An Essential Guide to Cannes

Shimmering on the French Riviera on France’s south coast between Antibes and Saint Tropez, Cannes is the bewitching little sister of Nice. 100 years ago, F Scott Fitzgerald spent his summers sunning here, the region’s glamour his ultimate muse, today it has transformed into a European Hollywood, simply dripping in dazzling mystique. The town’s allure has remained ever-captivating for over a century. 

From where to stay to what to do, we’ve covered all bases for an unmissable vacation in the Cote d’Azur’s shining star.

Where to stay

No hotel encapsulates the spirit of Cannes quite like the incredible, old Hollywood-inspired Hotel Barriere Le Majestic. Located in the middle of La Croisette, it boasts the most desirable address in town with sweeping views of the glittering sea, the very best of Cannes’ food and drinks scene and endless activities at your fingertips.

Here you could spend days daydreaming beneath green palms and red parasols by the huge pool or on Le Plage de Majestic, their private beach equipped not only with comfortable sunloungers but with every watersport you can think of. 

When not out exploring Cannes, kids are welcomed into the kid’s club while parents can rejuvenate in the Diane Barriere Spa, the best place in town for marine facials and bespoke massages.

Where to eat

After opening in 2015 in the heart of Cannes, La Môme quickly became a pinnacle of the Cannes night scene. The pink and gold tones, silky decor, seductive lighting, striking ambience and soft live music come together in a space that effortlessly exudes elegance. The menu revisits Italian classics creating spectacular dishes such as the sea bream ceviche with a spicy passion fruit marinade or the creamy truffle ravioli.

Tucked away on Rue Saint-Antoine, the cosy Da Bouttau Auberge Provençale has welcomed guests from Sean Connery to George Clooney to dine by candlelight in the oldest restaurant in Cannes. Its menu offers a taste of traditional French cuisine with bouillabaisse, cockerels and wood-fired aged prime rib, all paired with an enviable wine menu. To finish, see the room light up as the classic Crêpes Suzette is flambéed by the table. 

To enjoy a long lunch of delicious Asian-infused Mediterranean food right by the sea, CBeach is the place to go. Located directly on La Croisette, you’ll dine amongst golden sands and leafy banana plants as the midday sun gleams off the blue sea ahead. They focus on using only the freshest ingredients, sourced locally in their seasonal menu to create nourishing dishes with original flavour combinations.

What to do

Spend a day yachting around the enchanting Îles de Lerin, the islands 20 minutes off the coast where you’ll step back to the Cannes of the 1920s, untouched and peaceful with no cars to disturb the sounds of the cicadas. Picnic in a shaded cove on Île de Sainte Marguerite surrounded by the smell of fresh pine, taste wines with views of the Cote D’Azur on Île Saint-Honorat’s sun-drenched vineyards or explore the forts of the Îles d’Hyères.

Inspired by the elegant tailoring of French Riviera fashion? There’s no place quite like Cannes to spend the day shopping. La Croisette, the boulevard bordered by wavy palms along the coast, is the ultimate who’s who of iconic fashion houses from Dior to Chanel. At the same time, the Rue d’Antibes and its adjacent streets hold a whole host of independent boutiques and unique accessory stores for treasures no one else will have. 

For a brief pause from the glamour of central Cannes, the historic heart of the town lies in Le Sequet. Spend an afternoon strolling along the cobbled streets of the Old Town, marvel at the medieval architecture and uncover panoramic views across Cannes from the Château de la Castre observation deck.

Image Credits: Bay of Cannes by Stockbym © Shutterstock; La Croisette by KVN1777 © Shutterstock; Cannes restaurant by Joyfull © Shutterstock; Yachts anchored in Cannes by Sergii Figurnyi © Shutterstock.

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