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Central Côte d'Azur

Central Côte d'Azur Area Guide

Read more about the main areas in the Central Côte d'Azur below or begin your property search now.

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Central Côte d'Azur in a nutshell

Antibes

When looking on the map it is hard to see where Antibes ends and Juan-Les-Pins begins and they couldn’t be more different. Antibes has Greek origins and a discreet air of refinement, while Juan-les-Pins offers more of an up-beat, art-deco elegance. Their apparent differences work beautifully to the advantage of both. Here you really can enjoy the best of both worlds!

Founded by the Greeks, incorporated into the expanding Roman Empire, often the target of pirates and raiders, Antibes was continually fortified and expanded in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries, culminating in the building of the impregnable Fort Carre in 1710. The first tourists arrived in the 1880s when it quickly became a honey-pot for artists and writers. Picasso, Nicolas de Stall and Grahame Green have all been residents. Today Antibes is a haven of luxury famous for its spectacular villas, private yachts (which bob rather splendidly in its harbour) and the gorgeous Musée de Picasso.

A thriving community, Antibes boasts a flower and food market every morning (except Mondays in winter), arts and crafts markets every week, a clothing market on the Rue Fontvieille, a ‘brocante’ or vintage market every Thursday and twice weekly antiques markets.

There is plenty to do from scenic walks along the Cap, private tennis clubs, a soothing butterfly park, water sports, shopping, a superb choice of great restaurants, bars and nightclubs - or just soak up the sun on one of Antibes famous sandy beaches and enjoy the wonderful Mediterranean views.

Accessibility

By air - distance from Nice International Airport: 16.4km. Also a small private airport at Cannes
By sea - the marina is for private and pleasure boats
Antibes railway station links to the Riviera coastal railway. The station is also served by eastbound trains to Nice and Monaco or westbound to Toulon and Marseille.

Start your property search in Antibes here.

Beaulieu-sur-Mer

Hugging the coastline between Nice and Monaco, Beaulieu sits next to the historic fishing port of Villefranche.

The building of spectacular villas became very much the fashion during the early part of the 20th century. These grand Belle Epoque style villas – which combine spectacular coastal positions with incredible architecture and world-class interiors - now rank among the most desirable properties in the world. A wonderful legacy of fine white villas set in beautiful gardens dot the coast of Beaulieu-sur-Mer.

This fashionable resort, sheltered by wooded hills, has long been regarded as one of the warmest spots on the Riviera. A haven of peace, expect refined old-world glamour.

Well-located this strip of coastline offers access to countless hobbies including walking, water sports, golf, fishing and cycling. During the spring and summer months the local calendars are alive with exhibitions, festivals and concerts. There are no shortages of fine restaurants, cafes and boutiques – a busy Saturday morning market adds a true Gallic flavour. If you need a little spectacle and glamour the nightclubs and casinos are nothing short of legendary.

Accessibility

By air:distance from Nice International Airport 15.8km
By sea: Port de Beaulieu is a moderate capacity port.

Start your search for property in Beaulieu-sur-Mer here.

Cannes

The old town of Cannes is enjoying a fashionable revival as a place to own. Dating back to the 10th century its historic buildings and narrow cobbled streets radiate Gallic charm.

The areas Cannes Californie, along with Super Cannes, are the equivalent of the famous Los Angeles Beverly hills and home to several residences that have marked the history of Cannes. They are undoubtedly the most exclusive areas in which to buy a property.

For centuries Cannes has been enchanting visitors from around the world. Its economic base rests upon tourism and business including aviation. Festivals of film, music and television, theatre, property and yachting are all famously held here. There is even a festival for fireworks held each summer in the Bay of Cannes! This is a world-class, year-round tourist and business destination and, as such, the potential of the rental market is worth noting.

Cannes is a bustling, energetic and fashion forward town where people come to be seen. There is plenty to please from the glitz of the film festival and La Croisette (its famous main street) to the bustling rhythms of the traditional markets in Cannes old town. Yet beneath all this fabulousness and glamour is a hard-working heart.

Accessibility

By air: Cannes has its own small private airport, approximately 26.6km from Nice International Airport
By sea: Cannes marina is large and busy during peak seasons e.g. the film festival.

Start the search for your property in Cannes here.

Chateâuneuf de Grasse

Perched high on the slopes of a hill, at an altitude of 413 meters, Chateâuneuf de Grasse commands views that reach for miles into the distance. The architecture is a pleasing mixture of raw medieval stonework and stucco-fronted houses painted in bright Provençal colours – all connected by a maze of narrow streets and alleyways. It is also one of the protected sites in the Alpes-Maritimes.

