Holiday homes, villas and chateaux in the Cote d'Azur
The Cote d'Azur, or French Riviera, is without a doubt the most famous and exclusive coastal holiday destination in France. From affordable apartment rentals and holiday homes to luxurious villas and sumptuous mansions and chateaux, the French Riviera has something to offer for everyone. Spend your days lazing on the sand, clubbing on one of St Tropez famous beaches or even celebrity spotting at one of the many festivals in Cannes. Sightsee the vibrant city of Nice, one of many picturesque hilltop villages like Grasse, Vence or Eze or enjoy yacht-watching in the marinas of Monaco, Antibes or Villefranche - the Cote d'Azur has no limits.
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Picking your favourite destination on the Cote d'Azur / French Riviera
The Cote d'Azur, or French Riviera, is famous the world round as one of Europe's top destinations and a playground for the rich and famous. Of course, everyone has heard of the extravagant beach resort of Saint Tropez, the world-famous festivals of Cannes and the glitz and glamour that indulges the principality of Monaco; but there is so much more! Are you looking to holiday in the Cote d'Azur, but not sure where to go? Here is all you need to know!
The French Riviera has no defined borders but is in essence the strip of coast at the very south of the Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur administrative region, divided in the Var and Alpes Maritimes departments. Depending on who you ask, it roughly runs from the Italian border down to Toulon, although many would argue that the 'real' French Riviera is the 20-or-so-kilometer hyperbole that gently slants down from the Italian border. The landscapes here are most impressive, to say the least, as roads are carved out of the near vertical cliffs and the views over the Mediterranean are simply stunning. Over endless winding roads you'll drive past oranges and lemons ripening against a backdrop of the snow-topped peaks of the Alps. Further West the landscapes slowly become slightly tamer, but the beaches do become longer, wider and simply nicer.
Monaco & surroundings ££££-£££££ | see holiday villas on offer near Monaco
Right on the Italian border is Menton, a wonderful sun-trap that doesn't only do wonders for the olive and citrus trees, but also the many tourists that spend their summer here. Famous for its colourful seaside façade and marina, it has a wonderful Old Town, beautiful Mediterranean gardens and some lovely pebble beaches. For the region, rental prices are affordable. South of Menton is the headland of the more exclusive Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, which throughout history has been a particular favourite spot for various royalty. Following the winding, stunning road you'll reach the city-state of Monaco. This tiny city-state is a known tax-haven and is famous for its rich and lavish residents, mirrored by rental prices for holiday accommodation. In the hills above Monaco is the upmarket village of La Turbie, famous for its jaw-dropping views over Monaco and the Med.
Villefranche-sur-Mer & surroundings ££££-£££££ | see holiday villas on offer near Villefranche
South of Monaco, you’ll find upmarket Eze-sur-Mer, with the quintessential medieval village of Eze perched high above. Before you know you’ll find yourself in one of the French Riviera’s all-time favourites, the twin bays of Villefranche-sur-Mer and Beaulieu-sur-Mer, with the ultra-exclusive headland of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat lodged between them. This small area is in general very up-market, but you do get what you pay for. Luxury apartments, contemporary villas and lavish mansions dot the hillsides, enjoying breath-taking views over the shimmering azure of the Med. Both Villefranche and Beaulieu offer wonderful beaches on their doorsteps, boasting some popular beach bars and restaurants. A bonus is that public transport is easily accessible so why not zip to Nice for the afternoon, avoiding the heavy traffic that these mountain roads are prone to in summer.
Nice & surroundings £££-££££ | see holiday villas on offer near Nice
Nice ‘la Belle’, quite literally meaning beautiful Nice, is one of France’s biggest and most wonderful cities. Compared to neighbouring Villefranche and Antibes areas, it’s also relatively affordable, definitely when staying in one of the many holiday apartments within the city. Plus, you’re smack bang in the middle of everything! Soak up the its history during a walking tour, go out shopping for A-brands, stroll over the Promenade des Anglais, lounge on the beach or dive head first into the vibrant night-life. Nice has it all! Plus, it’s the regions transport hub so it’s easy to zip up and down the coast to sightsee and visit your favourite beaches. The outskirts of Nice, like the popular and upmarket quartier Fabron, offer some excellent value-for-money luxury villas and Riviera mansions. South of Nice is the charming seaside resort of Cagnes-sur-Mer and famous holiday complex of Marina Baie des Anges.
