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Last updated : Nov 2009
Cannes Sightseeing
Cannes Sightseeing Guide -TravelPuppy.com
Sightseeing Overview

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 du Midi.

Tourist Information

Cannes Tourist Office
Palais des Festivals, La Croisette
Telephone number: (04) 9339 2453. Fax number: (04) 9299 8423.
E-mail: tourisme@semec.com
Website: www.cannes-on-line.com

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.

Passes

The 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.

Key Attractions

Musée 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.

Le Suquet
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).
Admission: €3

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 summer.

Musée de la Mer
Ile Ste Marguerite
Telephone/Fax number: (04) 9343 1817
Website: www.cannes-on-line.com
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).
Admission: €3

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.
Website: www.abbayedelerins.com
Transport: Boat trip to the island.

Opening hours: Boats run daily 0800-1700 hrs (winter), daily 0800-1800 hrs (summer).
Admission: €8.

Further Distractions

The Villas of Cannes

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.

Villa Eléonore Louise
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’.
 
 
 
   
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