Nice, France’s fifth-largest city, boasts fashionable boutiques and restaurants and a relaxed pace that makes for easy living. The brilliant white houses, the region’s vibrant colors and the sparkling blue waters of the Côte d'Azur have, over the years, prompted some of the most celebrated artists, such as Renoir, Matisse and Chagall, to set down their roots in this cosmopolitan Riviera ville.

When it comes to the outdoor life, it doesn’t get much better than Nice. The calm waters of the Bay of Angels are perfect for young families and water sports enthusiasts. The ski pistes, within an hour’s drive, provide an Alpine playground for young and old.

Traffic can get congested around town, however, the mayor of Nice recently introduced a hire-by-the hour-electric cars and pushbikes scheme, which could one day make traffic jams and pollution a thing of the past.