The beautiful Mediterranean city of Cannes is known for its sophistication, stunning beaches, and, of course, the Cannes Film Festival, which attracts international celebrities and filmmakers each year.
But – lucky for us! – you don’t have to be a celebrity or an industry insider to enjoy the stunning beaches in Cannes and whether you want to soak up some sun, take a stroll along the shore, or just enjoy the views of the sea, there are plenty of options for enjoying the beautiful coastline of the city.
In this guide, we’ll take you through the best beaches in Cannes, including private and public options.
We’ll also cover details about each beach such as parking, activities, and helpful tips for making the most out of your day at the beach.
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For centuries, Cannes has served as an important port along the Mediterranean coast and was first developed during Ancient Roman times.
Even though Cannes has been a beloved tourist destination since the 1800s, it was when the Cannes Film Festival was first established in 1946 that the city truly gained its reputation as a cultural hub and a city of stars and glamour.
Today, Cannes is a popular destination for jet-setters and holiday-goers alike and its stunning beaches are an integral part of the city’s charm and identity.
5 Best Beaches to Visit in Cannes
Here are, without further ado, the most beautiful beaches in Cannes. When you finish reading, make sure to also check our guide on the best things to do in Cannes for more ideas on what to do during your stay.
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1- Plage du Midi
The beautiful Plage du Midi is located on the Boulevard du Midi, on the West side of town, and is ideal for, sunbathing, swimming, and relaxing with a good book.
This 700-meter stretch of white sand beach is lined by spectacular beach clubs and has a super convenient location if you stay in the center of Cannes (read about the best hotels in Cannes here!).
The water at Plage du Midi is clean, clear, and shallow, making it ideal for swimming and family-friendly. Also, the infrastructure of the beach is top-notch, with plenty of lounge chairs, umbrellas, and plenty of restaurants to choose from.
Some of our favorite restaurants in Plage du Midi are Maema, and L’Alba. O’Key Beach and Belle Plage.
Parking around Plage du Midi shouldn’t be a problem, as there are plenty of parking spots in the area – I recommend parking on this one as it’s free for the first 24 hours.
2- Plage de La Croissete (Croisette Beach)
There’s no doubt that Plage de La Croisette is the most famous beach in Cannes as it is located along La Croisette, the city’s famous boulevard lined by luxury stores, five-star hotels, and the iconic Palais des Festivals (where the Cannes Film Festival takes place!).
This beach is also one of the most luxurious ones in Cannes. A place to see and be seen, with its sun loungers, beach umbrellas, and the most fashionable beach clubs in town.
Although the beach is 2 kilometers long and the actual sandy part is wide, only about 150 meters of the beach is free to the public (the rest is taken up by private beach clubs and restaurants), and therefore it can get very crowded during the summer months.
If you want to take a dip in its crystal-clear waters, we recommend renting an umbrella or deck chair at one of these establishments for having access to showers and toilets, and of course, a bit of shade.
Some restaurants we recommend for spending a day at Plage de La Croisette are Miramar plage, La Mandala and Ondine Plage.
As regards parking in the area, there are both free paid parking spots available near Boulevard de la Croissette (see the parking spots here!). If you’d rather leave your car closer to the beach, Cannes Parking Palais is probably your best option.
3- Plage de La Bocca
Located next to the port, Plage de La Bocca is a stunning and often overlooked beach located on the outskirts of Cannes that is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and enjoying the view of the boats coming in and out of the port.
Known for its vibrant atmosphere, fine sand, and crystal-clear waters. This beach also has plenty of amenities such as bars and restaurants, as well as child-friendly activities like kayaking and paddleboarding.
What makes this beach even more beautiful are the rocks surrounding it are the majestic view of the Lérins Islands.
If you want to grab a bite or just relax with a drink in hand, head to one of the beach bars like Le Jardin de la Plage, La Terrasse du Soleil, or La Mira Beach.
4- Beaches on the Lerin Islands (especially Ile Sainte-Marguerite)
Although the Lerins Islands are not technically in Cannes, they are located just off the coast and make for a perfect day trip.
The two islands, Ile Sainte-Marguerite, and Ile Saint-Honorat are connected to the mainland by ferryboats that depart several times a day from Cannes’ port and offer some of the most stunning beaches in France with calm waters and plenty of activities for visitors such as snorkeling, sunbathing, and exploring the picturesque sites.
