Revered Riviera


Holidaying at the fictitious Villa of the Doves, also known as Villa Rocabella, the Crawley family in the most recent Downton film, have thrown a spotlight on the Provence countryside, namely the VAR. Less expensive and with quieter, more open spaces than the ever-popular resorts of St Tropez, Nice, Cannes and Antibes, the VAR offers more for the discerning buyer.

The heady aromas associated with this area are all around you, lavender, rosemary and pine, accompanied by the ever-constant chirping of the cicadas. This is undiscovered Provence, it’s a very different world, with bleached silvery grey landscapes, set below the craggy foothills of the Alpes Maritime, thrusting their way down towards the Med. The ranges seem to be almost painted misty blue while their peaks point upwards towards the azure blue sky – it’s not for nothing this part of costal France is called the Côte d’Azur.

The utterly modern purchaser is interested in location and price and isn’t necessarily looking to become a guardian of an ancient historic monument.  Instead reaping the benefits of the luxury and lifestyle attached to living on the Côte d’Azur.

Here we find a few delicious examples of the local VAR villas, with ‘to die for’ views – after all, isn’t that what it’s all about?

Ref: A12336


Light and airy 6 bedroom villa, minutes from some of the best beaches.



Ref: 117336MMA83


Beautiful Provencal stone mas. 8 bedrooms, swimming pool, guest house. 5 mins from a beautiful medieval village.


Ref: A06880


Elegant 8 bedroom bastide with surrounding land of 19,690 m²


Ref: 111339ER83


Historical Art Deco Villa with amazing sea views overlooking the Golfe de Saint Tropez.


Ref: A12337


Superb 4 bedroom villa with swimming pool and panoramic views.


Ref: 116096EHO83


Luxury 5 bedroom villa with sea views and pool.


Provence is not just a place, but a state of mind, an entry into a brighter, warmer world.  Of course, the tourist areas swell over the summer months, but true Provence country life continues at a different beat.

Boules being played in village squares, people-watching whilst sipping pastis in the dappled shade of the large plane trees, markets over-flowing with wonderful local produce, just waiting to tempt your tastebuds and inspire you to create a sumptuous supper in the evening; a dish as simple as goat’s cheese with fresh ripe beef heart tomatoes, doused in Provence olive oil, a sprinkling of mixed herbs, luscious bread and naturally a glass or two of Provençal rosé.  A meal fit for royalty!

At first it might seem impossible to find anywhere which has escaped the attention of the avid tourist, as this part of France does attract many, but among the upland areas and even some closer to the coast, it is still possible to find some hidden delights.

I can’t promise that Carson the butler will be around to serve your rosé for you, but rest assured, you’ll be too distracted to notice, busy enjoying life in the VAR.

To buy in the VAR, contact Leggett Prestige: 08700 11 51 51 (uk) or +33 (0)5 53 60 84 88 (int)


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