Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur (called ‘PACA’ when shortened) is located in the south east of France and belongs to the most famous regions of the country. The area is composed of 6 departments: Alpes Maritimes, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Bouches-du-Rhône, Hautes-Alpes, Var and Vaucluse. With a population of 4.8 millions of inhabitants, this region has many assets and attracts millions of tourists every year.
PACA has a wonderful setting: the Mediterranean Sea borders its southern part and the Alps is its frontier with Italy at the north east. The area boasts a wide range of landscapes. It is made of mountainous areas, coastal reliefs, plains and marshlands. This region benefits from a Mediterranean climate (hot dry summer, very little rain, mild winter) over the major part of its territory and a mountainous one in the rest of the area. Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur is also a place which gathers plenty of animal and vegetable species. The climate allows a varied fauna and flora to grow. The zone is also renowned for producing fine wines, as well as lavender and olives.
Given its location, climate and varied natural areas, the PACA region is one of the most sought-after areas of the country both for French and foreign holidaymakers. Property prices can vary a lot throughout the region: the cheapest area remains the inland whilst the coast - especially the glamorous French Riviera has very expensive properties on offer.
In the PACA region, the Alpine peaks are just 2 hours from the shores of the Mediterranean. Our guide lets you discover this area full of treasures that delights so many people all over the world!
Given the popularity of Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur and especially the French Riviera all over the world, property prices there are amongst the highest of France. Prices vary a lot depending on the areas, Alpes Maritimes definitely being the most expensive department of the six ones of PACA. House prices can go from €4,387 / sq m for a property to buy in Alpes Maritimes to €2,554 / sq m in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. As regards rentals, we can notice a similar situation. It costs about €10.73/sq m/month to rent a property in Vaucluse, whereas the average price in Alpes Maritimes is of €15.37/sq m/month (the national average for rentals being of €12.22/sq m/month).
The average price in PACA for an apartment to buy is of €3,470 / square metre with prices going from €1,670/sq m for a 4-room apartment in Alpes-de-Hautes-Provence to €4,260/sq m for a studio flat in Alpes Maritimes. As far as houses are concerned, the average price was of €419,000 for the year 2008.
With more than 2.5 millions of properties on offer - both main houses and holiday properties - the region can welcome many people. But the saturation of the real estate market has always been noticed due to a demand which continually grows. It is the case along the French Riviera for instance. Many new residences and properties are being built in order to try to satisfy the important demand.
Click here to have more details about Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur Property Prices.
To get updated information about the house prices in the Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur region, please browse our French Property market reports published in the News Section every month.
Tourism: as regards tourism, PACA is the first French region to welcome French holidaymakers and the second one for foreign tourists. This popularity is due to the extreme diversity of the area (climate, landscapes, activities, etc.) and the pleasant art de vivre. All kinds of tourism are present in the area: seaside tourism (135 marinas, about 90 lakes, ponds or basins), urban tourism (many ‘Towns of Art and History), rural tourism, green tourism, sport tourism, etc. The region also has a rich cultural heritage: it accounts for no less than 1,800 edifices listed as historical monuments by UNESCO! Many worldwide events take place there: Cannes Film Festival, Aix-en-Provence International Music Festival, Nice Jazz Festival, etc.
Landscapes: the region has varied landscapes on offer. Nature is an essential part of the area which is home to 3 national parks, 4 regional natural ones and between 3 and 10 of the biosphere reserves of France. The Parc des Ecrins, Parc des Queyras, Parc du Luberon, Parc de Camargue, Parc du Verdon and Parc du Mercantour are not to be missed when visiting the Provence!
Traditions: PACA is a traditional region full of character. It is home to special products and traditions such as the famous savon de Marseille (Marseille soap), petanque, faiences, santons, etc. Do attend one or more of the celebrations and festivities that happen there, that is the best way to discover this fantastic culture!
Transport links: with five airport (Marseille - Provence, Nice - Côte d’Azur, Toulon - Hyères and Avignon - Caumont) - two of them providing international flights - three important harbours (Nice, Marseille and Toulon), several high-speed train stations and plenty of motorways, national or secondary roads, it is definitely easy to reach the PACA region. Regular flights allow people to access the area from Great Britain and Ireland, as well as from all Europe.
Gastronomy: featuring amidst others olive oil, garlic, aromatic herbs or aïoli, gastronomy is an essential part of the Provence culture. The most renowned specialities of Provence are the bouillabaisse, soupe au pistou, ratatouille, pissaladière, etc. Fine wines are also produced in the region with AOC appellations such as Côtes de Provence and Côtes du Rhône. A glass of one of these wines will perfectly accompany a typically Provencal dish gathered with friends!
Mas: Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur houses numerous Mas. The main features of these properties are the following ones: medium-to-large dimensions, a rural style, rectangular shape and a slightly sloping roof. These traditional farmhouses were built with their rear facing the Mistral wind direction (e.g. north).
Bastides / Maisons de Maitre: originally used by wealthy farmers, these properties offer large dimensions. They have a square or rectangular shape, a tiled roof and stone walls which are sometimes covered with stucco. Maisons de Maitre can be found both in the countryside and in the towns. They are perfect for large families as the number of rooms and so of bedrooms is always important.
Provencales / Provence houses in the classic Provence style, walls and shutters are painted in soft colours such as ochre, yellow, brown or red. Sometimes entire buildings have walls and shutters painted. Normally gently sloping, the roof may sometimes be more steeply pitched to offer dormer windows. In some area of the region they have different features (influence of the mountainous property types) such as a tower next to one of the gables (sometimes an ancient pigeon house) as well as outbuildings.
Camargue Gardian huts: such properties can be found in the Camargue area (south of the town of Arles), this place full of character where wild horses and bulls live in the marshland. Gardian huts have a thatched roof and white stucco walls. The walls are constructed of cement and also whitewashed. The huts are small but have a practical layout. These properties are perfect for holidays as they are cheap and fit well in the nature.
Chalets: chalets are the typical houses in the area around the Alps. Walls are built with stone and a structure of wood, local materials being used in the construction of these properties. The dimensions can vary depending on the area. Chalets are often used as holiday homes. They offer outstanding views over the mountains.
Click here for more info about the Architecture in Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur.
|For a deeper insight:|
|Alpes de Haute Provence Property Insight|
|Hautes Alpes Property Insight|
|Alpes Maritimes Property Insight|
|Bouches du Rhône Property Insight|
|Var Property Insight|
|Vaucluse Property Insight|
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