Summer’s coming up and there’s plenty of activities cooking in Cannes that will surely add more color to your vacation in the French Riviera. Whether you’re looking for adventure or simply want to hangout on a cafe by the harbor, go luxury shopping or fine dining, you will have something to look forward to. Here is our ultimate guide to the best things to do in Cannes in Summer 2018.
This year, summer comes to Cannes officially on June 21 and ends in September 23. Summer season also means tourist season. Which means the folks in the cities pack up and head to the countryside or the beach for the holidays. Cannes is a resort town so expect that there will be crowd as well.
Nevertheless, summer holidays in Cannes is still most looked forward to. Most especially because it is a hot spot for many outdoor activities. You can head to the beach and walk along the coast, take a boat trip along with the family, go canoeing, cycling, snorkeling, fishing, geocaching, golfing, karting, mountain biking, sailing, and much more - all under the lovely summer weather.
A one day visit wouldn’t be enough; it’s best if you stay a week or two to completely enjoy the whole Cannes experience.
If you’re looking to visit Cannes this summer, here’s a list of recommendations on great ways to spend your time.
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One of the main reasons why Cannes is popular among city folks is because of its majestic beaches. Being a town in the French Riviera, Cannes harbors not only a beautiful historical city but also a bounty of natural waterscapes that play host to many of the outdoor activities and pastimes in Cannes.
Watersports in Cannes is big game with activities including kayaking, kitesurfing, jet skiing, diving, sailing, paddleboarding, canyoning, and parasailing.
If you prefer a more relaxed trip, you can charter a boat and go beach hopping. The best beaches in Cannes include Bijou Beach in Port Canto, Plage Mace, Plage du Martinez, and Plage de la Baterrie, among others.
And in case you want to take a break from the saltwater, the many lakes in Cannes provide a welcome refuge.
Image Source: Christian Jequel
Cannes locals are quiet fond of boules, a game that is similar to bowls and bocce wherein the player tries to roll heavy balls closest to a smaller target ball. If you happen the visit the Place de Lices, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen some locals folks play this game. If not, perhaps it would be quite an experience to play it for yourself. There are two pentanque pitches in town - one in the old port where you can hire someone to give you lessons and one in Place de l’Etang at Palm Beach.
Is dancing more like your thing? Then the Les Squares dansants evenings are definitely for you. These outdoor ballroom nights happen at the square du Verdun for four nights around July and August. The live orchestra is the best touch. And if you’re a woman who is hesitant to come because you don’t have a partner, no worries. You will certainly find one so dress your best and romp along.
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And there’s more ways of doing so than just eating. Cannes is known for its cooking lessons, which is practically speaking, a very good way to not only know a place via its gastronomy, but also to bond with your travel buddy and learn a new recipe.
Of course, you shouldn’t miss the fine dining experience. Cannes has some of the best luxury restaurants and cafes in the French Riviera so you definitely have the best cuisine choices within reach.
Le Suquet, Cannes
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We don’t exactly mean sign up for a cultural tour group, although if that’s your way of touring with the least hassle, that’s a great alternative too. For those who want to customize their cultural excursion, the most recommended places to go to include the art tour, exploring the wonderful series of five colorful murals located on different buildings around Cannes. The museums that dot the city offer visitors a look into the evolution and rich history in the region embedded in their well preserved art pieces. The La Malmaison complements this with its extraordinary showcase of modern art chef-d'œu·vre.
Conclude your day at Villa Domergue, a historical mansion built in 1926 which now hosts splendid musical nights and other cultural events during the summer months. The villa is located 10 minutes from Cannes and has the charming warmth and ambience perfect for the summer nights.
Image Source: Cannes Destination
There’s plenty of action when it comes to active sports and hobbies in France. Apart from the great variety of watersports we’ve previously mentioned on this list, you can also engage in exciting terrestrial adventures such as horse riding, karting, mountain biking, cycling, rock climbing, running, tennis, tree-top and forest adventures, and wine tasting and vineyard tours. With that, you’ll never run out of options on ways to spend your Cannes holidays. Adrenaline-rushing adventures are said to make the experience more memorable. So go ahead and take the plunge!
Just remember to always hydrate. Bring your bottle of water and other necessary supplies. Always be prepared and cautious when engaging in potentially dangerous activities. And never forget: Do not take unnecessary risks.
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A lot of travelers miss out on the bright side of taking it slow because they’re always in a hurry to be somewhere else. Cannes is where you should ditch your itinerary (at least for a day) and start actually enjoying serendipity. Walk along the narrow cobblestone alleys, go sit at an outdoor cafe by the harbor and watch people pass by. You’ll be surprised how such a treat to yourself it would be.
