Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Southern France Small Towns for Expat Retirement

Southern France Small Towns for Expat Retirement

Old Aug 3rd, 2017, 12:33 PM
  #101  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,802
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Never stopped her before. This is her area, isn't it?
NewbE is offline  
Old Aug 3rd, 2017, 12:44 PM
  #102  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,167
Likes: 0
Received 12 Likes on 1 Post
NewBe, she already did respond a couple of times at the top of the responses.
joannyc is online now  
Old Jul 29th, 2019, 11:50 AM
  #103  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 11
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Greetings all.

Original OP here. I happened upon this thread recently and yes, realized a lot of posts were added after I dropped off being a bit disheartened by all the snarky comments (not all, some fabulous information and really helpful tips too!). Just wanted you all to know that I have not given up my search for a dream home (YES, it was just a WISHLIST, was not expecting to really find everything on that list - sheesh!). I've spent the last 2 years visiting throughout the seasons (most in winter) various places of interest in Languedoc, have had some great hikes in the winter time, and enjoyed the quiet outside of tourist season. I've found a few towns (shouldn't have said "village" earlier, its really more small towns I was looking for), that will fit the bill for me. Just FYI, you can definitely find what I'm looking for 80% of the list is fine with me - and the prices are far more reasonable than I expected. We will still probably rent initially, but there are certainly a lot of great options out there.

Thanks so much for all the really helpful, thoughtful suggestions, from most of you, in spite of my totally unrealistic wish list - some of you realized that I was not expecting all that, but just going in that direction. We retire next year, so the hunt is getting more serious now. I have a bank account now, and have perused a lot of real estate guidance, tax guidance, medical considerations, etc. BTW 10 minutes from the sea you can find really beautiful homes for half my budget, as long as you're not in Provence!

Cheers!
Sandrine13 is offline  
Old Jul 29th, 2019, 11:54 AM
  #104  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 11
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Enormously helpful, WeisserTee and JustRetired, thank you!!!

Last edited by Sandrine13; Jul 29th, 2019 at 11:56 AM.
Sandrine13 is offline  
Old Jul 29th, 2019, 12:09 PM
  #105  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 22,499
Likes: 0
Received 6 Likes on 1 Post
Glad you're back. I will say "Lodève." Nice town just off the A75 autoroute with good things in both directions.
kerouac is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2019, 02:28 PM
  #106  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 216
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
OP we are not expats but we bought a house in southern france 20 years ago. I didn't read the whole thread but I do agree tou need a small town at least. With easy access to a train station and or airport so that relatives can come and see you. Tou need a good hospital not too far away and you need a bit of a touristy place if you don't speak french (maybe you do). Old france can be very ... français. And can shut down during winters.
After that you look for the house !

Last edited by Moderator1; Jul 30th, 2019 at 02:41 PM. Reason: removed reference to a deleted post
ahbonvraiment is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2019, 02:50 PM
  #107  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 21,482
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Consider Argelès-Gazost: good hiking in three seasons and winter sports within reach in the winter. The town has a lively market, the weather is quite mild, with little or no snow in the winter, but surrounded by snowy peaks. Tarbes would be the closest airport, and Lourdes, with a bus connection, the closest train station.

Michael is online now  
Old Jul 31st, 2019, 01:33 PM
  #108  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 213
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
@Sandrine -- Good luck in your house hunt! We went through years of visiting places lining the Med and all over the Sud. In 2016-2017 we got serious and closed in Feb 2017 (retirement is well in the future). Since you have the French background, I think the considerations do change from many people who are not fluent/French. Our original goal was a home in the countryside, but then we listened to our consultant who warned of the reality of off-season isolation. I'm certain you've done it, but living in a place in November or January will reveal a lot. There are some excellent points just above about access to medical services, aging in place, access to services and access for family and visitors.

