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Stunning architecture, beautiful landscapes, world-class cuisine…few destinations are as closely associated with the good life as the Cote d’Azur. And with their elegance, taste, and refinement, French Riviera luxury villas serve as a testament to this heritage of fine living.
The history of French Riviera villas dates back to the 18th century when the destination became popular among the British aristocracy for its reputed health benefits. This reputation only grew in the 19th and 20th centuries, with the likes of Queen Victoria, Tsar Nicholas II, and the Rothschild family building their own villas along the coast.
Today, the French Riviera remains one of the most coveted pieces of real estate anywhere, attracting nobility, celebrities, and entrepreneurs from around the world. As a result, French Riviera villa rentals strive to satisfy the most discerning of tastes.
Renting a villa in the French Riviera is easy with Rental Escapes. First, decide on your approximate travel dates and party size. From there, your villa specialist will be happy to present you with the best villa options on the French Riviera for your dates. After, your concierge personalizes your trip, including arranging transportation, car rentals, pre-stocking, private parties, excursions, and more.
The French Riviera is home to some of the most lavish residences in the world, so it’s no surprise that luxury villas on the French Riviera tend to be suitably ornate. And yet, there’s also a sense of understated elegance that pervades many of them, allowing for an easy, relaxed atmosphere.
Top destinations within the French Riviera include Nice, the capital city; Saint Tropez, the famous resort town known for its shopping and nightlife; Antibes, with its 16th-century ramparts and charming narrow streets; and Saint-Jean-de-Cap-Ferrat, renowned for its stunning landscapes and rugged coastline.
Regardless of where you choose, French Riviera luxury villas seek to combine the beauty of their surroundings with world-class amenities and service. Independently owned and operated, they also reflect the taste, personalities, and family histories of their hosts, creating unique, unparalleled rental experiences.
Set between Nice and Monaco, Saint-Jean-de-Cap-Ferrat is a gorgeous peninsula that is home to some of the world’s most luxurious properties. As a result, villa rentals in Cap Ferrat stand out as being among the French Riviera’s best. They include:
Villa du Cap: An elegant 550-square-foot classical villa, Villa du Cap has been outfitted to the highest possible standards with only the best materials and furnishing, while features like a heated infinity pool, private tennis court, and waterfall and creek running through the property create a serene ambiance.
Villa Visconti: A modernist masterpiece overlooking the famed Cap Ferrat coast, Villa Visconti has everything you and 9 other guests need to have an unforgettable holiday. And with an open concept and stunning ocean views, this villa evokes the best of the Cote d’Azur.
Glass House: Another modernist marvel, Glass House features some of the most impressive amenities anywhere, including an indoor pool, an outdoor pool equipped with an adjustable floor and jets, multiple lifts, and even its own private funicular access, all complemented by some of the best views in Cap Ferrat.
A long-standing symbol of fun and indulgence, St Trop is one of the premier places in the world to relax and let loose. Saint Tropez villa rentals let you do just that in style and privacy. They include:
Villa BB: Featuring enchanting views of the Mediterranean from its verdant garden, replete with a 20-metre heated infinity pool, Villa BB offers some of the best accommodations in Saint Tropez. And with up to 8 bedrooms, it makes a perfect choice for a destination wedding or any other large event.
Villa St. Trop: Combining modern sensibilities with classical craftsmanship, Villa St. Trop epitomizes what makes St. Tropez so special. Take in the ocean views from the heated infinity pool before walking down directly to the beach and you’ll feel the same way.
Villa des Parcs: With its Mediterranean-style architecture, intricate landscaping, and ornate interior, Villa des Parcs is a perfect choice for guests looking for that classic Cote d’Azur atmosphere. It all combines with a perfect location that’s within walking distance to the beautiful private beach at Les Parcs, as well as a full staff offering 5-star service.
An international name thanks to its renowned film festival, Cannes is also celebrated for its famous Promenade de la Croisette, its charming Old Town, and its fine dining and shopping. With such a rich heritage, Cannes villa rentals are suitably glamorous. They include:
Domaine de St. Jean: A fully enclosed estate comprised of three large villas and 17 bedrooms, Domaine de St. Jean combines a classical Provencal style with countless modern amenities, including an indoor gym, a large heated pool, a tennis court, and more. A great choice for large events like weddings or corporate retreats.
Villa Serena: Evoking the 80s-style excess that first put Saint Tropez on the map, Villa Serena features a waterfall wall, a wine cellar, a billiard room, a cinema room, and all sorts of other extras that make it a fun, unique rental experience.
Villa de Juas: With timeless French elegance, a heated infinity pool, and a perfect location that’s within walking distance to Palais des Festival, Villa de Juas is an opulent, sophisticated choice for up to 22 guests that’s perfect for entertaining.
The French Riviera is part of the Schengen area, so you only need to show a valid passport once upon entering the area. If travelling from outside the area, including from the UK, Canada, or the US, then a valid passport needs to be shown upon entry.
