The ever-fashionable Riviera has been the place to holiday since Queen Victoria and her aristocracy led the charge in the 19th century.
Stretching from the Italian border west towards St Tropez and taking in Nice, Cap d’Antibes and Cannes, its popularity has turned once sleepy fishing villages into globally known names. Elegant hotels, substantial Beaux Art villas and glorious gardens that explode into riotous colours punctuate the coastline.
Many buyers head inland to uncrowded villages and towns an easy drive from the coast. Valbonne, Mougins and dreamy St Paul de Vence where Picasso and friends lived for many years offer peace, natural beauty and a good selection of art galleries. Further west the inland section of the Var is quieter still. Officially part of Provence, villages including Fayence, Seillans and Bargemon have some big name celebrity residents who appreciate the under the radar atmosphere.