The world’s most expensive house has gone on sale in France’s Côte d’Azur. We show that you don’t have to be a moneybags to own a slice of this special stretch of coastline…

Got a spare €350million knocking about? If you did, you might be tempted to buy what is reported to be the most expensive private residence ever to go on sale anywhere! It won’t come as a huge surprise that the property is located in a prime area of the famous French Riviera, specifically in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat near Nice.

So how does the vendor of this extravagant mansion, called Villa les Cèdre and once owned by King Leopold II of Belgium, justify the price tag? As well as the exclusive location, well-known as a popular second home destination with the world’s rich and famous, the 187-year-old property covers 18,000 square feet of living space, has 14 bedrooms, numerous reception rooms and a rooftop terrace.

Villa les Cèdre’s opulent fixtures and fittings include ornamented chandeliers, marble fireplaces, panelled sitting rooms and floor-to-celing paintings. Topping it off are 35 acres of landscaped gardens, which are home to 14,000 plant species and overlook the sparkling Mediterranean.

To set the celebrity scene, other homeowners in the area around Villa les Cèdre include Andrew Lloyd Weber, Microsoft co-owner Paul Allen, Bono, Mel Gibson, Tina Turner and Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.

For those of us with more modest budgets, below are some property options within a few minutes’ drive of the world’s dearest property. Bear in mind, with interest rates in France hovering around historic lows and the pound still weak against the euro, it could make sense for some British buyers to finance their French property purchase with a loan – visit the Currency Zone for more on exchange rates.

Hills behind Nice
This 18th-Century, three-bedroom provençal-style property sits in a private spot surrounded by olive trees and the natural landscape of the rolling Tourette-Levens area, but is still just 15-20 minutes from the coast and delights of Nice.

As two self-contained gîtes, it comes with a private pool, parking and its own well. Bursting with local character, other highlights include an outside hot tub, high-speed internet and solar power. The property enjoys both mountain and sea views. It’s the ideal retreat with easy access to the bright lights of the coastal resorts. For more info, click on the photo.

Flat with Cap Ferrat views
Boasting sought-after views of Cap Ferrat and Villefranche Bay, this smart two-bedroom apartment is part of a gated complex with its own swimming pool and caretaker.

Its covered terrace is the ideal spot to enjoy al fresco dining and relax with a sundowner or two. In great condition and with a fully fitted kitchen, the property comes with its own parking space and storage room.

Villefranche’s pretty town centre, with all the charm of a former fishing harbour, and the beach are reachable on foot, making this the perfect place to really switch off and enjoy the delights of the Riviera.

Nice town
Conveniently located on the edge of central Nice in the town’s desirable Cimiez district, this spacious one-bedroom apartment is on the second floor of a well-kept block. It is close to all types of amenities, including public transport, and has easy access to Nice airport, making long weekends there a cinch.

Highlights include the large balcony off the living area – perfect for taking in some Mediterranean sunshine and scenic views, before hitting Nice’s colourful promenade.

Written by Overseas Guides Company.

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If you are considering an overseas property purchase, whether for lifestyle or investment, opening a no-obligation account with FCA-authorised Smart Currency Exchange will enable you to benefit from their competitive exchange rates and specialist currency knowledge, ultimately saving you money and time. For more information, download Smart Currency Exchange’s free report or visit the Currency Zone.