Property in Languedoc-Roussillon
Languedoc-Roussillon is the most southerly corner of France, beginning on the western side of the Rhone river (pricier Provence is the eastern side) and stretching round the Mediterranean to Spain. Named the Cote d’Améthyste, there are a string of pleasant resorts ending in the Camargue, famous for its white horses. Languedoc includes one of France’s youngest and most creative cities, medieval castles dripping in history, the Cevennes national park and a chunk of the Pyrenees.
The modern administrative area has changed, and since the start of 2016 Languedoc is the vast Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrenees region. That means it gets Toulouse back, the traditional capital of Languedoc with a population of 440,000 and an industrial background offering plenty of work, so long as you can speak French.
More than 200km away near the sea, Montpellier has become one of France’s – and Europe’s – most exciting cities. Reminiscent of Brighton in terms of size, youth and creative outlook, Montpellier has the Parisian style architecture of Haussman providing the classy buildings and 70,000 students providing the fun.
You could stick a pin anywhere in the map of Languedoc and find a spacious home offering an “outdoorsy” lifestyle in beautiful countryside. Narrow the choice down by picking the most promising department.
These start in the north with Lozere, mountainous and under-populated but an enticing choice if you have a taste for outdoor adventure. Gard is to the south-east, bordering Provence and with some similarities in its dramatic countryside. Herault, in the middle, has a rapidly rising population as more and more people from quieter areas, like Lozere, see the appeal of southern cities like Montpellier and Beziers.
The Aude department includes Carcassonne, the hilltop city with a bloody Cathar history that the British seem fascinated by. Then finally the Pyrenees; cheaper than some of the other departments and with Perpignan as its capital and a more Catalan culture.
Getting to Languedoc is easy all year. For the quick trips, airports at Montpellier, Nimes, Béziers and Toulouse offer year-round speed. Laden down with furniture (and wine!), the drive is a 1,000 kilometres from the Channel. For fun, the wonderful French trains are at your service: leaving London at breakfast time you can have a mid-morning snack when you change in Lille, enjoy lunch on the TGV train and be in Montpellier for dinner. There you see, thinking like a Frenchman already!