Living on the Côte d’Azur
The exquisite Côte d’Azur, stretches from Antibes to Italy, passing through Cannes, Nice and Monaco and, though architectural styles vary considerably, the traditional pink and ochre painted houses set the tone. Along the coast there are a great many luxurious villas – often ambitious in their design and spectacular to behold. Because of the near tropical climate most towns, villages and grand houses maintain exotic gardens.
When looking for property along the Côte d’Azur careful consideration of your individual requirements is of paramount importance. For instance, is the purchase predominantly for lifestyle or investment? Are you looking for a holiday home, a part-time or a permanent residence? Perhaps there is a preference for a vineyard, a private getaway or a villa? Knight Frank has the experience and the established network as well as a broad range of property for sale.
Côte d’Azur in a nutshell
The Côte d’Azur has the power to captivate like no other region of France with its scenic landscapes, sparkling azure seas, world-class modern art, delicious local cuisine and colourful heritage.
It is a major yachting and cruising area - served by many exceptional marinas. In fact, most of the world’s super yacht fleets visit the Côte d’Azur at least once and its perfect position means it is an ideal base for any cruise of the Mediterranean islands.
Nice, Monaco and Cannes are also important business travel destinations, hosting conferences and trade shows all year round. Technology and research centres thrive throughout the region. The Riviera preserves and promotes its natural beauty and history, while at the same time embracing a new dynamic and international identity.
The largest city in the region is Nice - a metropolis that is both pleasingly cosmopolitan and youthful.
Inland villages such as Mougins, St Paul de Vence and Grimaud with their narrow medieval alleyways, ramparts and gateways, nestle amid olive groves, vineyards and orchards exuding a sense of ageless calm. Along the coast famous towns like St Tropez, Cannes, Monte-Carlo, Cap Ferrat and Antibes - with their high society, their glittering nightlife and casinos - contrast satisfyingly with the peaceful beauty of the surrounding hills, achingly pretty secluded bays and ancient fishing villages where life still runs at that leisurely pace so typical of Latin countries. Unsurprising then that this extraordinary stretch of coastline has become an international byword for desirable living.
Types of Property on the Côte d’Azur
• Rural mas or bastide
• Belle Epoque villa
• Contemporary villa
• Village house
• Coastal property or villa
Nice International Airport is one of the busiest in France, second only to Charles de Gaulle in Paris. Helicopter shuttles run from Nice to Monaco and Cannes and takes approximately 6 minutes or approximately 20 minutes to St Tropez. Italy (skiing) is approximately 30km away.
The Alps provide the Côte d’Azur with shelter from inland winds and the Mediterranean warms the inshore breezes giving the Côte d’Azur an almost tropical climate.
The distinct cuisine of the Côte d’Azur evolved centuries ago - the fertile land, the sunshine and the cycle of the seasons offering bountiful harvests. The local food is defined by mouth-watering combinations of ingredients such as sun-ripened tomatoes, melons, cherries, peaches, olives, lamb, Mediterranean fish, seafood and Alpine cheeses.
The magnificent fish stew, bouillabaisse, of which there are as many variations as villages on the Côte d’Azur, must not be missed. During truffle season those in-the-know go hunting for ‘black diamonds’. From November to February these delicacies will feature in restaurants and at markets - there is even a truffle festival in Aups (Var region) in January!
The motto here is: “grow little but grow well!” The vineyards producing wine along the Mediterranean coast benefit from the abundance of sunshine. Wines produced here are mainly reds and rosés - the whites are very rare and precious!
All distances are approximate
Read more about property in France in our Inside View France publication.