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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lo all, I know this is a how long is a piece of string ,its a massive pace blah blah etc. but I am retiring rather young in a few years time and it has been my desire to move to sunnier climbs for as long as I can remember. Without harping on too much Southern France is well up on my list for many reasons but I cant say I really know my way around it at all. So here's my likes and needs and I would appreciate a town name or two just to start me off with places to visit with my family and get the feel.
I hope that makes sense. One I have come up with myself so far is Perpignan.

Couple in our late 40's with two boys 4 and 7.
The lady wife likes the sea but I cant stand it TBH however I love lakes and rivers.
We both like to ski ( or did pre children) but thats not essential.
Need somewhere semi rural but with a very large town nearby for growing children.
Hobbies include our dogs , ducks , cycling , Karate would you believe and eating our home grown veg outdoors. Aiming to retire at 53 with a reasonable pension income but area must have a future for the children.

It should be sunny , sunny and then sunny ! :)

Cheers

Mas
 

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Lo all, I know this is a how long is a piece of string ,its a massive pace blah blah etc. but I am retiring rather young in a few years time and it has been my desire to move to sunnier climbs for as long as I can remember. Without harping on too much Southern France is well up on my list for many reasons but I cant say I really know my way around it at all. So here's my likes and needs and I would appreciate a town name or two just to start me off with places to visit with my family and get the feel.
I hope that makes sense. One I have come up with myself so far is Perpignan.

Couple in our late 40's with two boys 4 and 7.
The lady wife likes the sea but I cant stand it TBH however I love lakes and rivers.
We both like to ski ( or did pre children) but thats not essential.
Need somewhere semi rural but with a very large town nearby for growing children.
Hobbies include our dogs , ducks , cycling , Karate would you believe and eating our home grown veg outdoors. Aiming to retire at 53 with a reasonable pension income but area must have a future for the children.

It should be sunny , sunny and then sunny ! :)

Cheers

Mas

Hi Mas,

Like the question :)

Being totally biased and getting in here quickly before the masses reply, I'd recommend checking out Aix En Provence (South of France).

My girlfriend and I have just purchased a property here and we're in love with it.
It's a real cool town big enough to have lots going on, but small enough to hold onto it's unique qualities.

It has fantastic universities with over 40,000 students split across various campuses. It's 30 mins drive to Marseille (which has an airport - serviced by BA & Easyjet amongst others). There are fantastic beaches to choose from close by, at around a 35 minute drive. They have regular artisan markets in the town center where you can buy food and gifts of much variety.

It's a brilliant place to dine and has amazing restaurants, bars and shops. There are more than enough museums to keep you and the family busy. The transport links are fantastic here too, you have the A8 motorway on the edge of the town that takes you along the coast line of the french riviera, to towns such as Frejus, Cannes, Nice, Antibes & Monanco to name but a few.

Loads of hotels, cycle routes a few Karate clubs, one of which I'll be joining soon myself.

Whether this is going to be the ideal place for you and your family only research will tell, but it sure is a strong contender and well worth visiting nonetheless.

Lloyd J :)
 

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Just NOT Marseille. Trust me on this.

Aix is nice, to some might be small, but nice little town and generally more anglophone than the average. Otherwise, as LloydJ said, you have an insane number of smaller places in the French Riviera.

SUN: a lot of it. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Or at least it did until I just checked out prices there for property :)

Of course the best is never cheap ! that's life but I don't think I'll get what I want for the prices there. More enquiries to be made I think.
 

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Well...yeah Aix is not cheap, but it is not out of control like Paris.

From what you wrote it seems that a small town satellite of a larger one is what you are looking for. In France you have plenty.

If you are looking for sun, then you do not have much choice: because of the Mistral wind the South/South-East France benefits from an outrageous number of clear-blu sky/sunny days. Seriously, insane. That come to a cost but it depends: Montpellier and Toulon are not very expensive. Cote d'azur is expensive unless you stay a bit inland.

I give you three addresses that you should check to gather information (french required, surprise surprise!):

L'encyclopdie des Villes de France
rates a large amount of factors about many cities and towns in france. Very interesting especially for the security part.

Prix immobilier : le prix du m2 pour toutes les villes de France
a map of France with a layer which corresponds to real estate prices.

Palmarès des villes de France
lets you choose a few criteria and gives you the supposed ideal city.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm quite happy to get off my butt and do some driving around etc so please dont think I want it on a plate. I just want a good idea where to start to save wasting time and money on a trip to somewhere thats not even close to any good to me. With long hours and two kids it wont be easy getting too many trips in if you see what I mean.

Thanks very much for the links and I will certainly look at the two places you mentioned. I definately need far more knowledge of the South of France thats for sure


Mas
 
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