Cannes: Our selection for an ideal weekend on a reinventing Riviera – Day 2

With Tom, this summer, we decided to (re)visit the great classics close to home and our choice fell on Cannes.

I admit that I have often walked the Croisette for congresses and seminars but I had never spent a few days of vacation there. Tom had never been there before, but the idea of finally being able to walk the steps of the Palais des Festivals where movie stars parade every year excited him a lot. At the beginning of August, we packed our bags and took our flight to Nice airport.

Like at home…

For the hotel I had selected, OKKO HOTELS. Perfectly located 5 minutes walk from the Croisette and the Palais des Festivals, this 4-star hotel has 125 rooms where you quickly feel at home. Right in the center of Cannes, the hotel enjoys a pleasant environment and a strategic location, not to mention a pretty little rooftop, which is very pleasant for having breakfast or an aperitif before the evening.

We are on the second day of our city trip and the hotel breakfast is a real festival of flavors and local products carefully selected to put you in a good mood before a great day of discovery.

A breathtaking visit

This morning I wanted to surprise Tom, my sportsman with a big heart who likes original activities and who moves a lot. I asked Emilie Gilardo, the female captain at the helm of Black Tenders Events to pick us up at the port to take us to visit a museum like no other. Its fleet of super fast boats now reaches 7 identical black boats responding to many requests for transfers and private moments, for individuals or professionals.

 

So off we went at full speed to visit the unmissable Sainte Marguerite and Saint Honorat islands located opposite Cannes, which are collectively referred to as the Lérins islands.

For 1h30, our captain was our forward and accomplice guide to take us at full speed to the hidden side of the Lérins Islands. You must pass by the Fort of Sainte Marguerite, prison of the man in the iron mask, before going to discover the new underwater exhibition of the world-renowned artist Jason Decaire Taylor.

Inaugurated in 2021, this eco-museum is a Mediterranean first that is making waves; the 8-ton face statues placed near the surface will gradually welcome marine flora and fauna, in a lagoon with turquoise waters, to the delight of snorkelers.

Beyond a playful aspect, the works of the British artist are designed to evolve in the environment. Made from ecological materials with a neutral pH, they aim to become artificial reefs, to be colonized by underwater species and to raise public awareness of the preservation of the marine environment.

A leap in history… Île Saint-Honorat

After this original visit, our captain dropped us off in the pretty little port of Saint Honorat, 5 minutes from the eco-museum for a well-deserved lunch break.

Saint-Honorat Island is one of the two Lérins Islands located in the bay of Cannes. It is furthest from the coast and smaller than Sainte-Marguerite, but larger than Saint-Ferréol.

Paradise of sun, jewel of greenery, freshness and oasis of silence… Saint-Honorat Island is a private island belonging to the monks of the Abbey of Lérins and has known monastic life there since 410. You can visit many landmarks. Île Saint-Honorat has been a listed site since 1941 and has five historical monuments: the tower-monastery; the chapel of Saint-Sauveur (1886); the Chapel of the Trinity (1886) and two Napoleonic ball kilns (1908).

But before the effort, the comfort… I really wanted to discover “La Tonnelle” which I had already heard a lot about. With Tom, we found a shaded table there under the rush canes. Accompanied by a delicious rosé, drowned in ice cubes, we discovered a convivial cuisine of Mediterranean inspiration. A tasty menu, concocted around seasonal products, gourmet salads, fish, grilled meats and other shellfish. A unique setting at the water’s edge with a relaxed atmosphere, with reasonable prices, what more could you ask for.

We then strarted a walk in silence, to respect the monastic rules. If in Belgium, the monks make beers, here 8 hectares of the vineyard of Saint Honorat are cultivated by the monks of the Abbey of Lérins. A unique terroir, cradled by the silence and the song of the cicadas, which produces great wines recognized worldwide.

All the steps are carried out by the brothers on the island: manual harvesting, vinification, maturing, ageing, bottling… Out of respect for this balance of the island’s environment and this exceptional terroir, the community has chosen to opt for a reasonable culture.

At the entrance to the abbey, a small shop offers to discover its unique white wine cuvées made with Clairette (Saint Pierre), Chardonnay (Saint Césaire) and Viognier (Saint Cyprien) grape varieties, as well as exceptional cuvées in wine red with Syrah (Saint Honorat & Saint Sauveur), Mourvèdre (Saint Lambert), and Pinot Noir (Saint Salonius).

We returned to the city with the river shuttle which serves the island throughout the day.

Ending our Cannes city trip with a fireworks display!

After a bit of well-deserved rest at our hotel, head for the evening towards the Cannes Pyrotechnic Art Festival. The most awaited event by locals and tourists in summer. Just imagine the picture: a warm end of the day by the sea, night falls and a thousand-coloured fireworks light up the sky over the Bay of Cannes…

Just as prestigious as the Cannes Film Festival and its Palme d’Or, the Festival of Pyrotechnic Art amazes the public, all generations combined. Everyone finds themselves the wealthiest on the pontoons of the private beaches and the smartest on the Croisette to take advantage of this free event.

The principle of the pyrotechnic art festival in Cannes is simple: put the best pyrotechnic companies in the world in competition in a show of 25 minutes maximum. Each year, the organizers of this festival invite a company to represent their country: France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Poland, United States, …

The winners of the international festival of pyrotechnic art are revealed at the end of August, after the last fire in competition and this year was Norwegian, let’s say. Several prizes are awarded: the Vestale d’Argent, the Jury Prize and the Audience Prize. Indeed, in addition to the jury made up of professionals who reward one or another fireworks company, the public also has a role to play: it is possible to vote on the official website of the event to choose its fire. favorite firework.

And tonight, it was Tom who surprised me. We were walking on the Croisette to find a nice place to watch the 10 p.m. show, when he gave me his naughty little smile that I really like and simply said “follow me”.

Barely a minute later and we entered the impressive hall of the JW Mariott, one of the 5 stars in Cannes. Located in the center of the seaside town, the lobby alone deserves all the stars of this hotel. Elegance and modernity are the watchwords of this recently renovated establishment. Tom always looks determined when he takes me to the elevators…

Tom also knows how to take happy initiatives, he had reserved a table for us for a unique exclusive moment, at the Panorama Rooftop of this luxury hotel. What could be nicer than being right in the center of the fireworks, and Tom had calculated his shot well, high up, with a breathtaking view of the bay and its festivities. All this for tasting a special menu created for this unique evening.

Needless to say that our night was also a real fireworks display. I am already looking forward to our next trip. Tom and I loved our weekend in Cannes, I discovered that we could come there for things other than business and Tom loved the chic and sporty side of a resort that is constantly reinventing itself.

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