That which makes France such a compelling choice with would-be British expatriates and would-be overseas retirees is that which also makes it something of a complex choice. It is such a vast and beautiful nation with so many very varied regions that it can be almost impossible just deciding where to live in France.
If you’re contemplating exploring this great and beautiful land for a place to call home, in this article we’ll assist you with a review of our four favourite regions…that way you may at least be able to narrow down your choice!
Burgundy - for us Burgundy is all about the food and the wine! If you’re living in France and you’re living in Burgundy you’re within reach of the finest vineyards in the world, you’re a stone’s throw away from the best Charolais beef cattle, you are in fruit growing country where cheese and honey, chicken and of course Dijon mustard are all produced in vast quantity and fantastic quality. So, Burgundy is all about living the good life in France! The quality of life in this region is exceptional, and it’s the best place to be if you’re a true foodie and you’re really into fine wining and dining!
Loire Valley - possibly the most beautiful region in France, the Loire Valley is of course famous for its fabulous chateaux and its fascinating history. This is a great part of France to live in if you want to feel the majesty of the nation and enjoy the almost dramatic backdrop of fairytale castles and the mighty river Loire. The Loire Valley is also blessed with handsome rolling countryside, pretty limestone villages and of course fabulous weather – making it a Brit’s favourite paradise in France.
Alsace - The Alsace is quite possibly our favourite favourite region in France here at Shelter Offshore because it boasts the best of Germany whilst still being French and what’s more, it is little explored by the Great British tourist! In Alsace you have everything – you have castles and mountains, plains and forests, rivers and a fabulous city called Strasbourg, you have the best French and German cuisine, fabulously robust wines and a great continental climate all rolled into a package that also includes half timbered houses, summer festivals, open and friendly people and a seriously good quality of affordable living.
Provence - well, what good would a guide to living in France be without a mention of Provence – this region is quite possibly the embodiment of all our hopes and dreams of a perfect life in France! It’s beautiful, it’s cultured, it’s romantic, it’s got the best food in France (yes, actually, in our book it even beats Burgundy because of the olive oil and the fresh fruit and veg!), it’s got the Mediterranean for goodness sake and it also has Saint Tropez. Who could want for more? The way of life in Provence is what you make of it – you can embrace the glamour of the Saint Tropez set and live a fast paced, glitzy life (if you have the money!) or you can take a more laid back approach and embrace the Mediterranean pace of life where you enjoy the finer pleasures in lazy moderation.
France is not a country where you only get out of it what you put in, France is a country where you will be spoiled by the wealth of fertile beauty, by the landscape, the heritage, the history, the culture, the cuisine and even the people. It’s a fascinating, charming, magical country that’s on our doorstep and where we are even beloved by the President. So, if you’re contemplating relocating overseas, you needn’t actually go very far to find the finer things in life – you need only go as far as France.