Five Villages Near Cannes Perfect for Day Trips

Ashley Chalmers

Senior Contributor

While Cannes itself has plenty to keep you busy, there is life past La Croisette. Whether you take the train, the bus, or rent a car, these five villages are situated close enough to Cannes that you won’t need more than a day to explore. Best of all, if you branch out along France’s stunning Côte d'Azur, you’ll be rewarded with amazing views, crystal clear waters and delicious meals. From cobblestoned streets to sandy beaches, don’t miss out on your chance to visit these beautiful villages.

A Medieval Village from a New Vantage Point in Eze

Located one hour east of Cannes, Eze is a stunningly preserved medieval village perched on a hilltop. While all of the villages along the French Riviera offer their own beautiful views, Eze’s height allows you to explore the coast from a new vantage point. The town’s cobblestoned streets and medieval architecture will transport you straight into a fairytale, while the Michelin-starred restaurants offer truly special dining experiences. Though Eze itself is just under ten square kilometers, it boasts three Michelin-starred restaurants - each worthy of a visit and a glass of wine. For a true escape in the middle of this historic village, hike up to Le Jardin Exotique for more expansive views, framed by an impressive collection of plants and sculptures. 

Art and History Meet in Antibes

This bustling market town is a breezy twenty-five minute drive from Cannes, and one of its most well-known attractions is the Musée Picasso. Located in the former Château Grimaldi, the museum is well worth a visit, even if you’re not a modern art buff. Built in the late fourteenth-century, the château has housed feudal lords and revolutionaries, as well as Picasso himself, for a brief period in the 1940s. Today, it overlooks the Baie des Anges, which in English translates to the Bay of the Angels, and serves as the perfect starting point for a stroll in and around the heart of Antibes. 

A Return to the Guilded Age in Juan-les-Pins

Known as the preferred location of F. Scott Fitzgerald and wife Zelda, the village of Juan-les-Pins is now a prime destination for nightlife in the area. But if that’s not your thing, there’s still plenty to do. Spend the day relaxing on JLP’s sandy beaches, or step back in time to the Guilded Age with a visit to the Hôtel Belles Rives. This seaside villa-turned-hotel was the home of the Fitzgeralds in the late 1920s, and where it’s rumored F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote Tender is the Night. Carrying its legacy as a destination for the arts and artists, Juan-les-Pins also hosts an annual summer jazz festival. 

A Secret Hideaway in Saint-Paul-de-Vence

Cannes might be where the celebs come out to play, but Saint-Paul-de-Vence is where they go to escape. With winding cobblestoned streets full of art galleries and exhibitions, it’s easy to see why Saint-Paul-de-Vence has long been a well-known source of inspiration for artists - including Jean-Paul Sartre, Pablo Picasso, and Marc Chagall, as well as the American writer James Baldwin. As it’s set further inland than the other villages along the coast, Saint-Paul-de-Vence has a different atmosphere to its glitzy and glittering counterparts by the sea. Lean into the laid-back vibe, and stay or dine at the famous La Colombe d'Or Hotel. This charming inn dates back to the 1930s and still feels like a secret - even if it’s one of the most famous hotels in the region.

Grasse, the Perfume Capital of the World

Nestled in the hills north of Cannes, the village of Grasse is renowned as the perfume capital of the world, and it has been since the 18th century. Today, Grasse continues to thrive as the epicentre for harvesting the key ingredients for the world’s most famous perfumes, including May rose, tuberose, lavender and jasmine. Along with training the top “noses” of the industry, called Les Nez in French, Grasse also entices its visitors to enjoy the thriving industry - one that has earned the village UNESCO World Heritage Status. Tourists are welcome to tour one of three perfumeries in Grasse (Fragonard, Molinard and Galimard), as well as design their own perfume. 

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