Cannes and the beaches of the French Riviera

I spent 5 days in Nice, which was my first stop on my trip to France and my base for discovering the towns on the Côte D’Azur. I decided not to rent a car and used the bus to visit Monaco, Cap Ferrat, Villefranche, Saint Paul de Vence, Cagnes and Éze Village, as I already mentioned in this other post here. But to go to Cannes, I opted for the train.

cannes beachcannes beach

Boarding is at the Nice-Ville train station, which is located on Avenue Thiers, at the end of Avenue Jean Médecin, for those departing from Place Masséna (the main square of Nice). The return ticket costs €13 and allows you to get off at the intermediate stations and return at no extra cost – great for those who also want to discover Antibes and Savoy .

Arriving in Cannes, after getting a basic map of the city at the tourist office, my first stop was the famous Marché Forville. I confess that I didn’t think anything of it and then I went to Vieux Port, where I took a boat to Île de Sainte Margarite – one of the two islands known as Îles de Lérins.

st margaritest margarite

A delightful walk! The island is 15 minutes from the coast and has a nice beach, where people also go to have a picnic. I walked and had a soda in a little restaurant with Cannes in the background. Amazing!

Back in Cannes , I passed by the Midi and La Boca beaches, stopped a little at Place Mistral and then arrived at Le Suquet, where there is a museum, a church and another privileged point to enjoy the beautiful view of the city!

Herve FabrePalace of Festivals – photo: Herve Fabre

Then I went down again for lunch and continued walking along La Croissette. But where is the famous Palais des Festivals ? The one where the stars of world cinema cross the red carpet in their best tuxedos and long dresses? Believe me: it’s just a theater like any other… modern, but nothing very special… what a disappointment!

The closest thing you can get to celebrities is to go through the French version of the Walk of Fame, which is called Chemin des Étoiles , with more than 300 autographs of great names of the seventh art that have already passed through the Cannes Film Festival.

Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame

I continued strolling along La Croissette: on one side, all the brands; on the other, my favorite, the sea, and the hundreds of colorful parasols, yachts and ships in the background, people having fun on the sand… And the very charming blue chairs, like in Nice, where people sit to contemplate all that beauty .

The beaches of the Côte D’Azur

I left my last day on the Côte D’Azur to do the beach circuit! From Nice to Monaco, the beaches are all pebbles (some of them pebbles! lol). I chose two: Cap D’Ail, considered the prettiest, and Villefranche-sur-Mer, which has tiny pebbles and promised to be more comfortable.

I took the bus at Place Garibaldi (line 100, ticket costs €1.50) and in 40 minutes I got off at Edmond Cap D’Ail station . I walked a little towards the beach and then came across an endless staircase (in a masochistic moment, I counted the 150 steps).

Beach in Cap D’Ail

The Plage Mala Reserve is divine! It has two fabulous lounges , but I was there just to get to know it, because this is one of those tiny, crowded beaches…

After enjoying a bit, I took bus 100 again, this time towards Nice, and got off at Schifanoia station, which is on the Basse Corniche, and has the most beautiful view of Villefranche-sur-Mer . From there, I walked down a shortcut that leads to the train station and the beach.

Villefranche sur merVillefranche sur mer

Villefranche beach is made of very small pebbles (they hurt your feet a little), but it has an irresistible, transparent and calm sea. It was there that I spent my afternoon among pebbles, calm sea, a book and a good panini! 😉

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