→ Read: 22 Perfect Day Trips from Cannes, France
5- Plage de La Raguette
Definitely more low-key than the other beaches in Cannes, Plage de La Raguette is a public beach located on the far east side of town and offers a more peaceful atmosphere without sacrificing amenities or beautiful views.
The beach is lined with coconut trees for shade, making it ideal for relaxing with a good book and it also has a prime location for taking in the views of Chateau de la Napoule and the marina. Peaceful and quiet, this beach is perfect for families.
If you decide to spend some time here, then make sure to explore the quartier de La Napoule. This charming area located north of the beach features a beautiful medieval castle, traditional French restaurants, and boutique shops.
We recommend checking out some of the local restaurants such as Pépite, La Palméa, and La Perla Nera.
Insider tip: There’s a little parking place behind the train track, but you can also park in the Jacques Soustelle public parking lot.
What else to do in Cannes besides the beach?
Cannes is far from being just a beach destination and there are plenty of other attractions and activities to enjoy.
Now that you know all the best beaches in Cannes, it’s time to start planning what else you will be seeing and doing in this lovely city.
- Exploring the Old Town of Le Suquet, with its cobblestone streets and quaint cafes.
- Discover the Calanques of the Esterel
- Go on a half-day catamaran tour
- Visiting the Marché Forville for its fresh produce, flowers and artisanal goods.
- Go on a day trip to Sainte-Marguerite Island
- Exploring the Musée de la Castre at the top of Le Suquet to learn about the city’s history and cultural heritage.
- Enjoying some fine art at one of Cannes’ many art galleries or museums.
- Going on a day trip to Monaco and Èze.
- Walking along the Croisette promenade for its stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea.
Frequently asked questions & Cannes travel guide
Best time to visit Cannes
The best time to visit Cannes to go to the beach is between May and October when the weather is pleasant and you can enjoy all the beaches and waterfront activities.
However, if don’t plan on swimming and would rather explore the city center, then anytime from October to April is also a great time to visit.
Is Cannes expensive?
Cannes is considered to be one of the most expensive cities in France and has a higher cost of living than other cities.
While it can be pricey to eat out or stay in a hotel, attractions like the beaches, museums, and festivals are usually free or low-cost.
Why is the Cannes Film festival so important?
The Cannes Film Festival is an annual event where films from all over the world are screened and awards presented. It’s one of the most important international film festivals in the world, and it helps raise awareness of the art of filmmaking by bringing together filmmakers, actors, directors, producers, and other industry professionals.
It’s also a great platform for showcasing new films and discovering new talent. The festival also helps promote cultural exchange and understanding between different nations.
What to pack for the beach in Cannes
Going to the beach on the French Riviera is definitely a unique experience and if you want to make the most out of it, these are some items that you should bring with you:
- A pair of sunglasses and a hat for sun protection.
- Sunscreen to protect your skin from UV rays (I live for this EltaMD sunscreen)
- Swimwear and beach towel.
- A nice swimsuit cover-up (this one is beautiful and goes with everything)
- Water shoes in case you want to go for a dip.
- A beach bag
- Snacks and drinks, so you can have a picnic on the beach if you are not planning on going to a restaurant.
🧳 Still wondering what to pack for your trip? Then check out this guide on what to wear on the French Riviera.
Where to stay in Cannes on the beach
Cannes is home to a great selection of accommodation options near the beach, including luxury resorts and budget-friendly apartments.
We have covered some of our favorite hotels in Cannes in this post, but here are some of the most popular options on the beach:
- Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes
- Hôtel Martinez, in The Unbound Collection by Hyatt
- Hotel Splendid
- Hôtel Hoche
How to get to Cannes from Nice
Cannes is located about 45 minutes away from Nice by car. The best way to get there is to take the N98 expressway, following signs for Cannes.
You can also take the train from Nice-Ville Station, which takes around 30 minutes. There are regular departures throughout the day and tickets are available online (I recommend getting them from Omio) or at the station.
Conclusion: Best Beaches in Cannes
That’s a wrap! Cannes is one of the most beautiful cities in France and its stunning beaches are an integral part of its charm.
We hope this guide has given you an insight into the best beaches in Cannes and that you have a great time exploring them.
Oh! And if you are visiting the South of France soon, follow my Instagram for more hidden gems and travel tips. Happy travels!
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