Situated a little way inland from the famous resort of Cannes, this medieval village and its surrounding countryside has much to offer in terms of residence or investment.

Despite its popularity it remains delightfully peaceful and unspoilt. The relaxed atmosphere here invites you to appreciate the simple things in life – climate, sea, stunning views, history and fine food.

It is also superbly well-located offering access to a wealth of diversions. During the spring and summer months the calendar is filled with exhibitions, festivals and concerts. Numerous pastimes are catered for including walking, water sports, golf, fishing, cycling. There is no shortage of fine restaurants, cafes and boutiques. If you need a little spectacle and glamour the nightlife along the coast is nothing short of legendary.

Accessibility

By air: Nice International Airport - 24.4km

Search for property in Chateâuneuf de Grasse here.

Grasse

The old town of Grasse is large, ancient and gently bustles with life. Tiny streets winding between 17th and 18th century buildings, weave to medieval arched tunnels and up and down ancient slab steps, opening out on to elegant squares.

The town of Grasse sits perched high at 400m. The fresh, cleaner air and slower pace of life, all considered conducive to physical and spiritual well-being, have attracted visitors and residents for centuries.

Today Grasse is surrounded by jasmine, roses, mimosa, orange blossom and violet fields, which supply some 30 discreet local perfumeries for which it is famous.

Accessibility

By air: Nice International Airport - 37km

Start your search in Grasse here

Juan les Pins

A major destination for the jet-set with casinos, nightclubs and long sandy, parasol lined beaches.

When looking on the map it is hard to see where Antibes ends and Juan-Les-Pins begins and they couldn’t be more different. Antibes has Greek origins and a discreet air of refinement, while Juan-les-Pins offers more of an up-beat, art-deco elegance. Their apparent differences work beautifully to the advantage of both. Here you really can enjoy the best of both worlds!

Juan les Pins literally buzzes during the summer – its long beaches and pontoons a-blaze with the colours of thousands of sun loungers and parasols – music fills the air every July during Jazz á Juan – Europe’s oldest jazz festival. The streets throng and the palm-shaded restaurants are full till the early hours.

Accessibility

By air: Nice International Airport - 21.1km

Start your search for property in Juan les Pin here.

Mougins

The old village of Mougins is surrounded by lush greenery. Lovingly restored houses and cobbled streets spiral up the hill. Its ancient ramparts and a 12th century fortified gateway (known as the ‘Saracen Gate’) dominate the hilltop on which it sits.

Close by is the exclusive Domaine de Castellaras Le Vieux a private gated community. The residences, each with its own private grounds, are built around a superb Chateau, which sits above them on the top of a hill.

This well turned out village is verdant with pine, olive and Cyprus trees. Mougins has an artistic recent history easily worthy of any national museum. The remarkable display housed in its museum testifies to this. Mougins has been home to, and frequented by, an extraordinary number of artists and celebrities: Picasso, Jean Cocteau, Man Ray, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Winston Churchill, Catherine Deneuve, Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel to name just a few!

Given its close proximity to Cannes, elegant Mougins is very often a destination for Hollywood stars during the film festival. Unsurprising then that Mougins has a strong culinary history with great chefs Roger Vergé and Alain Ducasse both having managed restaurants in the village. Mougins hosts the annual ‘International Gastronomy Festival of Mougins’ which takes place every September. And to work off some of those fine meals there is the famous Mougins Golf Course.

Accessibility

By air: Nice International Airport - 25.2km

Search for property in Mougins here.

Opio

A tiny and perfectly formed perched village with a long history dating back to Roman times.

Surrounded by a classic Mediterranean environment of olive trees, pines, cork oaks, arbutus trees, heather and wild herbs, stands the village of Opio. It boasts an exceptional micro-climate which has for centuries allowed the area to cultivate roses and jasmine and also a delicious olive oil – the production of which dates back to the 15th century. It offers a gentle way of life amid a peaceful setting of 450 hectares of forest. Perfect for long walks or horse riding. Also, literally on its doorstep, can be found the Begude Golf Course.

Accessibility

By air: Nice International Airport - 25km

Start your property search in Opio here.

Roquefort les Pins

Roquefort les Pins is conveniently situated close to the airport and beaches, yet far enough off the tourist trail to offer a superb quality of life. Good for families is its proximity to international schools and all modern conveniences. The houses in Roquefort have much to offer from large family villas to smaller dwellings situated within woodland.

