Best places to buy a second home on the French Riviera

Cap Ferrat Villa

Set on the Mediterranean Sea coastline, the stunning French Riviera offers a glamorous lifestyle, enduring charm, and some of the most gorgeous landscapes you’ll ever see. Owning a second home on the French Riviera is a realised dream for many and the epitome of a jet-setter’s way of life.

Best places to buy a second home on the French Riviera 1
French Riviera coastline in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

What Makes the French Riviera Such a Good Place To Buy a Second Home?

There are many reasons why the French Riviera is such a popular location for buying a second home. Here are some of the main benefits that those who have already made the move and invested in a home on the Cote d’Azur enjoy.

  • Accessibility – Firstly, the French Riviera encompasses major cities like Cannes, Monaco, and Nice, making it easy to access even if you’ll be traveling back and forth a lot. There are plenty of transportation routes in the area, including international airports.
  • Climate – The region also enjoys a lovely year-round Mediterranean climate, with warm summers and mild winters. There are also nearly 300 days of sunshine each year, which is enjoyable whether your idea of outdoor time is lounging on your terrace or hiking in the mountains.
  • Investment – While homes in the French Riviera are expensive, they offer solid investment opportunities. Demand for homes here is high and the rental market is strong, often leading to property values appreciating with time.
  • Lifestyle – The French Riviera’s many towns offer a bit of everything, from culture and history to social experiences, leisure activities and even adventure sports. You can visit a museum, dine at a world-renowned restaurant and try out a new water sport all in the same weekend.
  • Scenery – The French Riviera may have glamorous and luxurious experiences, but its natural beauty is equally notable. Scenic blue waters, the sandy coastline, and rocky cliffs provide a backdrop many only dream about.

So, for those who are looking to invest in a luxury second home on the French Riviera, where are the best places to start your search?


The seaside city of Antibes is between Cannes and Nice, attracting business professionals who want to be near the Sophia Antipolis technology park, along with those seeking a holiday home or investment opportunity. Moreover, the strong yachting community in Antibes has given the town its reputation for recreational boating, sailing, and water sports. Residents can get involved in diving excursions, regattas, yacht races, and more.

The area has an appealing combination of historical charm and modern luxury, reflected in its medieval architecture, luxury lifestyle, and exclusive events. The Old Town is full of colorful buildings and 16th-century landmarks, while Port Vauban, one of Europe’s largest marinas, dates back to Roman times. There are also Michelin-starred restaurants, designer shopping, and art galleries in Antibes, along with music and yacht festivals that attract visitors from around the world.

Antibes has a host of waterfront properties ranging from chic apartments to elegant villas and estates. Spacious homes can accommodate residents as well as guests, and typical amenities include terraces, gardens and pools. If you opt for a luxury apartment instead, you’ll likely be treated to a sprawling terrace with panoramic views of the sea, plus exceptional security and recreation options.

buy a second home on the French Riviera


Cannes is in the Alpes-Maritimes department of the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur region, close to the Italian border. Known for attracting the rich and famous, Cannes is an ultimate luxury destination on the French Riviera, with high-end hotels, shops, and restaurants along the waterfront.

Having a second home in Cannes means you can swim in the sparkling sea during the summer and spend your winters skiing in the Alps. Cannes is also one of France’s leading commercial hubs, hosting industry-leading events year-round, like its iconic film and yachting festivals.

Since it’s active all year long, Cannes is an ideal area for purchasing rental property that will generate additional revenue. There is an assortment of homes in Cannes, including apartments and penthouses in both modern and historic buildings.

Photo of La Californie in Cannes

Cap Ferrat

Cap Ferrat is a cape in the French Riviera, in the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat commune. Known as one of the French Riviera’s most exclusive places to live, Cap Ferrat has attracted notable figures throughout history and continues to appeal to elite residents, including celebrities, wealthy businesspeople, and other affluent buyers.

Cap Ferrat’s standout feature is its incredible natural setting, with rich vegetation, rocky cliffs, and remarkable views of the sea. The secluded coastal location also has a natural barrier that provides privacy for its residents. Despite being tucked away, Cap Ferrat has plenty to do, with nearby beaches, marinas, gourmet restaurants, boutique shopping, and acclaimed golf courses.

Grand villas and historic estates provide the utmost in privacy and views of the Med, often within walking distance of the amenities you’ll access daily. Real estate features in Cap Ferrat include open-plan designs, Jacuzzis and swimming pools, lush greenery, and ample parking.

Cap Ferrat Villa


The Principality of Monaco is located on the Mediterranean coast east of Nice and is surrounded by France on three sides. It is the world’s second-smallest independent state after the Vatican City.

