Saturday, 6 May 2017

The Best of the Cote d'Azur: Cannes

The French Riviera has no shortage of incredible sights, sounds and smells. It's a place that is guaranteed to provide you with unforgettable memories of the beautiful region and you'll see for yourself exactly why the Cote d'Azur is one of the most sought after destinations in the world.

Back in March, Saint-Tropez was our focus. 
This week Cannes is the centre of attention and as festival season is upon us, what better time to take a look into this wonderful city...

A Brief History

Cannes is a city located on the French Riviera and plays host to the annual Film Festival, Midem and the Lions International Festival of Creativity. Known for its association with the rich and famous, the luxury hotels, fancy restaurants and several large conferences. In 2011, the city also held the G20 organisation of industrialised nations. 

A rich history lies within the city and was the focus of multiple ancient conflicts. The history of Cannes is closely linked to the nearby Lerins Islands as well as the monks who resided there. 

Lerins Islands; a paradise just off shore

At the end of the 19th century, the railways were completed ushering in the announcement of street cars. The Boulevard Carnot and the rue d'Antibes projects were completed as well as the closure of the Casino des Fleurs which was renovated into a luxury establishment for rich winter clientele. 

The 20th century saw Cannes grow into a more modernised city. More luxury hotels appeared including the Carlton, Majestic and Martinez. The city also began building schools, post offices and a sports centre. 

There were fewer British and German tourists after WWI but more Americans stayed. Just before WWII, the Film Festival was created. 

The beautiful Carlton Hotel

Sightseeing Opportunities

Set in a stunning 18th century house, the Musee d'Art et de Histoire de Provence is an excellent place for people who seek pre-historic and present artifacts. 

Musee de la Castre specialises in Mayan pottery and Peruvian relics.

Promenade de la Croisette 
The Croisette is a waterfront venue lined with palm trees and famous for its quaint cafes, vintage boutiques, picturesque beaches and fine cuisine. 

Le Suquet 
The beautiful old town of Cannes is an absolute dream and provides some of the best views of the Croisette.

Cannes includes some truly magnificent villas in the heights of the hills and around the city centre itself. The 19th century buildings reflect the owners wealth and status inspired by everything from Roman villas to medieval castles. 
These buildings are not normally open to the public but the Villa Fiesole can be visited on appointment.

Villa Fiesole

Ile Saint-Marguerite (St Marguerite Island)
This interesting island is famous for the mysterious Man in the Iron Mask. His cell can be visited in the Fort of St Marguerite also known as the Museum of the Sea. The museum also includes parts of shipwrecks from around the island. 

St Marguerite Island

Ile Saint-Honorat (St Honorat Island)
Cisterian monks are the island's only inhabitants and have been since AD 410. In the height of their power, these monks used to own Mougins, Cannes & Vallauris, they now inhabit the Lerins Abbey and divide their time between prayers and producing red and white wine. The stark church is open to the public and is a definite must see. 

St Honorat Island

Fesitvals & Events
Cannes is home to some major annual festivals and events, bringing big name stars and crowds to the city.
  • Film Festival - founded in 1946 and held annually in May at the Palais des Festivals et des Congres.
  • Lions International Festival of Creativity - held annually in June and is a global awards events for advertising and related fields
  • Midem - an international trade show for the music industry
  • Yachting Festival - Held in the Vieux Port in September for all boating enthusiasts.
  • Le Festival d'Art Pyrotechnique - a summer time fireworks competition held annually in the Bay of Cannes.  

Best Time to Visit

The summer is definitely the best time to visit the city if you don't mind the hustle and bustle. The Mediterranean climate makes for a warm summer from May until September. The French Riviera generally has mild winters from December to February. 

Thinking of a stay in Cannes?
Speak to one of our expert South of France luxury villa and apartment specialists today:

+44 (0)1244 62 00 63

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