You are so right, with half your budget you can buy so much just a little inland. Even on the Cote d'Azur, where the winters are a bit milder/less windy, going inland can cause the prices to plummet.
gooster is offline  
Old Jul 31st, 2019, 01:56 PM
  #109  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 94,628
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
How nice you checked back in. Would love to hear how this all turns out.
suze is offline  
Old Aug 5th, 2019, 07:23 PM
  #110  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,657
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sandrine, je propose Uzes. I know that its not right by the sea but....
Bon Chance.
I am done. The end.
zebec is offline  
Old Apr 3rd, 2020, 09:26 AM
  #111  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 11
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Greetings Zebec! Interesting you should mention Uzes. My cousin just bought a house right outside of Uzes and raves about it. I must visit!
Sandrine13 is offline  
Old Apr 4th, 2020, 11:44 AM
  #112  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,657
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sandrine, that seems a good call by yer cuz. When we think about Uzes, there is never a single negative. Lots of positive memories about the town, the location, the vibe, the availability of essentials. I still remember the swans, the valley, the church ancient-organ concert, the market, the outstanding apartment rental.
Hope things will go smoothly.
I am done. The end.
zebec is offline  
Old Apr 9th, 2020, 11:30 PM
  #113  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 165
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sadrine,

There are a couple of Facebook sites:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/amer...nce/?ref=share

and another called Moving to Aix en Provence. I don’t know much about them but they may be helpful!
lrice is offline  
Old Apr 26th, 2020, 03:37 PM
  #114  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 728
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Sandrine,

If you haven't already, check out the Haut Var region of Provence. Lots of pretty small villages that are mostly off the tourist radar, surrounded by vineyards and a delight to visit even in July and August. A couple of my favorites are Cotignac and TourTour. Most are about an hour from the seaside, either to the east at St Raphael or Ste-Maxime, or to the south near Le Pradet and Hyeres. Aix-en-Provence is also an easy 1 hour drive away. Also try around Seillans, also in the Var, which will put you less than 35 minutes to the coast, 45 minutes to Antibes and an hour to Nice. The best part is home prices are far below the adjacent Provence departments to the east or west. You may find what you are looking for in your price range. Whatever you do, rent before you buy, especially in the winter. Good luck!

Last edited by russ_in_LA; Apr 26th, 2020 at 04:30 PM.
russ_in_LA is offline  
Old May 31st, 2020, 06:59 AM
  #115  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,512
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Sandrine13 View Post
Wow. No suggestions from StCirq? I am thinking of a small town outside of Montpellier or Arles maybe. I was looking closer to the Spanish border but heard that the wind there can be a dealbreaker. Otherwise, near the Pyrenees and the Med seemed perfect Grimaud, St. Maxime, Cogolin are nice but the area is too touristy. Hiking, swimming, some music and theatre nearby. I know there are lots of places that would fit the bill, but I want to narrow it down a bit. Besides jokes about Peter Mayle and Julia Child, no thoughts?
I have friends with a lovely home in Vias they may consider selling in a year or two, assuming you are still looking.
flygirl is online now  
Old May 31st, 2020, 01:03 PM
  #116  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,077
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Why would I have any suggestions when you're not even looking at anyplace near where I live? Provence is worlds away from me. I have no knowledge of, and no interest in, real estate there. Lovely if you can find a place there. Best of luck.
StCirq is offline  
Old May 31st, 2020, 01:27 PM
  #117  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 22,499
Likes: 0
Received 6 Likes on 1 Post
For lots of people anywhere in the south of France counts as "Provence." The only other desirable place is called "Paris" but it is too expensive. Any other part of France is automatically eliminated as a place that anybody would want to live. True, there is a small minority of Brits who like the Hauts de France region because it is near the Eurotunnel and feels more like home (bad weather).
kerouac is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Underhill
Europe
15
Jul 19th, 2019 11:18 AM
StCirq
Europe
56
Jun 23rd, 2017 02:50 PM
lateinlifetraveler
Europe
12
Oct 2nd, 2013 08:44 AM
abhodges
Europe
10
Nov 22nd, 2007 01:07 AM
baker
Europe
9
Jun 17th, 2004 11:32 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:16 PM.