Vence & surroundings £££-££££ | see holiday villas on offer near Vence
In the hinterland of Nice you’ll find the wonderful, natural haven of peace and quiet around the picture-perfect village of Vence. Holiday homes and villas are cheaper compared to the coast, offering an ideal getaway for people who are looking for some quality time spent with family and loved ones while still being only a short drive away from the beaches. Neighbouring medieval villages such as St-Paul-de-Vence and Tourrettes-sur-Loup offer great hideaways for more upmarket rentals and luxury retreats.
Antibes & surroundings ££££-£££££ | see holiday villas on offer near Antibes
South of Nice you’ll pass the charming and mellow medieval hillside village of Biot - popular for being set back slightly from the coastal buzz, while still being only a few minutes from that shimmering azure. Following this long stretch of comparably calm coast, you’ll end up at another popular pearl of the Cote d’Azur. The upmarket area around hip Antibes, a charming, fortified seaside town with winding cobble stoned streets and magnificent sea views from its ramparts. To mirror Antibes, you’ll find the more modern, developed beachside resort of Juan-les-Pins – a favourite for its sandy beaches. But the real treat is the exclusive Cap d’Antibes, spoilt with little coves and sandy beaches.
Cannes & surroundings £££-££££ | see holiday villas on offer near Cannes
Just west of the popular Antibes headland is Cannes, home to the world-famous Cannes Film Festival. Several times a year, during important festivals, rental prices in Cannes can soar, but in general it is relatively affordable during the summer months – and popular too! Ever-charming, you can wander through its winding streets in the Haute Ville, stroll over La Croisette with architectural wonders at one side and the beach at the other, or go yacht-spotting in the iconic Vieux Port. The verdant, upmarket neighbourhoods of Californie and La Croix des Gardes are home to luxury villas and estates dotting the lush Mediterranean landscapes. Cannes is also a local transport hub and it makes an easy base to travel up and down the French Riviera for some sightseeing or beach lounging. Further west, tucked in the Northern end of the iconic red rocks of the Massif d’Estérel are the low(er)-key golf-famous resort of Mandelieu-la-Napoule and the beachside resort of Théoules-sur-Mer.
Grasse & surroundings £££-££££ | see holiday villas on offer near Grasse
Inland from Cannes you’ll find that the beautiful valleys around the famed perfume capital of Grasse are becoming ever more popular. With a wonderfully natural landscape that’s dotted with medieval hilltop villages, this is an area where you can still find peace, quiet and untouched natural while being close to the buzz of the beaches. Picturesque villages like Mougins, Valbonne, Opio and Peymeinade harbour luxurious villas and traditional farmhouses with large private gardens where you don’t have to see another soul if you don’t want to. All while having some of the world’s best Michelin star restaurants on your doorstep.
Fréjus & surroundings ££-£££ | see holiday villas on offer near Frejus
At the Southern end of the Massif de l’Estérel you’ll find the beachside resorts of Fréjus and St Raphael. Generally more affordable, and family friendly, these seaside resorts enjoy lovely stretches of fine sandy beaches and hidden sandy coves. With both the wonderful beaches and Estérel mountains on your doorstep, it’s easy to alternate your holiday between lounging on the beach and getting lost in some of the French Riviera’s savage nature. Further down are the slightly more upmarket resorts of St Aygulf and Les Issambres.
St Tropez & surroundings ££££-£££££ | see holiday villas on offer near St Tropez
Ah St Tropez, the notoriously famous, extraordinary and almost outrageously extravagant playground for the world’s elite. From jetting around on jet-ski’s to lounging on a day-rental yacht, everything is possible here – but it comes at a considerable price tag. The villages on the Cap, like Ramatuelle, La Croix-Valmer, Cogolin and Gassin are all home to grand luxurious villas and sumptuous luxury estates. Round the Gulf of Saint Tropez are the popular upmarket resorts such as Port-Grimaud and Beauvallon, whereas higher up Sainte Maxime offers more affordable holiday rentals. If you are looking for a more relaxing atmosphere, try Plan-de-la-Tour or La Garde-Freinet which are both havens for luxury retreats.
Hyeres & surroundings ££-£££ | see holiday villas on offer near Hyeres
For many, the area around Hyères and Toulon isn’t really considered part of the French Riviera anymore. Nonetheless, the area offers fabulous sandy beaches and azure waters – often at much better prices. If you like island hopping this is also the place to be, off the coast of Hyères and Le Lavandou is the easily accessible Ile de Porquerolles. With some lovely long coves of fine white sand, you can also opt to do some adventuring to find a cove of white sand just for yourself!