Cagnes-sur-Mer, France – Delightful Village Near Nice

Welcome to Cagnes-sur-Mer, a delightful place on the Cote d’Azur which despite its great location seems to be missing from most travel blogs and guides. But thanks to that, it’s a peaceful destination that can be your quiet getaway from bustling towns on the coast. Picturesque alleys of hilltop village, amazing views, lovely beaches, interesting museums… There are many things in the area! Sounds good? Keep reading and discover things to do in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France.

Note. Cagnes-sur-Mer can be split into two parts – the inland village of Haut-de-Cagnes and the seaside area of Cros-de-Cagnes – a former fishing district and now residential/holiday area.

Travel tip. During the same-day trip, you can easily visit Cagnes-sur-Mer and nearby Biot or Saint Paul de Vence.

Cagnes-sur-Mer, France - Delightful Village Near Nice
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Cagnes-sur-Mer, France FAQ

Where is Cagnes-sur-Mer located?

Cagnes-sur-Mer is located in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur region in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France. It’s just a short drive from popular places nearby like Nice, Cannes, Eze, or Antibes.

Is Cagnes-sur-Mer worth visiting?

Yes, Cagnes-sur-Mer is a nice, peaceful, and well-preserved village in the heart of Cote d’Azur. Together with a pretty seaside area, it creates a perfect combination. Even though you won’t find dozens of exciting things to do in Cagnes-sur-Mer, you shouldn’t skip this town while in the area – it’s a great place to visit just a few steps from Nice. Oh, and it’s also where Auguste Renoir, a famous French painter, lived for many years!

How do you pronounce Cagnes-sur-Mer?

It’s pronounced [kaɲ syʁ mɛʁ]. Still don’t know how to read it? Here’s a YouTube video where you can listen to correct pronunciation.

What does Cagnes-sur-Mer mean?

The literal meaning of Cagnes-sur-Mer is Cagnes on Sea. The word ‘Cagnes’ has a Ligurian origin and means ‘inhabited place on a rounded hill’.

Exploring Haut-de-Cagnes village streets, old part of Cagnes-sur-Mer
Charming street of Haut-de-Cagnes village in Cagnes-sur-Mer

Things to do in Haut-de-Cagnes village

Haut-de-Cagnes is the historical part of Cagnes-sur-Mer and is its unquestionable biggest star. It’s a medieval hilltop village located inland, about 2km from the beaches, on a steep hill reaching 91 m a.s.l. Over the years it managed to retain its authenticity and thanks to that it was classified as a ‘Historical Site’ in 1948.

It’s a small, charming, and peaceful place where not that many travelers arrive and only about 650 people live. If you want to escape the bustling French Riviera coast and taste a non-touristy village vibe, Haut-de-Cagnes will be perfect for you!

Quaint houses decorated with flowers, cobblestone streets, nice views of the Mediterranean, historic monuments, art galleries, friendly cats eager to be pet… All of that awaits you in Haut-de-Cagnes. Forget about the map, just get lost in the maze of the streets and soon you’ll discover every corner. Believe us, there is no better thing to do in Cagnes-sur-Mer!

Learn more iconDiscover: Accommodation options in Cagnes-sur-Mer

Colorful street of Haut-de-Cagnes village, hilltop part of Cagnes-sur-Mer
Things to do in Haut-de-Cagnes village on Cote d'Azur
Exploring streets of Haut-de-Cagnes village in France
Charming steep street of Haut-de-Cagnes village
Discover Things to do in Haut-de-Cagnes village on Cote d'Azur
Things to do in Haut-de-Cagnes

Among Haut-de-Cagne streets, you’ll find points of interest like Grimaldi Castle-Museum, Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Rue du Pontis Long Street, or Contemporary Jewelled Art Gallery & Museum. Soon we’ll take a closer look at some of them.

Cagnes-sur-Mer Tourist Office is located at the foot of Haut-de-Cagnes, on Boulevard Maréchal Juin, just a few steps from the town church, Church of the Holy Family.

Interesting fact. Auguste Renoir, the famous French painter, fell in love with this place and chose it to spend the final years of his life.

Learn more iconBook now: The Best of the French Riviera Full Day Tour

Discover sHaut-de-Cagnes village near Nice, France
Details among Haut-de-Cagnes village streets

Grimaldi Castle-Museum

Grimaldi Castle-Museum (fr. Château-musée Grimaldi) is located at the highest point of Haut-de-Cagnes overlooking the town and the coast. The castle was built in the early 14th century by the Grimaldi family and in the 17th century, it was converted into an Italian-style residence. In the 20th century, it was bought by the Cagnes Council and became the museum and exhibition center. Grimaldi Castle-Museum was classified as a Historical Monument in 1948.

