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The Alpes-Maritime region in the South of France lies between dramatic Provencal mountains and the azure coastline of the Mediterranean. This is home to the French Riviera, with all its associations of glamour, but there are lots of options for holidays here – and they need not break the bank! Anyone who wants to be at the heart of things in Nice, Cannes or Antibes can rent a self-catering apartment with sea view and balcony for less than you might think.

I like to play clever by eating in for some meals, watching the world go by and the moon over the sea, and then sampling a really good restaurant on an occasional great evening out.

But if you really want to go for a luxury villa with pink-washed walls, a huge pool and loungers that you sink right into, then this is one of the best areas of France to find one. Many are set in the hills above the coast, offering peace and quiet and amazing views of both mountains and sea, with quick access to all the hotspots when you fancy enjoying the buzz.

And what a buzz is on offer! Alpes-Maritimes has been home to many artists and writers, so there are fascinating museums to visit. You’ll also find flourishing gardens, colourful markets, lively music and spectacle, glorious food and wine tasting of sunshine, mouth-wateringly picturesque country villages and, of course, those fabulous beaches and beautiful coastline that brought everyone here in the first place.

Find places to stay in Alpes-Maritimes