Nice is one of the most popular cities in France, after Paris. It's not hard to see why, situated on the Côte d'Azur in the South East of the country, the Mediterranean city is picturesque and charming. But with villas and rental apartments well within the budget of most families, Nice is one upmarket destination on the French riviera that needn't cost the Earth to visit.
As well as enjoying the warm Mediterranean climate and laidback French lifestyle, there is a lot to see and do in Nice apart from hitting the beaches. Many of the city's museums and galleries are free, including the Musée Matisse and the Musée et Site Archéologiques de Cimiez, where you can see the remains of the Gallo-Roman settlement which preceded Nice. There is a lot of history in this region, and discovering it can be much more fun than lying on a beach (especially as the beaches are largely covered in pebbles and quite uncomfortable). Of course, it goes without saying that you should not leave Nice without trying out the city's signature dish, a real salade niçoise! Nice is also well-served by transport links, so you can use it as a great base from which to explore the rest of the Riviera and Provence. A day trip to Marseille or Villefranche could also add variety to your holiday.
Prices vary according to the time of year, but you can certainly find a villa near the sea which will sleep four people for less than £900 a week, and there are many deals to be found which bring this cost down considerably. The advantages of self-catering in France go beyond merely having your own space to relax and enjoy, you can fully involve yourself with the French way of life, walking down to the nearest boulangerie every morning to pick up fresh French bread and local produce, a far cry from the plastic convenience of a hotel's continental breakfast. In fact, self-catering provides another opportunity to save money - eating out in Nice is generally very expensive, so if you have your own kitchen to prepare a few meals, your budget will stretch an awful lot further.