You can’t go to the South of France without spending a day on the beach. And if you’re fans of Bean’s Holiday, you can’t go to the Provence region without a trip to Cannes. In September, we combined the two into one day out from Eurocamp Holiday Green in Frejus.
It was our second visit to Cannes with children, but sadly on the first outing in 2016 we didn’t get to see any of the town. Stew had either lost his wallet with all our Euros in or it was stolen, and Cannes was the closest place we could pick up a money transfer to get us through the rest of our holiday. Being a Sunday meant traipsing around looking for a shop that was open, and spending hours and hours waiting outside a grocery store in the middle of nowhere. Not quite the Cannes you see on TV! And not quite the memory we wanted!
So this time, we were determined to make a nice day of it. We had promised the boys we’d go to the beach, and where better to paddle in the sea than Cannes?
After a longer drive than intended over the mountain road instead of the motorway, we were greeted with this view. It was stunning.
It was already nice and warm, so we headed straight down onto the sand and got our swimmies on.
Going to the beach with children isn’t exactly straightforward. We had the usual sun cream and blowing up of arm bands to contend with before we could relax, but we were soon sorted.
Of course the littlest boy took one step into the sea, decided he hated it and refused to go back in. He’s such a funny little thing – on holiday he refuses to even entertain the idea of paddling, yet at home you can’t get him out!
He spent most of the time watching from the side with his blanket and Lotso for company. As you can see, Lotso was a very grubby bear in the end!
Our eldest was straight in the water, swimming around and looking for fish. He didn’t want to leave! We’d found a little cove, so the water was quite still, and we had a beautiful view over to Cannes. There were no other tourists there, just locals enjoying the sunny morning.
Once the water baby had had enough in the sea, we popped back up onto the road to buy some lollies and slushes from a little ice cream kiosk. I loved how they have them dotted along the seafront so you never have to walk far for an ice cream.
After a quick shower to wash off the sand, and changing into clean clothes, we hopped back in the car and carried on down the road to Cannes. It was a completely different side to the city than we saw when we were hanging around outside a corner shop waiting for our money transfer last time.
We could see the old town up on the hill, and there were little cobbled lanes with lovely shops and restaurants. We went straight for pizza, of course, before putting the littlest boy into his buggy for a wander around.
It’s such a beautiful city. We walked up to the old town along a street with pastel coloured houses and hardly any people. It felt like we had the place to ourselves. Either that, or people could hear the boys squabbling and ran the other way!
The sun made everything look dreamy, and it wasn’t long before I was imagining how lovely it would be to have shutters on our windows at home, and paint our house a lovely shade of pink. Stew wasn’t on board, surprisingly.
When we got up to the old town we could see for miles – across rooftops to one side and over the sea to the other. It was a bit busier at the top of the hill, and we realised we could have got on the little tourist train to avoid the walk. It’s always nicer to find your own way around though.
We stayed long enough to take some photos and have a sit down in the shade, before going on a hunt for a shop to buy some water and snacks for the drive back to our Eurocamp parc.
A little tip from us … if you take children to a restaurant and they don’t eat all their food, always ask if you can take it with you. The boys finished off their pizza sitting in the shade, and in the end nothing went to waste! People have always been happy enough to give us a pizza box, and we just pop it under the buggy in case the boys get hungry … which they always do!
Every corner of Cannes had something to look at – from the fish market to pretty bars and restaurants. We could have stayed for longer looking around, but we’d promised the boys we’d get back before the pool closed so they could have a swim. We always try to make sure we get the right balance between seeing new places and letting the boys have fun in the pool.
Cannes might not be the most obvious place to take children, but we had a lovely day. The streets were quiet enough for them to run around, there were plenty of places to get a drink and cool down, and of course they loved the beach. It was a much better choice for a day trip than our last holiday when we took them to St Tropez and immediately regretted it!
If you’re off to the South of France as a family, I’d definitely recommend a little trip to Cannes with children.