The Perfect Cannes Boat Itinerary
When you visit Cannes, the perfect way to discover the region is to rent a motor boat and explore the waters around this beautiful city. Enjoy the luxury of a yacht and let yourself be pampered by professional crew. Spend your day on the water and enjoy the best beach restaurants and hotspots.
Explore the Cannes Region by Boat
Travel to Port Canto or the old Port of Cannes to board your boat rental or luxury yacht. Take in the atmosphere of the famous Palais des Festival and the lively Croisette (all famous for hosting the Cannes Film Festival). Reach Port Canto by heading down La Croisette away from the Palais des Festival, past the impressive Martinez hotel and towards the superyachts resting in the port.
Rent a boat in Cannes, go to the Cannes islands (Lerins islands)
Once you have met your skipper and boarded your boat rental, it’s time to start your adventure! A good Cannes boat itinerary will begin with heading towards the stunning Lérins Islands. Don’t forget to look behind you to get the perfect panoramic picture of Cannes in all of its glory. You’ll certainly be happy you chose to rent a boat in Cannes!
See the Cannes Islands with a Boat Rental or Yacht Charter
The Cannes Islands, or The Îles de Lérins, are a small archipelago of islands just a stone’s throw away from Cannes. Cruise around the enchanted islands, taking in their unique silhouette. Note the impressive Monastery perched on the cliff face of Île Saint-Honorat. This active monastery dates to the 19th century. Clergy pray and craft delicious wines, honey, lavender oil and Lérina here. If you choose to drop anchor and explore, this is a great spot for picking up unique souvenirs. Next to the monastery is le Restaurant la Tonnelle. The larger of the Cannes Island is Îles Saint-Marguerite. Wander through the mystical Aleppo pines and eucalyptus forests, followed by a visit to the Fort Royal. This fort is famous as the prison of the Man in the Iron Mask. You can visit his every cell to add a spooky twist to your Cannes boat rental.
Make sure a stop at La Guerite beach restaurant is included in your Cannes boat itinerary, one of the best restaurants in Cannes. The tranquil garden setting and delectable cuisine make for a great dining experience. With the wise decision to rent a boat in Cannes, you will want to optimize your time on the water. As stunning as the islands are, you can’t beat dropping anchor and relaxing at sea. Swim in the pristine waters, or enjoy a drink in this tranquil, un-spoilt setting. In the afternoon, cruise towards the Cap d’Antibes. Read our guide to Antibes yacht charter here.
Enjoy The Glorious Coastline
The coastline between Cannes and Monaco is unique. The Cap is dotted with stunning villas. Dropping anchor in one of the many bays here to enjoy the cooler afternoon sun will perfect your Cannes boat itinerary. If your boat rental or yacht charter from Cannes included water toys, make use of them here. Finally, make your way back to Cannes, in time to enjoy the many quality restaurants that the town boasts.
Île Sainte-Marguerite, Cannes islands
The Ile Sainte-Marguerite is the largest of the islands, and subsequently has the most to do. The island is mainly covered by forestry, and its wooded areas are a lovely location to escape to for a walk in the heat of summer. The old fort, Fort Royal, still stands on the island, which visitors can explore, and includes the Musée de la Mer. You can visit the old cells, including the one which housed the famous Man in the Iron Mask, as well as see the collection of old paintings and murals. There are two cemeteries nearby, commemorating French soldiers in the Crimean war and North African Allied soldiers from the Second World War.
The beaches are also recommended for being particularly beautiful, and with a great range of water sports on offer. The island hosts several restaurants too, so you can really make a day of it. There are a number of lovely bays, with turquoise blue water, perfect for anchoring a yacht and jumping off to swim and snorkel.
Ile St-Honorat by boat
The second largest island is called Ile St-Honorat, and also offers lovely forests to visit. The main attraction of this island is the monastery which has been there since the year 410. Today it is still home to around 30 monks, and although it is not open to the public, visitors can visit the Abbey of Lérins, and can purchase honey and wine produced on the island by the monks. On your walk around the island, why not visit the many abandoned chapels which were set up by the monks over the years. Modest dress is required. There are a couple of high end restaurants on the Cannes islands. Many yachts drop anchor in the bay, and guests then go ashore for lunch.
