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Why buy a home in the Languedoc?

Posted by Chez de Chez on September 28, 2014
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Gard, Languedoc Roussillon

Languedoc-Roussillon is a stunning region with mile upon mile of golden sandy beaches, stunning mountain ranges, breathtaking gorges, vineyards as far as the eye can see, a rich cultural and historical heritage, impressive natural sites and 300 days of sunshine per year.  In fact it has pretty much everything anyone could want.  Then on top of all that, the property prices are amazingly still lower per m2 than pretty much anywhere in the UK, at an average of just over 2,000 € m2, with some pockets seeing prices far lower still, at around 1,300 € m2.

The Languedoc has many sites and monuments, abbeys and castles, and five structures listed on the UNESCO world heritage list.  The roman aqueduct of Pont du Gard, the Canal du Midi, the medieval city of Carcassonne (the biggest in Europe), the abbeys of St Guilhem le Désert and St Gilles du Gard.   Arab and Celt influences have helped Languedoc-Rousillon become a melting pot for Mediterranean cultures and civilisations. The region has its own characteristic “art de vivre”, its people remaining strongly attached to traditions and customs that they keep faithfully alive.

In the Languedoc you’re never far from your choice of either river or Mediterranean beaches.  So whether you want to windsurf, sail, scuba dive, canoe, or just relax in a quiet little cove, there will be a beach for you.

….And then in the winter, why not head off for a weekend’s skiing in the Pyrenees.  You can fly into Perpignan and then drive up to the ski resorts or you can take the little yellow train – one of the most spectacular train journeys you’ll ever experience.

We’ve stayed in Font Romeu which is one of Europe’s oldest winter resorts and has been welcoming skiers since 1921.  It is also one of the best equipped ski resorts in Europe and has 500 snow cannons on 54 km of ski runs. There’s a cable car that takes you right up to the slopes from the centre of town.

Golfers looking for sunshine, Mediterranean scenery and friendly, welcoming courses, will be delighted with Languedoc-Roussillon .  There are a huge variety of golf courses to suit players at all levels. With top quality courses, year-round sunshine and a 12-month golfing season, Languedoc-Roussillon is fast becoming one of the most popular golfing destinations in Europe.

The diversity of its agricultural produce means that you will be rewarded with delicious and authentic cuisine. Based on olive oil, garlic and basil, this cuisine is typically flavoured with herbs of the Provencal garrigue such as thyme, bay or rosemary. Cheeses, wines, honey and fruit complement the rural and coastal specialties such as; Cassoulet, ‘Brandade de Nîmes’, the ‘petits pâtés’ of Pézénas, Aligot, mushrooms such as Cèpes and giroles and of course fish based dishes such as anchoïade, ‘Bourride de Sète’, and the famous basin du Thau oysters.

The vineyards of Languedoc-Roussillon are some of the oldest and largest in the world, and produce some  of the most renowned French wines. The wine making districts extend from the right bank of the Rhône, as far as the foothills of the Pyrénées. The wines of Languedoc-Roussillon complement the local food perfectly, providing a contrast to the simple cuisine based on olive oil, vegetables, fish and bread.  My favourite white wine being Picpoul de Pinet, a fantastic dry white which perfectly complements my favourite dish of moules and frites and is but just one of the many stunning wines from this region.

Languedoc-Roussillon is less than a 2 hour flight from many airports in the UK and the Montpellier airport connects to many internal and international destinations.  Other airports in the region include Nîmes, Carcassonne, Beziers and Perpignan.  From certain parts of the region you might also want to consider Marseille, Tolouse or Barcelona airports too.  Paris is just over a 5 hour journey by TGV train and other main stations of Languedoc-Roussillon are served by the TGV and SNCF trains.

The region is well served by four good motorways.  Firstly the A7 from Lyon which links up with the A9 at Nimes.  The A9, also known as the “Languedocienne” will then take you right along the coast of the region, skirting Montpellier, Beziers, Narbonne and Perpignan and will deliver you right up to the Spanish border, where you can continue onto the AP7 to Barcelona.  Then there’s the fantastic A75 where you’ll be rewarded for your long journey with some of the most spectacular scenery in France.  I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve driven this route and I’m still blown away by the views on this last leg of our journey.  You pick up the A75 at Clerment Ferrand and it then continues down directly to Beziers, or you can fork off just past Lodeve onto the A750 to Montpellier.  Then finally there’s the A61 that links up Narbonne with Tolouse.

Facts and figures

Capital: Montpellier

Population: 2,314,000 (7.7% of French population)

Density: 85,2 per sq. km (France = 108.2 per sq. km)

Area: 27,761sq. km (10,718 sq. miles) representing 5.1% of France

Economy: Services (76.2%), industry (18.9%), agriculture (4.9%)

Unemployment rate: 13.6% (rate for France = 9%)

Tourism

  • 150 miles of coastline
  • 25 seaside resorts and ports
  • 9 skiing resorts
  • Plenty of fetes, ferias, festivals and events throughout the year.
  • 20 Golf courses see them at www.golflounge.com
  • Sporting activities: sailing, water sports, swimming, diving, tennis, golf, bass fishing, cycling…

Hopefully this has given you a ‘flavour’ of this stunning region and also given you some great reasons why buying here is a great idea, not just for the Mediterranean sunshine but for the culture, food, wine and stunning scenery too.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions about living in or buying a home on the Languedoc.  Or why not take a look at our Languedoc properties for sale.  And don’t forget, if the property of your dreams isn’t there, just let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll speak with our network of agencies across the region to try to find it for you.

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