Why do Scandinavians love the Côte d’Azur so much?

pourquoi les scandinaves adorent la côte d'azur

It’s around a century since the Scandinavians discovered the Côte d’Azur when news of our famously sunny coastline reached them. They would previously holiday in Normandy and Brittany, places they still love today. However, today their preferred destination is the French Riviera, from Menton to Mandelieu. From Christmas to Autumn, they arrive in great numbers and receive a warm welcome.

But what makes them like the Côte d’Azur so much? There are a few possible explanations.

Light, sun and heat: Three Côte d’Azur specialties that Scandinavians covet!

The three hundred days of sun each year and the exceptional light even in the middle of winter are the stuff of dreams for Swedes, Danes and Norwegians used to long freezing nights in autumn and winter. That means they have an irrepressible desire for light. A trip to Nice, Cannes or Villefranche is now super easy thanks to Nice’s international airport. The flight is only a few hours (three, to be precise)! The Côte d’Azur climate motivates many Scandinavians to rent holiday properties (apartments or villas) even in the middle of winter, February or March, just for the pleasure of eating lunch in the sunshine and wandering along the sea front to make the most of something that is truly priceless: sunlight!


Scandinavians feel at home on the Côte d’Azur.

Swedes, Danes and Norwegians enjoy a warm welcome in the South of France, and specifically on the French Riviera, which isn’t surprising. The Swedish actress Greta Garbo started the trend by moving to Cap d’Ail where she owned a beautiful villa overlooking the Mediterranean. Today, it’s their Royal Highnesses the King and Queen of Sweden who have a house in Sainte Maxime and often travel to the Côte d’Azur. The three larger Scandinavian countries all have a consulate in Nice to support them with their processes. There is also a Swedish church in Cagnes sur Mer, a Swedish golf club in Mougins, the Swedish tradition of Saint Lucia in Nice, and Scandi restaurants scattered all over. It’s like a home away from home.

Nature, endless blue sea and swimming:

The Scandinavian love for nature and swimming is well known, but they also appreciate art and culture. That’s why they favour the Côte d’Azur which, beyond its long aquamarine coast, has long hiking routes (or ski slopes in winter) in the Mercantour hills and Alps that are perfect for nature and wildlife lovers.

The sophisticated cities of Nice, Antibes and Cannes boast the largest collection of museums in France outside of Paris, while peaceful hikes inland are accompanied by the sound of birdsong and the sight of the multicoloured radiance of wildflowers (this region has the most diverse flora in Europe thanks to the different altitudes found here). Almost wherever you turn, you’ll see the Mediterranean Sea glimmering in the sunlight.

So many different landscapes and so much culture that appeal to both the head and heart of Norwegians, Swedes and Danes: The simplicity of nature, the beauty found in the museums (Picasso, Matisse, Chagall and Bonnard) and the joy of water sports nearly all year round.


Riviera Holiday Homes, a specialist in holiday rentals in Nice and the surrounding areas, understands what Scandinavians visiting the Côte d’Azur want, as one of its founders is Swedish. We know that they want comfortable houses with soul, a swimming pool, a beautiful view, and peace and quiet away from the busy city centres with their night life. If you come from one of these wonderful Nordic countries, call us on +33 (0) 4 93 16 03 44 for advice on which property to rent (a villa or an apartment) to enjoy an unforgettable stay on the Côte d’Azur at any time of year.

Or you can visit our website and take your time choosing the property and city that best suits you, as well as the time of year you want to enjoy our beautiful days: winter, spring, summer or autumn. Here, every season has its charms.

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