Spend Your Winter on the French Riviera
Enjoy sunshine, mild-climate, no crowds, plenty to do — at about half the cost!
Winter on the French Riviera is a new program offered by Riviera Experience that lets you rent our homes at special winter rates for terms of several weeks to several months. A simple, inexpensive alternative to owning a home or having a long-term rental contract, our program puts you in your own home abroad without the risks, expenses, or hassles.
Our extremely well-appointed apartments make you as comfortable as if you were in your own home, with all the amenities and comforts you could want. Each has been extensively renovated and decorated to a very high standard, maintained fastidiously, and looked after personally — each provides a unique, charming, comfortable and wonderfully inviting living experience.
We take great pride in the quality and “personal touch” we offer to all our guests, and we can be available on-site to address any special needs you may have during your stay. We strive to give our customers great value: a real feeling of being at home, fair rates, attentive and gracious service.
Through this economical winter program you can realize a sizable discount off our summer, spring and fall rates. We’re taking reservations now for upcoming winters, and hope to hear from you soon if you are interested in living here in Villefranche next winter.
Why visit Villefranche in the winter?
Depending on where in the world you are, you might just feel like getting away from a dark and cold winter — to be in the warm sunshine of the French Riviera and Cote d’Azur. If so, Riviera Experience has developed a program just for you’to escape winter, to live in France in your own home, and all without the hassle and long-term commitment of owning property.
When the French Riviera was “discovered” as a place to holiday, it was initially seen as a winter resort. Its mild climate, abundant sunshine and natural beauty were thought to be best enjoyed in the winter. But since the 1960’s it has also become a summer resort, and more people now visit in summer than winter. However, if you speak with the locals, they will all tell you winter can be the very best season.
Moreover, as a place to experience living abroad, Villefranche and the surrounding Cote d’Azur has a tremendous amount to offer:
- Many beautiful and interesting places to see and experience
- Authentic French culture and a fascinating international community
- The delicious and healthy Mediterranean cuisine
- A great climate and healthier lifestyle
If you are interested in escaping the worst of winter elsewhere, and are also interested in the best of food, culture, and art that the South of France is famous for, please consider renting one of our beautiful homes in Villefranche-sur-Mer, the ancient seaside village nestled between its more sophisticated and famous neighbors, Nice and Monaco, on the Cote d’Azur.
What’s there to do here in the winter?
The area is very cosmopolitan: Nice and Monaco are just 10–15 minutes away, yet Villefranche is still a really charming, old world fishing village by the sea. Hence, you have an ideal mix of village and city life. There is a lot to do and a great lifestyle to experience. You can…
Enjoy the Lifestyle and Get Healthier All of our clients enjoy the beautiful walks right from your doorstep — literally. You can walk hills, flats, trails, sidewalks, from 20 minutes to 5 hours, all from your doorstep, all with stunning beauty, rich culture, and no traffic.
Eat Better Food, enjoy great and inexpensive wines, all the while getting healthier and more fit. Because the food is fresher and you walk more and you rarely snack, you will get in better shape.
Enjoy Interacting with the Local Culture by doing your daily shopping in the local village markets or grocery store (that delivers), three pharmacies, newspaper stores that sell international papers, and post office.
Study French at the world-renowned French language school in Villefranche called Institut Francais. They offer month-long immersion programs that attract a diverse clientele of all ages.
Go to the Many Winter Festivals, including the famous Citrus festival in Menton, or the flower festival and carnival of Nice (in February), or the Battle of Flowers waged each year (in February) in the Bay of Villefranche by the fishermen where they make amazing decorations on their fishing boats with flowers, parade around the bay, and then throw them at each other.
Take in the Many Cultural Events in Nice, Monaco and other towns such as the opera, symphony, ballet, concerts, and art exhibitions.
Visit Lovely Villages and Towns that are nearby. The famous ones: Nice, St. Jean Cap Ferrat, Beaulieu sur Mer, Eze, Monaco/Monte Carlo, Antibes, Cannes, Grasse (where most of the world’s perfume essences are made), St. Paul de Vence — all accessible by drives of between 10 minutes and 1 hour from Villefranche.
Visit Italy The border is just 30 minutes away. Florence is a 5-hour train ride, Tuscany is between 4 — 6 hours, depending on where you are going; the Italian Riviera begins 30 minutes away, or take the night train to Venice, with a romantic cabin for two, stay for a couple of days and come back on the night train back (best time to visit Venice is in January and February).
Enjoy the Many Museums of Nice (second to Paris in number and quality of museums), and the shopping in Monaco, Nice and Cannes.
Drive into the Maritime Alps Just minutes away you can climb up to one of Europe’s largest parks, the Mercantour National Park, in the heart of the Alps. Along the way visit beautiful mountain villages that are still so authentic and beautiful and take beautiful hikes or go skiing.
Visit Provence Just an hour and a half away is Aix-en-Provence which is the gateway to Provence. Go for a weekend and go antique shopping in Isle sur la Sorge (famous antique village), or visit Arles, Avignon, Nimes, Vaison la Romaine. Or go wine tasting and shopping through the Cotes du Rhone including the famous and delicious wine village of Chateauneuf-des-Papes.
Visit Spain or Portugal Take non-stop flights directly from Nice to Barcelona and Madrid and Faro — they’re less than an hour away. Or, visit Corsica, Morocco or Tunisia, also with non-stop flights. We can introduce you to an excellent local travel office that can help arrange short tours.
Fly to a Capital in Emerging Eastern Europe on a low-cost airline and have a series of great 4-day trips exploring that region. Or visit Scandinavia or Austria in winter for a long weekend and take in their lovely winter festivals.
Learn to Cook the French Way using fresh local ingredients while taking classes from different cooking schools in the area.
Who comes here in the winter?
A wide variety of people make the Cote d’Azur their home in the winter. Not only does it have an interesting local French Mediterranean culture, but also a fascinating international clientele, many of whom have second homes here.
- Consultants or self-employed
- Semi-retired and retired people
- Those going through life transitions, wanting creative, stimulating and beautiful changes of routine so they can think more creatively about their lives
- Couples or singles who can finally take time from their lives to travel and explore — more than a vacation, but not uprooting themselves permanently
And for single people or people traveling on their own, Villfranche is especially appealing as it is easy to meet new people. There are plenty of other single people and activities geared to welcoming those who are here on their own. For single women who might feel reluctant to travel independently, village life is especially safe, comfortable and easy — plus, you don’t need a car and yet can still get around to see all the sites and actively participate in life here.
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