If you like city life in the sun “French style”, then Nice is your town.
Nice is the big city of the French Riviera, and extends along the coast, with its well-known 7km long avenue called "Promenade des Anglais" facing the Baie des anges, bounded by hills . The centre between the large commercial avenue from Place Massena to the old town and port is lively at all times of day, as is the Promenade des Anglais.
But you only need to move a few streets to more residential areas of "quartiers des musiciens" or higher up inland towards "Cimiez" to find a quieter area, with many apartments for sale in either modern or older belle epoque style buildings. Some fantastic west facing apartments and villas overlooking the bay are available on the hill of "Mont Boron", just a few hundred meters from the sea. Further east following the corniche are smaller elegant resorts of Beaulieu-sur-mer and St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, with superb properties attracting prices are almost as high as those in Monaco and St Tropez.
Cannes is the smaller and more tranquil town, famous for its film festival and is the “sister city” of Beverly Hills
Famous for its own promenade called the Croisette, that faces the islands of Lerins, are the best known Riviera hotels, like the Carlton and Majestic. Cannes offers a large selection of apartments walking distance to the beach, as well as villas higher up on the nearby hills, and both can be easily rented for seasonal rents over most of the year, due to the dynamic convention centre.
Inland are large number of villas in the green hills in Mougins or Vallauris, some with great sea views. There also well known perched villages such as St-Paul-de-Vence and Valbonne and the town of Grasse famous for its perfume factories. As a rule, the further inland you go, the more it resembles Provence. Also prices are half of those on the coast just 10km away.
Beyond Cannes are the resorts of the Var, the best known ones being St Raphael where Scott Fitzgerald wrote the Great Gatsby, Ste Maxime and of course St Tropez.
The Var coastline provides a better setting for boating and with its lower gentle hills, offers more space for large numbers of villas with superb sea views. Most villas are provencal style, in different shades of ocre, with nice terrace areas facing pools mostly built within the last 40 years. There are some ultra modern design villas, but these California style villas are much rarer.
For more information on the resorts, look at this excellent website and use the map at the bottom of each page: