While this resort city is renowned for the glitz and glamour of the annual Festival de Cannes, hundreds of years of history lie within the city limits . Some suggest that Cannes was named after the canes that once crowded its shores, and that Napoleon camped on its dunes during his return from Elba. In 1834, the city began its transformation from quiet fishing village to resort town after the wealthy Lord Brougham rested in Cannes during a cholera outbreak in Nice. Captivated by the village, he built a luxurious villa and traveled back every winter for 34 years.
Highlights: Stroll the mile-long La Croisette, a coastal stretch of restaurants, hotels, and shops, stop in Le musée de la Castre, visit the Palais des Festivals, and hike the nearby Massif de l'Estérel.
7 of the Most Beautiful Towns on the French Riviera
In the southeast of France, yacht-strewn shores, cliffside towns, and sleepy fishing villages simmer underneath the Mediterranean sun.