Page 0041

NB : Climate shows average sunshine hours per year supplied by Meteo

France & compared to UK rate of 1,341 pa. Property prices supplied by

Notaires de France and correct at time of going to press.

LEGGETT IMMOBILIER - LOCAL KNOWLEDGE YOU CAN TRUST 41

ONE TO WATCH

" Saujon is a pretty and expanding

town near the Charente-Maritime

beaches. Only a ten-minute drive

from the coastal town of Royan, its

property prices are around half of

those in Royan centre. Saujon has

excellent road and rail

communications and a lively and

animated town centre. It's a town on

a human scale, with plenty of

traditional activities like thermal

cures and, of course, some of the

finest seafood restaurants in the

region"

Tony Murless is area coordinator

for the Charente-Maritime.

Email: tmurless@leggett.fr

REGION OF FRANCE

CLIMATE

AV HOUSE €

Pays-de-la-loire 1,852 €156,000

Poitou-Charentes 1,995 €142,000

We adore living in France as everyone

is welcoming and has time for each

other. There is real respect and politeness

in the community. There is no

need for the latest status symbol nor

for huge incomes or impressive job

titles. It's you as a person that counts.

Forget stress, it doesn't exist here!

LEGGETT CLIENTS DAN & KATE HALLAM

Port of La Rochelle

River Vienne

the lowest prices in France.

The town of Mayenne lies on

the river of the same name and

is steeped in history.

POITOU-CHARENTES

Further south, the region of

Poitou-Charentes is popular

with international buyers.

Indeed, at the height of the

recent financial crisis it was the

only region in France to see

an increase in French property

bought by non-residents.

The micro climate enjoyed

by the département of Charente-Maritime makes

it the second sunniest

part of France, and

the string of top class coastal

resorts reflects this - think

Royan, La Rochelle and the île-

de-Ré. There are also plenty

of great properties to be had

a little inland where you have

easy access to the beaches.

One very popular town

that falls into this category is

Cognac. In this lively town you'll

find the historic homes of world

famous cognac houses along

the quayside. It boasts an array

of music festivals, a championship golf

course and some

superb restaurants and bars.

The valley of the river

Charente hosts some pretty,

typically French towns and villages.

Angoulême and Saintes

are popular areas for tourists

and home buyers alike as they

can mix messing about on the

river with countryside walks

through the stunning vineyards.

Heading north, you reach

the départements of the Vienne

and the Deux-Sèvres, both popular due to their ease of

access

and well priced property.

The Vienne is home to

historic Poitiers, where you will

find an airport and plenty of

attractions. Property prices are

at a premium in and around

Poitiers - so it's well worth

exploring and getting a good

feel for the surrounding area.

This is my 'home' patch and

we were seduced by rolling

fields of sunflowers, forests to

explore, chemin blancs to walk

along and the river Vienne to

kayak on.

Next door, the Deux-Sèvres

offers some really well priced

properties. The historic town of

Parthenay mixes a fascinating

history with modern living - it

was the first town in France

to win a 'connectivity' award,

which is a huge bonus to house

buyers in this online era.

Further south you will find

that the area around Niort is

a popular destination with

house buyers who are looking

to escape to the country, but

who want to be within striking

distance of a lively town with a

great choice of bars, restaurants

and things to do. Niort is equidistant between

La Rochelle

and Poitiers, both of which

have airports, so it really is well

placed.

AND FINALLY...

Whichever region you choose, I

hope that western France brings

you as much happiness as it has

to us. Bon courage!

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