A distinctive Mediterranean town in the far south-eastern corner of France, Nice only became part of France in 1860. The main seaside promenade along the Baie des Anges, the Promenade des Anglais, owes its name to the earliest visitors from the English upper classes, who came in their droves in the second half of the 18th century.
Today, Nice is popular with holidaymakers and expats alike – all drawn by the quaint old town, busy markets and thriving social scene. The clean air and soft light here has been an inspiration to many painters including Matisse and Chagall, whose work can be seen in the city’s many museums, including the Musée Marc Chagall, the Musée Matisse, and the Musée des Beaux-Arts. It is one of the most visited cities in France, welcoming 4m tourists every year, many of whom fly into Nice airport, which is the third busiest airport in France. Nice is home to 343,629 people and its good transport links with the UK make it a great choice for Brits in search of milder winters or a new life in the sun. Highlights further afield in the Alpes-Maritimes department, of which Nice is the capital, include Cannes, Grasse, Antibes and Menton, while those who prefer to get away from the crowds will find peace and tranquillity in the Parc National du Mercantour.
Toulouse Probably the most famous local dish is salade niçoise, a platter of tuna, olives, anchovies and eggs on a bed of lettuce, but there is also pissaladière (a French take on pizza) and socca (a crêpe made with chickpea flour).
Monarch, British Airways, easyJet, Jet2, Flybe and Aer Lingus all fly into Nice airport.
• Average annual temperature: • 12.4°C/19.6°C • Average annual rainfall: 733mm • Average annual sunshine hours: 2,724.2
• Average property price in Alpes-Maritimes: €430,000 • Average property price in Nice: €350,000
There are numerous festivals throughout the year in Nice and along the AlpesMaritimes coast including the Fête du Citron in Menton, the Carnaval de Nice and the Festival de Cannes, which sees celebrities from all over the world flocking to the region to see the year’s new film releases.