Between the suburb of La Bocca to the west and Mouré Rouge in the east Cannes offers vast stretches of public beach, free for the taking. In addition to the free beaches, there are two municipal beaches--Zamenhoff and Macé--which allow you to rent a lounge chair, umbrella or locker for a full or half day at a fraction of the cost of a private beach.
The free beaches are as clean and well-maintained as the private beaches and there are beach showers. No, you won't be served frothy drinks with pink umbrellas but if it's sun and sea you're after there's plenty of that. There are also coffee, soft drink and snack kiosks conveniently placed beachside and trash cans to dispose of the waste.
Here are the public beaches:
Plage du Casino
Right near the Palais des Festivals, this beach is the first on La Croisette coming from the west. It's to the west of the Hotel Majestic and sometimes is the scene of beach volleyball competitions.
This municipal beach hosts a giant screen during the Cannes Film Festival for the public film series that is a part of the festival. From June to September this is a municipal "managed" beach but there is a free portion as well.
This wide, sandy beach is popular with the locals and is a non-smoking beach.
Here is another municipal beach that offers great deals on chairs and parasols for the day.
Plage du Square Verdun
This tiny beach next to Bijou Plage hosts the Nautical Club of Cannes.
Port Palm Beach
This small beach is at the eastern end of La Croisette between Bijou Plage and the port of Palm Beach.
It's Cannes' easternmost beach and hosts the municipal nautical centre and a first-aid post.
This is another long, sandy beach frequented mainly by locals.
Midi Public Beaches
Plage du Midi
This lengthy beach stretches between the private beach, Waikiki and the Plage de Sports 700m to the west. Starting in late spring, beach volleyball courts are put up.
This tiny beach is sandwiched between the private beaches of Plage l'Alba (formerly Blue Beach) and Belle Plage.
Plage de l'Abreuvoir
Between the private Okey Beach and the Old Port, this is a nice stretch of sand with the waters protected by a jetty.
La Bocca Public Beaches
Plage du Trou de l'Ancre
In the extreme west of Cannes, this beach shares space with the private beach, Les Sables d'Or.
Plage de La Bocca
Home to the famous "rock of La Bocca", this is one of two non-smoking beaches.