Where to live in the south of France.

Mar 16th, 2008, 05:41 AM
  #21  
 
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I am going to chime in to second the recommendations from Blackduff...(we probably live somewhere very nearby).

The great part about the Roussillon (or the larger Languedoc-Roussillon) is three-fold for us:

-the weather is very nice, almost always sunny, and low humidity (over 300 sunny days a year. For me it is better than the Dordogne weather.

-it is much less expensive than the Cote d'Azure and is not yet "too crowded" or annoying to live in

-it is wonderful wine country...for mid-range Cotes de Roussillon type pleasant, drinkable and not dear

Other things to consider: Ryanair in Perpignan (small base) and in Girona Spain(1 hr)=HUGE European hub to 20 countries. I use Barcelona and Toulouse as major international airports. TGV to Paris several times a day...4hrs 50 min to Gare de Lyon from Perpignan.

The TGV fast train is being laid down from Perpignan to Barcelona(1 hour travel time!)...you will have a lot of people coming UP from wealthy Catalunya for relatively cheap properties in the Roussillon.

From the pictures shown on the site, you should certainly look at Collioure, Banyuls sur Mer and Port Vendres if you like the seaside. Inland you have the Tech and Tet valleys which run up into the mountains. Ceret, Prades, Vernet les Bains all have something to offer, and if you want an isolated "mas" (big homestead property with old stone house etc.), you can still find them. Prices are up a lot from a few years ago, but still relatively speaking, are lower than elsewhere for similar advantages.

Make sure you are sheltered from the tramontane wind, and get a southern-ish exposure, and you have a very nice package.

Good luck!
roussillon is offline  
Mar 16th, 2008, 06:27 PM
  #22  
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Thank you very much for that recommendation. I like the idea of being a bit closer to Spain as well. we intend to be mobile gray gypsies !!
Marko is offline  
Mar 16th, 2008, 07:40 PM
  #23  
 
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will you be renting the property at all? I ask because I have been thinking about buying property in that region as well - love the Herault, and around Narbonne is lovely as well. I would want to rent while we aren't there, to defray expenses some (I assume that any property may not pay for itself in rentals, since their property prices are probably high, just like ours are these days.
Momliz is offline  
Mar 17th, 2008, 01:06 AM
  #24  
 
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"Author: Marko
Date: 03/16/2008, 07:55 am

Thanks Peter, sounds like you have done some research !!"

I did the research over several months - then bought the house.

Peter
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Mar 17th, 2008, 10:48 PM
  #25  
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Once again thanks for responding. Our plan at this stage is to buy some time this year...with a weather eye on the exchange rate. Probably for a couple of years we will let it out and after that keep it empty, stay in it for 3 or 4 months of the year and rent it out cheaply to friends.....and fodorites who are nice to me !
Where did you buy Peter ( roughly of course ! )
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Mar 18th, 2008, 10:47 AM
  #26  
 
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Fascinating topic, as we too are considering buying in the Languedoc. Does the Mistral have such an impact then? I was wondering about La Grande Motte which is not too far from the Camargue - should I think again? The other area was near Pergignan - perhaps St Cyprien or Canet Plage.
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Mar 19th, 2008, 07:11 AM
  #27  
 
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Marko

I'm about 20 miles from Montpellier, Nimes, Cevennes and the Med coast. Nearest town is Sommieres.

Stevelyon

The wind is a welcome relief in summer.

Grande Motte is just far enough West to get some shelter from the Mistral behind the Cevennes hills. It still gets some wind, but much less than in the Rhone valley.

I sail along this coast, and going East, the wind picks up between L'Espiguette beach and St Maries de la Mer. The Mistral stays strong until Marseille.

You need to do some research on P-O and Aude as they also can have high winds. The Tramontaine blows NW - SE around the Pyrenees.

The winds are very localised and the level of shelter varies from village to village - so local knowledge is key.

Peter






mpprh is offline  
Mar 19th, 2008, 09:08 AM
  #28  
 
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Thanks Peter
Hadn't thought how localised the winds can be and so will need to do some research - I guess there might be a seasonal variation, and we may only occupy the property for six months of the year.

Also,not sure what P-O means?

Steve
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Mar 19th, 2008, 09:53 AM
  #29  
 
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Steve
P.O. means Pyrenees Oriental ~ dept 66.

Yes, it can get windy here. Yet, I've lived in other places with wind and life goes on anyway.

I'm not sure how many days/weeks with Tramontane but the old adage is "it will last for three days, if it doesn't get away, it will stay until it's six days, and if that's not gone, it will last nine days."

In Southern Spain they have the wind called Levante. It comes from Africa and blows hot wind. It also carries a lot of sand. The adage about the 3~6~9 days was used there too.

I can't remember the name about the wind from the North in the Cote d'Azur but it's similar.

In the PO, you can find villages which are protected and within villages places protect the homes. I ride bike and I manage to ride even with the Tramontane. Sometimes it's windy but it's just part of living in a otherwise part of heaven. You can always across the border into Spain and hide from the Tramontane, while you're having a nice, cheap lunch. Hmmmm. Maybe this weekend would be a good day to cross the border.

