Many Britons dream of retiring in France and living the good life. It’s no surprise that it’s an attractive prospect – a vintage appeal seamlessly paired with modern living, stunning countryside and gastronomy with World Heritage Status. The question is why would you not want to live here? Here are some of the best places to look at for retiring in France:
Imagine all the benefits of Paris but in a smaller, cheaper package. Bordeaux is often referred to as ‘Little Paris’ but with a much lower cost of living. It’s a stunning port town with a population of almost a quarter of a million and sits on the Gironde river in south-west France. The town has a long-standing reputation for wealth and beauty with much of the architecture mirroring that found in the nation’s capital. It fell out of favour somewhat at the end of the 20th century for being seen as rather boring but thanks to some revitalising investment, all that has changed.
Bordeaux now boasts a cultural atmosphere to rival any French town or city with a revitalised quay, new tramway system, cafes, artwork, gardens and restaurants. Wine making is a huge part of this region’s history, which does mean a substantial amount of rain here but that’s the price to be paid for some of the world’s best wine.
If the way to your heart is through your stomach, then Lyon could be the location for you. Lying to the slight east of the country, Lyon is France’s third largest city and a superb location for exploring into the south of France and into neighbouring countries. The stunning Alps are only an hour’s drive away. Retiring in Lyon means never a dull moment with its 120 theatres and performance venues and over 25 museums.
The other main attraction is that Lyon is considered France’s culinary capital. Your challenge is to get around all 2000 restaurants! 17 of these are Michelin star rated too! Fresh food markets are an almost daily occurrence so it’s hard not to eat like a king in this city. To see Property for sale in France, find property at french property search
For all the benefits of living in the south of France without the expense and the crowds, the region of Languedoc-Roussillon is the ideal solution. Just as beautiful and with a pleasing climate, it may have less glamour, but it comes at less of a cost. Imagine a retirement of quaint cottages, local fresh produce, walks along the river and peaceful countryside – if this sounds like your idea of heaven then there are plenty of towns and villages in the region that tick all these boxes.
The biggest city in the area is Montpellier, which can be reached via high-speed train from Paris in 3 hours. The region is extremely well-connected, with five airports as well. For country living, a car would be necessary to explore the area’s best bits including Roman ruins, beaches, mountains and all available under blue skies and 300 days of sunshine a year.