France has all the key elements to make it an ideal retirement destination – varied climate to suit different needs, miles upon miles of unspoiled countryside, a rich cultural heritage, a relaxed lifestyle, excellent healthcare and vibrant towns and cities.
So, if you’re thinking of choosing France as your retirement home from home, which are the top locations that you should consider?
Here are five regions to explore further
- City living
If access to a world class city, a myriad of cultural attractions, a rich supply of fabulous restaurants and a large English-speaking community is important then consider the Ile-de-France region, which includes Paris. This is still the most popular place for British expats to move to with over 20,000 residing there but it does come with higher property purchase or rental prices and a high energy lifestyle.
Poitou-Charentes, located in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region in the west of France, is the second most popular location for Britons, with around 16,000 British expats making up around one third of the foreign population of the region. It is reputed as one of the sunniest parts of France, outside of the Mediterranean coastal strip, with the area boasting mild winters and relatively warm summers. The region is predominantly rural, comprising mainly small towns and no major cities and in the southern part of the region there are extensive vineyards which provide the grapes that are used in the production of Cognac.
- History and wine
The Aquitaine region of the south-west of the country boasts the beautiful and historical city of Bordeaux. This famous wine-growing region enjoys a mild, sunny climate; vineyards with everything from world famous estates to small cellars; easy access to over a dozen naturally wild gorgeous sandy beaches; and great value for money property prices.
- Alpine and rural mountainous
If full and easy access to skiing in the winter and walking in the summer is on your wish list then the Rhone-Alpes region in the south east could be your perfect location. Another area with a large British expat population (around 13,000), this region includes the main ski resorts as well as the country’s third largest city, Lyon.
- Ease of access to the UK
France is generally well-served with transport links to the UK through its 6 biggest airports and network of regional airports but for those looking for quickest and easiest access back to the UK then the northern region of Brittany is a popular choice. Home to roughly 13,500 Britons the region has notable historical sites, the unique Breton culture; a range of beautiful beaches; and easy access to the Eurotunnel and other transport links for hopping back and forth as required.
- City living