For two weeks every May, Hollywood’s finest descend on the French town of Cannes for the glittering Cannes Film Festival. Read our guide to find out what to do away from the red carpet when visiting the event on a luxury yacht charter.
The Cannes Film Festival is easily one of the most glamorous events on the French Riviera, drawing the greatest names in the movie industry to the port town. And, as A-listers descend on the Palais des Festivals for high-profile screenings, the nearby Port de Cannes becomes a hub for world-class superyachts.
Lavish superyacht parties are now synonymous with the festival, so the fortnight-long celebration of cinema presents the perfect opportunity to host a dazzling event charter. But, away from the film premieres and yacht hops, Cannes has many other sights that make it a must-visit destination.
Here's what luxury yacht-goers can do during the Cannes Film Festival away from their superyacht or simply when in town as part of a South of France yacht charter.
Book a table
The Cannes food scene is teaming with fine dining restaurants. Alluring surrounds and menus of both classic French fare and cutting-edge Mediterranean cuisine are sure to tempt travellers ashore, but make sure you book ahead during festival season, especially at the spectacular Michelin-starred eateries in town.
Among these is two-star Palme d’Or, found on the first floor of Cannes' poshest hotel, the Martinez. A big terrace overlooking the Bay of Cannes is backed by an art deco-style dining room, while its seasonal dishes are centred on its 'movements' concept where food is prepared and cooked in three different ways.
Alternatively, head to the Romanesque-style gardens of two-starred L’Oasis for delectable Southern French food with an Asian twist, sample light, sunny and inventive Mediterranean cooking on the sun-soaked terrace at Le Park 45 or venture into Cannes' old quarter for Provençal creations at Table 22 by Mantel.
Hit the shops
Luxury shopping is big in Cannes, with all the best fashion houses, such as Chanel, Dior, Yves St Laurent, Hermès, Gucci and Louis Vuitton, represented along the Boulevard de la Croisette, an elegant, palm-lined promenade which gracefully curves the coastline.
Alternative fashion boutiques and high street stores, meanwhile, can be found between delicatessens and chocolatiers on the nearby Rue d’Antibes. And, to experience traditional day-to-day shopping alongside the locals, check out the bustling daily market, Marché Forville.
Step back in time
Adding to Cannes’ appeal is the old world charm of its picturesque Le Suquet district. Perched on the slopes of Mont Chevalier, this historic quarter makes up the original fishing village and, with an abundance of narrow staircases, pleasant courtyards and ancient remnants, begs to be explored.
Meander along the cobblestone streets, pass pastel-hued houses, and watch out for the old church, Eglise du Suquet, and the 11th-century Tour du Mont Chevalier watchtower, which dominate the skyline. The 16th-century Notre-Dame de l’Esperance, the most important church in Cannes, is also a worth detour.
If there's time, take a tender trip to the Îles de Lérins - four islands situated just off the coast of Cannes. Île Sainte-Marguerite is home to a monastery, which dates back to the fourth century, and Île Saint-Honorat boasts the fortress where the enigmatic Man in the Iron Mask was once held captive.
Place your bets
Regarded as Europe’s gambling capital, Cannes is the only place in France with three casinos. This provides travellers with an unparalleled betting selection, no matter whether Blackjack, Texas Hold’em or Roulette is the game of choice.
In the heart of the Palais des Festivals is the town's largest option, Casino Barrière Cannes Le Croisette. A gigantic aquarium, gilded statues and murals inspired by Greek mythology adorn the mythical games room while, in contrast, the poker room and the flash of 250 slot machines are more contemporary in style.
Casino Palm Beach, meanwhile, is located on Croisette Point. Try your luck here while enjoying panoramic views of the Lérins Islands. Alternatively, the chic Casino Barrière Les Princes offers traditional games such as Blackjack, Roulette and Baccarat.
Unwind in a beach club
Cannes is renowned for its curving coastline of fine white sand and sparkling turquoise waters. Adding to the town’s appeal among well-heeled travellers is its exclusive private beaches and upmarket beach clubs frequented by the rich and the famous, particularly during the Cannes Film Festival.
Join the other VIPs in the sophisticated and highly sought-after surrounds of Z Plage. Forming part of Hotel Martinez, the beach club stands out thanks to its wide beach area and vast teak-clad decking. Unwind on a sumptuous lounger by day before the party atmosphere revs up with live DJ beats at dusk.
Another A-list favourite is Baoli Beach, sister venue to Baoli Nightclub. Come here to revel in its privileged position by the majestic art deco façade of the Carlton Intercontinental and enjoy an elegant beachside lunch. The club also has a reputation for being one of the hottest party spots during the festival.
Away from the film premieres and parties, Cannes has many other sights that make it a must-see destination