From the lush green countryside and rich medieval heritage of Brittany and Normandy to the stylish sun-drenched beach resorts of the Côte d’Azur and chic boulevards of Paris – France has an irresistible lifestyle appeal with its indescribable beauty, charm and style – who would not want to buy a house in France?.
The cultural and historically rich country has some of the most beautiful scenes in the world, whether that is the rolling landscapes, charming traditional villages, snow-capped mountains, glamorous coastlines, iconic cityscapes and beyond.
A land of superlatives, France offers an enviable and much sought-after lifestyle. This is the country that taught the world about joie de vivre and savoir-faire, about high culture and haute couture. France has everything one could wish for.
Each aspect about France is world-class; from its capital city Paris, food and wines, impressive art collections and iconic landmarks. Its endless offerings include quaint cafes, magnificent architecture, grand boulevards with fashionable shops and restaurants of its cities, the picturesque countryside with its medieval cobbled stone villages, majestic chateaux and undulating vineyards, and its elegant resorts along its beautiful Riviera and much more.
From the seaside to the mountains, each region of France has its own unique character: the awe-inspiring French Alps with its glaciated peaks and cosy ski chalets; the sun-drenched rural Provence with its aromatic lavender fields and luxurious bastides; unparalleled winemaking districts, including Champagne and Bordeaux; the glamorous French Riviera with its intoxicating cocktail of palm-lined boulevards, luxury yachts, glitzy resorts and charming fishing ports; the rugged cliffs and sandy beaches of Brittany; the Loire Valley with its Renaissance chateaux that punctuate the forests; and the charming Alsace with picture-perfect hamlets nestled in vine-covered hills.
Then there is the food – famed across the world, and delicious whether served rustic-style in lace-curtained bistros with their plat du jour chalked on the board or Michelin-starred restaurants promising diners elegant wonders. The colourful markets are brimming with fresh fruit and vegetables, breads, cheeses of every variety, herbs, olive oils, wine and dried flowers that fill the market places with sights and scents.
Admired the world over for its impeccable taste and effortless style, France celebrates beauty, sophistication and style.
The country’s diverse scenic beauty and its quintessential elegance fused with modern chicness are what makes France so special, intriguing and alluring. To connoisseurs of the art of good living France stands unexcelled.
Buying a second home in the French Alps
The French Alps boasts some of the most magnificent natural scenery in Europe with a dazzling display of awe- inspiring mountains, impressive glaciers, crystal-clear lakes, shimmering waterfalls, pristine forests and spired peaks.
From skiing and snowboarding in winter to mountain biking, hiking, mountaineering and watersports during the summer, the opportunities for Alpine adventure activities are endless all year round.
This region is home to France’s famous historic ski resorts such as Chamonix and Megève, as well as its major skiing areas such as the Trois Vallées (Courchevel, Méribel, Les Ménuires), Portes du Soleil (Les Gets, Morzine) and Paradiski (Les Arcs, La Plagne, Peisey-Vallandry).
Buying luxury properties in Courchevel, Trois Vallées, France
Courchevel is a legendary winter sport resort located on the Tarentaise Plain in Savoy and is part of the Trois Vallées region, the world’s most extensive ski area.
It has an undeniable array of assets that attract increasing numbers of skiers, tourists and Alpine property investors who are enticed by the upscale French resort’s prestige as much as its extensive skiing.
Courchevel continues to lure high-end international property buyers, thanks to its high altitude, continuous investment in ski infrastructure by the owner, Société des Trois Vallées, and the resort’s upmarket amenities.
The domain is just as captivating during the summer season, with its authentic perfectly preserved mountain landscapes. There are numerous activities on offer, including hiking, climbing, fishing and mountain biking.
With several significant airports nearby – Geneva Airport is just 150 kilometres away and Grenoble and Lyon are around 190 kilometres away – Courchevel is very accessible year-round. The closest airport is Chambéry, which is about 115 kilometres. The nearest railway station is Moûtiers-Salins-Brides-Les-Bains, about 25 kilometres distant.
Buying a luxury property in La Plagne, Paradiski, Savoie, France
What makes La Plagne a special location for buying a luxury property is the extensive ski area, which rises to 3,250 metres and has 225 kilometres of piste that offer plenty of variety for all abilities. One can go from snowparks (a choice of boardercross and boardergliss) to glaciers, forest skiing and off-piste, all in the same day.
Red and black tracks make up nearly half the slopes and include snowparks, boarder-crosses, slide boarders, half pipes, toboggan runs, waterslides, big airbags, big air videos and chrono-speed tracks.
