A grand Tour de France of French properties

A grand Tour de France of French properties

2013 celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Tour de France race, which kicks off on the 29th June in beautifully rugged Corsica.

Despite Sir Bradley Wiggins' absence from the race here at A Place in the Sun we are very excited about the Tour so thought it the perfect excuse to peddle (sorry!) a few French properties along the route that are on sale.

France is a hot favourite with buyers right now - historically low interest rates, property prices that have softened - and there are hundreds of properties we might choose from but we first head to the Haute Savoie and to the gateway town of Annecy, for our first property.

This modern chalet style property is on the west side of the beautiful town, by the lake, and with easy access to the resorts of Tignes and Val D'Isere, would make a perfect B&B property. It has four bedrooms and four baths, for €650,000.

Next up, we head west to exquisite Nice on the French Riviera where there are all sorts of options for buyers, although one particular property has caught our eye this week: a five-bed villa for €887,250.

Yes, such a fashionable area does not come cheap, but this is in a secure domain, with access to a pool, tennis court and a private garden over 250m2.

Heading back inland, in Var in Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur region, the route will pass by the beautiful medieval market town of Lorgues, a sought-after location for property hunters in the region. It has a great weekly market and fabulous restaurants.

Estate agent Leggett have an old stone house there with three bedrooms and two receptions on 28 hectares of land. It comes with an independent guest house, seven stables, and a garage, swimming pool, and outline planning to extend the house by 100m2. All this will cost you €990,000.

For those with a smaller budget, Leggett also have a lovely four-bed, three bath renovated Provencal villa on an acre of land for €430,000. It comes with a pool and is a short walk from Lorgues.

Next stop is France's second largest city, Marseilles, and specifically the peaceful eastern suburb of Allauch where agent Home Hunts have an ideal family home featuring two bedrooms, outdoor terrace, summer kitchen and a private pool, priced at €660,000.

Also currently on the market with the agency is a gorgeous town house on the outskirts of Montpellier, featuring five bedrooms and swimming pool, priced at €575,000.

The property features an independent garage/ workshop and further grounds suitable for the enthusiastic gardener. The property is a perfect lock - and - leave option, or for use as a primary residence thanks to its close proximity to Montpellier.

After Montpellier the Tour heads to the stunning city of Albi in the Tarn, the birthplace of artist Toulouse-Lautrec.

Half an hour from Albi is an interesting chateau development, Chateau de la Durantie (pictured) which offers brand new properties.

This beautiful chateau redevelopment in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Construction of Phase 1 is due to commence early in late 2013 with the first completions expected for summer 2014. House prices for a three-bed home start at €442,200.

Just like Chris Froome and his Sky team mates - god willing - we will finish up in Paris, undoubtedly THE property hotspot of France.

To get a property in the centre you certainly have to pay a premium, but we've found a good little studio apartment in a new little complex in Montmartre, for €476,000.

Now 38m2 is luxuriously spacious for a studio - especially by French standards as studios of half that size are not atypical - and this even has a 7m2 terrace and 11.5m2 garden.

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