A strategic port valued by all since the Greeks today sails still flutter above the marina but these are sleek leisure yachts. Soak up local atmosphere in the cobbled streets and thriving Provencal market. Picasso lived at Château Grimaldi, see the work he produced, and a fine museum of Napoleonic memorabilia.
The Greeks named it ‘Nikaia’, for victory, and the Promenade des Anglais is named for the English upper class who began the Summer Season. The capital of the French Riviera has a delicious daily flower, fruit and vegetable market in Cours Saleya, which becomes a craft market on summer evenings. Nearby are the Matisse and Chagall museums.
Stroll along La Croisette, one of the most stylish boulevards on the Côte d'Azur, purring with the glamour of the annual Cannes Film Festival. Climb above it all to the top of the Old Town, look out from the Tour de Suquet at the boats bouncing on the glittering sea, and think of a more peaceful past when fishing not fashion fascinated Les Cannois.
Zip over for the Grand Prix in May or the casinos any time of year. Renowned as a playground of the rich, it also has a marvellous clifftop Oceanographic Museum with fabulous sea views, and an Exotic Garden fabulously stocked after 75 years of planting.