The ski area also affords access to brilliant, high-altitude skiing on uncrowded pistes. The off-piste opportunities around the Bellecôte Glacier offer some of the best descents in the Alps. In addition, a full 70% of the ski resort is situated above 2,000 metres altitude, guaranteeing extraordinary snow condition reliability.
The superb ski area is linked to Les Arcs by one of the world’s largest cable cars, the Vanoise Express, forming the huge Paradiski domain which consists of 425 kilometres of interlinking slopes. The Paradiski area extends over the mountains and through the valley around three ski resorts: Les Arcs, Peisey-Vallandry and La Plagne.
Nearest airports are Chambéry (120 kilometres), Lyon-Saint-Exupery (192 kilometres) and Geneva (203 kilometres).
Buying luxury properties in Les Deux Alpes, France
There are many attractive aspects to buying luxury real estate in Les Deux Alpes in the French Alps.
Enjoying an international reputation, Les Deux Alpes is an exceptional ski area, largely due to its high altitude – one of the highest ski domains in Europe.
The ski area is extensive, with 223 kilometres of pistes serviced by 53 lifts between 1,300 and 3,600 metres. With its iconic glacier, guaranteed natural snow, immaculate views and exceptional freestyle land, the ski domain of Les Deux Alpes is a true paradise for all aficionados of old and new winter sports.
The area of Les Deux Alpes is poised to become one of the largest ski areas in the world, with the planned link to its famous neighbour Alpe d’Huez having been confirmed for completion in 2021. The result will be an expansive ski domain of almost 500 kilometres, larger than Espace Killy (Tignes and Val d’Isere) and Paradiski (Les Arcs and La Plagne).
Mega-ski domains with very high altitude skiing that guarantee long snow-sure seasons are where savvy investors are looking in the French Alps. And property prices are substantially lower than Courchevel or Val d’Isère.
Apart from summer skiing, there is a wide range of summer activities for all ages, including mountain biking, hiking, paragliding, trail running, golf and white water rafting. The resort also has the Famille Plus Montagne label that guarantees amenities and services tailored to children – leisure centre, crèche and nursery – as well as many free activities such as snow games and creative workshops.
Les Deux Alpes is less than 70 kilometres from Grenoble and is readily accessible from Chambery, Grenoble, Lyon and Geneva airports.
Les Gets, Porte du Soleil
Les Gets is one of the most picturesque French Alps ski resorts in the vast Portes du Soleil area and it is also one of the most legendary mountain resorts anywhere in the Alps.
Les Gets property for sale is a fast-growing property hotspot in the French Alps and a major draw for overseas investors, as well as holiday home hunters looking for year-round possibilities and an easy one-hour drive from Geneva.
From the first ski trails in the powder as the winter sun rises, to electric motocross bikes in summer, Les Gets ski resort is an outdoor-lover’s paradise. It has good snow coverage and pistes that converge at the centre of the village from both sides of the valley – a welcome rarity.
There are countless things to do in winter, both on the slopes and in town. Examples include a snow park, the Grand Cry Territory, Video park, Mauve Milka slope, toboggan runs, ice skating rink, art workshops and cultural tours.
Les Gets in summer boasts phenomenal mountain biking, a lake and an 18-hole, high-altitude golf course. It is just 30 minutes from Lake Geneva where sailing and other water sports abound.
Megève, one of the most charming ski resorts in Europe
Set against the dramatic backdrop of Mont Blanc, Megève is the grande dame of the Alps and is viewed by many as one of Europe’s most charmingly chic ski resorts. Founded by the Rothschild family in the early 20th century to rival St. Moritz, beneath Megève’s traditional Alpine appearance lies the flair of an elegant and glamorous aristocrat. Megève’s loyal international clientele visits year after year.
More than perhaps any other French resort, Megève epitomises Old World charm, with its beautifully preserved medieval centre with narrow cobblestone streets, fashionable high-end boutiques, working cheese farms and Michelin-starred restaurants.
Its skiing is first-class, with snow lovers enjoying access to one of the world’s largest lift-linked ski areas (425 kilometres of pistes). In summer, Megève is just as appealing, tucked in amongst flower-filled mountain pastures. The resort offers a number of activities that include watersports on Lake Javen, walking, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, paragliding, canoeing, tennis and golf.
Within easy reach of Geneva, Chamonix and Courmayeur, Megève is located an hour’s drive from Geneva International Airport. It even has its own Altiport which allows for the direct arrival by means of helicopter or private jet.
Apart from being a steady rental earner, Megève is also viewed by prospective buyers as a real town that has year-round appeal.
