It goes without saying that a panoramic sea view is essential for the perfect luxury waterfront property on the Riviera, but what else is necessary? Private beach access, an infinity pool and a Jacuzzi? That’s just the start…
From the chic beaches in Cannes to the glamorous jet-set fishing village of Saint Tropez, the French Riviera is home to some of the most popular holiday resorts in the world. In fact, more than 11 million visitors flock to the Côte d’Azur each year.
The price of prime property on the Riviera?
Such popularity comes at a price, however, and owning real estate along almost the entire waterfront from Le Lavandou up to Menton costs at least €3,000m2 and rises to €25,000m2 in some of the hottest locations, like Saint-Tropez, for a villa by the sea.
“Generally, the closer to the water you are, the more expensive the properties tend to be,” says Tim Swannie, Director of Home Hunts.
“It is possible to buy a reasonably-priced apartment or fisherman’s cottage, for example, but some of the waterfront estates on the Riviera (specifically Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Cap d’Antibes and Saint Tropez, for example) are among the most expensive properties in the world.”
So, what makes the perfect luxury waterfront property on the French Riviera?
“Some people simply want to hear the sound of the sea from their property, others are specifically looking for a property with direct access to the sea for their morning swim,” says Tim. “We try to spend as much time as possible speaking to all clients to find out what their motivations and requirements are.”
Easy to get to
Fast access to an international airport is essential. You firstly need to know that you can fly in easily to your waterfront property, whether from your primary residence or a business trip.
Then, once you land, you need to live less than an hour away so it’s not long before you’re sipping a cocktail on your sea view terrace. A rare find, this sea front villa in Cannes (HH-12114981) is just a few metres from the beach and less than half-an-hour from Nice Airport.
Luxurious home life
The most luxurious entertainment and leisure facilities are another must-have. From spacious terraces for al fresco dinner parties to infinity pools, Jacuzzis and saunas, a perfect prime waterfront property will have all of these spectacular features for the ultimate Riviera holiday.
Located in Theoule-sur-Mer, this beautiful five-bedroom waterfront villa (HH-10684480) has a breath-taking sea view that can be enjoyed from the infinity pool, as well as direct access to a hidden cove, Jacuzzi and sauna.
A stone’s throw from the fun
For many a place not far from chic hangouts, boutiques and gastronomic restaurants is an important factor.
On top of that it needs to be easy to buy the food and wine you need for your trip, as well as access other local amenities when required. This modern five-bedroom property in Roquebrune Cap Martin (HH-12152501) is ideally located near the beach, with all shops and amenities just a short walk away.
Stunning, undemanding grounds
For second homes, landscaped gardens that are not too difficult to maintain are another important consideration. You want to be able to enjoy your garden while you’re on holiday, but avoid the headache of huge overheads keeping the garden in shape while you’re not there. Some lawn, palm trees and pretty shrubs are often part of clients’ most common criteria.
Lock-up-and-go owners, however, will prefer a exterior like this waterfront prestige apartment in Eze (HH-7002186). South facing and with sea views, the immaculate decking of the terrace and mature palm trees all around give a luxurious feel yet with little maintenance to think about.
A private beach or private beach access
Many clients in the market for a waterfront Riviera property want a private beach. “We have to explain that this is virtually impossible in France,” explains Tim. “The French state actually owns the entire coastline of France, and this dates back in parts to a law passed in Napoleonic times and updated more in recent years, known as the ‘loi littoral’.”
The French government wishes to control their borders as well as any developments made on their coastlines, he continues, so as not to ruin the natural beauty. “France also ensures they have to create beautiful walking paths – called the ‘sentier littoral’ – around the coast, as you find on much of the Riviera,” he adds.
There are ways around this issue, which Home Hunts can help their clients to organise.
“We’ve helped many clients to buy properties with private beaches or moorings,” he says, “but in every case there has been a lease agreement with the government, which is renewable every nine years, on the actual beach or mooring itself.”
This cosy fisherman’s house on the east side of Cap d’Antibes (HH-12188765) could be a perfect choice for someone looking for a private beach and direct access to the sea.
A private mooring
The private mooring is another feature that makes the perfect waterfront property. Home Hunts recently helped a client to purchase a waterfront estate on the Riviera, in a specific location with a mooring for their super yacht.
“These clients spend three months of the year travelling on their super yacht, the rest of the year the vessel is moored up in one of the large ports on the Riviera,” explains Tim. “Another request was that the clients could sit on their terrace, with stunning views out over the sea, and, if possible, views of the Alps.”
Tim adds: “The property they bought allows them to do just that and last summer their captain would take the boat out of the port and have it moored up close to the house every morning, so they could look at it over breakfast.”
If you are looking to buy a waterfront property in France, you can search for properties in Home Hunts’ online portfolio at www.home-hunts.com. To discuss your specific criteria and learn about more properties for sale that aren’t advertised online, speak to a Home Hunts consultant directly at +33 (0)970 44 66 43.