Most people don’t know what to do in this French Riviera city besides attending the Cannes Film Festival each year. If you are smart enough to have booked a trip here, you’re in luck as there are a plethora of activities to keep you busy for your entire trip. From walking along La Croisette, to boating out to Iles de Lerins, to shopping at Marche Forville, there is something for every type of traveler. Here are our top picks of activities for you to experience during your time in Cannes.
Walk on La Croisette
This mile-long promenade is the best place to start your Cannes tour. This seaside path gives you views of the beautiful Mediterranean as well as the Esterel hills. The people-watching on La Croisette is legendary, and you never know who or what you might find especially if you do visit during the film festival. During the summer months, you’ll find a variety of performers who will sing, dance, and do magic to your heart’s content.
If you haven’t booked your accommodations yet, the area along La Croisette offers some of the more luxurious hotels in Cannes. This is a good place to start your search.
Boat Out to Iles de Lerins
These four islands are only 15 minutes away from Cannes on a ferry and many find them just as interesting to explore as Cannes itself. Ste-Marguerite is the better known island and has more to explore. History lovers will especially appreciate Fort Ste-Marguerite where the famed Man in the Iron Mask was supposedly held. There are even remnants of a thousand-year old Arab ship. Just make sure you bring your camera to document all these wonderful treasures.
Shop at Marche Forville
This covered market is the perfect place to try some local gourmet food, perfect for those foodie travelers. You’ll especially appreciate the fresh fruit and vegetables they have available on a daily basis. If you manage to stop by on a Monday, you’ll be treated to a flea market, the perfect place to pick up some authentic local souvenirs for those at home. As this is the city’s most popular market, don’t be surprised if you’re surrounded by as many locals as tourists.
If you are looking for a higher class of souvenir for those at home, you should consider going on one of the wine tours in the region and picking up a few bottles of wine. They leave from Cannes and give you a glimpse into the provincial lives of the locals.
Massif de l’Esterel
Outdoor lovers will appreciate a quick jaunt to the Massif de l’Esterel mountain range. These red rock volcanic mountains give hikers fantastic views of the surrounding region, if they choose to hike up the 2,000 feet to the top. There are also some paths that trace along the coast if you want a more gentle hike or are bringing little ones along with you.
Mountain bikers will find a home in the Massif de l’Esterel as well. There are a few different trails which allow bikers, in addition to hikers.