One of the advantages of where we stayed in the South of France (Saint Cezaire Sur Siagne near Grasse) was its almost perfect position for visiting the glamourous resorts of the Cote d’Azure but without having to pay the price of actually staying in those resorts.
Our villa was about 45-minutes’ drive from the centre of Cannes, so we headed here for a day to check out the sights and enjoy the superb beach.
The main centre of activity in Cannes is the famous ‘La Croisette’ – a long promenade stretching from the large super-yacht marina and ‘Palais des Festivals et Congres’ all along the sea front – and lined with insanely luxurious hotels and casinos on one side and numerous beach bars, clubs and restaurants on the other.
We found a multi-storey car park close to the Croisette (which is clearly signposted as you enter Cannes) and headed first to the marina.
There are two types of people here – multi-millionaires / billionaires swanning around on the decks of their mega yachts – and people like us, wandering around on the shore gawping in amazement at the huge yachts with their helicopters taking off and landing from the decks.
We spent a while just hanging around the marina quay area checking out the boats and looking out for celebrities before heading over to cool down at the beach.
Cannes beach is a huge, family-friendly stretch of sand with clear blue water, lined with palm trees and inhabited by a mixture of extremely beautiful, young, rich people and families just enjoying the beach and the sights.
The beach clubs and bars are generally the domain of the wealthy and famous, apparently frequented by the likes of Paris Hilton and Nicole Scherzinger and the prices of which, even just to sit on a lounger, were certainly out of our league.
But the beach itself with its soft, golden sand and clear, shallow swimming water was perfectly good enough for us (albeit we found the water floating with some litter in some places, not something we’d seen anywhere else in the region). When we were here a huge stage was being built right on the edge of the beach, with a massive booming sound system which they intermittently tested, apparently in readiness for some huge beach party that was happening that night.
It all added to the atmosphere of Cannes being a place where big things are happening and important people are coming to – even if those things were happening long after we’d have gone back to the villa to bed!
Running alongside the beach is the Croisette promenade. We took a walk along here, again really just to marvel at the sights of the mega-rich, as well as enjoying the walk along the superb beach.
An unbelievable array of super-cars are parked up outside the luxury hotels and casinos, the car parks of which seem to be a tourist attraction in their own right, with crowds of people crowding around taking selfies next to Lamborghinis and Ferraris, of which there are more parked along the street in Cannes than I’ve ever seen in total in my whole life!
For us, driving our dented Ford Galaxy and carrying our cool-bags of sandwiches and crisps, Cannes is really more of a place for watching the people and marvelling at the mind-blowing status symbols of the world’s richest people.
It’s a superb town in its own right though, with an incredible beach, attractive marina and a classic ‘old town’ area with narrow winding streets lined with small boutique shops, cafes and restaurants.
It was well worth spending the day here and you’ll definitely find enough to entertain you between looking round the marina, the old town, spending time on the beach and walking along the Croisette promenade too.