Nice, capital of the Alpes-Maritimes département and one of the stars of the Côte d’Azur, is the focus for many seeking a glamorous Mediterranean lifestyle in the sultry south of France. Consequently, it’s one of the country’s most expensive property locations – and out of reach of many mortals.
Head further inland, and you’ll find charming traditional villages where you can get far more for your money, enjoy tranquil surroundings, yet are less than 30 minutes away from Nice’s vibrant centre and thronging beaches.
Where to Buy in Alpes-Maritimes
There are plenty to choose from within a half-hour radius of Nice. Small but exquisite gems like Saint-Paul de Vence, a charming hill-top village with views of the sea; nearby Vence off the beaten track with a feel of authentic France; Valbonne, a favourite with British tourists; and Tourrettes-sur-Loup, a gorgeous medieval village perched on a rocky outcrop. Also popular with British buyers looking to balance cost with location and proximity to Nice are Roquefort-les-Pins, perfectly located for exploring the Côte d’Azur and the Var, and the charming village of Mougins.
Property Prices in the Alpes-Maritimes
To put the issue of price differences in context, a two-bedroom apartment in Nice can set you back anything from €500,000 to around €1 million, whereas the equivalent in Vence or Valbonne might cost you €250,000- €400,000. Where a large townhouse in Nice could have a price tag of €2 million plus, you can get a sumptuous villa with grounds and a swimming pool for about the same in Saint-Paul de Vence. Meanwhile, the price of village houses inland, though unpredictable, can start at around €175,000-€350,000.
As well as distance to the coast, proximity to the region’s airports has an effect on prices so some villages are more expensive than others. For example, Valbonne is closer to Nice airport than Tourrettes-sur-Loup, but the two are roughly the same distance from the coast, as a result the latter offers better value for money.
Most visitors arrive via Nice’s airport, which receives flights from all over Europe. Towards the eastern side of the Riviera, the airports at Marseille and Toulon-Hyères are great alternatives. The high-speed TGV train takes around five and a half hours between Paris and Nice and local trains travel up and down the coast.
Of course, it pays to do your homework so explore the options fully before you visit!
Looking to Buy French Property in the Alpes-Maritimes?
Lead photo credit : The stunning, historic village of Saint-Paul de Vence is not merely a gorgeous rural idyll but also within striking distance of the sparkling Mediterranean © SHUTTERSTOCK
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