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Once upon a time, Auvillar, perched high on its rocky outcrop, was one of the key ports on the Garonne river. Today this medieval bastide village in Tarn-et-Garonne, tucked away in France’s southwestern corner, is quite rightly one of the ‘Plus Beaux Villages de France’. Located between Agen and Montauban in the Quercy region – often compared to Tuscany, with its rolling countryside and cypress trees – it was settled by the Romans who were aware of its strategic worth. Later Saint-Jacques de Compostelle stopped off here. It forms a major stage on the pilgrim route and is a big draw for walkers.
Within its ancient fortified walls, you’ll notice an almost Mediterranean flavour: its buildings a wonderful combination of hot pink brick, cool white limestone and smooth grey pebbles. The 17th-century clock-tower, in alternating layers of brick and white stone, marks the spot where a drawbridge allowing access to Auvillar used to stand. At the heart of the village is the Place de la Halle, an attractive cobbled triangular ‘square’ around which stand 17th- and 18th-century timber framed arcade houses. An unusual circular corn exchange, built in 1825 and resting on Tuscan-style columns, dominates the square.
The village is famous for its ceramics – visit in October to browse its huge pottery market. Or come in June when the ancient Fête de St Noé fills Auvillar’s streets with revellers. On Sunday mornings, locals head to the market to stock up on fresh produce.
Tourists flock here for its beauty and, like the Romans, for its strategic location as a base to explore the region. There is oodles to see on foot and by bike, ancient villages and châteaux galore nearby, plus kayaking, horse-riding and other outdoor activities. And as such there is a good rental market.
In Auvillar you’ll find old stone properties ripe for renovation with land from €250,000, smaller village-centre homes ready to move into at around the €100,000 mark, affordable apartments and villas with swimming pools. Further afield you’ll find larger countryside dwellings with potential as B&B businesses. There’s plenty of scope, whether you’re looking to relocate or invest. And with Toulouse airport less than an hour’s drive away, a weekend bolthole, lock-up-and-leave holiday property, small gîte business – or even a bigger proposition – are all feasible options.
Thanks to our agencies in Auvillar
If you would like some assistance discovering this or other areas of France and find out more about what the property market has to offer please don’t hesitate to give us a call at +44 (0) 1225 463752 or email us at [email protected].
Originally published in issue 122 of FrenchEntrée Magazine.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, or don’t have time to search yourself, FrenchEntrée has a dedicated Property Team to assist you in finding your dream property. Let us know what you are looking for and we will do our best to select properties matching your requirements.
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