Regional Factfile Départements
Aude (11), Gard (30), Hérault (34), Lozère (48), Pyrénées-Orientales (66)
Widely acknowledged to have the fastest projected population growth of any French region Languedoc-Roussillon’s future looks as bright as the sunshine that draws so many holiday-makers and house-buyers. And it’s not just population that’s growing – property prices have been rising rapidly in this area for several years now, at a faster rate than most other regions. So what’s the secret?
Take the climate for starters: it offers a truly mild Mediterranean climate to rival Provence and the Côte d’Azur with lots of sunshine hours along it’s huge coastline and a mixed Mediterranean/mountain climate for more inland/hilly areas. Combine that with an amazing diversity of landscape, from the mountain ranges of the Cévennes, Corbières and Pyrénées, the ancient Cathar fortresses of the Minervois, the Spanish and Catalan influence further South in Perpignan and beyond, the amazing Canal du Midi, to the popular sandy beaches, sea-side resorts and upmarket holiday complexes that stretch along much of the coastline from the Camargue to the Côte Vermeille.
Add a touch of rich red wine, some unique Spanish influenced cuisine, good access to ski-slopes, some great cities (e.g. Montpelier) and picturesque towns to visit (e.g. Pezenas) and you end up with a heady mix – no wonder it’s becoming so popular. Buy don’t panic, this is a vast and still largely under-populated region with many a hidden corner and an appealing mix of old and new villa-style properties to tempt you. With waves of buyers from Northern France, Holland, the UK and Scandinavia it’s fair to say that there aren’t many bargains any more and you will certainly find less land to play with (wine is such a big business here than land is expensive) than other areas of France.
But nevertheless this is a region worth exploring carefully and getting to know to find the perfect area for you. Access to Languedoc-Roussillon has improved hugely in recent years. Flights from the UK come in to Toulouse, Montpellier, Carcassonne, Nimes & Perpignan, and the TGV arrives from Paris in about 4 hours. As a final thought, with the tendency to more extreme weather conditions throughout Europe, this region has suffered a number of severe floods in recent years and meteorologists warn us to expect more of the same. These floods don’t just affect mountain villages but large cities like Marseille and Montpelier have all been affected. It certainly doesn’t seem to put off holiday-makers and home-buyers coming to this increasingly popular region but it might be as well to do your research before rushing into a dream-home on that river-side or canal-side location!
Cities and towns: Montpellier, Perpignan, Carcassonne, Beziers
Tourism: Languedoc-Roussillon Tourist Board