Choosing where to live is the first step on your journey, and France has 22 regions to pick from, each one very different.
You might already know where you want to live – maybe it’s somewhere you visit regularly, or somewhere you already have friends or family living. However, if you still need to decide, quite a lot of your decision will depend on your circumstances – are you a young couple? Do you have young children? Are you an older couple, still working, retired or close to it? The climate will also be important. In Aude in Languedoc-Rousillon it’s sunny all year round, and there is a heatwave alert in the height of summer which advises residents to stay inside between 1100 and 1700.
There is a choice of three seas to live by – the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and the Channel. The temperature is hottest by the Med, and sun-seekers could settle in a number of places here – the Pyrenees-Orientales, the Alpes-Maritimes, or anywhere in the coastal regions of Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur or Languedoc-Roussillon. Other factors play a part as well – seafood lovers, for example, will love living in Normandy or Brittany. Fans of snow and mountain air should head for Haute-Savoie, with its amazing weather, fantastic views and a number of sports.
When first thinking about these things, we would recommend first making some notes about the kind of area you are looking for. We have put together a number of questions for you to ask yourself to help you make this decision:
- Located in what area/region? For example Brittany, Provence or the Languedoc?
- In the countryside, or in a village, town, city, on the coast or in a ski resort?
- Do you want to be in a tourist development or in a residential area?
- How far away do you want to be from amenities like bars, shops, restaurants, local markets, beaches or ski slopes?
- How far away do you want to be from the airport(s)?
- Are there adequate pharmacy and medical facilities in the area?
- What else needs to be in the area? Schools, entertainment, gym, etc.?
- Will you need to use public transport?
- Is there adequate internet and mobile phone coverage?
We have looked at every region of France and offer you a few notes on each of the most popular regions, including how to get there, a rough idea of the geography, cuisine and some top tips to help you on your way.