Good news to diving men and sea lovers, spending overnight in private boat for night diving started from evening in Mandelieu. Mandelieu is a tourist zone for all water sport activities as you like water skiing, canoeing, kayaking, surfing, fishing, swimming, snorkling, scuba diving.
Night diving programme is organised from April to Oct. See website for more information or email for details and reservation. Snorkeling gears are provided; The bottle of gas for diving are available to rent in boat.
The Clews Eccentric Fantasy Riviera Castle
"Foundation Henry and Marie Clews"
Four miles west of Cannes, at the far end of the Golfe Mandelieu, lies Mandelieu la Napoule. There is only one reason to visit Mandelieu La Napoule. At the waters edge rises the castle restored in the 1920's by two eccentric American "artists", Henry and Marie Clews, - a bizarre gothic Disneyland castle and gardens.Their lifestyle attracted many literary or creative artists of the period dropping by, with great debate a regular feature. A seductive setting for good conversation.
To see the interior of the castle requires a guided tour only at set times, but entry to the gardens is just a few euros and gets you the general atmosphere of the place.
The rest of Mandelieu is a commercial suburb of featureless apartments and out of town superstores that edge Cannes - Mandelieu airport. Elsewhere are miles of golf courses and the low spot is a ghastly sixties casino, no attraction at all, at the sea front. The beach however is excellent, the setting quite unusual, and enough surreal architecture at the castle to fill an interesting half day excursion.
"Monogrammed walls - the must-have home feature"
This one is by Henry T and M collaboratively
The Clews "monogrammed" every architectural feature or artwork with an "H" or "M" or the collaborative "HM" according to who created it.
"Gothic breakfast room - a table for two"
More tea Morticia?
Church-like gothic meets the Addams family.This room crys out for "Lurch", the butler, to serve table.
Mandelieu La Napoule
We were staying in the village of Les Adrets in the Massif Estoril. Mandelieu is the nearest town, on the way to Cannes and just a few minutes drive away.
It's really two towns which adjoin each other, La Napoule is the seafront area while Mandelieu is a little more inland.
Although they are very close and the distances are not great, Mandelieu is less of a tourst area. it has more shops, a large Geant supermarket, some industry.
La Napoule has the ocean, the railway and more of the typical tourist places such as restaurants, pavement cafes and bars.
The marina, like all of them along this very popular stretch of beaches and ocean, is crowded with yachts. There's seemingly no room for them to manoeuvre, but they somehow manage, at slow speeds and with great care.
There's also a good beach right in the town, much less crowded than those at, for example, Antibes, Juan-le-Pins and Cannes, which are just a little further along the coast.
There's an interesting castle right on the seafront. Built originally a thousand years ago it fell into ruin until it was rebuilt in the nineteen twenties by the American sculptor & philanthropist Henry Clews and his wife Marie, an architect.
The castle and the beautiful gardens are open daily from 10am.
You can find out more on the website Chateau La Napoule
Amongst the restaurants and bars there's the now inevitable Irish bar - they seem to be appearing all over the world!
This one is O'Sullivans, housed in a traditional Provence-style building just a short way from the beach.
There are many pavement cafes and restaurants, and of course the good weather means that outdoor dining is possible for much of the year.
One that was recommended, and came up to expectations, was Le Neapolis and I've written a separate Tip about it.