The ancient province of Quercy truly is a land that time forgot, where you will find, hidden away in sleepy backwaters, some of the most attractive rural architecture in France. Fortified towns known as ‘bastides’ (taken from the Occitan word ‘bastidas’) perch precariously high up on the hilltops, offering wonderful panoramic views, and the properties here tend to be homogeneous, ranging from farmhouses – made from local white Quercy stone and built around closed courtyards – to bastide-style townhouses.
The region is cheaper than its neighbour, the expat-swamped Dordogne, and is now popular with international buyers. The further west you venture in Quercy, the more reasonable prices become, particularly when you reach Montaigu-de-Quercy. This humble market town is filled with the prettiest blue-shuttered houses, half-timbered buildings, honey-coloured stone and balconies in bloom.
Old-fashioned in the best way, sleepy Montaigu comes to life on Saturdays with its traditional food market, and its popular lake beach is another hive of activity in summer.
As for how to get here, Toulouse – with its international airport and train station – is the nearest major city at just over 100km away. Agen, meanwhile, is 40km to the southwest and boasts direct TGV links with the likes of Toulouse and Paris.
With such a strong pool of neighbours, you’re sure never to tire of this vibrant corner of France. Toulouse, fondly nicknamed ‘la Ville Rose‘ for its blushing hues, does indeed have plenty to blush about: it’s a powerhouse of scientific innovation and was last year branded the ‘European City of Science’. Why not swing by and visit the Cité de l’Espace theme park or aviation museum Aeroscopia, which features a fascinating exhibit on the Concorde? (The first test flight launched from Toulouse in 1969).
A little closer to home, Tarn-et-Garonne as a département is replete with lovely towns. There’s handsome Montauban, a mini-Toulouse courtesy of its red bricks; Moissac, famous for its abbey and cloisters; and Caussade, home of the famous straw boater hat. Needless to say, this corner of France is guaranteed to set your heart aflutter.
With thanks to our partner agencies in Montaigu-de-Quercy.
€399,000 / €340,000
THREE-BED FARMHOUSE: A classic farmhouse built from Quercy stone, this property is set in 2 acres with a pool, barn and far-reaching views.