With its immaculate seafront hotels and exclusive beach concessions, glamorous yachts and designer boutiques, Cannes is in many ways the definitive Riviera resort, a place where appearances count, especially during the film festival in May, when the orgy of self-promotion reaches its annual peak. The ugly seafront Palais des Festivals is the heart of the film festival but also hosts conferences, tournaments and trade shows. Despite its glittery image Cannes works surprisingly well as a big seaside resort, with plenty of free, sandy public beaches. You’ll find the non-paying beaches to the west of Le Suquet towards the suburb of La Bocca along the plages du Midi, though there’s also a tiny public section of beach on Plage de la Croisette, just east of the Palais des Festivals.

Alternatively, you can explore the old aristocratic suburbs La Croix des Gardes and La Californie, once populated by Russian and British royals. Just offshore, the peaceful Îles de LérinsSte-Marguerite and St-Honorat – offer a sublime, easily accessible contrast to the frenetic town, while further out are the towns of Vallauris, with its interesting Picasso connections, and Grasse, famed for its perfume.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

France features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

An expert’s guide: the best area to stay in Paris

An expert’s guide: the best area to stay in Paris

All the clichés about Paris are true – stylish, romantic, glamorous and utterly compelling – yet it retains surprises that continue to delight even the mos…

26 Sep 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
7 reasons why Lyon should be your next European weekend break

7 reasons why Lyon should be your next European weekend break

The ingredients for a great European weekend break are simple. You’ll need a walkable city centre, a handful of excellent restaurants, some cool bars, afforda…

26 Aug 2016 • Eleanor Aldridge insert_drive_file Article
22 incredible pictures of Corsica

22 incredible pictures of Corsica

Just off the south of France, and closer to the coast of Italy, the small, mountainous island of Corsica lies in wait for the three million tourists that visit …

14 Jul 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month