Buying luxury properties in Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, Trois Valleys, France
Saint-Martin-de-Belleville is one of very few French ski resorts that have successfully preserved the traditional local vernacular, thus fully retaining the true Savoyard charm of an authentic mountain village.
Combine this with direct access to the Trois Vallées ski region and one has what many consider to be the ideal French ski resort. Les Trois Vallées provides direct links between the ski resorts of Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, Les Menuires, Val Thorens, Méribel, Mottaret, La Tania, Brides-les-Bains and the four Courchevel resorts – la Praz, 1550, 1650 and the world famous 1850 – and now also Orelle in the “fourth” valley. All offer a single ski pass system and with more than 600 kilometres of slopes, it is the largest ski area in the world.
Put that together with great infrastructure, good altitudes and plenty of amenities available all year round and you have an unbeatable location for luxury a property in the French Alps.
Val d’Isère, Espace Killy
Regarded by many as one of the best ski resorts in the world, Val d’Isère real estate market is defined by a distinct lack of new properties for sale. This is largely due to the lack of developable land remaining in the resort, since a very high proportion of land is protected and designated as national parks and reserves. With high demand and limited availability, high-end new-build ski apartments and chalets sell quickly.
Buying luxury properties in Val Thorens
At 2,300m, Val Thorens is the highest ski resort in Europe and boast snow cover from November to May. The ski terrain offers slopes that suit everyone, from beginners to experts, and with lots of activities during the summer months, Val Thorens is the perfect year round alpine resort.
Located in the giant Trois Vallées ski area with trails across the across the Méribel and Courchevel valleys and also to the neighbouring valley, the Maurienne, rest assured that buying a luxury ski property in Val Thorens will keep you busy and that there is always something new to explore.
The French Riviera – beautiful, exclusive and sophisticated
With a stunning blue sea in the foreground, mountains as a backdrop and, in between, stately 19th century villas, glamorous towns such as Nice, Cannes and Monte Carlo as well as medieval hilltop villages and sandy beaches, the French Riviera is a beautiful place to play.
Stretching from Saint-Tropez to Menton on the Italian border, this is where timeless glamour was invented. The beautiful beaches, the glorious architecture, narrow alleyways, art galleries, good food and wine create an exciting atmosphere that makes Cote d’Azur a great place to have a second home.
Elegant, sophisticated and achingly luxurious, the French Riviera is home to some of the most exclusive luxury real estate in the world.
Buying luxury properties in Nice, France
When looking for a second home on the French Riviera, luxury properties in Nice is a favourite location because of the pleasant climate, the sea, the extraordinary scenery, fabulous dining, world-class events and easy access. Nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and the Alps, the Nice is undeniably one of the most attractive cities to live along the Mediterranean shoreline and it remains one of the most sought-after locations on the French Rivera amongst lifestyle buyers.
Located just 30 kilometres from the Italian border on the Mediterranean coastline, along the Baie des Anges, with the Alps and the hinterland of authentic villages as its stunning backdrop.
Nice, the fifth largest city in France, is a fantastic second-home destination with an atmospheric Old Town area (Vieux Nice), a legendary seafront promenade, a cityscape bedecked in Belle Epoque and Art Deco architecture, year-round sun, an evolving restaurant scene, lovely parks and a plethora of superb artistic and cultural attractions, including Musée Matisse, Opéra de Nice, the Russian Orthodox Cathedral, Musée National Marc Chagall and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.
With an energy and diversity that often surpasses its coastal rivals, Nice offers an incomparable quality of life throughout the year.
With over 100 miles of coastline, The Languedoc-Roussillon, popularly known as the Languedoc, is the central region of the South of France and stretches from Provence to the Pyrenees Mountains and the Spanish border. It is a region which is both rich and varied with a coastline of long sandy beaches, marshlands and salt water lagoons to explore and enjoy. There is a host of wonderful towns and villages to explore including Montpellier, the capital of the region with its international airport (one of 8 in the region) and excellent road and rail connections, Marseillan, a picturesque port town and a firm favourite in the region, the Roman village of Uzès often called the little Nice of the Languedoc and the Mediterranean port city of Sète known for its network of canals.
Buying luxury properties in Marseillan, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Living in the typical Languedoc village, one will rediscover the Mediterranean with its relaxed lifestyle, fabulous restaurants, weekly markets, bike rides and visits to the Noilly Prat cellars or the Natura 2000 nature reserve.
The old streets of the village and their heritage consisting of former bourgeois houses and beautifully decorated porches bear witness to its rich past. The colourful port of Marseillan boasts numerous activities and festivals throughout the year.
Marseillan is a busy, lively town with a great atmosphere and good amenities.
