The Haute Garonne is one of the loveliest departments in the South of France. Named after the river Garonne, it used to be in the Midi Pyrenees region, but now forms part of the huge area of Occitanie. We have picked 5 lovely towns and villages for you here which would be great in which to buy property.
With Toulouse as its capital, the Haute Garonne is home to some wonderful countryside, forests, dramatic landscapes and hills as well as encompassing the Pyrenees in the south of the department. The UNESCO World Heritage site of the Canal du Midi, built by Paul Riquet to take trade traffic across the country, passes right through the Haute Garonne.
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Toulouse is one of the largest cities in France. Often known as “the pink city” due to its reddish architecture, it prides itself on its beauty (the Canal du Midi runs straight through it), its sophisticated dining and shopping and beautiful buildings. The “Cite de l’Espace” is located here and many will remember the Concorde being built here.
Property prices are fairly reasonable in this department: not the highest or the lowest in the land. There is a wide variety of styles of property from old farmhouses, manor houses, ancient village houses and modern villas.
Rieux-Volvestre is an incredibly picturesque little town, lying south-west of Toulouse and again built from red bricks, giving it a warm and convivial atmosphere. The buildings in the centre are what is known as “colombages” meaning built from timber and stone, again typical of the region. You can almost imagine that you’re back in the Middle Ages here, so well preserved are some of the buildings!
Don’t miss the large Cathedral of Saint-Mary, an imposing edifice originally built in the 14th century.
Carbonne lies about 35 kms south of Toulouse and is located on the Garonne river. Another bastide town, it dates right back to the 12th century, although the village was attacked by Simon de Montfort in the mid 13th century during the Cathar crusade so it has changed somewhat since then. However, it still holds a great deal of charm with its market place at the centre built from the same red brick as Toulouse.
The countryside around Carbonne is well worth a visit: beautiful undulating hills and greenery, ideal for hiking and biking.
Revel is a most attractive “bastide” town dating from the 14th century, just about 20 kms from Castelnaudary. As with several towns and villages in this department, it is on the pilgrimage route from Arles to Saint Jacques de Compostella in Spain. Bastides are places built around a large central market square, usually with the streets radiating out from it in a symmetrical pattern and typical of this region.
The centre of Revel has a truly impressive medieval market square. Legend has it that there has been a regular market here on a Saturday for over 600 years! A lovely spot to stop and people watch, you will find some cute little cafes around the square almost begging you to linger!
Going much further down south in the department now, this is a wonderful spa town, well worth a visit. This is a busy and attractive town proud of its facilities such as the spa, casino, fine shopping, pretty promenade lined with plane trees and cute little back streets, ideal for exploring on foot. Note also the lovely gardens and fountains (it has won several awards for being a so called “town in bloom”).
There is a twice weekly market and a museum.
With plenty of friendly hotels, restaurants and bars, this is an ideal place to start exploring if you are planning to buy in this department.
This lovely little village, noted officially as “one of the most beautiful villages of France” is located about 50 kms south of Tarbes in the Pyreenen region of the department. It sits in the centre of a lovely green valley and overlooks the foothills of the Pyrenees. It only has about 300 inhabitants so is tiny but makes up for its size in its beauty and interesting buildings!
There is a gorgeous cathedral dating back to Roman times and the centre of the village is totally medieval. Again, you will find the lovely half timbered houses, typical of the area.
Property types and prices
As mentioned, there is a wide variety of types of property in this lovely department from old properties needing renovation to “maisons de maitres” (large manor houses) to modern villas and bungalows. Very generally speaking, the average price range across the department goes from €150,000 up to €600,000. Properties in Toulouse naturally attract a higher price. You can expect to find a decent 2-3 bedroom house with some outside space on the outskirts of a town or village for around €200,000. Prices tend to hold their own throughout the department, as Toulouse is an important city, so a property purchase here may well prove to be an excellent investment.
The climate is seasonal here: warm springs, hot summers followed by mild autumns and cold (but not freezing!) winters. The area to the south of the department can get snow in the winter time and to the north there is often rain during springtime, but this does mean the countryside is lush and green all year round.
The Haute Garonne is well worth considering for a house purchase in France from many points of view. It has super villages and towns, wonderful countryside, good transport links and is not all that far from Spain or the ski slopes of the Pyrenees. If you love the outdoors life, it is an ideal place to look .