The South of France seems bathed in a perpetual summertime, with balmy weather even during the winter months. When it’s a bit too chilly to swim or take the boat out, there’s more than enough sightseeing, festivals, markets and entertainment to fill your day. Consider these towns and cities in the South of France if you’re seeking a more luxurious lifestyle.
Cap d’Antibes, in the Côte d’Azur, sits between Cannes and Nice. While considered a premier yachting destination, this part of the French Riviera is still remarkably laid-back. Property buyers can invest in private villas, luxury penthouses or modern, recently-renovated homes. During the day, head to a hill or trail for hiking or biking, then in the evening take in a jazz show, art exhibit or other cultural event. The Mediterranean climate makes it possible to take advantage of the nearby beaches practically every day of the year.
Set a little bit back from the coast in the Languedoc region, Carcassonne is delightful for both its unique historical sites and its lavish property. Two towns make up Carcassonne: the Cité de Carcassonne, which is popular with tourists, and La Ville Basse, which is home to locals. Countryside homes, like converted farmhouses and deluxe villas, are surrounded by fields, vineyards and gardens. Though many homes are decorated in the Provencal style, they can also feature modern amenities such as underfloor heating.
Menton is scenic and tranquil, boasting suburban property like impressive, light-drenched mansions and duplex apartments with terraces that look out over the sea. The fantastic weather is good news for gardeners, who can grow their lemon and orange trees all year long. Pay a visit to the tropical Jardins Biovès, too. On a free day or in the evening, stroll down the promenade de mer, which has sunbeds, parasols and waterside restaurants. Don’t skip the Jean Cocteau Museum, either, or the Cocteau frescoes that can be viewed at the town hall.
Montpellier, the fast-growing capital of Languedoc-Roussillon, is the area’s largest city. Enjoy a bit of everything, including live music performances, high-energy nightlife and museum exhibits. Not yet overrun with tourism, locals love the diversity of terrain – both beaches and mountains. An assortment of property types are available, from second and holiday homes on the coast or by the Canal du Midi to stone properties and hobby vineyards. Many Montpellier villas are a quick walk to the town centre or a short drive to the sea.
Unlike other towns in the South of France, Narbonne is distinctly unhurried, even during the summertime. Considered a well-kept secret, most people who holiday or live in Narbonne have relocated from another part of France. While there’s plenty of turnkey properties available, the town is also known for homes that aren’t yet move-in ready, giving buyers the chance to create their own customized space. Whatever type of property you end up buying, you’re bound to have a lot of land and views of the Pyrenees.
Close to Spain in the Languedoc-Roussillon region, Perpignan has an exotic cultural mix – note the Catalan essence and the overall Spanish identity. Contrasting ways of life can be found here, from young and lively to reserved and quiet. Acclaimed educational facilities make it a smart choice for families. Common properties in the area are open-plan houses and villas with spacious yards and lake views. Though an ancient city, many Perpignan homes have been renovated.
Provence prides itself on homes that most people only dream of, like vineyard properties and 18th century villas set on land that stretches for acres. Every type of landscape is represented here, including coastline, mountains and valleys. Combining the best of both worlds, Provence offers a countryside setting and lifestyle without being removed from plenty of culture and entertainment. You’ll also be amongst traditions and history, notable in the many fountains, monuments and ruins of the area. Make sure to set aside plenty of time for Provence’s annual festivals, too.
The coastal town of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, which is situated between Menton and Monaco, has three main sections. The medieval village is set on Mont Angel, the town centre is right on the coast, and the Cap Martin peninsula is home to high-end, luxury villas. Charming and picturesque, exclusive residential areas have prestigious property like modern villas and luxury apartments. Many homes feature open-plan kitchens; mezzanines and terraces; extra sleeping space, lofts, guest suites and outbuildings; smart technology; infinity pools; and exotic gardens.
One Last Note
No matter where you settle in the South of France, you’ll have access to snow, which is great news for skiers. Retreat to the mountains for a long weekend to partake in adventure sports or to indulge in the apres-ski scene.