The long, shop-studded stretch of La Croisette
is Cannes’ central attraction, with 12km (7.5 miles) of beach.
During the International Film Festival, stars and
millionaires, who pose in restaurants and along the expensive private
beaches of La Croisette, become a major attraction.
La Croisette is best viewed from the highest point
of Cannes’ Old Town, Le Suquet, where the
remains of the fortified tower still stand, along with the 12th-century
Chapel of St Anne. Le Suquet is
a beautiful place for tourists to stroll, with its winding streets,
small boutiques and restaurants.
At the end of La Croisette is the Palais
des Festivals, whose endless Allées des
Stars is imprinted with handprints and signatures of the
famous. Just beyond, is the atmospheric Vieux Port,
with its odd medley of luxury boats and tiny fishing vessels, its
rows of palm trees and fragrant flower market of the Allées
de la Liberté. Further to the west, along the seafront,
are the free beaches, where the locals gather, along the Plages
Cannes Tourist Office
Palais des Festivals, La Croisette
Telephone number: (04) 9339 2453. Fax number: (04) 9299 8423.
Opening hours: Daily 0900-2000 hrs (summer),
Monday-Saturday 0900-1800 hrs (winter).
Other branches are located in the SNCF Rail Station and at
1 avenue Pierre Sémard, Cannes-La Bocca.
Carte Musée or French Riviera Museum Pass
(telephone number: (04) 9703 8220) allows free access to 62 of the
Riviera’s museums, monuments and gardens including the Musée-Chapelle
Bellini, Musée de la Castre, La Malmaison and Musée
de la Mer. A 3 day pass costs €15 and a 7 day pass costs €25.
The card is available at participating museums, monuments and gardens,
tourist offices, selected branches of Thomas Cook (Nice and Cannes)
and FNAC department stores.
de la Castre (Castre Musuem)
The Castre Museum, located on the hilltop of Le Suquet, is housed
in the former chateau of the monks of the Lérins Isles and
the 12th-century chapel of St Anne. Nineteenth-century paintings
by local artists depict images of Cannes under rosy skies, with
palm trees, fishing boats and ladies in voluminous skirts. There
is also a fascinating collection of 200 musical instruments, Mediterranean
and Middle Eastern antiquities and an ethnology display. Guided
tours in English are available on request.
Telephone number: (04) 9338 5526. Fax number: (04) 9338 8150.
Transport: Buses to Hôtel de Ville or main bus station.
Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday 1000-1300 hrs
and 1400-1800 hrs (April-May and September), Tuesday-Sunday 1000-1300
hrs and 1500-1900 hrs (June-August) Tuesday-Sunday 1000-1300 hrs
and 1400-1700 hrs (October-March).
Ile Ste Marguerite
(St Marguerite Island)
It takes a 15-minute boat ride from Cannes to get there but it took
The Man in the Iron Mask 11 years to leave this
tiny, forested island. The mysterious individual was believed to
be of noble blood, however, his identity has never been proven.
His cell can be visited in the Fort of St Marguerite, now renamed
the Musée de la Mer (Museum of the Sea).
This museum also houses archaeological discoveries from shipwrecks
off the coast of the island, including Roman (first century BC)
and Saracen (tenth century AD) ceramics.
There is a regular boat service from the mainland. Operators include
Estérel Chanteclair (telephone number: (04)
9339 1182), Horizon 4 (telephone number: (04) 9298
7136), Maritime Cannoise (telephone number: (04)
9338 6633) and Trans Côte D’Azur (telephone
number: (04) 9298 7130). Guided tours in English are available in
Musée de la Mer
Ile Ste Marguerite
Telephone/Fax number: (04) 9343 1817
Transport: Boat from the Gare Maritime port (€9 return).
Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday 1030-1315 hrs
and 1415-1615 hrs (October-March), Tuesday-Sunday 1030-1315 hrs
and 1415-1745 hrs(April-September), Tuesday-Sunday 1030-1315 hrs
and 1415-1830 hrs (July-September).
Ile St Honorat
(St Honorat Island)
Cistercian monks are the only inhabitants of this smaller, southern
St Honorat Island. Monks have inhabited the island more or less
continuously since AD410 and, at the height of their powers, owned
Cannes, Mougins and Vallauris. Medieval vestiges remain in the stark
church, which is open to the public, and in the ruins of the 11th-century
monastery on the sea’s edge. The monks divide their time between
prayer and producing red and white wines La Vendange des Moines,
Lérina liqueur, honey, lavender oil and recently launched
and very successful Marc Blanc. In summer, when tourist numbers
increase, the monks retire to their cloistered monastery, the Abbey
of Lérins. Although closed to the general public, the monastery
welcomes guests for weeklong retreats. The Cistercian monks who
inhabit St Honorat run the only boat trips to the island. Boats
depart from Cannes’ main port, at the Jetée Edouard.
Ile St Honorat
Telephone number:(04) 9299 5400 or 9298 7138 (boat trips).
Fax number: (04) 9299 5400.
Transport: Boat trip to the island.
Boats run daily 0800-1700 hrs (winter), daily 0800-1800 hrs (summer).
Nineteenth-century Cannes can still be seen in its grand villas,
built to reflect the wealth and social standing of their owners
and inspired by anything from medieval castles to Roman villas.
Lord Brougham’s Italianate Villa Eléonore Louise and
one of the first great villas in Cannes, was built between 1835
and 1839. Also known as the Quartier des Anglais, this is the oldest
residential area in Cannes and perfect for a stroll. Another famous
landmark is the beautiful Villa Fiésole, known today as the
Villa Domergue, designed by Jean-Gabriel Domergue in the style of
Fiesole, near Florence. The villas are not open to the public, however,
Villa Domergue may be visited on appointment only.
24 avenue du Dr Picaud
Transport: Bus to Cannes La Bocca or the 2 Méridien stop.
Villa Fiésole/Villa Domergue
Avenue Fiésole in the Quartier de la Californie
Telephone number: (04) 9399 0404 (Direction des Affaires Culturelles
de las Ville de Cannes).
Transport: Direction ‘l’observatoire’.