Occitanie is the New ProvenceIf you are looking for a region brimming with culture, easy to reach, and beautiful beyond measure, Occitanie delivers in spades. Nestled in the south of France, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Pyrenees mountains, Occitanie is a recent super region. Formerly two separate areas of Languedoc-Roussillon and the Midi-Pyrénées, they were combined in 2016 to give us Occitanie.
Such a vast area brings together a whole host of delights, with an unrivalled diversity that spans from culture to cuisine, there is something for everyone here. Boasting tourist hotspots, secluded rural gems and a warm, sunny climate in some areas cascading to perfect snowy skiing conditions near the mountains, it puts all the best of France on the map.
Why buy Property in Occitanie?For fair weather fans, you’ll be pleased to know that Occitanie boasts almost 300 days of sunshine, making the region the envy of France. Balancing the best of both worlds, even as the sun continues to shine, the mountainous terrain in the south serves up some of the best skiing opportunities.
Along with sunshine and snow in equal measure, you have the opportunity to visit some of the country’s best beaches. The Mediterranean Sea is a hop and skip away from coastal towns, making it a beach paradise complete with fine restaurants that overlook the shore. Here, you can indulge in some of the local oysters and the notoriously good local wine.
The New Provence?But Occitanie has more to offer even still. From a practical and a pleasure point of view, there’s plenty to explore and consider. These range from its history to homegrown food and wine, and leisure pursuits from skiing to golf. Coined by some as the new Provence, it’s also strategically placed and easy to reach, with several international airports to choose between. Not only that, but property prices are reasonable, allowing investors to get the most for their money.
As Occitanie borders Spain, there are other worlds on the doorstep and plenty of uniquely influenced towns on the French side of the border, including gems like Perpignan, with its Spanish charm.
Toulouse, Capital of OccitanieIf you look at a map, you’ll discover The capital of the region is Toulouse close to the centre of the region. The official capital of Occitanie, this beautiful city is otherwise known as La Ville Rose, or the “Pink City”, a name earned from the captivating local bricks used in many of the city’s buildings. In a city bursting with history, and a legacy as a Roman settlement, it’s easy to fall for its magic.
One example of unmissable sites includes the Saint Sernin Basilica, a glorious demonstration of the city’s Roman history that’s recognised in UNESCO’s World Heritage list, it’s a must-see for anyone who has a love for architecture. Along your way, romantic scenes draw the eye from all angles, not least along the Canal du Midi. The oldest canal in operation in Europe, it tantalisingly snakes through the city. For any sports fans, it’s worth noting that Toulouse is a city notorious for its love of rugby.
The Local AreaElsewhere in the region, you’ll come across hotspots like Carcassonne. Another highlight in the Occitanie crown, this striking medieval walled city wows visitors throughout the year and especially at night when the walls are illuminated. While La Cité is one of the finest castles around, the rest of the region is rich in castles and historical landmarks, giving you a plethora to discover.
Away from the hustle and bustle of the cities are quiet country lanes peppered with peaceful rural hamlets which retain the charm of bygone years. For many, it’s this natural beauty, warmed by the sun and individualised by historic culture and characterful homes that pull them in.
A Personal ConnectionThere aren’t many regions that appeal to us as much as Occitanie, but as the place where I grew up, it holds a special significance. Attending school in the region, seeing the Pic du Midi daily, my everlasting memories include watching the Tour de France climbing iconic 'cols' and hiking up to the Pyrénées with my scout friends. With roots in the Aude and Pyrénées region, my connections include a special relative called Joseph Salvat, a local born and bred, who played a significant role in the College of Occitanie throughout his life and wrote a significant book on the area.
If I had to pen some final words, I’d urge anyone looking for a new life in France to explore the possibilities of Occitanie. It’s a region that has everything you could dream of and more, and in our view, the best strategically.
31st January 2023
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