Beyond Cannes and Nice: Secret Spots to Buy on the French Riviera


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Beyond Cannes and Nice: Secret Spots to Buy on the French Riviera

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

Exclusive to Real Immo, this property was previously owned in the 1950s by Marc Chagall. The villa has been completely renovated in recent years and offers 4 bedrooms, an office and a guest room. There is also a large heated swimming pool in 3000m2 of landscaped gardens.


Click here for more details.

320m² 4-bedroom villa in a tranquil setting with a 2,500m² of land, a heated swimming pool and pool house, and unobstructed nature views.


Click here for more details.

100m² 3-bedroom apartment with garage, cellar, and swimming pool access, enjoying a beautiful view of the sea, Cap d’Antibes and the village of St Paul.


Click here for more details.

Real Immobilier is an independent and family-run real estate agency located in Saint-Paul-de-Vence.

4 Place du Maréchal Juin – BP 24
06140 Vence


2. Grasse

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.

Riviera House Hunting have properties through the Riviera, including Grasse and Saint-Paul-de-Vence (mentioned above). Download their free guide to Buying on the French Riviera or get in touch below:

[email protected]

+33 6 84 68 64 74

3. La Croix Valmer

“La CroixValmer 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 CroixValmer 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.

Home Hunts specialise in luxury properties along the French Riviera and beyond. Check out their range of properties for sale on FrenchEntrée, read more about their secret spots along the Riviera here or contact them directly below.

55 Rue Saint Ferreol, 13001 Marseille, France

TEL: +33 (0)970 44 66 43

[email protected]

4. Auron

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

Savills is one of the world’s leading property agents with more than 700 offices all around the globe. For French Riviera, French Alps, and Nice – Residential properties, you can contact Executive Director Alex Balkin.

+33 (0) 4 93 87 41 15

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FrenchEntrée's Digital Editor, Zoë is also a freelance journalist who has written for the Telegraph, HuffPost, and CNN, and a guidebook updater for the Rough Guide to France and Rough Guide to Dordogne & Lot. She lives in the French countryside just outside of Nantes.

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  • James
    2023-10-18 07:30:57
    Great article - thank for the info. Jim