Living in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur : Discover the South of France
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Living in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur : Discover the South of France

Mahaut Fauquet
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Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur is France's most coveted region, cherished not only by the French but also by residents from neighboring countries who come in search of the sun and the mild southern weather. Boasting a vast variety of landscapes, the region features beach resorts, ski resorts, rural areas, major cities, and a plethora of charming small perched villages that define the allure of the south. Their common denominator? An exceptional amount of sunshine, unmatched anywhere else in France!

But the region offers much more: a relaxed lifestyle, exceptional cuisine, and a dynamic real estate market... Here are the reasons that will make you want to move to PACA!

PACA: Living in the South of France

An Exceptional Location

Though not very large, the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region comprises six departments: Alpes-Maritimes, Hautes-Alpes, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Bouches-du-Rhône, Var, and Vaucluse. It hosts major cities like Marseille (the second-largest city in France), Nice, and Toulon, and internationally renowned cities such as Cannes or Saint-Tropez.

It’s a place where you can ski in the afternoon and dine by the sea on the same day, enjoy both urban and rural settings in a blink, and travel easily to Corsica or Italy!

Map of France and the PACA region

An Ideal Climate

PACA is blessed with a Mediterranean climate, characterized by hot, dry summers and mild winters. It is the sunniest region in France, boasting an average of 300 sunny days per year!

This unique weather allows nearly year-round outdoor activities, perfect for a region with so much natural appeal: the Calanques de Cassis, the Gorges du Verdon, the beaches of Cannes, hiking in the Esterel, national parks, ski resorts...

A Relaxed Yet Sporty Lifestyle

It is well-known that life in the south has a more relaxed and/or sporty pace. Here, life is all about relaxation and pleasure! Whether you prefer lounging on the beach or engaging in sailing, hiking, skiing, and golf, the region accommodates all, just a few minutes or a few hours by car!

A Rich Cultural and Historical Heritage

The cultural richness of the region is undeniable! It is home to historic cities like Avignon and Nîmes, small villages with preserved architecture, and vibrant large cities full of museums and cultural events. The region is also famous for its festivals, particularly the Cannes Film Festival and the Avignon Festival, essential gatherings for film and theater enthusiasts.

Check out our article on the prettiest cities in the region for more information!

Photo of a village in PACA

A Gastronomic Region

One of the undeniable pleasures of living in the south of France is going to the market! The markets of Provence offer an abundance of local, flavorful, and colorful products that inspire both Michelin-starred chefs and home cooks. They are the source of the rich and tasty cuisine found here, where sun-drenched tomatoes and fresh fish delight the locals! Not to forget the famous vineyards of the region, which produce some of the best rosés in the world.

Services and Accessibility

As a premier tourist destination, the South of France is fortunate to be very well-connected! With multiple international airports (in Marseille, Toulon, and Nice), numerous high-speed train stations (TGV), and bustling ports, the South is quickly accessible from anywhere in Europe!

Thanks to its major cities, the region boasts excellent infrastructure, including health centers, hospitals, schools and international schools, and cultural centers.

A Multicultural Region

In addition to Italian, Corsican, and Mediterranean influences that shape the coastline, the region attracts many foreigners, including British, German, and Dutch individuals who are looking to buy a primary or secondary residence in the sun. The presence of these international communities influences the region, and it's not uncommon to find English bookstores and German grocery stores! For newcomers and those planning to move, these close-knit communities make integration easier.

A Diverse and Attractive Real Estate Market

The Real Estate Market

It's difficult to generalize a market as diverse as this one, with major cities like Marseille, Toulon, and Nice, highly sought-after beach resorts like Saint-Tropez, Ramatuelle, or Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, and villages in the hinterland. There are properties for every type of profile and budget! Real estate investors also find their niche, thanks to the region's popularity which ensures a strong and steady rental demand.

Check out our article on the real estate market in PACA to learn more!

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Homes for Every Taste

The housing options range from downtown studios to modern villas with sea views, Alpine chalets, and medieval stone village houses. There are large country houses with colorful shutters and small townhouses close to all amenities—truly, there are properties to suit every budget and every desire!

We wrote an article about the different types of houses and architecture in the southeast to give you a better idea of the different properties found in France.

A Solid Investment

Although the price per square meter is generally higher than the French average, investing in PACA represents an excellent opportunity: the region is full of quality properties and especially highly coveted cities!

See our article on investing in PACA for more information!

Photo John Taylor Saint Tropez
John Taylor St-Tropez sur Green acres

Retiring in PACA

Who doesn't dream of retiring in the sunshine? As the sunniest region in France, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur is also one of the most sought-after by future retirees looking for a gentle and active lifestyle! And it's not just the French: the British, Germans, Belgians, and Dutch are also keen to acquire a home on the coast to enjoy mild winters or summers by the sea.

Indeed, it’s an ideal region for seniors, boasting a good hospital network, numerous clinics and health centers, and suitable infrastructure! There are also many clubs and associations dedicated to seniors, helping to facilitate their integration and offering numerous services and activities! This varied offering enables seniors to maintain an active social life, engage in sports, and fully enjoy their retirement under the sun.

Conclusion: An Exceptional Region

In conclusion, the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region is not only an exceptional place for holidays but also a prime destination for those looking to settle in the sun. With its privileged lifestyle, enviable climate, and countless attractions, PACA promises its residents an unparalleled quality of life!

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