In the very south of France, the stunning region of Languedoc-Roussillon runs along the Mediterranean coast and nestles between the Rhone Valley and Pyrénées Mountains. Comprising the Départements (counties) of Aude (11), Gard (30), Hérault (34), Lozère (48) and Pyrénées Orientales (66), it has everything you could possibly want mostly within an easy drive from wherever you might be located.
Bordering the Mediterranean Sea, there are miles of white sandy beaches, and on the plane expansive vineyards stretch toward the mountains, dotted with almond and olive trees, where more than 40% of France's wine is produced and is the largest vine growing area in the world (yes! in the world).
Gently undulating countryside, called la garrigue, offers a myriad of possibilities for nature lovers and gives the region its distinctive smell of wild herbs and flowers.
The climate is typically Mediterranean with mild winters and dry summers, and is France's sunniest area with 300 days of sunshine each year. Yes, the sunniest area. Guaranteed. The snow capped Pyrénées offer a multitude of winter sports, including skiing of course. If you like outdoor pursuits this region has everything - golf, tennis, cycling, water sports, hunting, horse riding, motor sports and more. Close to the Spanish border, visits to Spain and Andorra are easy, as is the Côtes d'Azur, Monaco and Italy. Not to mention Corsica and Morocco. The Languedoc Roussillon is also steeped in history with its castles, fortified villages, cathedrals, churches and even Roman monuments and ruins. Not forgetting our famous Canal du Midi and the worldwide known Pont du Gard.
Or why not just take it easy and work your way around the multitude of excellent restaurants - perhaps sampling the fresh seafood this region is famous for, particularly the oysters from Bouzigues. Or tasting wine in our distinguished and well-reputed domains. Perhaps simply escape the midday sun in a shady corner of your terrace while sipping some chilled wine - probably from the vines in the vista in front of you.
And the people here are just so lovely and welcoming. Your neighbours are always there for you and each village is a small enough community that you have a support network and a new group of friends in no time. The children here will pass you in the road and say 'Bonjour' politely whether they know you or not. Crime - well crime is something that rarely happens round here.
With direct flights to many airports in the region - Avignon, Béziers, Carcassonne, Marseille, Montpellier, Nîmes, Perpignan, Toulouse (even Gerona) - fantastic motorways, excellent rail and TGV links to Paris, Lille & London, the region is easily accessible.
Having had its price explosion back in 2002/2003, and with projected growth in house prices, property in the region is a sensible investment.
The Languedoc-Roussillon is a highly desirable area. The region is still one of the most interesting areas to buy, remaining cheaper than other southern regions. It is less expensive than neighbouring Provence and the Côte d'Azur, not overcrowded, it has beautiful untouched countryside, long sandy beaches and offers a more authentic 'south of France' feel. It continues to provide the right mix of investment potential and lifestyle choice and remains one of France's most popular tourist destinations. It is the only area of Southern France that has retained its character and remains unspoilt.
From frenetic cities with historical and architectural interest to tranquil and unspoilt countryside, from picturesque ports and harbours to classic French villages (where you will find a group playing boules in the shade of the trees), there is no place like it - a home from home; but in the sun.