Internationally known as the city of film star glitz on the French Riviera, for its celebrities and starlets, parties and yachts, in other words, the Cannes Film Festival. Cannes is a true platform of cinematic expression, which comes with its train of luxury hotels and yachts. However, Cannes is not just the festival. Take a stroll down the Promenade de la Croisette, with its border of palm trees, gardens and the beach of fine sand. Along the Croisette, do some window shopping in the high end boutiques and admire the luxury hotels such as the Carlton, the La Palme d'Or - Hôtel Martinez, the Majestic and the Hilton. You could have a drink at the terrace outside one of these.
East of the Tuquet old town area, in the "English quarter", the city's multimedia library enjoys the most sumptuous of settings: in the Villa Rothschild. Built in 1881 by Baron James de Rothschild, its eclectic architecture and its fabulous garden are worth a detour.
It is in May that the film festival takes place, and Cannes really comes into its own. The Palais des Festivals et des Congrès is where the red carpet is rolled out, and where the directors and actors will strut and smile. Catch a glimpse of stars such as Brad Pitt, Sharon Stone, George Clooney, Sophie Marceau and Woody Allen. A whole week of paparazzi, drinks parties, interviews and haute-couture outfits will take place at this festival which is one of the most famous in the world. The Palme d'Or prize is awarded to the best film of the year. Although you won't find tickets for the festival (unless you are extremely well connected) you might find them for the "critics week" or "directors fortnight" in Cannes.
Cannes also hosts many other festivals such as the Games Festival and the Sony World Photography Awards, which exhibits work by some of the best contemporary photographers in the world.
If you fancy exploring a little by boat, check out the two little islands visible from the bay. The larger one, Île Saint-Marguerite, features a fortress-prison in which the "man in the iron mask" was imprisoned in the 17th century.
Station to station