The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 06/12/2014 9:40 AM | Comments: 0
CANNES, France - This jewel of the French Riviera was a sleepy fishing village when 19th-century English aristocrat Henry Brougham began encouraging his friends to visit.
These days the place is packed with millionaires year-round, though the famous Cannes Film Festival held each May is the designer-gowned cherry on top of that pricey sundae. But you don't have to be a movie star to enjoy this beautiful resort. Here are five ways to live like a blueblood on the Cote d'Azur without spending any green.
GET SET ON THE CROISSETTE
The Boulevard de la Croisette, pronounced kwah-SETT, is the curving street that stretches for just over a mile (1.6 kilometres) along the sea front. It is THE place to see and be seen. Joggers, mamans with strollers, young ladies with no apparent day job dressed to the nines - you'll see a wide variety of humanity strolling or puffing along the wide pathway. Beach cafes beckon with their million-dollar view (and millionaire-friendly pricing) while handsome hotels line the other side of the street. Look for the InterContinental Carlton's distinctive domes, said to be modeled on the bosom of a World War I-era courtesan. You may also recognize the place as a locale in the Alfred Hitchcock Riviera caper "To Catch a Thief." This is where heiress Frances Stephens (Grace Kelly) and her mother stayed.
(WINDOW) SHOP TILL YOU DROP
High-end boutiques like Gucci and Ferragamo line the Croisette. Running parallel to the Croisette is Rue d'Antibes, a pretty street decorated with hanging flower baskets and packed with high- and low-end boutiques. Heading west, Rue d'Antibes turns into Felix Faure, which takes you to the Cannes covered market, Marche Forville (head north on Rue Louis Blanc). The market, http://publicmarkets.com/marche-forville-cannes-france/ , features mountains of produce, flowers, cheese, olives and more and is a fun place to take photographs. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. On Mondays it turns into a flea market.
REACH THE BEACH
Some beaches along the Riviera are private and you will pay a pretty penny for the privilege of sitting under a parasol. But there are sections of free beach in Cannes, including Plage du Midi on Boulevard du Midi Jean Hibert west of the old port. Along the Croisette, Mace is a municipally managed beach, which means you can rent chairs and umbrellas for less than at the private beaches. It also has an open section where you can lounge for free on the sand. Here's a link to Cannes beaches from the local tourism office: http://www.cannes-destination.com/going-out-in-cannes-cannes/beaches-cannes .
STEP INTO THE PAST
Head west, past the port, and you find yourself in charming old Cannes, where there are still some vestiges of the town's medieval past. Take one of the narrow, sloping alley ways or flights of stone steps, to work your way up to the top of the hill of Le Suquet, where you'll find benches and sweeping views of Cannes and the waterfront. The Castre Museum, Musee de la Castre, is at the top of the hill, featuring weapons, ethnic artifacts and ceramics from the collection of a 19th-century baron. It costs 6 euros to enter, but is free the first Sunday of the month from November-March. Once in, be sure to climb the 109 steps of the property's 11th century watchtower, which offers fabulous views.
TAKE A TRANQUILITY BREAK
If you need a break from the bling and hustle of Cannes you'll find it at the church of Notre-Dame d'Esperance, which is around the corner from the Castre Museum and easily identified by its distinctive clock tower. This Gothic church has fine wood paneling and chapels along the side, decorated with statues and paintings. For 1 euro you can activate the lighting for a better view, although if you wait a moment most likely you can enjoy someone else's 1 euro worth of illumination for free. Hanging from the ceiling are carved wooden models of boats, a reminder of the days when Cannes was more fishy than flashy. Open 9 a.m.-noon and 2 p.m.-5:30 p.m. daily in summer.
Michelle Locke tweets at https://twitter.com/Locke_Michelle
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
In international flight, volatile conflicts abound
Alaska sets record for number of visitors
Man dies in California after beach hole collapses
FAA tells US airlines not to fly to Tel Aviv
Airlines scrap Israel flights over missile fear
Air France, Lufthansa suspend flights to Tel Aviv
European agency urges airlines to avoid Tel Aviv
Flight bans show skittishness over trouble spots
JetBlue pilot among 6 arrested in Boston drug bust
National WWII Museum welcomes 4 millionth visitor
Military exercises delay flights throughout China
Wright brothers' mechanic honoured at Ohio museum
Legal marijuana milestone heads for Seattle museum
Twain to wrap Las Vegas residency in December
Reindeer dogs from Alaska's cranky hot dog vendor
Report: Higher seas mean extreme floods in SC, NC
Shark sightings off US state a boon for tourism
Boy also injured fingers on Disney World ride
Simulated service begins on Metro's Silver Line
Nunavut offers lots for Arctic adventure-seekers
Finding elephants and fancy food on Namibia safari
New Hampshire's fair season gets underway
As numbers of grey seals rise, so do conflicts
Graceland Too tours, MacLeod memorial to be Aug 12
Southwest jet to Dallas safely returns to Austin
Graceland Too to reopen; MacLeod memorial planned
As numbers of grey seals rise, so do conflicts
Creating own travel itinerary a growing trend
TSA screener: Man had 'artfully concealed knife'
Terrorist database continues to grow at rapid rate
Construction begins on new Salt Lake City airport
New signs to say 'Welcome to Sweet Home Alabama'
NYC museum gets gift of Lichtenstein sketchbooks
Oscar de la Renta exhibit opens at Bush library
5 things to know about Arlington House in Virginia
$12.3M gift to help restore Robert E. Lee's home
Double disasters taint Malaysia Airlines
Construction begins on new Salt Lake airport
Why airlines didn't avoid risky Ukraine airspace