Escaping to the sun could be easier than you think

Quercy Blanc in the sunny south of FranceWouldn’t you like to escape from the rat race in the cold north with its cool damp summers and drizzly winters?
Thinking of retiring to some glorious sun-drenched corner of Europe to enjoy a little peace and quiet?
Maybe you just feel you need a more laid-back life-style, more time for the important things of life?

Colourful markets and cafes spilling onto cobbled streets, family lunches under the plane trees, jugs of wine, long freshly baked baguettes and the cicadas providing the background music.

Welcome to the glorious South of France, not the over-crowded resorts of the Mediterranean, they were spoiled long ago. This place is a rural idyll. The Quercy Blanc is one of the most ancient regions of the South West with a history stretching back 2,800 years. The medieval villages are well known to the French as hidden gems of rest and relaxation. Still under populated, uncommercialised and largely unknown, this beautiful region of South West France has it all.

Even here though, time has not entirely stood still. The fabulous Quercy-stone farmhouses are still available, so are the picturesque cottages with their authentic pigeonniers. But they’re no longer available for a song. You could renovate, if you’re lucky you may find a pile of wet stones in an old field and by dint of hard work, vast amounts of patience, several years living in cramped conditions and a great deal of perseverance, make it into your dream home.

However, there is another way, interested? Read on…

Land here is not outrageously expensive, it’s rising, but it’s still affordable.
This is exactly what my wife, Marianne, and I did. Build your own traditional Quercy-style house to your own design and specifications, maybe it isn’t an authentic old stone farmhouse, but ask yourself realistically. Is that actually what you want? How much do you think those places cost to heat? The freezing stone floors in winter can be a little off-putting too.

Pigeonnier in the Quercy BlancOn the other hand you could enjoy all the beauty of a traditional-style house combined with all the benefits of a new, properly insulated and heated home, with everything functioning properly and exactly as you want it. Best of all you can do this for half the cost of an old stone farmhouse.
Too good to be true? I assure you it isn’t.

Very near our new house you’ll find a number of plots of land for sale close to Montaigu de Quercy. The future value of your property is secure, the more land you have the more it will be worth in the future. And of course the breathtaking view of the medieval village of Montaigu de Quercy is free of charge.

FilHol - Rapeseed FieldThe lively market village of Montaigu de Quercy lies in the middle of the beautiful countryside of the Quercy Blanc and has all amenities, bakery, two supermarkets, two doctors, vet, pharmacy, two dentists, hairdresser, several garages and a primary school. City amenities, like other schools and hospitals are in Cahors or Montauban, a 40-minute drive. The autoroute A20 access is at Cahors and the international airports Toulouse (Blagnac) and Bergerac are about a one-hour drive, offering low-cost flights. In Montaigu de Quercy you will also find an international club where year-round activities are organized.

© FrenchEntree-LotandQuercy 2006

Adapted from an original article by Johan Berends.

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