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The most luxurious villas on the Cote d’Azur

Cote d'Azur

Ever fancied a chic villa holiday in the south of France, but been put off by the prices? Peak season can be pretty ‘exclusive’ but end of the season rentals are worth seeking out. We asked the south of France specialists at Joie de Vivre Holidays, an independent agency, for their recommendations for exceptional villas available in the coming weeks.

At this time of year, Nice generally has a lovely climate compared to high summer. Warm, but not sappingly hot in the daytime and comfortably cool at night. It’s a lovely time to visit this iconic destination on the Cote d’Azur.

Villa Luzane
The Cote d’Azur is home to some of the world’s most luxurious villas

Paul Rhodes, of Joie de Vivre, suggests Villa Luzerne as a great place to base yourself. He sayd: “This stunning 3 bedroom villa, with private infinity pool, is located in a secure private domain and has quick, easy access to both Nice and neighbouring town of Villefranche-sur-Mer. With a striking, contemporary style it has outstanding south-facing views from all rooms (and the pool), looking out over the whole of Nice and to the sea! This villa is a personal favourite. I love the modern styling and never tire of the breathtaking views.” Practically speaking it sleeps six, in three bedrooms. In peak season this villa costs £3765 per week, but now that’s dropped to £3125 per week.

Paul also recommends Villa Helichrysum – in Carros-les-Plans, which is very close to Nice. It has a peak season rental of 4140 Euros per week, but in the coming weeks it can be rented for a very reasonable 2790 Euros. Once again, he knows the villa inside and out and tells us: “This villa has everything a family needs and is another favourite due to its size, views and interior styling. It has air-conditioning and a private heated pool. Location wise it’s close to local amenities and not far from Nice old town. In my opinion it’s another ideal base for a visit to Nice and the south of France.” The villa sleeps eight, in four bedrooms.

Les Ecureuils is located 10 minutes walk from the centre of Montagnac and easily accessed from Beziers, Montpellier or Nimes airport

Paul’s final suggestion is Villa Laurier – in Mandelieu la Napoule. He explains: “People often ask me where we go on holiday and this year we stayed here for our family holiday! Sleeping six in three bedrooms, this villa costs £2500 per week in peak season, but there is a week available from the 25th August for just £2045. There’s a private pool and it has stunning views over the surrounding Esterel Mountains, the hills near to Cannes and then down to the sea – yet just 1km back down to the many shops and cafes in the town. We had a wonderful holiday here and I would heartily recommend it.”

If you’re not wedded to the Cote d’Azur, there’s great value to be had in the south west of France. Karen Rogers, of JDV Holidays (Languedoc), has some suggestions that won’t break the bank. Gite Fleuri, located in Caunes Minervois (20 mins from Carcasonne), is one of her top picks for 2018. Karen knows the villa well and told us: “It’s situated in 2 acres of landscaped gardens, with a stunning 11m x 5m private pool. This gite is extremely popular and this week is only available due to a cancellation. It’s great value, for a lovely gite in fabulous setting. You won’t be disappointed.” It sleeps up to four people in two bedrooms.

The stunning Villa Laurier is located in Mandelieu la Napoule

Karen also has another suggestion that will definitely impress your friends and family. Les Ecureuils is huge, with fantastic gardens and swimming pool. It’s a great place for families or large group to relax and enjoy the surroundings. The villa is a stunning example of the classic Mediterranean villa, sleeping up to 13 people in six bedrooms. The villa would normally cost €2520 per week in high season, but weeks are now available for €2260 per week. It’s located 10 minutes walk from the centre of Montagnac and easily accessed from Beziers, Montpellier or Nimes airports.

If you need to dodge the paparazzi (or just prefer a more rural holiday), Helen Bowles suggests Mas St Charles – a remarkable, four bedroom villa in a secluded setting in the stunning Luberon countryside. Stone built and recently renovated to the highest standards, she suggests that it is “simply an amazing place to stay”. Helen added: “There’s a private pool, lovely garden and wonderful views down the private valley. This is a unique property in a stunning location with views that will take your breath away. The house is usually only available for a minimum of 14 nights, but there are occassions when a 7 night stay is possible.” For practical considerations it’s just a 10 minute drive to the bustling village of Bonnieux, where you will find shops, restaurants, galleries, bakers and a local farmers market.

Villa St Max
Villa St Max offers peace and privacy

Helen’s second recommendation is Villa St Max – a stand-alone villa, on a large piece of private land that provides peace and privacy. She says: “This villa works really well for a family or group of friends. I particularly like the outdoor kitchen/BBQ area which allows you to cook and dine al fresco, whilst enjoying the garden and fenced pool.” With 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, air-conditioning and a private, fenced pool, the villa now costs £2600 per week, down from £2909. If you prefer to holiday in September, the price drops even further. It is just 2 km from the pretty village of Eygalieres, with small shops, restaurants and a Friday morning farmers market.