A personal view.
Cannes was one of the Med's sleepy fishing villages that was discovered in the late 19th Century by the gentry of Britain and quickly became established as the place for the well heeled to go.
Today, Cannes is a collection of shops, cafes, apartments and grand hotels bracketed by two marinas offering safe haven for every size of vessel.
Once you have wandered down Rue d'Antibes and strolled La Croisette looking at the exclusive designer boutiques, gazed at the luxury yachts in the harbour, Cannes has for me, very little to offer.
Now berfore Cannes fans start to jump on me, take a look at the "things to do" list and you will see there is very little that is different or unique. The list is mainly filled with the names of shops and night clubs.
Having said that this is what you can see and do:
The old village perched on the hill to the west side of the town, looking down on the harbour is as you might expect the most charming area. The narrow winding streets lead to the Castle which has a small museum.
A boat trip out to the Isle de Lerins islands is worthwhile if you want to have some peace and tranquility. If you are a beach lover take a picnic and spend the day in one of the many secluded coves and beaches on the south side of Isle Sainte Marguerite or stroll among the eucalyptus and pine trees. Fort Royal has an interesting history dating back to Roman times and boasts about the "Man in the Iron Mask" who was imprisoned there in the late 17th Centuary. You can see his cell (aledgedly) but there is nothing to visualise what the mask looked like and of course no one knows who he was.
There are, of course, several cinemas, one of which screens films in english (version originale). It is located off Rue Felix Faure.
As far as beaches go, apart from two small public areas at either end of La Croisette the remainder is privately owned by the big hotels on the other side of the street.
If you are looking to take that special person for a romantic dining experience I would suggest visiting the Rue du Suquet. A narrow twisting street in the old town that winds its way up the hill towards the castle, it is packed with excellent restaurants offering typically French cuisine. Be advised prices are not cheap although better value than those on La Croisette. The food and dining experience is truly memorable.
If you want to be near the main areas of activity, stay somewhere between the old town and Rue Chabaud. Any further east and you will have a 10-15 min walk into the centre. Not much if you do it once after 3-4 days becomes tiresome.
I was dissapointed with Cannes. It lacks character and soul. There was nothing that would make me want to come back.
A day or two at the most will give you everything you need to see.
- Visit our page for Cannes tourism organisations
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