Car, Vespa or yacht? Get around Cannes in style

CNN  — 

In some places you are what you wear, or what you eat, but in glamorous Cannes, France, you are what you drive.

In Cannes, home of the legendary film festival and the prestigious Lions International Festival of Creativity, turning heads can be a serious challenge. But with these classy rides, you’ll be off to a great start:

Four wheels

Marvellous motors ready to roll.

Who are you? A star!

What to drive: A Porsche 356 Speedster convertible

Where to go: Seaside or mountains

“Half of our clients just want to be seen and head to the seashore – the Croisette in Cannes, Cap d’Antibes, Monaco, Cap Ferrat,” says Fabrice Le Roy, owner of Rent A Classic Car in Nice.

“The other half wants to escape and enjoy the cars. They go to the mountains and villages of the Corniche.”

With 40 glamorous models from the heyday of the Riviera to choose from, you can make like James Bond in an Aston Martin DBS 6 or take a spin in an Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider, as driven by Jean-Paul Belmondo in “Pierrot le Fou.”

Le Roy’s list of star clients is long and includes Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Pierce Brosnan and Emma Watson. “But we have all types of clients and like to think our prices are for ‘normal’ people,” adds Le Roy.

At about $200 to $600 a day, and no requirements other than a valid driver’s license, “normal” types might agree.

However, if driving a classic car in dense traffic or on vertiginous mountain roads is too nerve-racking, a chauffeur is on hand. Le Roy will deliver your chosen vehicle to the airport, your hotel or anywhere you like to ensure maximum head-turning.

If a newer model is more your thing, Riviera Classic Car Hire offers luxury automobiles both old and new (prices start at about $150 a day for a Fiat Barchetta) and will deliver to Nice airport for no extra charge. Popular for special occasions, their convertible Bentley Azure is a sought-after mode of wedding transport.

Rent A Classic Car, Promenade des Anglais, Nice; + 33 9 54 00 29 33

Riviera Classic Car Hire, 68 Avenue de La Liberté, Golfe-Juan, France; +33 (0) 4 93 65 87 06

Two wheels

A sporty Vespa is a popular and versatile way to explore Cannes.

Who are you? A fashionista

What to drive: A Vespa LX 125

Where to go: Anywhere

Whether you’re headed to Cannes’ Old Town, down the chic Croisette or to a more far-flung destination, such as Eze for the astounding views, or artsy Saint-Paul-de-Vence, the most popular and versatile way to go is by sporty Vespa.

If this isn’t quite the glamorous conveyance you had in mind, think again. With the wind in your hair and the sun on your back, you’ll feel like Audrey Hepburn or Gregory Peck in “Roman Holiday” or Marcello Mastroianni in “La Dolce Vita.”

For a vintage scooter, Riviera Classic Car Hire will set you up with a sleek Lambretta Ll 125 (around $163 a day), otherwise You Rent Cannes is the place to go for three shiny new Vespa models, starting at around $54 a day (9 a.m. to 6 p.m., around $64 for 24 hours). If you’re arriving at festival time, you’ll need to book your scooter at least 10 days in advance.

But be aware, cautions Jean-Charles Dieuzayde, owner of You Rent Cannes: “Motor traffic during the festivals is a nightmare.” And though a Vespa can weave its way through traffic, many streets – including the Croisette – are only open to pedestrians and bicycles.

“First-timers don’t know what it’s like. After one or two days they see everyone on a bike and they want one, too,” he adds.

That includes the stars, according to Dieuzayde, who has rented to many French and American celebrities. Normally you walk in and get a bike, but around the festivals it’s a good idea to book two to three days in advance.

You Rent Cannes also offers popular Vespa and cycling tours to discover the local food and wine, as well as the beautiful Riviera’s most breathtaking scenery.

You Rent Cannes, + 33 6 98 98 00 31

Riviera Classic Car Hire, 68 Avenue de La Liberte, Golfe Juan, France; +33 (0) 4 93 65 87 06

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On water

A superyacht is the ultimate status symbol in Cannes.

Who are you? A jet-setter, a movie producer

What to drive: A yacht

Where to go: Cap d’Antibes, Saint-Tropez, Monaco, the Lérins Islands, nowhere

Cannes’ hottest fashion accessory, luxury yachts range in size from giant to massive and cost from about $6,000 a day to a king’s ransom. These sumptuous boats can be had through a bevy of yacht brokers, who book private vessels not in use by their super-rich owners.

“These are basically floating eight-star hotels,” says Jenny Caird at 212° Yachts. Along with a captain and crew, options include all manner of luxuries such as an on-board chef, masseuse, even hairdresser, plus silk carpets and precious woods, jacuzzis, swimming pools and helipads.

Favored by movie moguls for entertaining industry big-wigs, these are the “static yachts” littering the bay of Cannes that won’t budge an inch for the entire 10 days of the festival.

Though the big luxury boats can be rented only by the week (with the most exclusive costing anywhere between $150,000 to $400,000), and carry a maximum of 12 guests no matter the size, mere mortals can rent smaller, much more economical vessels for the day.

Absolute Boat’s sleek Sealine 42/5, a 42-foot, 11-passenger motor yacht, is a bargain at about $3,000 a day (fuel is extra and can run into the hundreds), and includes a skipper who will take you anywhere you desire.

Popular places to flaunt your yacht are Saint-Tropez, Monaco, Cap d’Antibes and Cap Ferrat, which represent two to four hours of cruising time each way.

Though you can bring your own provisions, it’s best to let your broker arrange for food and drink, which, all things considered, is offered at a fair price. They can also book entertainment or pretty much any extra suitable for a boat.

If your budget, or conscience, puts this out of reach, most companies can set you up with anything from a sexy speedboat or sailboat to sea kayaks and jet skis.

But keep in mind, just sitting on Cannes’ sandy beach watching the glamorous world go by is never a bad option.

Absolute Boat, 3, rue Lacour, Cannes; +33 (0) 4 93 43 20 29

212° Yachts, Chez Arie de Boom, Port Pierre Canto, Cannes; +33 (0) 4 92 95 83 06

American journalist Jennifer Ladonne, who’s called Paris home for 12 years, writes regular travel features for France Today magazine and is the Paris restaurants and hotels reviewer for Fodor’s Paris travel guide.