Cannes is beautiful. We tendered in right by the Vieux Port (Old Port) and were met by MoMo, a driver we had contracted for a few hours. The goal was to get out on the coast and take in the scenery, and that is exactly what made this day so special.
Before we left town, we headed up the famous waterfront on the Boulevard de la Croisette, where the Palais des Festivals hosts the annual Cannes Film Festival and grand hotels like the Majestic, Carlton and Martinez are found. Among the high-end shops you can find Chanel, with the address Number 5, the origin of the famous perfume name. The Rue d’Antibes offered even more shops, but without the distraction of the colorful parks and action on the waterfront.
We wanted to drive along the Corniches (roads cut into steep hills) and we started with the lower, Basse, Corniche along the coast to Antibes and Cap d’Antibes. The entire area was extremely beautiful and obviously very wealthy. In Antibes we also visited a local market, sampled the delicious Socca (made from chickpeas and olive oil) and purchased some Absinthe, the legendary and controversial, potent liquor. We took in the 13 mega-yachts and one 92’ baby-yacht, all but one with Cayman Island registry, and then drove by stunning villas along the coast.
In the distance we saw the Lerins Islands of Sainte Marguerite (where the Man with the Iron Mask was jailed) and Sainte Honorat.
We did drive on all three of the Corniches, including the Grande (upper) and Moyenne (middle); these roads all follow the coastline, but at various heights along the route. Ah, yes, and more bocce “courts”, which look like large sandy fields in France, where the game is actually called Petanque.
Our drive took us to the hilltop village of Eze, where we enjoyed a quick survey of the shops, cafes and 5-star hotels scattered along the steep, narrow stone pathways.
Once back in Cannes, we visited the Old Town of Le Suquet with its Notre Dame d’Esperance 17th century, Franciscan church and castle ruins.
A final stop at a waterside café for a glace was a perfect ending to the day.