Nowadays, Grimaldi Castle-Museum is home to the Olive Tree Museum (fr. Musée de l’Olivier) – the reconstruction of a traditional oil mill, the Solidor Donation – an exhibition of 40 portraits of the famous cabaret singer Suzy Solidor painted by famous artists, temporary exhibitions of contemporary art, and exceptional baroque painted ceilings.

Grimaldi Castle-Museum in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France
Entrance to Grimaldi Castle-Museum in Haut-de-Cagnes village

Entrance to Grimaldi Castle-Museum costs €4 for adults and is free for all under 26 years old. Also, entrance is free on the 1st Sunday of each month. You can also buy a combined ticket with Renoir Museum for €8. To learn more about current prices and opening hours visit website.

While there, don’t forget to catch some amazing views over the coast and countryside, stroll in Place du Château and Place Grimaldi squares, and relax for a moment with a cup of tea or coffee. You can also visit the free Contemporary Jewelry Museum where you’ll discover a permanent collection with 300 pieces and some temporary exhibitions.

Square with a restaurant near Grimaldi Castle-Museum in Cagnes-sur-Mer
View over surroundings from Haut-de-Cagnes village
View over French Riviera coast from Haut-de-Cagnes village

Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul

Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul (fr. Église Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul) is located just behind the Grimaldi Castle-Museum. It dates back to the 13th century and was restored and enlarged in the 16th and 18th centuries to accommodate all the faithful. It’s quite a unique church as you enter via the gallery and go down the stairs to access the rest! Inside you can admire some religious paintings from the 18th century.

You can visit the Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul for free during opening hours (every day from 10AM to 5PM and 6PM in summer).

Learn more iconDiscover: Accommodation options in Cagnes-sur-Mer

Belltower of Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Cagnes-sur-Mer
Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Cagnes-sur-Mer

Renoir Museum

The modern history of Cagnes-sur-Mer is marked by the famous impressionist artist, Auguste Renoir. He lived there for 12 years until he died in 1919. The estate in which he lived was transformed into a museum. In Renoir Museum (fr. Musée Renoir) you’ll find his workshop, his artworks – 14 original paintings and 40 sculptures, as well as a lovely olive grove garden. It’s a great place for fans of Auguste Renoir.

Entrance to Renoir Museum costs €6 for adults and is free for all under 26 years old. You can also buy a combined ticket with Grimaldi Castle-Museum for €8. To learn more about current prices and opening hours visit website.

Note. Renoir Museum is located a little bit outside Haut-de-Cagnes, about 1.5km away, but you can easily get there on foot or by car.

Views over Haut-de-Cagnes village

If you want to admire nice views over Haut-de-Cagnes village we recommend heading to the seaside promenade between Cagnes-sur-Mer and Villeneuve-Loubet.

Views over Haut-de-Cagnes village from seaside promenade

Things to do in Cros de Cagnes seaside area

Cros de Cagnes is a seaside part of Cagnes-sur-Mer. Once a former village, and now a fairly modern holiday spot that features great long beaches, a promenade, a port, many restaurants, and great views over Nice and Antibes. It’s a perfect place for relaxing, spending time on the beaches, and practicing watersports away from other crowded towns on the coast.

In the western part of the town, right next to the Villeneuve-Loubet, you’ll also find Hippodrome de la Côte d’Azur – a horse racing stadium and events venue. Seeing horse races might be a fun and unique thing to do in Cagnes-sur-Mer, don’t you think? Information about the latest events you’ll find on the official website.

Learn more iconDiscover: Accommodation options in Cagnes-sur-Mer

Things to do in Cagnes-sur-Mer seaside area
Things to do in Cagnes-sur-Mer seaside area of Cros de Cagnes

Cagnes-sur-Mer beaches

Along the Cagnes-sur-Mer 3.5km-long coastline, you’ll find some great beaches, as suits the French Riviera. All are great for soaking up the sun and taking refreshing dips in azure waters. Behind the beaches, you’ll also find a promenade perfect for long walks or practicing sports, all peppered with amazing sea views.

Overall, in Cagnes-sur-Mer the beach choice might not be as wide as in the other nearby towns, but available beaches lack nothing. And they are perfect for watching planes landing at Nice airport, if you’re into that! Their biggest disadvantage? They are made mostly from pebbles and stones and are located very close to the road.

Among Cagnes-sur-Mer beaches you’ll find: Plage des Galets – main town beach, Plage de l’Hippodrome, Plage Mogador, and Plage du Port du Cros. During the summer season, most of them are guarded and offer various water sports opportunities. Showers, first-aid stations, toilets, parking lots, and beach restaurants are available as well as mattresses or parasols for rent.

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Cagnes-sur-Mer beaches - Plage des Galets
Cagnes-sur-Mer beaches

How to get to Cagnes-sur-Mer, France?

