Cannes is one of the main yachting hubs for yacht crew in the Mediterranean. With two ports, beautiful beaches, gourmet restaurants, world-class hotels, and countless luxury fashion boutiques, it’s a destination you’ll almost certainly be visiting with guests on board when cruising the French Riviera. But, with all the glitz and glamour of Cannes, does it have much to offer the humble superyacht crew member with rare time off? The answer is, most definitely, yes.
Cannes is set up for all types of tourists; budget, luxury and everywhere in between. Read on to discover our guide to Cannes for yacht crew looking for the inside scoop on one of the most famous towns on the Cote d’Azur.
Retail Therapy for Superyacht Crew
Cannes is any shopaholic’s dream. With its sunny outdoor setting, countless stores, and a perfect mix of designer fashion houses, aspirational brands, high street stores, and independent boutiques, it’s the perfect shopping destination, no matter your budget.
For those raking in the tips and looking to splash the cash, the Croisette is the place to go for the world’s most luxurious designer fashion labels. The Boulevard de la Croisette runs alongside the beach, and it’s there that you’ll find world-famous labels such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Gucci, YSL, Loro Piana, Fendi, and many more. It’s also fantastic for window shopping as most stores go above and beyond with their window displays.
Set just behind the Croisette is Rue d’ Antibes, stretching just over 1 km it’s perfect for those with a more sensible budget. Here, you’ll find a good mix of high street brands such as Zara, Pull & Bear, Sephora, Footlocker, and Mango. There’s also a good blend of mid-range fashion brands like Lacoste, Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Vilebrequin, Levi’s, and Galeries Layfayette.
Along the cobbled, charming old town street of Rue Meynadier is where you’re most likely to find a bargain. Home to a collection of independent boutique stores with very reasonable prices, gift shops, and gourmet stores specialing in food and drink such as wine, champagne, olive oil, cheese, lemon, fish, chocolate, and truffles.
We know that a rare day off during the season is a blessing, and you may want to rest and relax. Take a load off at the centrally located Eden Hotel’s spa, which features a steam room, hot tub, indoor and outdoor swimming pool, spa, and sundeck. Access is €20 per hour when booking a spa treatment. There’s a host of nail bars scattered throughout town, and the yachtie favourite The Cutting Shop by Marc Ramo, also has a hairdressing shop in Cannes if you’re in need of a good cut or colour, and they also offer nail services.
Beach Days to Recharge After Yacht Charters
If you’re more interested in relaxing than shopping, or you’re all shopped out, then the sparkling waters of the Cote d’Azur await you. The Cannes beaches are packed with beach clubs catering to all budgets. Starting from the Port Canto end of the Croisette and the higher end of the budget scale is the Hotel Martinez’s La Plage du Martinez. Like many others along the Croisette, the Martinez offers gourmet lunch and dinner menus, along with cocktails and sunloungers for those simply looking to relax in the sun. As one of the few five-star hotels in Cannes, you can expect opulence, but with opulence comes high prices. Cocktails start at around €20, and wine by the glass at €14. The day rate for sunbeds starts at €50 for the back row or €500 for a cabana on the pier. Most beach clubs along the Croisette offer similar pricing, but you are paying for the Cannes wow factor.
If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, head away from the busy Croisette, past the ferry terminal, and you’ll find a much more relaxed side of Cannes. The beach clubs here offer a similar set-up to those on the Croisette at a lot more affordable price. At O’Key Beach, premium beach beds will not set you back much more than €20 or €22 for a spot on the pontoon.
If you’re happy to do your own thing, spread a towel on the soft white sand for free. The beaches that stretch from the cruise and helicopter terminal toward La Bocca and Mandelieu are a little less known to Cannes tourists, so there is usually more space, and this side offers the clearest water. Bring a good book or headphones and enjoy some quality alone time.
Day Trips to Nearby Islands
Feeling adventurous and want to explore the local area? There’s a lot to explore around Cannes and plenty of places to see if you have a day to spare. The Iles de Lérins (Lerins Islands) are four islands just off the coast of Cannes and are a great place to spend the day. The largest island, ile Sainte-Marguerite features the famous alley of eucalyptus trees, a nature reserve that attracts a plethora of migratory birds, and the legendary Fort Royal, where the Man in the Iron Mask was imprisoned. For those interested in Celebrity spotting, La Guerite is a lunch hotspot for the rich and famous. Prices are high, but you could be rubbing shoulders with celebrities as you dance away the afternoon to live music and entertainment.
The second island, Île Saint-Honorat, is owned by and home to the Cistercian Order of monks. They are famous for their production of wine and olive oil which you can purchase in the cloisters shop. The monastery, built in the 19th century, is usually closed to the public, but you can visit the remains of the 15th-century fortified monastery that sits upon the rocks over the sea. You can reach both islands via the small and regular ferry service from the old port of Cannes.
If you’re still hungry for some time on the water, then SolarBoat offers rentals of fully electric boats that don’t require a licence to discover the bay of Cannes. Visit the statues of the underwater museum in between the two islands, or discover the two uninhabited islets of the Lérins, Tradelière and Saint-Ferréol. The boats seat up to seven people and feature tanning beds and a picnic table. Prices during high season start at €180 for a morning rental, with various packages available.
Not wanting to leave Cannes or dry land? Explore Le Suquet. The Medieval cobbled streets of Le Suquet wind up from the old port to the Gothic-style Notre-Dame d’Espérance church that sits above the centre of town and offers breathtaking 360 views of Cannes. On the way up, marvel at the pastel-coloured 400-year-old townhouses that act as houses, independent shops, bars, and restaurants.
There are also plenty of amazing hikes on the French Riviera, all easily accessible from Cannes. Check out our previous blog post for some inspiration.
Restaurants and Bars for Yachties
There are literally hundreds of bars and restaurants in Cannes, which is quite astounding considering Cannes is a considerably small town, and a recommendation list would run several pages. There’s a surprising but well-balanced mix of affordable and fine dining establishments to suit everyone’s tastes and budget. Generally, restaurants are easy to find with a large selection of them located directly in front of the old port, a great place to head if you’re in the mood for fresh fish. If you head up to the old town of Le Suquet, you’ll find tiny restaurants spilling out onto the streets. Over on Rue Hoche, there’s a collection of trendy and authentic Italian restaurants, French bistros, Asian Fusion, and wine bars.
In an area known as the Carre d’Or (Golden Square), leading off from Rue du Commandant André, you can find a great mix of bars, restaurants, and late-night bars. It’s also around here that you’ll find the famous La Môme, a favourite among locals, tourists and even superyacht guests alike. Enjoy fine Mediterranean and Italian cuisine in a beautiful chic setting to the sound of La Môme’s DJ.
Fancy a pint? Looking to socialise or find a place similar to The Hop Store in Antibes? Head up from La Môme, past Rue d’Antibes, to find Morrison’s Pub, the unofficial gathering spot for yachties in the summer season.
FYI – A large number of Cannes bars and restaurants offer drinks deals during Happy hours. Whilst happy hour differs from place to place, it’s usually between 4/5 pm – 8 pm. Look for the chalkboards showcasing their deals.
Hopefully, you’ll get some time in the near future to explore Cannes, and we hope our recommendations and tips come in useful. We’d love to see what you get up to, so tag us on socials in all your adventures or email us at [email protected]. Check out our website to see our full range of superyacht inflatables and bring the fun to your yacht.
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