Fabulous beaches are within easy reach, as are the picturesque countryside and towns and villages such as Pézenas, the 18th-century home of Molière, and Montpellier, both about 40 kilometres away.
It is easy to see why Marseillan is now one of Languedoc’s most sought-after places to buy a property in the South of France.
Luxury properties in Provence continues to enjoy universal appeal. It is not difficult to understand the allure of Provence, with more and more international property buyers flocking to the gorgeous hotspot to enjoy its idyllic lifestyle and beautiful scenery.
Buying a luxury house in Provence is a delight for the senses: the vivid colours of the region, the sight of timeless light-suffused landscapes, the scents of lavender and olive groves, the taste of sun-drenched produce and grapes, the sound of the sea gently lapping, and far-reaching vistas of gently rolling vineyards.
From the glamorous seaside resorts to the spell-binding countryside and the enchanting medieval hilltop villages, the region is irresistibly seductive and dazzlingly beautiful.
A sun-drenched land of luminous light and varied scenery. Its borders stretch from the azure blue Mediterranean seas and watery inlets of the Camargue to the rugged hills and gorges of Haute Provence. In between are fragrant lavender fields, groves of gnarled olive trees, scarlet poppy fields, Van Gogh sun flower scenes and countless castles and fortified hilltop villages. The light and the colour of these landscapes captured the imagination of the artists like Cézanne, Chagall, Matisse, Picasso, Renoir and Van Gogh.
An enchanted land where the heritage of a great past happily meets the art of good living, Provence has long been a favourite for those seeking a dream home in South of France.
Buying luxury properties in Aix-en-Provence Provence, France
Aix-en-Provence, with its grand houses, private mansions and magnificent squares filled with flowers and fountains, is one of the most highly coveted communities in Provence amongst those looking to buy a permanent home or a vacation home in the South of France.
The elegant and romantic city is regarded as a cultural hotspot, with its wide boulevards, framed by double rows of plane trees. Aix is a place of chic shopping and street markets, blessed with a wide choice of cafés and restaurants.
Both French and overseas property investors appreciate the countryside around Aix-en-Provence as a symbol of fine living, blending elegance and authenticity and luxury real estate in the beautiful countryside around Aix-en-Provence, especially in communes about 15 minutes from the centre, sees steady demand.
Buying luxury properties in Les Alpilles, Provence, France
Characterised by quaint stone villages and large country estates with vineyards punctuated with pale rocky outcrops, the Alpilles is picture-perfect in terms of landscape and charm. Of international renown, Les Alpilles offers a lifestyle fusing elegance, country atmosphere and Provençal tradition. Buyers of Les Alpilles properties are enticed by the region’s plentiful sunshine and laid-back lifestyle.
Both domestic and overseas buyers are amazed at the quality of the properties and the Alpilles’ villages, which are enchantingly beautiful.
The area is dominated by the grand university town of Aix-en-Provence and its smaller, but equally picturesque sister town, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Dotted around are the romantic Alpilles villages – including Eygalières, Oppède, Maussanne and Les Baux-de-Provence – that distil all the charm of Provence.
Buyers are mainly in search of French holiday homes for sale in the Alpilles that offer authentic Provençal allure, ideally built of stone, renovated and close to the centre of a village.
The Luberon in central Provence offers property buyers stunning landscapes with dramatic canyons and mountains dotted with picturesque villages, local markets, vineyards, olive groves and lavender. Foodies and nature lovers will feel right at home in Luberon with its varied nature, excellent regional cuisine and wineries.
Several villages in Luberon enjoy the title of “the most beautiful villages in France”, such as Gordes, Lourmarin, Ansouis, Roussillon and Ménerbes.
Lourmarin in south Luberon is considered one of France’s most picturesque villages and is attracting a lot of interest from property buyers. The village with cobbled streets and pretty squares, is steeped in history, arts and gastronomy.
Gordes in north Luberon has attracted celebrities and artists for decades. Boasting glorious surroundings, plenty of restaurants, cafés, shops and cultural events, the hilltop village perched in the heart of Luberon National Park is one of the most sought after property locations in Provence.
Western Var offers property buyers breathtaking landscapes and a superb location, bordering the French Riviera in the east. Protected by the mountains in the north, Western Var benefits from more than 300 days of sunshine per year.
Less famous and glamorous than the neighbouring French Riviera, Western Var offers many areas which are quieter and with the privacy of Provence.
Depending on your preferences, Var offers superb property locations along the Mediterranean Sea, alternatively there picturesque inland villages that has retained the authentic Provencal lifestyle and with authentic country houses to buy surrounded by vineyards.