Cannes is a lovely seaside resort of the Côte d’Azur, in the Alpes Maritimes department. It is famous all over the world for its annual Film Festival that has been held since 1946. Cannes is the third most important town of the department with 70,400 inhabitants called the Cannois. The town has a great location and a wonderful setting. It is situated at the north east of the massif de l’Esterel, a mountainous massif located along the Mediterranean between the Var and Alpes Maritimes departments. Cannes spreads along the bay of Napoule at the south and lies at 36.5km southern of Nice.
Cannes belongs to the urban district of Grasse. The town is divided into several quarters, the main one being ‘Cannes-la-Bocca’. The other quarters are the following ones: ‘Croix-des-Gardes’, ‘Croisette’, ‘Californie’, ‘Carnot’, ‘Prado-République’, ‘Riou-Petit Juas-Avenue de Grasse’ and the ‘Iles de Lérins’.
Apart from being worldwide renowned for its film festival, Cannes is also famous for its numerous luxury shops, fancy restaurants, sport cars and prestigious hotels. Strolling along the Croisette will give you a good example of how luxurious Cannes can be. Seeing a ring that costs €45,000 is quite normal for Cannes! But the town has other things on offer than luxury items and showbiz celebrities. The surroundings of the town are breathtaking. The old town also boasts a great setting where it is pleasant to spend time just strolling or doing shopping. Cannes is a very important business centre, being the second most important French congress destination after Paris. The huge (2,400ha for 1,300 companies from all over the world) and renowned technology park Sophia Antipolis is situated close to Cannes. Let’s relax in this nice place and enjoy a drink with some friends at the terrace of a café!
Given the assets of the area, the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur still remains an expensive area in terms of real estate. The Alpes Maritimes department is not an exception to the rule. With an average price of almost €4,390/square metre for a property to buy there, it is much higher than the national average which is of €3,200/sq m.
As said before, Cannes is a very luxurious town that houses many prestigious palaces and expensive villas. Property prices in this town are therefore also pretty high. Yet, prices can vary a lot depending on the location of the properties. Thus a 2-room apartment on the seafront can cost between €4,440 and €6,820/sq m (December 2008), whereas a 4-room one in the quarter ‘La Bocca’ costs between €2,380 and €3,350/sq m. The quarter ‘Croix des Gardes’ seems, like the seafront, to have expensive properties on offer. In the city centre, the range of price for an apartment to buy is between €3,200 and €4,800. Investing in a new apartment in Cannes can be incredibly expensive: it costs in average between €6,800 and 9,700€/sq m in the quarter ‘Californie’.
If you plan to rent a property in Cannes, it will cost you about €16/sq m/month. It is ranked 104th in the list of the 1,000 most expensive French towns in terms of house prices for properties to rent, the most expensive French towns being towns of Ile-de-France with prices such as €26 or €24/sq m/month.
The demand in Cannes and the Côte d’Azur in general is much more important that the supply, creating a saturation of the market. Many construction projects are planned in the area. Let’s be positive and hope that the situation will improve.
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Cannes is not just the case of showbiz celebrities, expensive shops, restaurants and impressive yachts. The town has indeed many assets and boasts, amidst others, beautiful surroundings and a very pleasant lifestyle. Let’s enjoy the southern France way of life by strolling in the numerous markets that are held everyday and tasting the delicious local produce!
Events: the Cannes Film Festival is without any doubts the most famous event held in the town. This festival belongs to the most prestigious film festivals alongside Venice and Berlin. Cannes Film Festival is the one which gets the most publicity in the media. People from all over the world come in Cannes in May for two weeks of shows, films, etc. Plenty of international celebrities walk on the red carpet of the Palais des Festivals and go up the 24 steps of the stairs every year under the flashes of photographers. Even if this film festival is the highlight of the town’s calendar, other festivals take place in Cannes such as the ‘Annual Television Festival’, ‘Mipim’ (commercial real-estate exhibition place), ‘International Festival of Games’, ‘Carnival on the Riviera’, ‘Annual Fireworks’, etc.