In the morning, you can walk along the Croissette and marvel at the unique variety of merchandise. The Rue d’Antibes is where you can find upscale stores. In the afternoon, come to the Eglise Notre Dame Esperance, a half a millennium old church where you’ll be in a prime spot to view the sunset. You can sometimes find musicians playing here. And at night, head over to the Cote d’Azur for some spectacular fireworks display. After that sweet magical serenade, enjoy a relaxing night in one of Cannes’ hotel piano bars.
At the end of the day, it’s all about how you choose to spend your time. So make it worth your while.
The following is a list of event highlights that will dominate the summer in Cannes.
On April, one of the biggest events in the world of premier audiovisual market takes place. The MipTV will be held in the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, hosting around 12000 delegates that represent over 90 countries. This event is a great opportunity for television investors and media executives to network, seek out new connections, and establish business.
Cannes Film Festival
The prestigious film fest is one of the highlights of Cannes' May calendar, flocked in droves by many popular personalities, directors, and artists from different genres of film. This event of glitz and glamour is also one of the reasons why Cannes is frequented by many in summer.
La Nuit Européenne des Musées
Also happening in May is special occasion when participating museums across Europe open their doors to everyone completely free of charge for a day, usually around the middle of the month. So if you're planning to go on a cultural tour - or it is one of your main priorities - you might want to take advantage of the event and time your visit around the middle of May.
Fête de la Musique
The music festival in France is not limited to Paris. In Cannes, the one-day event takes place in different parts around town so you can expect plenty of free concerts on the streets and in the bars.
Cannes Lions Advertising Festival
Aside from the earlier mentioned media event, another important happening in the field of media communications and advertising is also to be held in Cannes this June. In fact, it is one of the most popular festivals in Cannes, although less known than the star-studded film fest. But this massive industry's elites come here to influence global advertising, discuss issues in the field, and establish partnerships.
Another music fest to fall on the town's summer calendar is the Pantiero, a musical event held every year featuring a great variety of musical styles from indie to folk, and rap to rock. The goal is to discover new artists in the local scene.
Festival de la Plaisance
An international boat and yacht show, this festival showcases the wealthy side of Cannes. The spectacle feaures the most luxurious and extravagant boats in the globe, giving you a fantastic glimpse of the high life in the French Riviera.
Weekend du Patrimoine
For those who are planning for a cultural tour in France in September, you're in for some treat. During the annually held Weekend du Patromoine, many government buildings, museums, and observatories will be open to the public free of charge.
Festival of Pyrotechnic Art
The majestic pyromusical festival features contenders including Austria, Canada, Italy, France, and the Philippines. The first show will be on the 14th of July. For more information about dates and schedules, please click here.
St. Pierre Night Market
A collective of around 40 individual stands showcasing unique merchandise crafted by the locals invites the summer Cannes crowd into the old part of town in July and August. A new addition to the Cannes summer events calendar, this is definitely a fun bonanza to check out.
Nuits musicales du Suquet
The old part of Cannes, Le Suquet is a picturesque district in town filled with winding alleyways and narrow streets. On July 19 to 23, Le Suquet will perpetuate an annually held tradition of music-filled nights featuring international solo artists and chamber music ensembles. Treat your ears to an unforgettable musical experience this summer.
The best time to visit Cannes really depends on what kind of holiday you want to have. The summer is usually when the city is most crowded and packed with vacationers enjoying the glorious Mediterranean beaches.
If you want to rub shoulders with the rich and famous or experience the cinematic glitz, the infamous Cannes Film Fest happens around May. But, if you don’t want to break the bank but still enjoy the more mellow side of Cannes, the best time to come is around September to December and throughout the winter from December to March.
Accordingly, you need to tailor your choice of accommodation to your vacation dates. It’s great to enjoy a more paced-out holiday in the outskirts of Cannes if you want to avoid the throng during the more crowded months. Not to mention a splendid way to compliment your luxury lifestyle. When the holiday crowd has thinned around fall, the city takes on a more relaxed mood, great for holiday goers longing for a rather tranquil atmosphere without going to the country. Around this time, you will also have more choices for accommodation in the city.
You can find hotel accommodations on the seaside, the countryside, and the city center. But if you favor a more personalized stay, there are private properties for rent all over the city. Cannes luxury rentals and private villas are specifically popular among vacationers who place more value on better privacy. Meanwhile, serviced and self-catering apartments are most booked by travelers who usually stay longer than a day or two.
Don't just book any hotel you find on the internet. If you're traveling with family or simply want to get the most out of your European travel experience, you need to exercise caution and ensure your safety and comfort while in unfamiliar territory.
Ask yourself these important questions first before choosing a place to book:
This is only a skeleton list and you can always add your own criteria such as the level of privacy it offers and the availability of certain services.
With your own responses, you should be able to compare your options and make a more informed decision about where to stay during your Cannes holiday.