The French Riviera can be accessed by plane, with the most popular airport being the Cote d’Azur Airport in Nice.
The French Riviera also has access to a well-developed train network, with major stations in Nice, Cannes, Antibes, and more.
Driving is also a good way to get around thanks to the beautiful and easily accessible A8 autoroute running along the coast.
Boat charters are also a popular way of getting around, especially to and from the marinas in Nice, Cannes, and Saint Tropez.
Your Rental Escapes concierge is happy to assist with airport transfers, rental cars, boat charters and anything else you may need.
Summer is peak season in the French Riviera thanks to the beautiful weather, fun festivals, and warm sea temperatures. While this is the most popular time to visit, especially if you enjoy beach activities, it can also see the most crowds and the highest prices.
For many, shoulder season in early autumn and late spring is the best time to visit. The weather is still great without being too warm, giving you a chance to explore the many cultural sites and charming streets that dot the landscape. Plus many of the most celebrated events on the French Riviera, like the Monaco Grand Prix and Cannes Film Festival, are in May.
Winter is low season and when you’ll find the fewest crowds and also the best deals on accommodation. This is a good time to discover what life is like on the French Riviera for locals, though some outdoor activities may be limited.
Hit the beach: The French Riviera is home to some of the most happening beach scenes in the world, including Nice’s Promenade des Anglais and Cannes’ Plage de la Croisette. There are also calmer, more picturesque beaches to appreciate, like Villefreanche-sur-Mer.
Explore the Old Towns: Antibes, Eze, Cannes, Nice and more all have quaint Old Towns to explore, with the kind of narrow, cobblestone streets that make for enchanting afternoons and unforgettable memories.
Take in the nightlife: Whether it’s visiting the Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco, hitting a club by the port in Saint Tropez or just walking along the Boulevard de la Croisette, the French Riviera really lights up at night.
The best place to stay on the French Riviera will depend on what you’re looking for.
Nice, the capital city, offers a cosmopolitan atmosphere combined with beautiful beaches, a charming Old Town, and lots of cultural activities, making it a great base.
Cannes, meanwhile, serves some of the best dining and shopping in the region, offering an upscale, sophisticated experience.
Saint Tropez is perfect for guests who prefer to lay by the beach during the day and party at night thanks to its lively atmosphere.
Guests who want to visit Saint Tropez but prefer a more tranquil and idyllic place to stay will enjoy La Croix-Valmer.
Antibes is a great choice for history lovers and those looking for a more relaxed, authentic ambiance.
Cap Ferrat, lastly, is ideal for those who want to enjoy stunning landscapes and unmatched privacy.
There are, of course, other options too that are further off the beaten track, like Frejus, Grimaud, Saint Raphael, and more.
Your Rental Escapes villa specialist is happy to discuss the best options with you.
Cuisine on the French Riviera is a delightful blend of Mediterranean and Provencal influences, with a big focus on bringing out the best of the local ingredients.
As you might expect, there’s a big emphasis on fresh seafood, with mussels, prawns, anchovies, sea bass, and red mullet being especially popular.
In terms of preparation, expect to see lots of aromatic herbs like thyme, rosemary, and basil, as well as more traditional Mediterranean ingredients like garlic, olive oil, eggplant, and tomato.
Be sure to try out some of the wines from neighbouring Provence, and indulge in the numerous patisseries and bakeries offering classic French pastries like croissants, pains au chocolats, macrons, eclairs, and more.
Your Rental Escapes concierge can also arrange restaurant reservations, private chef service, and villa pre-stocking for all villa stays.
The French Riviera benefits from a Mediterranean climate with warm, sunny summers and mild winters.
Spring sees the French Riviera start to bloom and warm up, with average temperatures ranging from 12°C to 20°C (54°F to 68°F) and an average rainfall of 40-60 mm (1.6-2.4 in).
Summer is the warmest and driest time of the year, with average temperatures ranging from 20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F) and average rainfall of 10-20 mm (0.4-0.8 in).
Autumn sees rainfall increase though temperatures can remain high, especially at the beginning of the season, and the sea can still be warm enough to swim. Average temperatures range from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F), while average rainfall ranges from 60-90 mm (2.4-3.5 in).
Winter is the coldest time but is still mild compared to the rest of Europe, with average temperatures ranging from 7°C to 14°C (45°F to 57°F), and average rainfall ranging from 60-90 mm (2.4-3.5 in).
If you’re hoping to visit this beautiful part of France, Rental Escapes can elevate your French Riviera villa rental into a true luxury experience.
Our portfolio includes the finest villa rentals on the French Riviera, including villas in Nice, Cannes, Antibes, Saint Tropez, Cap Ferrat, and more.
Your Rental Escapes villa expert can find the best villa for your group, and your concierge personalizes your trip to create the ultimate French Riviera luxury villa experience.
Contact us today to book your next dream holiday!