Written by Erin Harding,
Last Modified: 9th June 2022

European Best Destinations (EBD) has realised its annual list of “Best Hidden Gems in Europe”. In the top twelve, three beautiful French locations are listed. So, why did they make the list and could they be good choices for your property purchase?

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Bauduen, Provence-Alpes-Cote-d’Azur

A traditional village just 90 minutes from Nice, Bauduen sits on the southern shores of the Lac de Sainte-Croix, a large lake in Provence. The lake offers a variety of activities from swimming and water sports to boat trips and is the perfect spot for those looking for active pursuits.

There is something here for everyone, however, including a nautical centre, an astronomical observatory and a children’s museum. You’ll also find a selection of restaurants and cafes that generally offer food at cheaper prices than many others in the area. Bauduen has been voted as one of the most beautiful villages in France, and it’s easy to see why!

Unfortunately, there is no train station in Bauduen, so you’ll need to get here via car or taxi. Property prices in this area average at €2330 / m².

Bauduen

Bauduen

Port Grimaud, Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur

Another of Provence’s beauty spots has made the list of best hidden gems in Europe. As the name suggests, Port Grimaud is ideal for anyone who enjoys boating in any form – from sailboats to yachts. The area is made up of beautiful canals that are reminiscent of Venice, as are the colourful fisherman style houses.

There are a couple of beautiful churches here, a nearby amusement park, Grimaud beach and surrounding mountains for anyone who enjoys hiking and nature. There is also a local market, as well as a night market during the summer months.

The town is mostly traffic-free and is serviced by a bus, which can take you all the way to Marseille. Property in Grimaud is fairly expensive at €5290 / m².

Port Grimaud

Port Grimaud

Sainte Marguerite Island, Lerin Islands, Alpes Maritimes

Sainte Marguerite Island is around half a mile off the coast of Cannes. You can get here in just fifteen minutes on the ferry, and it is an unspoilt haven of pine forests, eucalyptus forests and untouched coves. There’s a small village around where the ferry docks, with a handful of restaurants, and the remains of a former prison and military hospital.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any properties available on Sainte Marguerite Island itself. However, if you have the budget for it, you could buy somewhere in neighbouring Cannes. You may choose an apartment in central Cannes, in its cultural and oldest district Le Suquet, or along the seafront. Alternatively, a more private and tranquil option could be one of the pristine residential areas or villages in the hills behind the resort, like Mougins, Le Cannet or Vallauris.

Property prices in Cannes average at €4750/ m².

Sainte Marguerite Island

Sainte Marguerite Island

Click here to view the full list of Europe’s best hidden gems 2022.

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