Midi-Pyrénées Property For Sale
The vast, quiet and unspoilt region of Midi-Pyrénées has something for everyone and Midi-Pyrénées property offers easy access to the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the genuinely charming ski resorts of the Pyrénées.
North of these snow-capped peaks, this is a land of lush valleys interspersed with national parks and dotted with beautiful fortified towns perched precariously on surrounding hilltops. The region also boasts the romantic ancient provinces of Gascony and Quercy – now known as the Gers and the Lot respectively.
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Midi-Pyrénées property can be accessed by Toulouse airport in the centre or by Rodez in the north; but much of the region is now more easily reached by budget flights into nearby Pau, Carcassonne and Bergerac.
Lot property enjoys the same mild climate and stunning natural scenery as neighbouring Dordogne – but comes at a fraction of the price. The most sought after Lot properties are the typical white sandstone farmhouses with their distinctive pigeonnier or dovecot towers. Examples to renovate are increasingly rare.
Medieval St Cirq Lapopie and Rocamadour enjoy spectacular cliff-top locations with breathtaking views and, together with the ancient capital Cahors (famous for its robust red wines) and the underground labyrinth of caves and rivers at Padirac, they guarantee Lot property owners a handsome summer rental income. Owners of Cahors property can supplement this with long-term winter lets.
The unspoilt rural charm of Gers still conjures up romantic visions of the ancient province of Gascony. As such, Gers or Gascony property is very popular with British buyers prepared to pay a premium to secure a rural idyll in such a charming area.
Auch property is expensive as this is the capital and very much the gateway to the region. Better value Gers property can be found in the surrounding countryside, in Condom and in pretty medieval towns such as Fleurance and Lectoure. Gascony property is easily reached by Toulouse airport and enjoys a rental season from June to September. Auch property is best for long-term domestic lets.
The jewel in the crown of Haute-Garonne property is very much the capital of both the department and the region - Toulouse. Known as ‘la ville rose’ (the pink town) because of the glow reflecting from its red sandstone churches and buildings at sunset, Toulouse is a beautiful and vibrant city, bristling with life. The Toulouse property market is bouyant; this is the fourth largest metropolis in the country with the second largest student population (100,000), it also employs hundreds of thousands of workers in various hi-tech industries including Aérospatiale – currently developing the new Superjumbo. Toulouse property has superb long-term rental potential on the domestic market. The city’s airport and international school also bode well for the developing tourist market and for those wishing to relocate.
In the south of Haute-Garonne, St Gaudens property is particularly sought after as this is one of the prettiest towns in the region.
Hautes-Pyrénées property gives access to the picture-postcard ski resorts of the French Pyrénées such as Bareges and Cauterets. On a smaller, more family-friendly scale than the Alps these are authentic queue-less resorts frequented by French and Spanish families who return year after year. Hautes-Pyrénées property is much cheaper than Alps property and the advent of budget flights to Pau just across the border with Pyrénées-Atlantiques will boost capital growth and rental potential.
It is best to buy in the foothills of the Pyrénées but somewhere within easy driving distance of the slopes. For example, Bagnères-de-Bigorre property is much cheaper than property in Barèges and La Mongie (the main ski resort in the Pyrénées) but this elegant spa town has an 18-hole golf course and is only 20 minutes away from the slopes. While close proximity to the ski resorts guarantees good winter rentals, Hautes-Pyrénées property can also be the perfect base for summer activity holidays – the Pic du Midi offers splendid hiking and the Col de Tourmalet and Col d’Aspin are legendary mountain passes on the Tour de France.
Lourdes attracts more than five million pilgrims each year and nearby Tarbes property meets much of the demand for accommodation. Meanwhile the ski resorts of Cauterets and Argelès-Gazost also cater to the health and beauty conscious who come to take the various spa treatments.
Aveyron property has been opened up to the foreign buyer by budget flights to the capital Rodez and by the new A20 motorway with its spectacular Millau Viaduct. This up-and-coming department is typically 30 percent cheaper than neighbouring areas and Rodez property is already drawing investors away from the Tarn’s ‘Golden Triangle’ of Albi, Cordes and Gaillac.
The little-known Aubrac mountains in the north of Aveyron can provide a year-round stream of rental income. Aubrac property is perfect for the walking and biking fraternities while Soulages Bonneval property is in great demand for its superb 9-hole Mezeyrac-Laguiole golf course. In winter, Laguiole, Brameloup and Aubrac take over the snowy mantle with 200 km of pistes and cross-country trails.
Aveyron south of Millau is covered by the limestone plateaux of the Parc Naturel des Grandes Causses. This is a Mecca for walkers and cyclists with St Rome de Tarn property a perfect base for outward bound activities. Property in Severac-le-Chateau, Nant and Roquefort-sur-Soulzon offer buyers semi-rural village life within easy reach of Millau and ‘Les Causses’.
Tarn property tends to be expensive in comparison with Aveyron as the department sits between the two highly desirable cities of Toulouse and Montpellier. Albi property benefits from tourists drawn to its gargantuan cathedral, its Toulouse Lautrec museum and to the nearby cliff-top village of Cordes-sur-Ciel. Castres is a busy market town which makes a great base for exploring the southern Tarn.
Tarn-et-Garonne property is perfect for watersports enthusiasts as the Tarn, the Garonne and the Aveyron rivers all flow through this lush landscape. Montauban’s medieval ‘bastide’ served as the blueprint for other fortified towns in the area and this pink stone town is now classified as a ‘ville d’art et d’histoire’. As the capital, Montauban property gives the best long-term lets, while Moissac - famous for the abbey church of St-Pierre - and the pretty bastide town of St-Antonin Noble Val are also on the tourist trail.
Ariège property offers some of the best bargains in the south-west of France with a plentiful supply of properties for renovation. The department is perfect for skiing in Andorra and it can be accessed by Toulouse, Carcassonne or even Perpignan airports.
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