South-East

The south East of France is home to the Mediterranean climate and the French Riviera - unsurprisingly, all loved by expats! The most popular regions in the North tend to be Rhone-Alpes, Provence-Alpes-Cote-D'Azur and Languedoc-Roussillon.

 

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Rhone-Alpes

 
This is an area of mountains and rivers, with great investment potential – particularly if winter sports are your passion. There are also thriving cities such as St. Etienne, Grenoble, Annecy, Chambery, Montelimar and Valence. The area is best known for long-term rental, particularly in the skiing resorts.
 
The Rhones-Alpes region revolves around 2 main natural features: the River Rhone and the Alpes. It is a varied region, stretching from the Massif Central in the west to the Italian border in the east and down to Provence in the south. The capital of this region is Lyon, the second largest city in the country and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The countryside of Rhone-Alpes is well known for its beautiful lavender fields, lakes and mountains.
 
The Rhone-Alpes resorts around Mont Blanc have tourism based economies. The Ardeche, on the western side of the Rhone-Alpes, tends to attract interest from foreign-buyers who are looking for a permanent move to France, rather than a holiday home – this means there is a well establish British community here. To the east of some of Europe’s finest winter resorts, including Chamonix, Megeve, Meribel, Courchevel and Val d’Isere – properties here are a great rental investment in both winter and summer months, with huge rental potential.
 
There are many international schools across this area due to the sheer number of Brits living and working in Lyon, Grenoble, St. Etienne, Annecy and Evian.
 

Top Tips

 

This area encompasses some of Europe’s most spectacular scenery, fabulous ski resorts, and the glorious vineyards of Beaujolais. There is a great variety of prices and types of property – and of course Lyon is well known as France’s gastronomical centre.

 

Getting there

 

British Airways flies to Lyon from Birmingham, Heathrow and Manchester, whilst Ryanair flies to St. Etienne and Grenoble from Stansted. Easyjet also flies to Lyon and Grenoble from Stansted, and there are also services between Birmingham and Grenoble as well as nearby Geneva. Air France services Lyon and Geneva from Heathrow.
 
Fast TGV trainis from Gare de Lyon, Paris to Lyon and Grenoble provide convenient access to Annecy, Megeve, Evian les Bains and other ski resorts. Eurostar offers a direct route twice a week in the skiing season to Bourg St. Maurice or Moutiers from London St. Pancras or Ashford. Grenoble is 3 hours by train from Paris.
 
By road, you can take the A6 to Lyon and then the A43 from Chambery to Grenoble. For Lake Annecy and its environs, you should take the A6 from Lyon, which links to the A40-E21 and then the N508 to Annecy.

 

Provence-Alpes-Cote D’Azur


This region is historically the home of artists, writers and musicians, thanks to the natural beauty of Provence and the Cote d’Azur – which has inspired everyone from Vincent Van Gogh and Cezanne to F. Scott Fitzgerald. It is not cheap, but with prices that hold their own it is a solid region for investments. The Brits located here range from those seeking second homes for retirement purposes, to younger, more career-orientated people who take advantage of the fast train to Paris and the accessibility of Nice airport. Nice is located on the French Riviera, blessed with a sunny climate, beautiful stretches of beach, palm trees and promenades and a lovely old town with many museums and other tourist attractions.
 
Peter Mayle’s books ‘ A Year in Provence’ and ‘Toujours Provence’ in the late 1980s began a trend for writing about one’s experience of buying property in France and probably led to a boom in the property prices in the area.
 
There is a thriving property buying and rental market here, both for permanent homes and holiday homes. Cannes has a year round rental market, buoyed by the famous Film Festival held every year in May. Much tourism and industry around Provence’s coastal villages and vineyards makes this a great investment.
 
The wealthy and famous have been visiting this area for many years and continue to do so, meaning you are unlikely to lose money with a property purchase in this area as the market is extremely stable. There is also stunning landscape across the region, with a mix of mountains, coastline and lavender fields.
 

Top Tips

 

The area is well known for its hot summers and mild winters. The region is home to beautiful scenery, idyllic beaches and exciting nightlife. If Nice is beyond your budget, the Alpes Maritimes may have a bargain for a renovation property.

