The pearl of the French Riviera, Cannes attracts stars and jet-setters from around the globe
Gorgeous and refined, ancient and modern, vibrant and solemn – Cannes charms visitors with its dazzling beauty. Cinema fans know this city as home to the world’s most prestigious annual film festival. each year, top celebrities, directors and filmmakers from all over the world gather here to compete for the much coveted Palme d’or. Year after year the red carpet welcomes A-list stars while the city’s streets teem with countless visitors from around the globe. Welcome to Cannes, the ma-jestic pearl of the French Riviera.
Up until the 18th century, Cannes was just a small fishing village. By 1834, the city was thriving and fea-tured castles, museums, monaste-ries and department stores. The fresh cool climate, azure skies and forests running up to the Alps en-ticed visitors. Today, Cannes charms tourists with elegant hilltop castles, views of the sapphire sea, meandering lanes and quintes-sentially Mediterranean buildings. Vitality is in the air, from La Croi-sette Boulevard, which runs 12km all along the Mediterranean, to other quarters. Hundreds of hotels, restaurants and fashion boutiques blossom on this boulevard, notably the Carlton Hotel, which was built in 1911 and features 338 ornately decorated rooms and two flanking spires, and the Conference Hall – Palais des Festivals et des Congres, where the Cannes International Film Festival is held.
Throughout the city, visitors will find boutiques, souvenir shops and bars and restaurants that offer the friendly charm and delicious fare typical of southern France. The cuisine is subtle but creates a strong impression. Local delicacies like chicken with raisins, clafoutis with pears and foie gras are served with glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec wine. The seafront restaurants are known for their seafood. Here, Mediterranean chefs turn out delectable and beau-tifully presented oysters, shrimp and crab.
Many visitors choose to sail to off-shore islands, the most famous of which are the Iles des Lerins. These four islands include two larger islands divided by a narrow strait, where visitors can admire ancient monasteries and cathedrals looming behind lush forests and gardens. Another tourist attraction is St. Marguerite Island, a mysterious place where the subject of the movie “Man in the Iron Mask” was held captive for 11 years from 1687 to 1698, then deported to the Bastille Prison in Paris before dying in 1703. No one is sure whether the Man in the Iron Mask was truly the twin brother of King Louis XIV or not, making the island even more intriguing.
Visitors to Cannes can enjoy eve-rything from solemn and quiet Su-quet Hill; beaches where they can swim, surf, dive and parasail; ca-thedrals and old museums; and collections of antiques, masks and weapons. What Cannes’ diverse visitors share is a longing to never leave this golden palm by the sapphire sea.