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Where to find a property for sale in Pays de la Loire

With the great beaches of the Vendee, beautiful countryside, vineyards and some of the finest chateaux in France, Pays de la Loire is popular for good reason. Bordering the Atlantic, between Brittany and Poitou-Charentes it’s a great location that is easily accessed by taking the ferry to St Malo (3 hours drive) or fly to Nantes, Poitiers or La Rochelle.

So why else the appeal? With an average property price of €153,500, it’s a mid-range priced region, with prices generally higher by the coast, which attracts rich Parisians too. But even just half an hour from the beach you can get a renovated four-bed stone longere with a pool for €320,000.

So we’ll start with the fabulous sandy beaches of the Vendee, the Atlantic coastline most famed for the Vendée Globe yacht race. Often overshadowed by next-door Brittany (although it enjoys more sunshine!) it offers some great little port towns such as St Gilles Croix-de-Vie and a great array of watersports: surfing meccas include Bretignoles-sur-Mer and Les Sables-d’Olonne is the start of the forest-lined beaches.

La Tranche-sur-Mer is a popular holiday town in the Vendee facing the chic Ile de Re. It is 55 minutes from La Rochelle or 3.5 hours to St Malo. You can find a small two-bed property for around €150,000  or a three/four bedder for €250,000. Properties can earn an excellent income in the summer season in this area where surfing and sailing is popular.

Another option is the popular modern seaside resort St Jean-de-Monts, located at the corner of the ‘Côte de Lumière’ (coast of light), a fantastic stretch of coastline blessed with beautiful beaches and 2,300 hours of annual sun, so little different from the climate of southern France. The laid-back town attracts both retirees seeking a full-time base and families seeking a second home.

After Vendee, Mayenne is a much less well known, but popular with buyers for its affordability. The section north of Laval tends to be more popular than the quieter area south of it. This is a flattish area of medieval villages - some of them ‘little cities of character’ such as Saulges, Saint-Suzanne Chailland and Lassay-les-Chateaux.  Within easy reach of these, you can get a small village house for as little as €50,000.

For those who gravitate towards grander architecture and fabulous chateaux (including the tallest in the Loire, at Brissac), Maine-et-Loire is the one to choose. It’s got the Loire valley, the famous equestrian school at Saumur and a Cointreau museum.

So whether you are seeking sailing, vineyards, sand-dune surfing or 24-hour car racing at Le Mans, his region punches above its weight for pure diversity.

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