Areas to invest in Provence

6 min read

Provence, with its picturesque landscapes and rich history, is one of the most sought-after areas to live in France. Located in southeastern France, Provence boasts a diverse economy driven by several major industries such as tourism, agriculture and technology.

The Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur has long been a choice for English investors to buy property, especially since the publishing of the 1989 book ‘A Year in Provence’ by Peter Mayle.

The region represents ‘living the French dream’ – warm summer days, acres of lavender fields and a relaxed life in France. This article looks at investing in Provence in 2024, where to buy and why you should consider this stunning region of France.

Good to know

PACA is the common short name for Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. The area is also sometimes referred to as the South of France, however, this tends to be the Mediterranean locations rather than inland.

About Provence

Tourism is a cornerstone of Provence’s economy, attracting millions of visitors annually to its charming villages, historic landmarks, and Mediterranean coastline. Encompassing the French Riviera, with the glamourous towns of Cannes and Nice, the seaport and regional capital of Marseille and the inland canyons and rivers of Verdon, Provence is a mix of rural living and stylish locations.


PACA is split into 6 departments, each with its own character:

Alpes de Haute Provence
Nestled in the foothills of the Alps, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence offers breathtaking mountain landscapes, lakes, and pretty villages such as Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, Sisteron, and Forcalquier. The department is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts who  love to hike, cycle and explore.

Alpes Maritimes (the French Riviera)
Known as the playground of the rich and famous, the French Riviera has golden sandy beaches, azure water and plenty of bars and restaurants to hang out and look glamourous. Further inland you’ll find charming old towns such as Èze, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, and Gourdon, where life takes a slower pace.

Bouches du Rhône
Located on the Mediterranean coast, Bouches-du-Rhône is home to Marseille, France’s second-largest city. The area includes diverse landscapes, coastal areas and picturesque villages such as Aix-en-Provence, Arles, and Les Baux-de-Provence.

Hautes Alpes
Bordering Italy, Hautes-Alpes offers including snow-capped peaks, lush valleys, and crystal-clear lakes. This region is popular for year-round outdoor activities, from skiing and snowboarding in winter to hiking and mountain biking in summer.

Var is famous for its Mediterranean coastline, sandy beaches, and stylish resorts such as Saint-Tropez, Sainte-Maxime, and Bandol. The Verdon Gorge, one of Europe’s most stunning river canyons is a popular attraction.

Vaucluse offers rolling hills, vineyards, and hilltop villages like Gordes, Roussillon, and Bonnieux. This department is renowned for the medieval city of Avignon, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Where to settle in France according to your passions


Provence basks in an idyllic Mediterranean climate – warm summers, mild winters, and an abundance of sunshine. This makes it a popular destination for home buyers and tourists alike, who want to make the most of the outdoor French lifestyle in this region.

The area is also known for the Mistral – a cold, dry wind that blows through Provence for a week or more in winter and spring.



Provence celebrates the flavours and fresh ingredients of Mediterranean cooking. An abundance of olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, and aromatic herbs like thyme, rosemary, and oregano featuring prominently in its dishes. Traditional Provencal specialties include ratatouille, bouillabaisse (fish stew), tapenade (olive paste), and pissaladière (a savoury tart topped with onions, anchovies, and olives), showcasing the region’s gastronomic diversity.


The region’s scenic beauty inspired artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, and Pablo Picasso, who painted its luminous landscapes using vibrant colours and capturing its distinctive light. Today, Provence continues to attract artists, writers and artisans, with its charming villages, bustling markets, and picturesque countryside.

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Provence’s property market

Investment in Provence offers a range of opportunities, from rural properties in the countryside to urban developments in cities like Aix-en-Provence and Marseille. The region attracts investors seeking second homes, retirement residences, and commercial properties in prime locations.

The latest figures available show that Provence experienced a 0.7% rise in property prices in the second quarter of 2023¹. Although only a small increase, this demonstrates its popularity compared to the rest of the French property market which has slowed down significantly, making it a good time to buy.

The table below shows the current (2024) prices to purchase a property in the main towns and cities of Provence:

Location Average price per m² € 1-bed city centre property Average price per m² € 3-bed outside city property
Aix-en-Provence 8,500 6,500
Cannes 7,000 4,250
Nice 7,000 4,500
Marseille 5,000 3,000
Avignon 2,000 3,000
Where to move with your family in France

Reasons to invest in Provence

As the capital of the Mediterranean coast in France, Provence has plenty to offer investors. The region is undergoing major economic growth, supported by significant investment expenditure², as can be seen in the table below:

Investment expenditure - Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

Year 2023 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
Value* 174 136 123 122 107 126 115 110 134 141

*euros per inhabitant

Some examples of investment in Provence include:

  • Transforming Nice’s exhibition centre into a Palace of Arts and Culture³
  • Plans to turn Marseille into a smart city⁴
  • To promote Provence as a tourist destination via the 10-year Tourism Economy Development Plan⁵

This investment results in business development and therefore more visitors to the region, as tourists and to rent and buy property.

Rental potential

Whether you choose to invest in property in Provence and live in it for part of the year and rent it out as a holiday let or rent it to long-term tenants, the yield offers some of the best prices in France⁶.

Department Average Rent Per m² € for apartments Average Rent Per m² € for houses
Alpes de Hautes 11.3 11.4
Alpes Maritimes 18.0 19.0
Bouches du Rhône 15.6 15.6
Hautes Alpes 11.6 12.3
Var 14.5 14.8
Vaucluse 12.1 12.3

Compare this to Perpignan for example, where the price per m² to rent a house is €10.0 or Normandy at €10.9 and Provence is clearly a wise investment.

Good to know

Winter rentals are a popular choice for northern Europeans wanting to escape the cold for the warmer south of France. You could consider investing in a property as a winter let and using it yourself in the summer.


Investing in Provence property offers economic opportunities and the benefits of a better lifestyle. Capitalising on the region’s prime location (3 airports and good road and rail links), tourism appeal, growing property market and plans to develop the region means investors can be a part of Provence’s prosperity.

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How iad Overseas property consultants can help you invest in Provence

If you’re searching for a rental investment, a second home or an overseas retirement property, iad Overseas property consultants* can help.

Our property consultants* will offer you advice and guidance on your property purchase in Provence to ensure it’s as smooth as possible. From finding the perfect property to dealing with the purchase process – our property consultants* are ready to assist you.

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