Expat's Guide to the Côte d'Azur

Year-round cerulean skies, dazzling Mediterranean waters and an undeniable penchant for the high life, it is easy to see why the Côte d’Azur presents an idyllic and enticing destination for expats.
The French Riviera is popular with visitors and expatriates alike. The Nice Côte d’Azur Airport is France’s third busiest airport. It’s not surprising, with over 300 days of sunshine to enjoy every year and 71 miles of coastline.
The Côte d’Azur certainly has its fair share of rich and famous fans. The luxury towns of St. Tropez, Cannes and Monaco are the well-documented playgrounds of the wealthy with exclusive clubs, gourmet restaurants and sleek, private yachts right on the doorstep. Expat life in the Côte d’Azur is certainly different from life in London.

Where to live

The key to starting your expat life in the Côte d’Azur is picking the right location. This may be determined by your business. There is a strong, thriving economy in the region spanning many different sectors. According to TEAM CÔTE D’AZUR, its sectors of excellence include aeronautics, eco-tech, health and life sciences, and tourism.
Properties in Côte d’Azur are among the most highly sought-after in France. The excellent quality of life and outstanding natural beauty of this region inevitably comes with a price tag. However, the variety of properties on offer – everything from suburban real estate to city apartments, and countryside farmhouses to Alpine retreats – means that there is an assortment of options to suit all expatriates.
If the high cost of coastal life does not necessarily suit your lifestyle, try an apartment in Nice. It’s the fifth largest city in the France, with its cosmopolitan nightlife and close proximity to the seaside resorts. To purchase more house for your money, look to the suburbs of the larger towns and resorts. You could also venture into the French countryside, to the quaint villages of Valbonne, Eze and St Paul de Vence.

Living the Côte d’Azur lifestyle

Expats living in the Côte d’Azur have an abundance of natural treasures to enjoy. Situated just an hour’s drive away from Italy and 90 minutes from both French and Italian ski resorts, skiers are well catered for. The spectacular coastline provides a variety of beaches to suit all sun-seeking tastes – from family-friendly spots for picnics, to exclusive beaches with five-star amenities.
The colours of the Côte d’Azur have been long revered for their ability to attract artists seeking inspiration. Picasso, Matisse and Dali have all spent time in this region. Expats are sure to enjoy the wealth of excellent galleries and museums keeping this cultural tradition alive. Visit the Cote d’Azur tourism website for current events.
The lifestyle in the Côte d’Azur is geared towards tourists, but there are also plenty of gems for long-term residents. Some of the best cuisine in France can be found in this region. Try La Chantecler at Hotel Negresco in Nice, a two-star Michelin restaurant set in a traditional wood-panelled 18th century dining room.
For those who like to spend time on the golf course, there are plenty to choose from, many with world-class facilities. It’s also a well-known area for water sports, including sailing, windsurfing and rowing. The glamourous marinas are packed with super yachts, particularly during the peak summer months.
Some of the biggest events in the world take place in the French Riviera. Cannes Film Festival attracts the rich and famous of Hollywood every year. There is also the Monaco Grand Prix, Cannes and Monaco Yacht shows and the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters tennis tournament.
If you are considering a move to France, Cadogan Tate will assist you every step of the way – from your first enquiry to unpacking at your new home, we are here to help and advise you.