Blackduff
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Mar 19th, 2008, 11:26 AM
  #30  
 
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Thanks for the clarification, Blackduff. I gather from your message that it is both easy to cross the border into Spain (no border control)and that the lunch is likely to be much cheaper?.
stevelyon is offline  
Mar 19th, 2008, 01:30 PM
  #31  
 
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The border across to Spain is open. This is one of the Schengen border, and you are not stopped heading between France and Spain. If you're driving on the autoroute A9, it will carry you right across to Spain. You could drive on the smaller road towards Spain and you can visit Perthus. This village is French on one side and it's Spain across the street. This village is packed with border tourists all of the year.

I keep hearing people having lunches for around 9 euros which include wine. I should tell you that the most expensive restaurant anywhere nearby too. El Bulli is a foodie's paradise. Bring your bags of money.

Across the border you will find the fuel cheaper. Booze is cheap, food produce is cheap, sometimes cars are cheaper, and cigarettes are a bit cheaper too. Some sports equipment is cheaper and computer equipment is often cheaper.

And, it's a great afternoon visit.

Blackduff (I can see the border from my home)
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Mar 19th, 2008, 04:54 PM
  #32  
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You guys are just making me drool now !!!!

It looks like I will be making a very quick visit in september/october this year to scout. I have details of some great properties less than 30 minutes from the coast and under 175,000 euros !!

I love the idea of being cl;ose to the spanish border as well.

How close are the ski fields if the whim hits me ??
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Mar 19th, 2008, 08:50 PM
  #33  
 
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Marko
From my village (within ten minutes to the coast)it will take about 2 hrs drive to the ski slopes.

If I left my house at 07:00 hrs, pickup my mate, stop for coffee on the drive, and I'll be on the slopes at 09:00 hrs. I take half-day tickets (I'm cheap)since I get allowance to 13:00 hrs~that's four hours of skiing.

Then, I stop for a nice lunch on the way home.

This distance will provide about ten/twelve ski centers. There wasn't too much snow this year but there's enough ski~the centers have snow guns to help.

For a bit longer drive, you can find superb skiing in Andorra. OR, you can drive across the Pyrenees and ski the Spanish side. From my house to the Spanish ski centers will take about three hours +. check this site and look for Nuria.

http://www.pyreneestourism.org/The-N...ia-Ski-Resort/

I live this area but this doesn't mean that Languedoc doesn't have good aspects too. Most of the Spanish border activites easily from Languedoc. If I didn't live here, I would live there.

Blackduff
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Mar 20th, 2008, 07:16 AM
  #34  
 
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One of the advantages of Languedoc is good communications.

The dedicated TGV line ends at Nimes (Nimes-Paris is just under 3 hrs). We have good access to cheap flights with 5 international airports (Girona is excellent and close to many in Roussillon).

We are also that bit closer to the East for autoroute trips.

I am just over 3 hrs from Geneva and Italy (either alps or Med borders), but still under 2 hrs to the Spanish border.

Here is a useful chart of annual sunshine hours by French town :
http://www.the-france-page.com/franc...rs-of-sun.html

Most of Languedoc has more than 2500 hrs per year (which is an average of around 7 hrs per day).

Peter

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Mar 20th, 2008, 07:36 AM
  #35  
 
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This topic is killing me. But being from the US, nothing looks affordable to me right now.
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Mar 20th, 2008, 07:48 AM
  #36  
 
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A few years ago, I spent a month's vacation at a relatives rented home in LUNEL. It's a non-descript town, not on the tourist circuit, but it's very pretty and real economical. The only claims to fame is that Perrier Water comes from there, as well as being Karl Marx' home for many years. The main highway is very close, as well as the train station to all places in southern France. It is about 1/2 hour to Nimes to the east, and the same distance to Montpelier to the west. It has some very good local restaurants and a very interesting market day. In other words, it's a lovely place to live, but you wouldn't want to visit there.
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Mar 20th, 2008, 10:34 AM
  #37  
 
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Lunel is a very nice place.
kerouac is online now  
Mar 20th, 2008, 02:29 PM
  #38  
 
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Lunel is about 10 mins from me. It has more shops than Sommieres, so is my 2nd shopping place before Montpellier or Nimes.

It has a very old medieval centre, but has degenerated into a commuter dormitory town. It is very convenient for Montpellier, Nimes, and coast. It has 2 international airports within 30 mins, its own autoroute junction, and a railway station.

A friend is moving from nearby into Lunel itself, and has a small one bed house for sale.
Details : http://the-languedoc-page.com/phpBB2...pic.php?t=2074
Price Euro 100,000

Peter
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Mar 20th, 2008, 05:58 PM
  #39  
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MPPRH, thats not a bad looking apartment!! Can I contact through that website ?
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Mar 21st, 2008, 12:05 AM
  #40  
 
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No problem to contact them contact.

Not sure if Fodors is happy to provide a free real estate business !

I've spoken to her this week, and it is still for sale.

It is small, but well situated. It is located in a wide boulevard with an esplanade and trees opposite allowing parking, etc.

Peter




Peter


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