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Cannes Film Festival: How to Escape

Cannes film festival 2008 61th Edition of the Festival de Cannes
Cannes Film Festival 2008

Brace yourselves.

The Cannes Film Festival (locally "le FIF") is about to begin.   

From May 14-25, Cannes will be packed, sections of the city blocked off to traffic, and crowds will descend on the Croisette for a close-up encounter with a star or two. They might catch a glimpse at Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Harrison Ford, Catherine Deneuve, Clint Eastwood among many. They may even brush up with Sean Penn who heads the FIF jury this year as movies fight for the prestigious Palme d'Or awards.

The festival opens on May 14th with Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles' movie, Blindness.

Yes, it is exciting, glamorous, fun!

For those who live close to Cannes, it's complete madness for 11 days. Thankfully, we can always head for the hills and take a walk to escape the frenzy.

Looking for a reprieve from the buzz of the Cannes Film Festival? Consider the following local escapes:

  • Hike the Esterel Mountains, a short drive/bus/train ride west of Cannes.  See our web site index on the Esterel Mountains for hiking suggestions, or consult our hiking guide.
  • Catch a ferry to the Lérins Islands, a 10-minute boat ride away from Cannes' western port. The island of Sainte-Marguerite homes the intriguing Masque de Fer prison and lets you hike around its footpaths for the afternoon. The island of St Honorat is smaller, planted with vineyards and cultivations for local consumption with a gorgeous monastery (in activity) that produces excellent wines and fine lemon liqueurs.
  • Hop up north of Vence toward St-Jeannet for walks around the best-loved baou of the Côte d'Azur. Or reach around the Col de Vence for more fantastic country hikes on the French Riviera. This time of year, those spots seem to stand still. A breath of fresh air after much wild festival buzzing in Cannes.

Interested in more gorgeous walks in the Western Côte d'Azur? Check out our latest hiking guides.

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