to this once traditional fishing village that makes a visit even more interesting.
The harbour itself, the beautiful bay, the old part of the town and Le Suquet all offer the discerning traveller plenty to explore outside of the hedonistic atmosphere of the rather exclusive and often expensive Cannes Film Festival.
Exploring Hidden Cannes – Our Tips
Although this glitzy town has no famous museum, gallery or historical monument of note, there is plenty to do on a visit here. With no agenda or list of places to visit you are free to enjoy the beach, shop and relax in the welcoming bars and restaurants. That said, however, it helps to have a couple of places in mind to break up your wanderings.
Before Cannes was discovered by the rich and famous it was a small fishing village that centred on Suquet Hill. Rising up from the port, fishermen and their families built their houses here and created a charming village full of higgledy-piggledy alleyways, staircases and winding streets. Today you can indulge in the local atmosphere here and if you visit in the early morning or later in the evening you get a real sense of the community that is as strong as it ever was.
Musée de la Castre
An interesting museum housing a range of eclectic artefacts, this 11th century building was once the headquarters of the monks of Lérins. The exhibits are a collection of ethnic art, musical instruments and other archaeological finds that originate from five continents. On the first Sunday of the month from November to March you can visit for free, otherwise it is 6 euros and 3 euros for under 25s. It is worth it for the view from the tower too.
Only a 15 minute hop from the shore of Cannes are the two islands of Lérins, Ile Ste-Marguérite, and Ile St-Honorat. A complete contrast to the glamorous Cannes itself, they offer a very relaxed place to spend a few hours and ferries run regularly to both islands. Ile Ste-Marguérite is brimming with eucalyptus and pines and is well known for its Fort Royal. This is a beautiful place to explore on foot and as it is only two miles long by half a mile wide, a gentle stroll is all that is required. Take a picnic and spend the day wandering the coastline and discovering the little coves and you will feel a million miles from Cannes itself.
How to Get to Cannes
Getting to Cannes is easy and you can travel by Eurostar or by air. Travelling by train takes you from London to Cannes with only a short stop and change in Paris, while travelling by air could see you arriving into Marseille or Nice. Nice is the closest airport and one that receives flights from most major European cities.
If you are flying to Nice and want to get to your hotel in Cannes as quickly as possible and with no fuss to boot, book with us at Shuttle Direct. We take great pride in providing a transfer service that is reliable, professional and competitively priced. You can choose private or shared transfers and book in advance too so that you have nothing to worry about but strolling to your driver who will be waiting for you when you land. What could be easier?
Where to Stay
Hotel Amiraute – Located close to the La Croisette shopping area and the beaches, Hotel Amiraute has rooms with soundproofing, double glazed windows and air-conditioning. Each room has flat screen TV, mini bar, safe and free Wi-Fi. This well equipped and comfortable hotel is our budget option in Cannes. All rooms are en suite and some have a balcony. The reception is on hand 24 hours a day and there is a breakfast served that can also be enjoyed in your room. This is a great choice for budget travellers.
Citadines Apart’hotel – The ideal middle of the range accommodation option is the Citadines Apart’hotel, perfectly situated for people looking to be near the beach, nightlife and shopping. Air-conditioned studios are comfortable, modern and feature free Wi-Fi, TV, kitchenette and living area. There is a rooftop terrace where you can sunbathe, and private beach access in the summer months.
JW Marriott Cannes – The JW Marriot Cannes is right on the beach and prides itself on offering world class service. This is our choice of top end accommodation and when you see the rooftop swimming pool, casino and shopping gallery, you will see why. The rooms are elegantly furnished in subtle colours and a film festival theme. All have LCD TV and there are even rooms with balconies and wonderful views of the bay.
A buffet breakfast is served and the hotel has a restaurant and rooftop bar. Room service is provided and there is a rooftop hot tub, 24-hour reception and a business centre.