Over the past two centuries, it’s as if British people have invaded the Côte d’Azur, creating a real parallel society. Probably to flee the rain and cold of Blighty, they particularly like the South of France. For many, the French Riviera is the perfect area to enjoy the sun and warmth of the beautiful country of France. Not just a holiday destination, some British people even come to the area to settle permanently and to benefit from the renowned quality of life.
In 2014, 17% of foreign tourists who came to visit the Côte d’Azur were British. In this touristic area of the South of France, the seaside resort of Antibes is particularly appreciated by Brits, as was already the case six decades ago. In 1954, 29% of foreign tourists in Antibes were British. In the top 10 of top French favourite destinations according to foreign tourists, Antibes is ranked nº 8, behind Nice (ranked second) and Cannes (ranked fourth).
The reasons why the Brits come to Antibes
The main reason why Brits are particularly attracted to the South of France is, of course, the climate. Indeed, it is rather different from the rainy and cold climate of the UK. The Côte d’Azur is one of the sunniest areas of France with almost 3,000 hours of sunshine per year. More generally, British come in France because life is cheaper. Indeed, on average, the cost of living in England in 2016 is 18% higher than in France.
A need to satisfy the growing demand
In order to satisfy the needs and desires of the British clientele, many businesses dedicated to British culture have opened along the French Riviera. In Antibes for instance, you can now eat a traditional English breakfast or the typical seaside treat, ’Fish and chips’ in the Blue Lady Pub. You can also find marmalade, flavoured chips or bacon in Geoffrey’s of London, a grocer’s specialised in great British grub which will delight Brits as well as the French who are keen to make a culinary trip without leaving the sunshine of the south of France.
Not just a tourist hotspot
While it’s true that Brits come to visit the South of France on holiday to enjoy the weather, for some it’s not just a short stay but a permanent move. Indeed, more and more British people are investing in a second home on the Côte d’Azur in which to spend their retirement. Of the 170,000 second homes in the area (Alpes-Maritimes and Monaco), 48,000 belong to foreigners and the overwhelming majority of them are British.
If you are dreaming of year-round sunshine and sand in Antibes, have a look at our website or speak to one of our dedicated consultants on 020 7428 4910.