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Languedoc Property - Finding the Best in the South of France

A property guide to the departments of the Languedoc Roussillon

Languedoc departments offer different things

The region is divided into five departments. Each is quite different, offering different things to different people. It's important to choose the right one to find the perfect location for your property.

1. The Aude offers a diverse terrain and climate

There are great variations of terrain in the Aude, and also differences in climate. The Canal du Midi runs through it and it is bordered by many pretty villages. Much of the department is agricultural, with glorious sunflower fields and corn grown in rolling fields. The Lauragais, the plain, is very reminiscent of Tuscany, with parasol pines and tall cypress trees. The Black Mountain, so called because of its dark pine forests, offers cooling lakes as well.

Choose from cities, sandy beaches and salt lagoons

The main town is the fairytale city of Carcassonne. The Aude also has a lovely coast. There are sandy beaches at Narbonne, and flamingos to be seen in the oyster rich Étangs, the salt lagoons that are a feature of this part of the Med.

Property in the Aude is cheaper inland

The Aude is where many of the cheaper properties in the Languedoc can be found, as long as you stay away from the coast. The Lauragais is a good area for a bargain.

2. The Hérault - the place for wine lovers

The Hérault is the vineyard of the Languedoc (although vineyards are found in the other departments too). ". It is the place for wine lovers. Just look at the names of the villages in the department! With wine villages like Saint Chinian and Faugères nearby, you just have to try the local product. Many vineyards and wine domains will offer tastings and even courses in learning about wine.

Heritage villages and charming towns to explore

The Hérault's principal city is Montpellier, said to be one of the best cities in France in which to live. A smaller but equally charming city is Béziers, beloved of artists and writers. Then there are stunning heritage villages like Minerve, listed as one of the most beautiful in France, and gorgeous fishing villages like Sète, known as "the jewel of the Mediterranean. The Hérault is all about wine, sea and sunshine, but there is a dark Cathar history there too.

Good for sports fans too

Outdoor sports fans can enjoy rafting and canyoning, hill walking and golf, horse-riding and all seas sports.

Hérault is similar to Provence, but with cheaper property

Property in the Hérault can be a little pricier than in some parts of the Languedoc, but is far cheaper than that of Provence, while offering very similar benefits.

3. Pyrénées-Orientales - Catalan to the core with pretty fishing villages and beaches

The Languedoc's most southerly department, and perhaps the sunniest, is the Pyrénées-Orientales. It's quite different in its culture from the others, being staunchly Catalan, and has almost as much in common with north-eastern Spain as it does with southern France. Some of the prettiest beaches and fishing villages are found here. Collioure is a colourful masterpiece, a little fishing village which served as the inspiration for many great artists, among them Picasso and Matisse! Then the beaches of towns like Argeles sur Mer, studded with palm trees, are yet another attraction.

Perpignan has many cultures and nationalities living side by side

Perpignan is the main city of the Pyrénées-Orientales. Its eclectic melting pot of cultures and nationalities makes it one of the Languedoc's most vibrant cities.

Ski resorts, fine wines and a legendary gastronomy on offer

Even ski resorts are found at the higher points of this department, which attract many keen skiers who come across from Spain as well as from elsewhere in France. The department also has a proliferation of vineyards and produces some fine wines, forming part of its legendary gastronomy.

Property in Pyrénées-Orientales

Pyrénées-Orientales property is sometimes higher in price than say the Aude, but far cheaper than in Catalan Spain. Many towns have lotissements (like new housing estates) where cheaper, modern property can be found, and there are some reasonably priced apartments on the coast.

4. The Gard resembles Provence

The Gard department lies to the east of the region, and borders Provence. It also resembles this region more closely than any of the others. In fact, parts of the Gard are known as the Gard Provençal. The great Roman city of Nîmes is the Gard's crown jewel, and is an absolute treasure trove of heritage with its Pont du Gard aqueduct, bullring and many other Roman buildings. The Gard also offers up the dramatic Cevennes Mountains, the rivers, olive groves and vineyards where it borders the Ardèche, and a short stretch of coastline.

Property in the Gard

Due to its proximity to and similarity to Provence, property prices in the Gard can be fairly high. However, 2012 has seen a reduction in prices from many sellers, so there could be bargains to be found at this time!

5. The Lozère is for lovers of adventure sports

The fifth and last department of the Languedoc is set in the north of the region, and has little in common with its more Mediterranean sisters. It's a place of mountains and gorges, a paradise for lovers of adventure sports. Charming traditional villages like Montbrun add a softer aspect to the Lozère's often dramatic views. The main city of Lozère is Mende, and although you may not see it mentioned so often in tourist literature, it has a lot of history and heritage.

Lower property prices in Lozère

The Lozère is the least well known department in the Languedoc, and consequently, prices for property can be lower.

Are you Buying or Selling in the Languedoc Roussillon?

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Agents in the Languedoc Roussillon

If you're an agent selling property in the Languedoc Roussillon then French Property Links offer a free trial so that you can test the service before you pay any money. Some agents have sold several properties before the end of the free trial - and there's no obligation to stay so there's no downside to giving it a try.

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