 

Getting there

 

There are flights to Nice from all of London’s main airports with British Airways, EasyJet and Air France. There are also flights from Belfast, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds/Bradford, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham East Midlands and Dublin. British Airways flies to Marseille and Nice from Heathrow. Ryanair flies to Nimes from Stansted, and Flybe serves Nice, Toulouse and Bergerac from Southampton. EasyJet serves Nice, Toulon and Marseille from Gatwick.
 
TGV runs a service between Paris and Lille to Aix-en-Provence and Marseille. Marseille is a four hour journey from Paris, whilst Eurostar offers a service from Lille Europe to Perpignan. Rail Europe runs services from London Waterloo to Aix-en-Provence, Cannes, Antibes, Marseilles, Nice, Nimes and Toulon.
 
By road, the A6 passes from Paris and Lyon to the A7 to Orange and Avignon, which links to the A8 for Cannes and Nice. The latter is built high above sea level, offering spectacular views for passengers. This should take around 7 hours from Paris to Marseille and 8 hours from Paris to Nice.

 

Languedoc-Roussillon

 
This area is perfect for those who are interested in living that Mediterranean life! Languedoc-Roussillon incorporates Montpellier, the Mediterranean coast and French Catalonia, and is known for its oozing history, strong investment possibilities and temperate climate. The region stretches from the Spanish border along the Mediterranean coast to the Camargue and into the French Riviera. It is said that this area experiences 320 days of sunshine a year.
 
The large cities can be expensive and exclusive, but cheaper properties can be found inland – particularly in the mountain region of the Pyrenees-Orientales in the far south, as well as Aude. The region’s capital is Montpellier, a city home to more than 260,000 people (including many students). The city is fast growing, vibrant and popular, with a cosmopolitan feel and a lovely tramway. The cite of Carcassonne in the southwest is one of the world’s most visually stunning cities, almost Disney-like with its medieval hilltop fortress. The newer section of the city manufactures shoes, textiles and rubber, and is also a centre of a major wine growing region. The cite is a major tourist attraction throughout the spring and summer.
 
There is a wealth of history throughout this region, with abbeys, a fortified cathedral at Bexiers, and also the site of the oldest reported human remains in France – at Tauteval near Perpignan. It’s also very close to Spain and the mountains.
 

Top Tips

 

Schooling here is excellent; the Ecole Privee Bilingue Internationale is just outside Montpellier and caters for children from nursery school right up to sixth form. The sheer number of tourists attracted to the region means there are a wealth of investment opportunities for those looking to expand their portfolio.

 

Getting there

 

There are five airports in Languedoc-Roussillon – Montpellier international airport and 4 smaller, but extremely active airports at Nimes, Perpignan, Beziers and Carcassonne. British Airways flies to Montpellier and Perpignan via Paris from a variety of UK airports. Ryanair serves Carcassonne, Montpellier, Nimes and Perpignan from Stansted, and additional flights go to Beziers in the summer.
 
TGV runs a rail service between Paris Gare de Lyon and Nimes, Montpellier and Perpignan, and there is a direct Eurostar link from Lille Europe to Montpellier.
 
By road, the A9 runs along the coastline of the region from Nimes to Montpellier and then further down to Perpignan. From Paris the A10 leads on to the A20 from Orleans to Toulouse, while the A61 motorway provides access from the west and the A75 enters from the north.


Further reading for Buying In France

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Viewing Guide

Finding the right property and can be a challenge. What do you need to think about early on?
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Legal Matters

Buying a property in France has very different legal requirements to the UK. 

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Hidden Costs

Spending tens and even hundreds of thousands of pounds on a property in France is a HUGE decision.
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Currency Zone

Did you know that you could save thousands of pounds when emigrating by using a currency specialist?
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Don't forget to download your own copy of the France Buying Guide, your guide to successfully purchase a property in France
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Don't forget to download your own copy of the the Currency Specialists Guide to buying overseas property and consider how to protect yourself financially. 
Download the Guide


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We can put you in touch with a trusted agent in your desired area, who will immediately send you example properties so that you can clearly define what you are looking for in a property.
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