“I live on the French Riviera”… doesn’t it have a lovely ring to it? For those not born and bred here, it all started at the end of the 18th Century, with Brits escaping the winter by sojourning on the southeastern Mediterranean coastline and hinterland. Soon the railway arrived and others followed suit.
The ‘French Riviera’ was born and became the haunt of aristocrats, writers, artists, and anyone who wanted to see and be seen.
Putting down roots here has a bundle of advantages – apart from the kudos of saying “I live on the French Riviera”, of course!
Good weather means good quality of life. It’s a real consideration when you’re figuring out where to put down roots. Sunny, hot, dry summers and mild winters with between 300 and 330 days of sunshine per year really have a positive impact on your lifestyle. When you can spend so much time outdoors, whether doing sports, enjoying your garden with friends, whiling the time away on beaches, or chilling in a pavement café, life looks good.
Where It Is
Swimming in the Med one day and hiking in the mountains the next is a unique lifestyle, which can be enjoyed to the max in the French Riviera. From anywhere you’re close to the coastline with its beaches and creeks, to the mountains of the southern Alps, and to the three national parks – the Mercantour (north of Nice from the Italian border to the Gorges du Verdon), Port Cros (an island off the coast of Toulon) and the Calanques (rugged landscape hugging the coastline between Cassis and Marseille).
Food & Wine
Mediterranean fare is great for health and longevity – and it’s delicious too., In the spirit of slow food and good living, all the towns have weekly markets of regional produce – olive oils, vegetables and fruits, cheeses, fish and seafood, and there is always at least one stall selling pretty wicker baskets for you to buy and fill up as you wander around listening to the local dialects.
The restaurant scene is fabulous too. Great little snack bars, street stalls, and top notch Michelin starred restaurants can be found everywhere. The choice of what’s on the menu is international, but certain regional dishes such as bouillabaisse, ratatouille, socca and the world famous Salade Nicoise are redolent of the French Riviera.
You can’t talk about food, without mentioning wine. The whole of France is known and celebrated for its fabulous wines, and the south-east of the country with its rich red soils, perfect climate and sloping terrain, plays a significant role in this reputation. The French Riviera is peppered with vineyards producing some of the country’s best, particularly rose – the Cotes de Provence wines, Coteaux Varois, Bandol wines and Cassis wines are all produced right here just like they were in Greek and Roman times.
Living on the French Riviera requires a place to live, of course. It’s a region with some of the most astounding Côte d’Azur properties for sale, from a full-on chateau with a vineyard thrown in, to the latest in contemporary architecture with stunning views and a berth for your yacht. You can whet your appetite and start dreaming here:
Things to See and Do
Where to start? The choice is huge – from events such as the Monaco Grand Prix, the Cannes Film Festival, the yachting events, to visiting the ‘villages perches’, in the countryside behind Nice and Cannes, dipping your toes in the Med at the famous Pampelonne Beach in St Tropez, visiting museums such as the Picasso Museum in Antibes, swimming in the pristine waters of the Lac de Saint Croix in the Gorges du Verdon, or playing a round or two at the Golf de Fregate Golf Course near Bandol. So much to do, so little time!