Behind its air of a seaside resort, Cannes is a city of business and leisure, relaxation and festivals, a city with many facets. Sheltered by the Massif de l'Esterel and turned towards the sea, the city enjoys a Mediterranean climate with hot and dry summers and mild yet slightly damp winters. The sun shines here 300 days out of the year.
Cannes has a population of about 74,000 but only 2/3 live here year-long. Organiser of conventions and festivals that are international in scope, the city has an infrastructure that guarantees easy access and counts 100 hotels, 32 of which are four star or more, for a total of 6,000 rooms.
There's much to see... lets start with La Croisette in Cannes. This famous promenade became the emblem of Cannes over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries. Once a dirt path called the "crouseto" (a Provençal word that means “little cross”) it was used by pilgrims on their way to the Iles Lérins. Today, convertible sports cars and big Mercedes have replaced the donkeys along its 3 kilometres bordered by beaches, palm trees and splendid villas and buildings. You can admire the Belle Époque and Art Deco façades, window shop at the luxury-goods boutiques, test your luck at the casinos or just contemplate the mer and the yachts from one of the many restaurants while having a thought for the man in the iron mask. Unless you prefer getting a taste of luxury at one of its 5-star hotels such as the Carlton (listed as a historic monument), the Martinez or the Majestic. Maybe as you're sipping a drink on the terrace you will catch the eye of a movie star. As a matter of fact, the Palais des Festivals with its red carpet, the home of the famous Cannes Fim Festival amongst other events, is located just at the western end of La Croisette, near the Old Port.
The Old Port is worth a visit. Although its lost some of its nautical importance following the construction of the new and bigger Port Canto (Pavillon Bleu) with 500 berths and its shaded gardens, the old port still welcomes yachts and boats traditional rigging and the Saint Pierre Quay, which dates from 1838, is bordered by restaurants and colourful little houses.
Since 2013, during the last weekend of June, the port parties. Cannes-dwellers and visitors flock around its creative workshops, stands for children and street shows. The restaurant owners extend their terraces and concerts are given on the Esplanade Pantiero.
In September, the sailboats of the Régates Royales set off from this port.
The Old Port and its quay also mark the entrance to the Suquet, the oldest quarter and historic centre of Cannes
Le Suquet, Provençal and authentic.
After the glitter and celebutants of the Croisette, soak in the authenticity of Cannes oldest quarter, the Suquet, which means hillock in Provençal. Built on a hill, it invites you for a stroll along its steep medieval streets. In the Middle Ages, the monks from the the Saint-Honorat Abbey built a castle, as much for defence as for a place of worship (the site was given to the monks by the Counts of Provence. With no taxes to pay in the bargain!!!). The fortified village developed around the castle.
A picturesque promenade awaits you around the citadel and along the city's oldest street, the Rue Saint-Antoine with its shops and restaurants.
Don't miss the Forville Market, one of the most lively spots in the neighbourhood. People come from much further away than just the centre of Cannes for the quality and variety of the products offered.
With 40 years behind it, the classical music festival Les Nuits Musicales of the Suquet has become a veritable institution. Each year in July, young talent and renowned musicians share the open-air stage beneath the benevolent gaze of the Notre-Dame d'Espérance church, built between 1521 and 1627 on the Place de la Castre.
In the area around Cannes
Le Vieux Cannet: with its rich cultural, architectural and artistic heritage
La Californie: its renowned mansions and the Billionaires' Hill
Golfe Juan: fine sandy beaches where Napoleon I landed after his exile