One of the most exciting things to do in Cannes is reaching there. You can come by air, drive in or take a train from Paris. In any of these cases, visual delights begin much before you reach Cannes. Although most of the movement is linked to the Cannes Film Festival, Cannes won’t disappoint you on other things that you fancy.
1. At the Foot of the Red Carpet
The daily fashion show presented by the hopefuls in quest of a spare invite or a pass. The couture of the hopefuls ranges from suave and dashing to elegant and sizzling. One could understand the variety in feminine fashion but tuxedos? There are even those who stray away from black into some very dashing colours, styled and worn with panache. Once the show starts, they get back to their lives. You see tuxedoed gentlemen picking up groceries, cycling home or standing at bus stops nibbling the ends of their baguettes (long French bread).
2. Stretch an evening till dawn
Evenings start with open cafes that offer coffee, wine or beer. Wine is not just wine that is ordered by colour – rouge, rose, blanc but Chardonnay, Bordeaux, Pinot; Sauvignon, Sancerre, Emilio and more, accompanied with assorted combinations of bread, pasta and meat – sandwiches rolls, croissants, quiches; and, of course, pizza. A must, however, is the liquid add on, special olive oil that comes in a bottle and has a green chilly pepper floating in it. A few of the favourite fish delights are Fruits de Mer, and Bouillabaisse, the fish stew with assorted fish where, the Rascasse (scorpion fish) is considered a must. Eating is serious business and no one hurries the diners at Cannes until all the eating is done.
3. Not just sands and beaches
The hotels have their own private beaches for their residents of which a few allow entry for a price; but there is no dearth of public places where one can spread or take a dip in the sea. The still calm is broken in the distance by yachts of the rich and famous, some anchored some moving with no known purpose and disappearing, forming dotted view of multi-coloured umbrellas and large towels.
4. Experience Luxury
Moving away from the Palais towards Palm Beach, there is a range of palace like hotelssuch as the Majestic, Marriott, and the legendary Carlton, where Grace Kelly and Prince Rainer of Monaco first met. This is rare collection and combination of history, heritage and opulent magnificence all within walking distance of each other. The majestic facades are matched by the equally luxurious interiors, step in side and experience awe first hand. Your reverie may be broken by the sight of a celebrity or a filmstar. However, there are options of budget hotels and self contained apartments and villas.
5. Ride on Petit Train de Cannes
A playground where the rich and famous co-exist discretely, yet in harmony. There are three options, the Croisette Tour History Tour and both combined. It shows you the locations of the “must see” places at your leisure. The Croisette Tour begins from the Majestic and goes along the Croisette, past Hotel Martinez, Port Canto, Bijou Plage all the way to Palm Beach to return via Rue d’Antibes and back. The History Tour in the opposite direction starts with the Palais des Festivals, past Vieux-Port, turns towards Marche Forville, through Le Suquet that still carries the look and feel yesteryears and beyond; built on a hill, it gives one an overview of Cannes.