You can’t come to Cannes without walking along this mythical promenade: the Promenade de la Croisette. Carlton, Grand Hôtel (now Malmaison), Ritz... the palaces carry on until the end of the Croisette where the legendary Palm Beach casino awaits you.
Walk in the footsteps of your favourite stars in the shade of the palm trees.
Stand with the luxury establishments behind you and the sea, sun and horizon right in front of you. Even if you don’t set sail aboard a yacht, you'll certainly be charmed!
Between the Mediterranean and limestone Provence, Esterel is a volcanic massif of 32,000 hectares of which 14,000 are classified. Its astonishing red colour comes from rhyolite, or red porphyry, volcanic rock from the Cambrian Period. Circuits have been created for mountain biking, horse-riders and hikers.
The flora is rich and varied. Aleppo pine, chestnut, fig and olive trees grow in abundance and happily coexist with palms, agaves and mimosas. Note that when the mistral is strong, the massif is prohibited for all forms of traffic.
In 1615 the île Sainte Marguerite, one of the Lérins Islands that lies opposite the bay of Cannes, passed to Charles de Lorraine, duke of Guise who gave it to Jean de Bellon: thus began the construction of the fort Royal.
After war was declared with Spain, Cardinal Richelieu ordered further work to be carried out in order to protect the Provence coast. The Spanish took the fort in 1635 and continued its construction.
Toward the end of the 17th century, the fort became a State prison, and hosted three companies of invalid soldiers, who were allowed to marry, and who founded a civil population on the island.
In 1712, Vauban redeveloped the fort royal of île Sainte Marguerite, fortifying it. Until the 20th century, the building remained in use as a state prison and even incarcerated famous prisoners including the Man in the Iron Mask.
Today, the fort royal on île Sainte-Marguerite houses the Cannes Sea Museum.
On the Cannes Croisette, you are only a few hundred yards from the paradisiacal Lérins Islands. Take a boat over the blue Mediterranean to reach them. The Lérins Islands archipelago is made up of four islands and islets, two of which are inhabited: Sainte-Marguerite Island and Saint-Honorat Island. Although these two islands are very different in character, they feature the same magical landscapes, where nature is protected and plants and animals abound.
Sainte-Marguerite Island is the largest. Follow the island's botanical trail among pines and eucalyptus trees. In the distance, you can see Cape Antibes. Full of mystery, Sainte-Marguerite Island was the place where the Man in the Iron Mask was imprisoned for more than ten years. Resolve this mystery at the Maritime Museum on Sainte-Marguerite Island…
Saint-Honorat Island is the most pious of the Lérins Island, for a very good reason: Lérins Abbey has been the home of Cistercian monks since the 5th century.
The village of Saint-Paul de Vence was formed around the château built on the hill. During the Middle Ages, the counts of Provence ran the region while granting numerous privileges to the village of Saint-Paul de Vence.
When, in 1388, the County of Nice broke away from Provence to become attached to the States of the County of Savoy, Saint-Paul de Vence acquired a strategic position. Under the drive of Francis I with the Italian wars, the village was fortified.
At the start of the 1920s, painters like Paul Signac and Raoul Dufy were attracted by the lights and colours that the Provençal village offers. Paul Roux and his Robinson are the emblem of this period. In the 1950s and 1960s Saint-Paul de Vence was under the lens of the cameras; Jacques Prévert, James Baldwin and Marc Chagall would live for over 10 years in the village.