Golfe-Juan: Nestled Between Cannes and Antibes
A picturesque bay whose calm waters reflect the coastal town’s sandy beaches and the luxurious villas gracing the hillsides. Nestled between Cannes and Antibes, Golfe-Juan’s beaches of sapphire waters backed by the majestic Maritime Alps create a surreal view. The quaint harbor, dotted with local fishing boats juxtaposed with luxury yachts, encapsulates the Riviera’s charm.
Cap d’Antibes: Exclusive Peninsula
Cap d’Antibes emerges as a lush oasis in the heart of the French Riviera. This exclusive enclave, home to billionaires and celebrities, boasts some of the coast’s most opulent estates hidden amidst thick foliage, offering privacy and tranquility. Sailing around the cape, the iconic Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc comes into view—a symbol of timeless elegance and luxury. Nearby, the Phare de la Garoupe lighthouse stands tall, having witnessed centuries of maritime history. The waters here, reflecting the clear blue skies, are a haven for marine life, making it a popular spot for divers and snorkelers- the perfect place to drop anchor and swim.
Villefranche-sur-Mer: Historic Harbor
Between the sprawling Nice and the regal Monaco lies the enchanting bay of Villefranche-sur-Mer, one of the Mediterranean’s deepest natural harbors. As your yacht enters its waters, the historic Old Town, with its ochre-colored, terracotta-roofed houses, paints a postcard-perfect picture. The 16th-century citadel stands as a testament to the town’s rich past, guarding the secrets of the ages. The bay, a favorite anchoring spot for yachts, offers spectacular underwater vistas due to its depth, making it a diver’s paradise. While its beaches, like Plage des Marinières, invite sunbathers, the surrounding eateries tempt with local Niçoise flavors. Villefranche is more than a stop—it’s a dive into history, wrapped in natural beauty.
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat: Peninsula of Elegance
As the yacht nears the verdant peninsula of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, you’re welcomed by an aura of exclusivity and grandeur. Historically a retreat for European royalty, this lush oasis is dotted with palatial villas and manicured gardens. The iconic Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, with its nine themed gardens, stands as a beacon of luxury and art. The Tour-de-Rough, an old watchtower, provides panoramic views of the sea and neighboring towns. As you circumnavigate the cape, secluded coves like Paloma Beach reveal themselves—hidden pockets of paradise.
Beaulieu-sur-Mer: The Gem Between Nice and Monaco
Sailing closer to Monaco, Beaulieu-sur-Mer emerges as a tribute to the Belle Époque era. This town, translating to “Beautiful Place,” truly lives up to its name. From your yacht, the Bay of Beaulieu showcases a panorama of palm-fringed shores, Belle Époque mansions, and the Greek Kérylos Villa—a recreation of an ancient Grecian dwelling. The marina, a bustling hub of luxury yachts and sailboats, showcases the town’s nautical passions. The Casino de Beaulieu, with its opulent interiors, offers a slice of the Riviera’s high life.
Cap d’Ail: Gateway to Monaco
Just before you enter the glamorous confines of Monaco, Cap d’Ail offers a serene prelude. Its rugged cliffs, dotted with Mediterranean flora, juxtapose against serene beaches like Plage Mala—a hidden gem accessible by a coastal path or the sea. The translucent waters, perfect for a dip, reflect the azure of the skies, creating a tranquil ambiance. The peaceful marina, with boats bobbing gently, exudes a laid-back charm, making it a favorite among yachting aficionados. As Cap d’Ail recedes, the anticipation of Monaco’s grandeur builds up.
Monaco: Arrival Point – The Principality of Glamour
Monaco, the epitome of opulence, welcomes with its stunning skyline. The Prince’s Palace on the Rock, the world-class Oceanographic Museum, and the famous Monte Carlo Casino are just glimpses of its architectural marvels. As you dock at the bustling Port Hercules, the sight of luxury yachts, grand prix tracks, and skyscrapers unveils Monaco’s multifaceted character. Whether it’s the allure of high-stake games, the charm of old Monaco, or the sophistication of its dining scene, the principality promises a fitting crescendo to your journey.
Cannes is a busy, glamourous and popular seaside town. A great location to start a yacht charter or indeed to visit Cannes by boat. If you would like to know more about chartering a yacht to visit Cannes by boat or planning on a day boat charter on the French Riviera, contact 212 Yachts to discuss.