Sometimes it’s easy to forget, when you’re busy researching Brexit rules or running around trying to organise estate agents and viewing trips, exactly why France is regarded by all right-thinking people as the nicest place in the world to live. So we thought we’d give you a quick reminder!
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 five weeks’ holiday a year plus many more Bank Holidays than the UK, there is plenty of time to indulge in leisure pursuits.
Don’t spend any money on your move abroad until you’ve read The Currency Guide to Emigration, free to download.
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.
But just because France is laid back, don’t think it isn’t healthy and active. The French are mad on sport and its most famous sports shop, Decathlon, will be one of your first stops as you decide which exciting new hobby to take up. Cycling, climbing, skiing, canyoning? Or maybe surfing or spear fishing? Your new life awaits!
Much of France enjoys warm summers, mild springs, beautiful autumns and bearable winters! Naturally, the further south you go, the warmer the weather, but even in the far north you’re enjoying a couple of degrees more warmth than the UK on average.
Across the year, typical annual sunshine hours were around 2,700 in Montpellier, 2,000 in Bordeaux, 1,650 in Paris and 1,800 in Nantes. Compare that with 1,500 in London, 1,400 in Manchester and 1,300 in Glasgow.
In France, too, you can go skiing without the expense of flying or crossing the Channel. Just chuck it all in the car and off you go!
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
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.
Working out if you can afford to buy in France? Read your free guide: ‘How to Pay for a Property in France.
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 [email protected]. We can put you in touch with a trusted estate agent, French lawyer and currency specialist.