The Mediterranean coast of France is as glitzy and glamorous as ever, but don’t think it’s only for the rich and famous. Read our guide to discover five wonderful towns as we explore where to buy a property on the French Riviera.
The French Riviera has long been heralded as one of the loveliest parts of France to visit and indeed in which to buy a holiday or permanent home. This is notoriously the land of glamour and glitz, but staying fashionable over the decades has been no mean feat, and Nice is beloved by international buyers, especially the British and Americans.
Staying fashionable over the decades has been no mean feat, and Nice is beloved by international buyers, especially the British and Americans.
The French Riviera has many gorgeous towns and villages, wonderful architecture, long sandy beaches and fine restaurants. There is tremendous appeal for all ages here. Let us look at five of them and compare notes for your next viewing trip to France.
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Nice has a beautiful old town and is most famous for its “Promenade des Anglais” – a wonderful walkway for people watching. The old town has long narrow pretty streets with lovely restaurants, boutique shops and art galleries aplenty. You can feel the history of this lovely town by meandering around the old town soaking up the atmosphere and admiring the lovely Cathedral of St. Reparata and the Place Rossetti.
Nice has something for all the family: sophisticated restaurants, sandy beaches perfect for children as well as playgrounds and fountains to play in. Don’t miss “Le Petit Train” which is a fun way to explore the town with kids.
Property prices in Nice
The sky is the limit here in terms of property prices but you can still find a small apartment just outside the old town for around €300,000. Any property purchase here is likely to be a good investment since there is a strong rental market all year.
Antibes is even more popular for families with children of all ages. The port is just lovely; you can spend a pleasant morning sipping an iced coffee here and watching the stylish luxurious yachts coming and going. Take a look at Fort Carre which overlooks the sea and older kids will love the Picasso museum.
The port is just lovely; you can spend a pleasant morning sipping an iced coffee here and watching the stylish luxurious yachts coming and going.
The market in Antibes is gorgeous: brimful of local produce as well as homewares and accessories, it is a must see. Afternoons can be spent on one of the family friendly beaches which are in easy reach of the town. Then if the children want more, take in a visit to the Marine Park Marineland for a show.
Property prices in Antibes
Property prices in Antibes are about on a par with those in Nice. Again, you can find the most incredible luxurious villas for several million euros or at the other end of the scale, a small studio apartment for around €300,000. Naturally, the closer you are to the Mediterranean Sea, the more expensive the property will be.
Juan les Pins
Juan les Pins is a beautiful, slightly smaller, family-friendly seaside town located between Nice and Cannes. There is something for everyone here with a vibrant night life from the casinos, clubs and restaurants to a relaxed friendly vibe on the beach which is lined with restaurants from where you can watch the youngsters play! It inspired artists such as Monet and Picasso and today is one of the most popular spots on the Cote d’Azur.
Juan Les Pins is also known for its jazz with artists such as Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington having played here. There is a jazz festival here every July.
Property prices in Juan les Pins
Juan Les Pins is on a par with Antibes when it comes to property prices. A small apartment can be found for around €400,000 but anything near the sea is going to command at least €600,000.
Lying futher south-west along the Mediterranean coast, Frejus is a delightful small town with a harbour and stunning soft sandy beach. Plenty of bars and restaurants along the coastline here with lots to do for teenagers and young adults such as water sports and diving. There are plenty of events in the summer months.
Perfect for all the family, there is a craft night market on the main promenade along the beach and just a little further down the coast the beach of Saint Aygulf is a paradise for all ages. Swimming and kite surfing are popular here as well as other water sports.
Property prices in Frejus
You will get a little more for your money in Frejus. Whilst there are still some stunning villas commanding top dollar, there are also some studio apartments not too far from the beach and port from around €150,000.
Mougins is a charming village known for its sophistication and gastronomy and thus better geared to adults. It lies close to both Grasse and Cannes on a hilltop surrounded by beautiful forests. There are some fabulous restaurants here as well as the Museum of Classical Art and a Photography Centre.
The old village is a joy to meander around; the ideal getaway for those who seek more tranquil surroundings away from the razzmatazz of Cannes or Nice.
Property prices in Mougins
Again, plenty of top notch luxurious and expensive villas here but just outside of the village close to the forest you can find houses and apartments for a budget of around €400,000.
Getting to the French Riviera from the UK
The French Riviera is easy to get to from the UK. There are several flights available from many UK airports direct to Nice taking under two hours. There are regular trains with SNCF from Nice Airport to various destinations on the French Riviera and also a decent Uber taxi service if you are not planning to rent a car.
By train, you can take Eurostar from London St. Pancras to Paris Gard du Nord then go across to the Gare de Lyons for the TGV train down to various parts of the Riviera. This is a great option if time is not pressing since you can make a holiday out of the journey, perhaps stopping at Lyon or Marseille.
By car, you can take the ferry across to Calais or Boulogne and drive down which will take around 10 hours from the Channel port.
The French Riviera is a wonderful part of France with hot summers and temperate winters. It has so much to offer everyone in the family from the stunning beaches to art, history, culture and gastronomy. Yes you may need a few more euros in your pocket to come here but it is an area which will doubtless remain the most popular in France for many years to come.