The city’s Old Port offers luxurious boutiques and casinos, while Le Suquet, or Old Town, provides a look into the area’s more traditional past. A stroll along Cannes’ winding streets, captivating churches, and clock towers reminds one of an earlier, more humble period.
A short boat ride from Cannes brings vacationers to the lush, historic Île Sainte-Marguerite, dating back to ancient Roman times. Here, bird-watchers can get a close-up view of swans, herons, falcons and more at the isle’s Étang du Batéguier pond, while nature lovers will enjoy the fragrant eucalyptus, pines and expansive views.
History buffs will appreciate the 17th-century Fort Royal, where France's most infamous prisoner, the Man in the Iron Mask, was once confined.
Cannes’ old quarter, with its quaint houses, winding alleyways, and impressive Château de Cannes, offer an authentic view of Provence; while upscale hotels, shops, and Allée des Étoiles, Cannes’ walk of fame, provide a more modern picture.
What To Do
Discover underwater archeological treasures from ancient Roman shipwrecks at Musée de la Mer.
Explore the medieval ruins of Île Sainte-Marguerite, a tree-studded island about a mile and a half from Cannes. Hike along its natural reserve, Le Batéguier. Or visit another nearby isle, Île Saint-Honora, with its 19th-century monastery. Vacationers can purchase wines and other souvenirs made by resident monks, and fortunate souls can even arrange for a contemplative retreat. Get an authentic taste of Cannes at the tempting Marché Forville, where locals sell fresh seafood plucked right from nearby seas, plus delicious cheeses, colorful flowers, and traditional French delicacies. C’est magnifique!
When to Go
A trip to Cannes and the French Riviera is lovely in any season. If you’re fortunate enough to attend their International Film Festival, May is the perfect month.
Although many stores close during August, sun-worshippers love to spend long summer days basking upon the region’s splendid beaches.
There are also a few ski slopes near Cannes, making winter a pleasant time for more peaceful, or sporty, diversions.