The town of Cannes is world-famous as a bastion of the silver screen. Every year in May, it hosts the famous international film festival, whose reputation extends far beyond the borders of France. The event takes place in the Palais des Festivals, recognisable by its contemporary architecture all in white and glass, and its unmistakable steps with their vermilion red carpet, walked by celebrities from all over the world.
Apart from this illustrious jet set destination, travellers should also spend some time in Cannes' lesser-known streets, which nonetheless contain many treasures. Film buffs can keep the festivities going by admiring the murals dotted about the town. To pay homage to the great film icons, some façades are draped with vintage posters and brilliantly drawn pictures of movie icons. A good addition to any film-themed tour is the Chemin des Étoiles, where you can see celebrity handprints, just like on the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard.
Step out of the spotlight for a moment to explore the quieter parts of Cannes, where life runs its peaceful course. Start in the legendary neighbourhood of Le Suquet, a former fishing village now included in the old part of Cannes, set on a small hill overlooking the sea. Hills, narrow streets, bougainvillea and old buildings reflect the rich heritage of this district, whose history dates back to one century BC! To meet the locals, don't miss the Forville market, built at the end of the 19th century in Le Suquet. Artisans of sea and land meet there to unveil their fresh produce, forming a sublime palette of colours and aromas.
At the top of Le Suquet, take a stroll among the ruins of the old medieval castle, with a remarkably well-preserved square tower and machicolations. Head to the highest point in the district for a view over the entire town of Cannes and the surrounding area. To the north lie the peaks of the Alps. To the west, the Estérel corniche is recognisable by its red rocks and peaks which delight hikers and mountain bikers. To the south, the Lérins Islands emerge from the water. Located not far from Cannes, they offer a wonderful place to get away from the urban hustle and bustle. Among the treasures of the archipelago, Saint-Honorat Island, kept by monks, enjoys a particularly peaceful setting. You can taste the wines made at its abbey, to the soothing sound of cicadas.
In the area around the town, consider taking the Golden Corniche road, overlooking the Mediterranean and the Esterel massif, whose colours are reflected in a magnificent palette of greens, reds and blues.
Good to know: if you are in Cannes during the summer season, head to the International Pyrotechnic Art Festival, where the greatest pyrotechnicians create a magnificent sound and light show flooding the dark night.