While it may be small, Monaco is brimming with plenty to do, including extravagant shopping and dining, world-renowned events like the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, and a strong cultural scene with galleries, museums, theatres, and other performances. You’ll also be near the famous Casino de Monte-Carlo, with table games and state-of-the-art electronic gaming.

Since Monaco is so tiny and sought-after by home buyers, apartments in Monaco make up most of the real estate. You’ll be close enough to the beach to see it from your terrace, and many apartments have open-plan designs that are inviting and spacious. You can also expect elegant, high-end materials, modern fixtures, and 24/7 concierge service.

Monte Carlo, monaco


Mougins is set between Cannes and Grasse, the latter being a centre of the perfume industry with several large perfumeries to visit. Mougins’ private inland setting and close proximity to Cannes means homeowners can buy large estates with extensive grounds while still accessing the hub of the French Riviera’s bustling lifestyle.

The hilltop village has an abundant cultural scene, long-known as a haven for artists and creatives. You can view contemporary and traditional art in the town’s many galleries, then dine at a Michelin-starred restaurant or attend the three-day Les Etoiles de Mougins, an international gastronomy and culinary arts festival in June.

Multi-bedroom houses and villas are common in Mougins, and you may also find a luxury apartment for sale. One of the benefits of living here is that you’re less than 30 minutes from the Nice airport, ideal for holidaymakers who frequently come and go. Terraces allow for incredible views of the surrounding area, and villas often have their own heated swimming pool, plus extras like a cinema, underfloor heating, game room, and summer kitchen.

Luxury property in mougins


At the foot of the French Alps is Nice, one of the largest cities in the region. Unlike many of the other destinations on the French Riviera, Nice is a cosmopolitan city with an urban way of life. It can claim the same Mediterranean climate and natural beauty as surrounding towns, but it’s also a transportation hub with plenty of connectivity to the rest of France and international destinations. It also has educational and healthcare facilities to choose from, along with a strong expat community.

There’s an assortment of real estate options in Nice, from enormous apartments to charming villas and restored castles. You’re likely to find a property with a sea view, and you’ll have your pick of turnkey listings as well as renovation projects. Since the Nice Côte d’Azur Airport is so close, this is also an ideal area to purchase an investment property that you plan to rent out while you’re not using it.

property guide to nice, france


Situated in the Var department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Saint-Tropez has long attracted stars from the worlds of fashion, film, music, and sport. Famously discovered by screen legend Bridget Bardot back in the 1950s, today it is renowned for its golden sandy beaches and a selection of popular cafes, restaurants, and clubs, such as the Tahiti Beach Club and Club 55.

The best real estate finds in Saint-Tropez are luxury villas, which offer proximity to the town’s exciting lifestyle and nightlife while providing a peaceful, quiet setting when you’re home. Villas in Saint-Tropez are often close to the Place des Lices, a 19th-century public square that hosts weekly markets and summertime pétanque tournaments.

Amenities often include high ceilings, private parking, advanced security systems, areas for entertaining like bars and game rooms, and plenty of storage. You’re also bound to find a home with various outdoor areas for relaxation, like shaded terraces and sunny patios, gardens with fountains, and heated pools.

It’s also common for there to be an independent living area on the property, perfect for a caretaker, guest, or renter.

Best places to buy a second home on the French Riviera 2


The village of Villefranche-sur-Mer is directly east of Nice and a short 10 minutes from Monaco. With its crystal-clear blue waters and a history that dates back to Roman times, it’s no wonder why the charming resort town is one of the most sought-after areas to own a second home on the French Riviera.

Distinctive apricot-colored houses are built on steep hills and offer panoramic views of the landscape below. Around the harbor, there’s a vibrant and bustling atmosphere rich with cafe culture, and ancient, cobblestone streets lead to historical monuments like the 18th-century Church of Saint Michel.

The most common types of homes in Villefranche-sur-Mer are villas, but there are also luxury apartments available if you’re looking for a smaller holiday home. Most homes here overlook the Bay of Villefranche, and villa amenities often include high ceilings, gardens, pools, terraces, and extras like a gym, wine cellar, or independent living area.

Luxury one and two-bedroom apartments boast sunny living areas, designated parking spaces, and access to a Jacuzzi or pool. You may also find a residence with a caretaker, which can give you peace of mind when you’re not visiting your second home.

Final thoughts on buying a second home on the French Riviera

Whether it’s Antibes’ brightly coloured Old Town, Cannes and Monaco’s A-list events, the natural beauty of Cap-Ferrat or Villefranche-sur-Mer, ultimate privacy in Mougins, or the vibrant nightlife of Saint-Tropez or Nice, there are numerous French Riviera settings to call your home away from home. Choose the location that best fits the lifestyle you’re after, as well as your investment goals.

To speak with an property agent who can select beautiful, luxury French Riviera properties based on your specific search criteria, call +33 (0)970 44 66 43 or send us a message here.

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