The Nouvelle Aquitaine is the largest administrative region in France – and consistently one of the most popular in which to buy property. As an area with lush countryside, beautiful rivers, fine architecture, sophisticated towns and quaint villages, it’s easy to see why!
The main towns in this region, Bordeaux, Perigueux and Bergerac, all have charms of their own. Let us explore each a little more and you can decide which one you should opt for to buy a property in 2022!
Bordeaux is the sixth largest town in France. It has pretty much everything anyone of any age might ask for! With its famed vineyards, it is a town loved by all connoisseurs of fine wine. It has also, in recent years, spent a lot of money upgrading its transport system and infrastructure, such that it prides itself on being one of the most sophisticated towns in France. With its university, museums and ancient churches and monuments, fine restaurants and beautiful architecture, the town has recently become one of the most popular in France.
The centre of town is a joy to behold. There is a wonderful shallow waterway with mini fountains in the middle of the town, ideal for cooling off in the hot summer months. You can walk around the town easily or rent a bike and go on a wine tour. This is the home of fine wines, after all! There is a fine choice of restaurants, chic cafes and boutique hotels n Bordeaux: it has generally become a very fashionable place to visit.
Property wise, this is not the cheapest area in France in which to buy but looking at the outskirts of the town, one can find a variety of properties for a reasonable budget. Expect to pay around €300,000 for a 2-3 bedroom house.
Since the transport system is second to none, you may not even need a car to get around. The countryside surrounding Bordeaux is beautiful with plenty of hiking and biking trails as well as some beautiful villages.
Perigueux is a very beautiful town in the Dordogne department. It has a huge amount to offer, being a most stunning medieval town as well as having a superb modern shopping centre. It is smaller than Bordeaux but no less attractive and is well worth a visit.
At its heart is the St. Front Cathedral, originally built in 1120. This became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998 and is noted as on the pilgrimage route to St. James of Compostela.
The centre of town is a joy to wander around, consisting of several small squares with cute little restaurants and bars and little boutique shops.
There is a lovely market each Saturday, set interestingly in a square where medieval executions took place! There is also a tourist train with running commentary in several languages telling you all about the history of the place.
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On the outskirts you can find such attractions as the medieval caves as well as the river.
Again, the surrounding area is the best place to look for property and you can expect to find a decent 2-3 bedroom house with a small garden for around €250,000.
Bergerac lies on the north bank of the river Dordogne and is one of the largest towns in the area. The old town boasts some super little streets and small squares and is an ideal place to sit and people watch in one of the cafes and restaurants. Note the pretty little half timbered dwellings, straight out of a storybook!
There is always a lot going on in Bergerac from markets to exhibitions to concerts. There is also the National Tobacco Museum! Aside from the old town, there is a modern town too with more conventional shops and restaurants.
Naturally this is also an important wine town and you will find plenty of wine tasting outlets.
Property in the centre of town is hard to come by: either you will need a budget of at least €350,000 for a property which may need some updating or you will need to spend upwards of €400,000 for a totally renovated property. There are some modern villas on the outskirts for around the €300,000.
The climate in this part of the Nouvelle Aquitaine is seasonal, meaning warm springs, hot summers, cool but pleasant autumns and cold but not freezing winters. There is usually plenty of sunshine in all seasons and the whole area is very popular not only with British people but with French people from the north who see it as an ideal place to visit for a holiday. Many Parisians have second homes here.
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Access from the UK
Bordeaux Merignac Airport and Bergerac Dordogne Perigord Airports are the nearest ones with regular flights to and from the UK. If you plan to drive, you can get to any of these towns on a leisurely drive in a day from the north coast of France or equally there is an excellent train service from Paris to Bordeaux with fast TGV trains running very regularly.
All 3 of these towns have an appeal of their own, Bordeaux being the biggest. Perigueux is a particular favourite of mine: not so big that it is too difficult to get around but with a huge amount to see and do for all the family. The choice is yours: of course you could take in all 3 with very little effort. You will not be disappointed.