The Economist magazine named France its “country of the year”. Its vibrant political and economic scene played their part in that, of course, but so did the quality of life in France.
There are so many reasons why France continues to top the bill. It remains one of the most desirable countries in which to live, to bring up your children, or just to visit for long holidays. We look at just a few of those reasons here.
1. Laid back lifestyle
The quality of life in France is hugely valued, with the general feeling that you work to live rather than the other way around. The working week is 35 hours and with 5 weeks’ holiday a year plus many more Bank Holidays than the UK, there is plenty of time to indulge in leisure pursuits. The French take their time over everything, putting family first. Mealtimes are convivial and relaxed and people are less stressed. Lunchtimes are still sacred with many rural folk either going home for lunch or stopping at a nearby café rather than grabbing a sandwich at their desk. The overall feeling is one of enjoyment of life.
Much of the country has warm summers, mild springs, beautiful autumns and bearable winters! Naturally, the further south you go, the warmer the weather but on the whole the country enjoys wonderful sunshine for the greater part of the year.
To buy your own little corner of France for an affordable price, being able to negotiate effectively will be immensely useful. Read our guide: How to Negotiate Abroad for advice and insider tips from an estate agent.
3. Food and Wine
Up at the top of most people’s lists, the food and wine in France is second to none. You cannot beat a rural restaurant with home cooking offering a “prix fixe” menu, often with a glass of wine and coffee thrown in. Food markets are plentiful wherever you go in France, most of the produce is locally grown and very reasonably priced. There is such joy in popping in to a bakery and buying freshly cooked warm bread , experimenting with the hundreds of cheeses on offer at larger markets or spending a few hours wine tasting.
4. Property prices
Very much a buyer’s market still, there are some incredible bargains to be found in many areas of the country. Your money quite simply goes a whole lot further in France. You can still find a lovely property with a garden or some land in a nice village in many departments for as little as €150,000. The variety of types of property is huge too. Whether you are looking for a character stone built house, a modern villa, farmhouse or cottage or little apartment, the choice is plentiful.
5. Stunning landscapes
France should be proud of the diversity of its natural landscapes. It has three coastlines, several mountain ranges, countless rivers and lakes. The French have kept it beautiful too, with tranquil canals and gorgeous villages often nestled in pretty valleys. It is a real haven for nature lovers, hikers, bikers and swimmers. One sometimes forgets how big the country is: there is just so much space which may well account for the lack of stress so noticeable amongst the French, particularly in the countryside.
There are doubtless many more reasons why we all love the quality of life in France. These are just a few to whet your appetite for your next visit or property search!
If you are ready to buy in France in the next three months, let me introduce you to Yasmin who leads our friendly France Resource Team. Call her on 020 7898 0549 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We can put you in touch with a trusted estate agent, French lawyer and currency specialist.