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The Joys Of Moving To The French Riviera
Many Britons move abroad upon retirement, and it's fair to say that a lot of them go to Spain or Portugal. They are great holiday destinations and the thought of being "on holiday" every day sits very well. The climate in the southern half of Spain and in the Algarve in Portugal is sunny and warm for a lot of the year, and there are some great golf courses.
Spain and Portugal notwithstanding, quite a number of expats go to live in the South of France on the French Riviera. In French, the Riviera is known as the Cote d'Azur, or blue coast. It is about 550 miles long and there are pretty towns along its' length with the coastal roads twisting between olive groves. The beaches alongside the Mediterranean are mainly pebble beaches, so no sandcastles here. The largest town is Nice which has a population of about 360,000 and the population of the Cote d'Azur overall is 2.2 million, with approximately 100,000 of those being non-French. The climate is mild to warm, and in the winter the temperature is usually 50°F - 60°F.
Of course, the Cote d'Azur contains Monaco which is the second smallest country in the world (the smallest is Vatican City in Rome) and is ruled by the Grimaldi family. This is the place to be if you don't want to pay tax, because Monaco residents pay no income tax. It is also famous for its casinos, although, believe it or not, Monaco citizens are not allowed to gamble or even go into a casino!
Not far from Cannes is the town of Grasse which is the world headquarters of the perfume industry. Approximately three quarters of all the world's perfumes are produced here from the gardens which grow lavender, jasmine, daffodils, and more. Cannes itself, of course, is famous for the Cannes Film Festival, and lots of movies are shot here using the fabulous background scenery, sparkling blue water of the Mediterranean, and prestigious locations. Some of the films shot here include Diamonds Are Forever, Oceans Twelve, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and To Catch A Thief.
This is the place to be if you are a foodie. To get the freshest produce from the farmers markets you need to get up early. Local delicacies include olive bread, bouillabaisse fish stew, salads niçoise, and pissaladierre which is an onion flan topped with anchovies. The area is also famous for its' citrus trees, and you can get a gorgeous lemon flan here too.
If you don't like crowds you need to avoid the beaches in August when they are packed to the rafters with jet skiers in Cannes, and windsurfers in Almanarre, while in St Tropez, Monte Carlo, and Antibes the order of the day is million-dollar yachts, champagne cocktails, and barely there bikinis, although not necessarily in that order.
If you like shopping, then St Tropez is the place to go. It has lots of designer boutiques. San Rafael and Juan-les-Pins are the towns for nightlife, and also for dining alfresco. In Nice, the Old Town has narrow streets and alleys with townhouses with green shutters, and there is the Promenade des Anglais where the locals go skating.
Of course, if you are going to move to the South of France you will need the services of removal companies to France that know the ropes, so ideally you want one which has been moving people there for several years and so its drivers know the roads and know the short cuts.
Then there is the question of what you are going to take with you. Sometimes it is a wrench to leave behind things that you have had for years, but starting a new life is often better with new furniture and belongings. You should only take the things you really need, because otherwise you are paying to transport something that you might not use in France.
There is also the question of packing everything when undertaking removals to France. In most cases, you are better off letting the removal company do the packing because their people are trained and will pack things so that they cannot move about on the journey and should therefore arrive on the Cote d'Azur in one piece.
Movers International is one of the UK's leading removal companies to France and has been moving everything from a single carton to a complete household to the Cote d'Azur for over 30 years.
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