Cagnes-sur-Mer is located about 10km from Antibes, 15km from Nice, 20km from Cannes or Villefranche-sur-Mer, and 45km from Menton. The most convenient way to get to Cagnes-sur-Mer is by car or train.

Where to park in Cagnes-sur-Mer?

In Haut-de-Cagnes, you can leave your car in Parking de la Villette, located at the foot of the village. From there you’ll need to go on a 1km long steep hike up to the top of the village. You can also drive closer, almost to the top, and leave your car in the Planastel parking lot

In the seaside area, you can leave your car for a small fee along Promenade de la Plage street or adjoining streets. 

Learn more iconFor great car rental deals visit Rentalcars website.

To Cagnes-sur-Mer by bus

You can quite easily reach Cagnes-sur-Mer by bus. For example, a trip from Nice will take about 40min (€2-5), 1.5h from Menton (€3-7), 20min from Antibes (€3). To learn more about bus connections that might interest you visit website.

To Cagnes-sur-Mer by train

You can also easily get to Cagnes-sur-Mer by train. It’s possible from many nearby places like Nice, Cannes, Menton, Antibes, or Villefranche-sur-Mer. But remember that the train station is located in the seaside area and from there you’d need to take a bus to the village. To learn more about train connections that interest you visit or website.

Learn more iconFor great train ticket deals visit Trainline website.

Camping Cagnes-sur-Mer

If you’re traveling by camper, places like Camping Parc Des Maurettes, Camping Eden Biot, or Camping Les Embruns might interest you. They are located near Cagnes-sur-Mer.

Exploring delighful streets of Cagnes-sur-Mer, France
Things to do in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France
Exploring delighful streets of Cagnes-sur-Mer in France on Cote d'Azur

Things to do in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France – Summing up

Steep streets full of beautiful old buildings of the old village and pretty seaside area blend perfectly together in Cagnes-sur-Mer, don’t you think? There’s something for everyone in Cagnes-sur-Mer and we’re sure that every traveler will find a perfect activity for himself. This town is a great place to slow down for a bit and enjoy the charm of the South of France. Have a great time in Cagnes-sur-Mer!

Our opinion about Cagnes-sur-Mer

For us, a visit to Cagnes-sur-Mer village was a half-day trip from Cannes where we lived for a few weeks. We visited it twice – once in mid-August and second in mid-October. And both times we were two of just a handful of other people out there! Of course, in August more people were in the seaside area. Exploring Cagnes-sur-Mer took us about 4 hours.

We really liked the village and the time we spent strolling among its charming streets. Discovering every nook and cranny was a pure pleasure (sometimes tiring, but still pleasant!). Overall, we spent a lovely few hours there. Oh, and we met a few cats there too, so… how could we not love it?! 

Learn more iconBook now: Private Half-Day Tour of the French Riviera in a Vintage Car

Happy Little Traveler team in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France
Cute kitty in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France

Restaurants, accommodations, and map

Check out various recommended places below.

Where to eat in Cagnes-sur-Mer?

Here are your best, high-rated options in Cagnes-sur-Mer:

Where to sleep in Cagnes-sur-Mer?

Château Le Cagnard in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France

Château Le Cagnard

Château Le Cagnard in Cagnes-sur-Mer is a historic boutique hotel set in a 13th-century castle, offering a blend of medieval charm and modern luxury. Guests can enjoy stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea from elegantly appointed rooms and the panoramic terrace. Nestled in the picturesque medieval village of Haut-de-Cagnes, the hotel provides a romantic and serene escape with proximity to the vibrant Côte d'Azur attractions.

Hôtel du Bord de Mer Le Vanillé in Cagnes-sur-Mer

Hôtel du Bord de Mer “Le Vanillé”

Hôtel du Bord de Mer Le Vanillé is a charming seaside hotel offering comfortable accommodations with spectacular views of the Mediterranean. Situated directly on the promenade, it features rooms with private balconies or terraces, allowing guests to enjoy the serene coastal atmosphere. The hotel is also conveniently located near the town’s attractions and provides a delightful blend of relaxation and easy access to the vibrant Côte d'Azur.

Cocon douillet face à la mer de Cagnes sur mer

Cocon douillet face à la mer Apartament

Cocon Douillet Face à la Mer offers a cozy and charming accommodation with stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. This beachfront apartment features a comfortable living space, a fully equipped kitchen, and a balcony perfect for soaking in the coastal ambiance. Ideal for a relaxing seaside retreat, it is conveniently located close to local attractions and amenities.

Accommodations photos source:

Cagnes-sur-Mer, France - Map of places

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Cagnes-sur-Mer, France - Delightful Village Near Nice

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