Possibly the most glamorous — and best known — city in the French Riviera, Cannes is a tender-only port for all but the smallest cruise ships. You’ll step off at the Vieux Port, perfectly positioned between the Croisette glam beachfront promenade and the hilltop old city known as the Suquet.
What We Love
La Croisette: Among the many things the French do well is the art of the saunter. Under a palisade of palm trees, peek into haute couture boutiques and stop for a glass of bubbly rosé at grande dame hotels such as the Martinez or the Carlton.
Le Suquet: The old town looks over the Vieux Port and modern Cannes, with petite cafés in narrow alleys and lovely boutiques brimming with Provençal specialties such as perfume and soap.
Best Known For
Cannes International Film Festival: The red carpet is unfurled each May for the movie industry's glitziest stars. At other times, visitors can stroll through the Palais des Festivals and imagine what it would be like to pose in the spotlight amid the camera-snapping paparazzi.
The Beach: Book a chair and umbrella at a prestigious private hotel beach and do as the locals do: Order beachside cocktails.
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Who It's Best For
Movie Fans: Walk in the footsteps of screen icons in Cannes, or take a short trip to nearby Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, where glamour girls retreat once festival season ends.
Foodies: The Forville Market — open every day from 7:30 am to 1 pm — is a showcase for the bounty of the Provence region, including fruits, vegetables, fish, and spices. When the market wraps up, café tables come out and restaurant chefs put all those fresh ingredients to good use in local specialties such as bouillabaisse (fish stew).
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
It's Crowded in Paradise: The film festival makes almost the entire month of May crazy in Cannes, and the crowds are just as intense in July and August. Head to Cannes in April, June, September, or October for good weather without the maddening masses.
Sarah Rose is a New York-based contributor to ShermansCruise who also writes for The Wall Street Journal.