What To Do in & Around Cannes

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Despite its small size, the city of Cannes packs a punch with its famous boulevards and grand hotels. Arguably the star of the French Riviera, the Cannes Croisette has provided an important proving ground for just about every Hollywood A-lister and film director during the iconic Cannes Film Festival.  Adding to its star quality, every September for the past four decades, the Cannes Yachting Festival has showcased some of the finest yachts in the yachting world. Set against the luxurious backdrop of Cannes, two sparkling marinas, those attending the show have plenty to keep them occupied both in and away from the show. With multiple Michelin-starred restaurants and numerous pretty villages nearby, there is plenty to do both in and around Cannes during the forthcoming boat show.

Shopping
It’s no secret that Cannes is something of a treasure trove for those with a taste for shopping. Whether you’re an art enthusiast looking for a piece to add to your collection, a foodie searching for the finest cheese, or a fashionista on the hunt for the perfect red-carpet attire, Cannes has it all. The shopping scene strongly contributes to Cannes’ reputation for luxury, style and elegance. The Cannes Croisette is a palm tree-lined avenue along the seafront which offers what is arguably the most enjoyable shopping experience in the region, with international brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton intermingling with independent boutiques. And suppose you can tear yourself away from the seafront. In that case, the Rue d’Antibes, which lies parallel to and just behind the Croisette, also has a succession of luxury brands and several high-end jewelers to rival even those in Monaco.

For a more local taste of ‘Cannois’ fare and French foodstuffs in general, the covered market at the Marché Forville delights visitors with colorful stalls of fruit, flowers, and local cheese and fresh seafood galore, while the Rue Meynadier also has an eclectic mix of artisan food stores on different days of the week should the Marché Forville be closed.

Cuisine
Excellent restaurants and bars can be found all along the Croisette and in the cobblestone streets of the old town at a variety of different budgets. You certainly don’t need to venture far from the Old Port to find a freshly seared catch-of-the-day alongside innovative dishes from world-renowned chefs. Nearby and partway along the glitzy Croisette, the Hôtel Martinez is home to the classic French Riviera restaurant La Palme d’Or. The only restaurant in Cannes with two Michelin stars, reserve a table on the terrace for spectacular views and enjoy the highly recommended tasting menu created by Chef Christian Sinicropi.

For an exceptional lunch spot during the show, head to BFire at La Plage Majestic Barrière.  Affiliated with the eponymous five-star hotel, this scene-stealing location is at the heart of the action and also has the largest jetty on the Croisette, so easy to access from a yacht. The wood fire cooked dishes here combine a fusion of Italian and Argentinian flavors to create a varied and unique à la carte menu. At the same time, their seafood buffet has also become a firm favorite with the yachting crowd. Alternatively, head away from the seafront to the old town of Cannes (also known as Le Suquet). Here you will find several family-run favorites, including Auberge Provençale and Table 22. These are lower-key but still well worth a visit.

Further afield, the iconic location of the Eden-Roc restaurant on the point of the Cap d’Antibes is worth the 25-minute journey by car or just 10 minutes by tender. For those visiting during the evening, the restaurant at Eden-Roc serves classic Provençal cuisine, with signature dishes such as wild sea bass with basil and fennel mousse. Equally, suppose you are looking for a traditional Riviera rosé lunch. In that case, the Eden-Roc Grill serves light cuisine, with everything from a club sandwich to a marinated crab salad available on the menu.

For further dining recommendations in and around Cannes, click here.

Around Cannes
The medieval hilltop villages in the hinterland behind the coast are a complementary diversion to the hubbub of Cannes. Combining centuries-old architecture with panoramic views of the coastline and the surrounding mountains, they can provide a welcome hilltop antidote to the modern glitz and glamor that oozes from the French Riviera.

Less than half an hour by car from Cannes, the historic town of Grasse is widely considered the perfume capital of the world; indeed, several major fragrance houses have been growing roses and jasmine in the flower fields surrounding the town for centuries. Learn all about perfume making at the renowned perfume houses of Fragonard, Molinard or Galimard, or even create your personalized scent at a perfume workshop. The ancient cobblestone lanes around the Old Town of Grasse also play host to picturesque boutiques, antique dealers and plenty of restaurants and cafés for refreshments, so they are a great place to while away an afternoon away from the boat.

The pretty hilltop village of Mougins is even closer and just a ten-minute car ride from Cannes.  Home to art galleries and gourmet restaurants, the town’s main square is the perfect spot for a long rosé lunch. Slightly further inland but still well worth the 40-minute journey, Saint-Paul de Vence is probably the prettiest of the hilltop villages. So much so that it has been attracting artists and writers to paint in its unique light since the 1940s. Authentic works of art from Matisse and Picasso adorn the walls of the legendary restaurant at La Colombe d’Or – the perfect spot for lunch or dinner before heading back to the coast.

Vineyards
The long hours of sunshine and sea salt that blows in on the Mistral are responsible for the famed Provençal wine scene. Said to date back over two millennia from when the Phoenicians arrived with their vines, today the terroir of the region is varied with lots of varieties of grapes at the many vineyards that stretch from St. Raphael to Marseilles. The Abbaye de Lérins Vineyard is one of the most exclusive in the world and worth visiting while in Cannes. Located on the Ile Saint-Honorat, a tiny island off the city, the vineyard is run by Cistercian monks who still live a traditional monastic lifestyle. Producing a limited number of fine wines each year, the monks care for their vines and harvest the grapes entirely by hand, without any herbicides or modern production techniques.

For further information on tickets for the Cannes Yachting Festival, please contact your Northrop & Johnson expert.

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