With 75 miles of coastline and 300 days of sunshine every year, the Côte d’Azur is France’s flagship beach destination and home to some of its most luxurious real estate. But if you’re looking to buy on the French Riviera, there are plenty of good reasons to look outside of Cannes, St Tropez, and Nice. To inspire your property search, we asked four local estate agents for their top picks of where to buy along the Côte d’Azur.
From a less-known beach resort to pretty hillside villages and even an alpine ski resort (yes, you read that right!), here’s our pick of the French Riviera’s secret property hotspots.
1. Saint Paul de Vence
Nestled between mountains and ocean, Saint-Paul-de-Vence has a long list of artists and celebrities among its past residents, from Matisse and Modigliani to French pop icon Mylène Farmer. Local real estate agents Real Immobilier even have a property on the market right now that once belonged to Marc Chagall, one of the most famous artists of the 20th-century century (see their top property picks below).
A picturesque town set in the hills away from the coast, Vence’s pretty Provencal architecture, medieval lanes, and lively cluster of art galleries and restaurants make it a magnificent spot for property hunters. Not only that, but it boasts a strategic location, just a 20-minute drive from Nice airport and 15 minutes from the beaches of Cagnes-sur-Mer. “Even if the national real estate market seems gloomy, the Vençois real estate market is doing very well, and the Côte d’Azur remains a privileged territory,” Real Immobilier tell us: “The Vençois sector is far from the hustle and bustle of the coast, making it very popular for second-home owners.”
Real Immobilier’s Top Picks
An about 30-minute drive inland from Cannes, Grasse is one of France’s great perfume towns, famous for housing luxury brands and perfume houses like Dior, Lancome and Chanel. With a hillside setting surrounded by fields of rose and jasmine, and magnificent sea views, Grasse is among the most idyllic of the Riviera towns, and it’s within easy reach of both beaches and ski resorts!
Watch Riviera House Hunting’s guide to Grasse below and discover its pretty Old Town, where the cobbled lanes are lined with restaurants, art galleries, and perfumeries.
3. La Croix Valmer
“La Croix–Valmer is a real hidden gem on the French Riviera,” the local estate agents at Home Hunts tell us. “It’s a pretty village with wonderful beaches and protected woodland located just a few kilometres from Saint Tropez, yet a million miles away from the private posing plages of Pampelonne and other parts of the Côte d’Azur. If you are dreaming of the sound of the waves, lazy afternoons on sandy beaches or by your pool, shady restaurant terraces, long walks along coastal paths or through umbrella pine forests, visits to local vineyards and beauty spots, this could be the dream destination for you!”
La Croix–Valmer captures the essence of the Riviera’s 1950s and 1960s heyday, boasts several beautiful Blue Flag beaches, and provides free shuttles between the village and the beach, all of which makes it a prime spot for a vacation home or rental investment.
A ski resort on the Côte d’Azur?! If you’re looking for a totally different experience to the golden beaches and seaside villas of the French Riviera, why not escape into the surrounding mountains and invest in a luxurious ski property instead? The renowned ski resort of Auron is located just 90 kilometers from Nice International Airport, at the entrance of the Mercantour National Park, and Alex Balkin, Executive Director of Savills French Riviera,highlights the resort as one of the region’s up-and-coming real estate hotspots: “one to watch and one to explore!”
Vivaldi, in Auron, is Savills’ latest collaboration (see photos below) with prestigious residential developer Rising Stone, a highly anticipated new ski residence set in the heart of the popular resort of Auron, which will combine contemporary design, exemplary build quality, luxury fittings and unparalleled services and style. Construction is already underway and delivery is programmed for September 2025, so now’s the time to snap up one of the sought-after lodges. Prices start from €814,968 (inclusive of Agency Fees) and you can find out more here.
Vivaldi in Auron
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