Museums: Cannes is also a great place for culture. Indeed, the town is home to many museums: Museum of Art and History of Provence, Musée de la Castre (houses objects from the Pacific Atolls, Peruvian relics and Mayan pottery), Navy Museum, Museum of the Sea, Museum of the Photography, International Museum of the Perfumery.
Outstanding surroundings: the îles de Lérins are not to be missed when spending holidays in Cannes. Composed of two islands : île Sainte Marguerite and île Saint-Honorat, this area is one of the rare insular quarter of France. The two isles depend on Cannes administratively speaking. St Marguerite Island is home to the ‘Museum of the Sea’ that houses the cell of the ‘Man in the Iron Mask’ (one of the most famous prisoners in the French history), as well as discoveries from shipwrecks of the island. Medieval vestiges can be found on the St Honorat Island, the inhabitants of which are monks who divide their time between prayer and producing wine.The Lérins Islands are a perfect place to relax and discover a quiet area with an unspoiled nature. It is a real heaven for nature lovers.
Climate and weather: the Mediterranean climate is definitely one of the major reasons why Cannes is so appreciated amongst both French and foreigner holiday makers: low rainfall, mild winters, warm summers and long period of sunny weather (Mai-September), which is perfect for holidays and tourism.
Luxury tourism: in summer, the population of the town can sometimes be multiplied by three! Given the assets that the town boasts, tourism is of course Cannes’ main income - especially luxury tourism. There are plenty of prestigious palaces, hotels (Carlton, Hotel Martinez, etc) and luxury stores along the Croisette. The town is also home to an international aerodrome – Cannes-Mandelieu airport - as well as an important commercial shipping port and marina. Cannes is the only French town to have three casinos called ‘Palm Beach’, ‘Le Croisette’ and ‘Les Princes’.
The old town : this part of Cannes is much more picturesque and ‘natural’ than the Croisette and all its luxury palaces, restaurants and shops. Called Le Suquet, the historical quarter of Cannes is really traditional and not to be missed. Its narrow pedestrian streets are full of charm: with its intertwined stairs, colourful houses, charming pubs, typical Provencal market (marché Forville) and numerous shops (butcher’s shop, bakery, fish shop, etc.), this area is great to discover the French art de vivre! The Suquet offers a great view on the town, including the marina, the Croisette, the Lérins Islands and a large part of the bay of Cannes. The famous Church of the Suquet and Musée de la Castre are perched on a hill at the top of the old town, overlooking the whole area.
Given the popularity of the prestigious Cannes both amidst showbiz celebrities and ‘simple’ holiday makers, Cannes has many large properties on offer as well as small but practical apartments and studio flats that are perfect for holidays.
Villas: most of these grand properties date from the 19th century and reflect the wealth and standing of their former owners. The area called Le quartier des Anglais (‘the quarter of English people’) is the oldest residential area of Cannes. Many huge villas can be found there. They come with vast pieces of land on which numerous trees are planted (olive trees, pine trees, etc.), a private swimming-pool and sometimes outbuildings. The number of rooms is important with at least 3 bedrooms for the standard villas and more for the biggest ones. The villas Eleonore Louise and Domergue are amidst the best renowned villas of the glamorous Cannes. Villas in Cannes are often located in the hills above the town, offering wonderful views on the surroundings as well as a quiet and peaceful atmosphere.
Apartments: the choice for apartments is wide in Cannes: from a 15m² studio flat located in the ouskirts of the town, to a 50m² apartment at 5min walking from the Croisette passing through a 30m² one situated at the last floor of a securised residence providing an outstanding view on the sandy beaches. These properties always have a good layout with a full fitted kitchen, a small bathroom, toilets, a living-room that is also often used as a bedroom and sometimes a balcony. Prices vary according to the location, but these properties are definitely more affordable than large maisons Provencales situated in the heigths of the town. Why not investing in an apartment or studio flat located at less than 200m from the beach? Buying a property in Cannes and renting it throughout the year is really beneficial as you will still be able to enjoy holidays in the area during summer.
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