Gard – Department 30
Because Gard shares its border with Provence, large areas of the countryside have a distinctly Provencal feel. Therefore if you like the idea of living in Provence but don’t want to pay Provencal prices, you’d do well to consider this often overlooked department. Yet the the roots of the Gard are very much in the Languedoc, having its fair share of pretty medieval towns and villages, colourful history and due to this history, has more than its fair share of World Heritate sites attracting a steady stream of visitors throughout the year.
You may notice that I mention outdoor activities a lot in every department article I’ve written. This is because the diverse landscape of the Languedoc provides many natural wonders and coupled with the fabulous weather, outdoor actvities have become a major industry in this region. The Gard is no exception to this. Inland you have the Cevennes national park and on the coast there’s the Camargue. Which means that combined, these areas provide activities for walkers, bird watchers, photographers, water sports and mountain climbing enthusiasts, tree climbing enthusiasts and even walking with a donkey! (I thought I’d include the link to this one as I’m sure you wouldn’t believe me otherwise).
The famous Camargue nature reserve makes up a large part of the coastal area of the Gard and according to the Camargue tourist board, this area is home to over 340 different species of birds. These birds include the amazing sight of literally thousands of pink flamingos wading in the shallows of the wetlands.
The coast of the Gard is small but the beaches are in the main un-commercial, wild and windy, with one of the Languedoc’s best overall beach being Espiguette. Perfect for wind and kite-surfer enthusiasts.
Further inland and in the heart of the Cevennes area you’ll find the 300 meter deep canyon a UNESCO World Heritage site the Cirque de Navacelles. This site was formed thousands of years ago by the river vis caving it’s way into the limestone of the causse plateau. The river has now dried up in the canyon and we’ve been left with this stunning natural spectacle.
The capital Nimes is an interesting, compact city with plenty of bustling little squares and a charming mix of with shops, bars and cafes. This Roman City is home to a 4th Century Roman temple and also a perfectly preserved Roman amphitheatre, which was used for the filming of the movie Gladiator.
Nimes is also famously known as the birthplace of denim meaning ‘de Nimes’ or ‘from Nimes’. The cloth merchants of the town exported cloth to the United States to make, amongst other things cloth for working mens trousers. Then in 1870 at the height of the gold rush Levi Strauss realised these would be perfect trousers for the miners, the rest as we say is history.
Uzes is a small Roman town, north of Nimes. The ancient centre houses a medieval castle and four towers and the old town is full of pretty medieval streets. There is also a wonderful market here every Saturday. This is certainly a town to go if you’re looking for that magic combination of history and sophistication.
Aigues-Mortes, located in the Petit Camargue, just slightly inland from the Gard coast, is a striking medieval town surrounded by 13th Century fortification and ramparts. This is a lively town, full of shops, bars and restaurants. It can feel a bit touristy in the summer months but is a little gem to visit out of high season when you can really enjoy the local bustling atmosphere and soak up the history.
Property Price overview for Gard
The average buying price in this department is around €2,015 /sq m for an apartment and €1,995 /sq m for a house, making this department joint third in terms of property prices fo this region and great value for money.
Airports: You’re close to a good selection of international airports:
Nimes | Montpellier | Avignon | Marseille
SNCF Train Stations in Gard
Average income: 18,000
Teraine: mountains, gorges, salt marshes, Mediterranean.
Gard properties for sale
Why not take a look at our great selection of Gard houses for sale.
If you need more information or advice about buying or selling a property in the Gard, then please either give us a call, or fill in the form below and we’ll respond as quickly as possible.