Roquefort-Les-Pins, nestled by a pine forest and set amid rocky landscape, is a picturesque Côte d'Azur village.

The village itself is peaceful but situated close to many of the region's best golf courses and is approximately 20km to the coastal towns and beaches of Cannes, Juan les Pins and Antibes. In the winter months it is approximately 28km to the closest ski resort of Greolieres or La Colmiane. Throughout the year a good range of festivals and activities are all within reach.

Accessibility

By air: Nice International Airport - 17.9km

Search for property in Roquefort les Pins here.

St Paul de Vence

One of the oldest medieval towns on the Côte d’Azur, it is today well known as a leading centre for modern art with many superb contemporary art galleries, most notably the nearby Fondation Maeght. Expect a pleasing mixture of cutting edge and traditional from the properties and lifestyle here. It is the great views that really draw people to this area.

The slender silhouette of St-Paul-de-Vence, perches on a narrow spur between two deep valleys and forms part of a chain of fortified towns, which served to guard the Var frontier until about 1860.

St Paul has long been a haven for the wealthy, famous and artistic. The 1920s café turned hotel, La Colombe D’Or, was known for accepting artworks as payment for rooms and meals. Their guests included Picasso and Miro – as a result their collection rivals that of many museums!

A thoroughly modern Riviera resort, it boasts up-to-date amenities including a spa and sports facilities alongside superb restaurants and markets selling fresh local produce.

Accessibility

By air: Nice International Airport - 12.7km

Search for property in St Paul de Vence here.

Theoule sur Mer

The small town of Theoule sur Mer is centrally located just 40km from Nice and 10km from Cannes and nestles in a lovely spot on the coast at the foot of the Esterel massif.

Le Trayas is a prestigious location above the charming village and marina of Theoule, elevated above the coastline properties in Le Trayas command stunning views.

Theoule is a small town with an appealing harbour and easily accessible beaches, set amid spectacular red-rocked, rugged coastline. The interior is unspoilt and heavily wooded (the Var is France’s most densely wooded department) offering ample hiking, cycling and nature loving pursuits.

Theoule itself is a delightful village to simply stroll around, perhaps play petanque on one of the smart lanes on the beach, or pass time in one of the lovely cafes. Every Thursday and Sunday there is a market at the Figueirette Port and every Friday in the centre of Theoule.

Accessibility

By air: Nice International Airport - 38.7km
Mandelieu private jet airport - 7.7km

Start your Theoule sur Mer property search here.

Tourrettes sur Loup

The architecture of Tourrettes is mostly medieval and Romanesque. The village is a pleasing network of cobbled streets, vaulted alleys and narrow stairways.

This medieval village, restored by its artisan inhabitants, is well known for its arts and crafts – weaving, painting, pottery, jewellery and sculpture. Much of the local economy is based on various confectionaries made of violets that have been crystallized and candied. There is even a museum dedicated to this pretty, scented and edible flower.

Cycling is very popular in Tourrettes sur Loup with numerous biking routes, linking local villages, to choose from as well as activities such as horse riding, paragliding, fishing and climbing. The nearest ski station is just 39km away at Greolieres-les-Neiges and the nearest beach just 14km away at Cagnes-sur-Mer, making it a distinctively well-located village.

Accessibility

By air: Nice International Airport - 20.9km

Start your search for property in Tourrettes sur Loup here.

Valbonne

The village of Valbonne sits at the centre of a vast residential area, which includes grand residences of the old Valbonnais, modern luxury villas and accommodation for the nearby Sophia Antipolis – Europe’s answer to Silicon valley. As such there is a constant flow of international people and families passing through, giving rise to amenities like the excellent international schools in the area.

In contrast to the majority of medieval villages across the Riviera, with their twisty mazes of narrow cobbled lanes, Valbonne was designed on Roman principles, in neat symmetrical rectangles.

Valbonne, neatly laid out, is a haven of calm set amid rich woodland. In the centre of the village the lovely 16th century Place des Arcades is surrounded on all four sides by arcades, terraces and little shops. Brightly painted traditional buildings and old elms provide a pretty backdrop to the lively cafe and restaurant scene. Very down to earth.

Accessibility

By air: Nice International Airport - 25.2km

Start your search for property in Valbonne here.

All distances are approximate

Read more about the French property market in our Inside View France publication