Best place to buy a holiday home on the French Riviera

Four locations are particularly coveted on the Riviera: Valbonne, Cannes, Saint-Tropez and Villefranche-sur-Mer.

The perfect location for a holiday home on the French Riviera

Valbonne, Cannes, Saint Tropez and Villefranche-sur-Mer are four of the Riviera’s most desirable locations. Each has its own distinct personality, as well as offering stable investment opportunities for international buyers.

What would you choose? An idyllic Provençal villa in Valbonne or a chic pad in cosmopolitan Cannes? Or would you prefer a luxury holiday home in Saint-Tropez or panoramic views from your mansion in Villefranche-sur-Mer?

Soak up authentic Provence in Valbonne

With its red and ochre townhouse facades overlooking sunny café terraces and bustling market stalls, the village of Valbonne is the embodiment of authentic Provence. It’s just 20 minutes from Cannes, half-an-hour to the nearest ski resort and an hour from Nice’s international airport. A diverse and luxurious lifestyle is easy to achieve here. Its proximity to Sophia Antipolis (France’s Silicon Valley) and busy events calendar also means it attracts a lively international crowd.

Summer highlights include the “Feast of Saint John”, where villagers eat outside under torchlight. The three-day “Festival des Arts de la Rue” when art, music, theatre and dance fill the streets is superb.

“There’s a variety of property to choose from in and around Valbonne, but the most coveted are those within walking distance of Valbonne village,” says Tim Swannie, director of Home Hunts. “Space, privacy and security is also very important to buyers and many properties in the surrounding areas of Valbonne offer exactly that.”

Go for glitz and glamour in Cannes

Cannes is one of the most glamorous and desirable destinations in the world. Offering an unrivalled position in the heart of the Riviera, you can swim in the sparkling sea all summer and spend your winters skiing in the Alps.

With the Croisette at its heart, which is home to sun-kissed beaches, chic boutiques and the iconic Palais des Festivals, life in Cannes offers the ultimate luxury lifestyle.

With Nice international airport just 25 minutes away, it is easy to mix business and pleasure in Cannes. Over the years it has become one of France’s leading commercial hubs. This is partly due to its hosting of industry-leading events from the worlds of yachting, real estate, music, television and the iconic Cannes Film Festival. It is therefore one of the best locations in France to develop an additional revenue stream that is active almost all the year round.

“There is so much choice for buyers here,” says Tim. “Some prefer the views from La Californie, others the exclusivity of Super Cannes. Many, though, are seeking an apartment along the Croisette to maximise rental opportunities.”

Live the high life in Saint Tropez

Situated in the Var department, Saint Tropez has long attracted stars from the worlds of fashion, film, music and sport. Still an undiscovered fishing resort in the fifties when it was celebrated locally for its delicious sardines and prawns, Saint Tropez was propelled into the spotlight when Brigitte Bardot filmed the movie “And God Created Woman” there in 1956.

Cannes is renowned for its golden sandy beaches, such as Plage des Graniers, Plage des Salins and Plage de Pampelonne. It is also home to a sublime selection of cafés, restaurants and clubs, such as Tahiti Beach Club and the famous Le Club 55. Always in demand, this beach club attracts the cream of the A-listers, including stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Sacha Baron Cohen and Elton John. Its menu is considered one of the best in Saint Tropez and guests can arrive by boat or even superyacht if desired as it also has its own jetty.

With some of the most luxurious properties on the Mediterranean coast, 300 days of sunshine each year and property that either holds or increases its value, Saint Tropez real estate is a savvy choice.

“As a safe-haven location for property investment we are seeing a rise in the number of buyers making enquiries and buying properties in Saint Tropez,” says Tim. “It’s especially popular with Brits and Americans looking for lifestyle-enhancing real estate investments.”

Never say never in Villefranche-sur-Mer

With its crystal-clear waters in mottled blues and a history that dates back to Roman times, it is no wonder that the charming Villefranche-sur-Mer is one of the most sought-after areas to reside in. This pretty town is distinctive for its apricot-coloured houses, built on terraces on steep inclines that look down in to the sparkling waters below. The sea front area around the harbour offers a vibrant and bustling atmosphere, and it is here that the café culture spills out onto terraces. As well as meandering through the ancient, cobble-stoned streets, there are several monuments in the town that are interesting to visit, such as the 18th century Church of Saint-Michel.

The views and authenticity of the town attracts people from all walks of life as well as the stars. Tina Turner designed her own mansion here and Keith Richards rented the waterfront Villa Nellcôte back in the seventies. Famous actresses and actors have also been part of the local landscape over the years as more than 150 films have been shot on location here. The pretty harbour featured in Robert de Niro’s Ronin and The Persuaders and the square at Place Amélie Pollonnais was in the James Bond film Never Say Never Again.

If you are searching for property on the French Riviera you can find houses and apartments for sale at If you want to speak to a knowledgeable consultant about other recommended locations or your house-hunting criteria, call +33 (0)970 44 66 43.

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