We have sourced 10 lovely towns and villages in the Nouvelle Aquitaine, all of which have tremendous allure for your dream property and life in France.
The Nouvelle Aquitaine is the largest administrative region of France embracing over 84,000 square kilometres. It was formed in 2014 as a combination of 3 previous areas: the Limousin, Poitou-Charentes and Aquitaine. It’s capital is the fine city of Bordeaux.
There are 12 departments in the Nouvelle Aquitaine boasting many remarkable towns and villages. One of the most popular areas for foreign property buyers, there is truly something here for everyone, as well as a wide range of types and prices of property. Probably the best known area is the Dordogne, which has continually attracted British buyers.
If your budget does not quite stretch to prices there, it is also worth considering what used to be the Limousin, consisting of 3 departments: Correze, Creuse and Haute Vienne. These areas still offer real bargains when it comes to property buying. If you yearn to be by the sea, take a look at the Pyrenees Atlantiques, a lovely area close to the west coast.
La Rochelle is an incredibly pretty town, loved by the French for its beautiful old fishing port and quirky narrow cobbled streets hosting boutique shops and small, cosy cafes. The port of Minimes was one of France’s most important seaports. During the 17th century some of the first French immigrants to Canada set sail from La Rochelle. It has kept its charm for centuries with its excellent infrastructure, including good public transport, parks and gardens.
Property prices are slightly above average for France in La Rochelle but you can still find a decent 2-3 bedroom home for around the €250,000 mark. Anywhere near the sea is going to command higher prices but with a huge variety of types of property, from old barns needing renovation to modern apartments and chateaux, there is a great deal of choice here.
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Pau is a stunning city situated in the Pyrenees Atlantiques department and close to the mountains, not far from the border with Spain and within an hour and a half or so of the Atlantic coast. It has a grand and yet welcoming feel to it. You can walk around much of the centre as it is pedestrianised. Plenty of café society here, as well as good shopping.
Property prices are on the higher side here but it is still possible to buy a small house on the outskirts of the town for around €200,000.
Angouleme is situated in the department of the Charente. It sits high up above the Charente river and is known for its attractive stone buildings, some say reminiscent of the City of Bath in the UK. The old town is worth a wander: plenty of pretty little streets with individual boutique shops and cafes.
Property prices are reasonable here and there is a good choice of types of property in the surrounding area. You can pick up a small house from around €150,000.
Over to the Correze department now in what used to be the Limousin, Uzerche is a lesser-known small town but nonetheless a super place to discover. It sits on a rocky ridge above the River Vezere and has some beautiful medieval buildings, as well as some very decent restaurants and cafes.
Property prices here are much more reasonable: a budget of around €75,000 will find you a small house and there are plenty of different types of property.
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Aubeterre sur Dronne
This small village situated on the border of the Charente and Dordogne departments is listed in the “Most Beautiful Village in France”, such is its medieval beauty! It is a stopping place on the Santiago de Compostella pilgrimage route to Spain and is noted for its underground church. Plenty to do and see here despite its small size: lovely little shops, a pleasant village square rimmed with cafes and restaurants.
Property prices are reasonable here. Expect to find a renovated property with some land for around €200,000. If you are prepared to renovate, there are plenty of possibilities at around the €100,000 mark.
Beynac et Cazenac
This is a picture postcard village, dominated by its hilltop castle in the Dordogne department with view below of the river Dordogne. The village gets very busy in the summer months due to its classical music concerts and rich history. It has some superb restaurants and cafes.
The Dordogne generally has a wealth of properties for sale but expect to pay a little more than in neighbouring Charente. A budget of around €250,000 will find you a small renovated house with some land.
One of the most popular areas for foreign property buyers, there is truly something here for everyone, as well as a wide range of types and prices of property.
This is a delightful “bastide” village dating back to the Hundred Years War situated in the Lot et Garonne. Also on the list of “the most beautiful villages in France”, it has a gorgeous main square surrounded by arcades and again, some lovely little pedestrianised streets.
Prices are reasonable here. Expect to pay around €200,000 for a renovated property with some land or for €300,000 you can find properties with a pool and outbuildings.
As its name suggests, this delightful small village in the Correze, in what used to be the Limousin, has a red glow to it! The buildings are built from sandstone giving off a red hue and no doubt contributing to its inclusion in the list of “the most beautiful villages in France”.
Very reasonable property prices here, particularly on the outskirts of the village. A budget of between €50,000 to €100,000 will find you a small house with a garden.
Brantome is a super town in the Dordogne, overlooking the river Dronne. It is sometimes named the Venice of France. Boasting a rich medieval history, it was built in the 8th century by Charlemagne.
Property is around the average for the country here. Expect to pay about €250,000 for a house with outside space.
This pretty little town is situated in the Pyrenees Atlantiques within easy driving distance of the Atlantic coast. Many of its medieval fortifications have stood the test of time to this day. Now it prides itself on its rich heritage, as well as embracing modern times with an excellent weekly market and some lovely shops in the centre. It is also in the “most beautiful villages of France” list.
Property prices are fairly reasonable here but, of course, the closer to the sea, the more you pay. However, you can find a reasonable house for around the €250,000 mark.
Transport links to the UK
The Nouvelle Aquitaine is a huge area, so depending on where you go, there are plenty of airports offering flights to and from the UK including Bordeaux, Toulouse, Carcassonne, Brive, Rodez. The TGV train system is first class down from Paris to various parts of this area. Driving down, with a few stops on the way, can be a real pleasure, especially if taking your time and venturing onto the smaller roads.
The whole area has a seasonal climate with mainly hot summers, warm springs and pleasant autumns. It is sometimes a little windy in the southern parts of the area but on the whole, winters, although cold, are rarely freezing.
The Nouvelle Aquitaine is rich in history and has a huge number of extremely pretty villages and towns to explore.