Cagnes-sur-Mer – 3 cities in one
Cagnes-sur-Mer consists of three urban districts, each with its own qualities. Two of the districts are located on the North side of the coastal highway and the last one is located South of the highway.
Here you can experience everything, from the medieval Grimaldi Castle, to the painter Renoir’s house, the Polygone shopping center and the 3.5 kilometer beach along the Mediterranean sea.
Haut-de-Cagnes is the medieval town at the top of the hill, on the North side of the highway. Cagnes-Ville is the commercial district located just South of Haut-de-Cagnes and still on the North side of the highway. Cros-de-Cagnes, on the other hand, is located right down to the water and is characterized by life around the 3.5 kilometer long beach with many cafés and restaurants.
(See the photo gallery at the end of the article.)
Haut-de-Cagnes is the ancient medieval town where first Celts and then, both Greeks and Romans, settled several thousand years ago.
The town winds its way up the hill with narrow streets and small alleys, and at the top is the famous Grimaldi castle from 1309. First built as a fortress and prison, and then in 1620 converted into a beautiful habitable palace, as you see it today. Read more about Chateau Grimaldi under “Experiences in Cagnes-sur-Mer” at the bottom of the page.
You get a really nice experience by visiting the square in front of the Grimaldi castle, place du Château. Here is a very impressive view of the entire Cagnes valley to the North and the 4 Baou mountains. Sit down at one of the square’s cafés and enjoy the atmosphere and watch the townspeople take over the local pétanque court. Also read the article about the rules and history of the Pétanque game.
Here you will find the city’s actual center with lots of housing, shops, the covered market hall and the town hall, Hôtel de Ville.
Cagnes-Ville also boasts a casino as well as one of the Riviera’s most beautiful outdoor shopping mall, Polygone Riviera, with 3000 parking spaces and open on Sundays.
There is a very special atmosphere around Cros-de-Cagnes and along the 3.5 km long pebble beach and promenade. The area is filled with cozy cafés and restaurants and the sea views are ubiquitous and breathtaking.
Cros-de-Cagnes originated when fishermen, from Italy and Menton, settled in a small fishing village more than 200 years ago. The development around the fishing port attracted inhabitants from the town, and the area grew steadily larger. Today you can still experience the beautiful colored fishing boats – Pointus – in the small harbor.
At the end of the long promenade, promenade de la Plage, you will find one of Europe’s finest horse racetracks – the Hippodrome Côte-d’Azur. Read more about it in the overview at the bottom of the page.
By Tommy Sverre – 2022
Photo gallery from Cagnes-sur-Mer
Facts about Cagnes-sur-Mer
Inhabitants: ca. 55.000
Altitude: 20 m
Airport: 6 km
Beach: 0 km
Nice: 12 km
Saint-Laurent du Var 3 km
Villenueve Loubet 3 km
Saint-Paul de Vence 8 km
Biot 9 km
Vence 9 km
Cannes 22 km
- Castles and palaces
Grimaldi Castle in Haut-de-Cagnes
The impressive Grimaldi Castle in Haute-de-Cagnes from 1309, today serves as a museum of art and of the olive tree.
The Renoir Museum
The Renoir Museum shows how Auguste Renoir lived in his last days in Cagnes-sur-Mer. Experience 15 original paintings as well as the impressive 8-hectare plot.
Racetrack – Hippodrome Côte d’azur
Go to the horse racetrack Hippodrome Côte d’Azur in Cagnes-sur-Mer for a different experience with high voltage, adrenaline and international gastronomy.