In late spring, the French Riviera comes under the glare of the international spotlight with two high-profile events. The Cannes Film Festival and Monaco Grand Prix are two of the Mediterranean’s most famous events and they happen consecutively with a small overlap over the weekend of 27th-28th May 2017. If you are planning to attend both glamorous events, it takes some planning as the events are popular and road access is limited, but there are options such as taking a helicopter from Cannes to Monaco.
The first exclusive event is the Cannes Film Festival, which takes place from 17th-28th May 2017. Since it is the single greatest networking event on the planet for filmmakers and distributors, it is intended for the film industry and public access is extremely limited. However, a few of the festival activities are open to the public, such as the nightly screenings on the beach, which are accessed on a queue basis. If you prefer to view newer films, you can obtain tickets to the Critics’ Week (free) and Directors’ Fortnight (small fee) sections of the festival.
Those in the more fortunate position of working for companies serving the film industry and members of the press can become accredited and join the main festival. Most of the events take place around the Croisette Boulevard, Les Palais des Festivals and the superyachts that line the harbour. During the day, most people travel around on foot since the Palais, cinemas, hotels and pavilions are all within easy walking distance. The nightlife is a little more spread out, meaning you may need to use a taxi or one of the hotel shuttle buses.
Getting to the Festival itself is a different matter and people arrive by train, taxis, and rental cars. Usually, international visitors arrive at Nice International Airport, but there is a private airport in Cannes too. The most convenient and luxurious way to arrive is by helicopter transfer to Cannes heliport (right on the iconic Croisette) and then it’s a mere 10 minutes’ walk to the Palais.
A helicopter transfer is an equally convenient way to travel onwards to the Monaco Grand Prix, which takes place on 28th May this year. Many other people will have the same idea so the traffic will be a nightmare, but a helicopter between Cannes and Monaco only takes 15 minutes and deposits you safely in a central location that is convenient to the action. A private chauffeur is included with flights and can take you to the hotel or race spectating point of your choice.
Perhaps you’ll watch the adrenaline-fueled action unfold from a public grandstand at the harbour or on one of the corners like at the famous Piscine. For truly spectacular views with first-class service, head to a hotel with panoramic views such as the Fairmont Monte Carlo Hotel. This exclusive hotel is located in the heart of the Principality between the Mediterranean Sea and the legendary Casino, and overlooks the infamous Fairmont Hairpin – an incredibly technical part of the circuit where the drivers have to concentrate hard. At the end of the race, join the fun at Nikki Beach, the hotel’s stylish rooftop pool area.
As you can see, May is a great time to visit the Riviera if you have tickets to two of the most exclusive events in the Mediterranean. The timing of the Cannes Film Festival and Monaco Grand Prix means you don’t have to miss out on any of the festivities, particularly if you travel by helicopter and beat the crowds.