France has always been a firm favourite among the expat crowd seeking to make the big move overseas. The country is particularly popular for those looking to relocate from the UK as the close proximity to home means that visiting loved ones is a simple hop, skip and a jump away across the Channel. France also offers an enviable climate with reliable summers and a varied landscape providing the opportunity to enjoy both snow-laden, winter escapes as well as hot beaches on the glittering south coast.
This richly diverse country caters to a range of preferences, whether it’s the sophistication of the big city scene that tempts you, or a simple life of scenic countryside, excellent wine and fresh produce from farmers’ markets. It is no surprise that many expats from the UK have embraced the French way of life, learning the language and integrating into the local communities.
Here are some of the top places for expats to set up a new life in France:
This area in the south-west of France is known for its balmy summers and temperate winters. The town itself is also known by the charming moniker, la ville rose, or ‘the pink city’, due to its picturesque brickwork and architecture.
Toulouse is a bustling university town with a diverse atmosphere. However, apartments in the city can be expensive, so a number of British expats are choosing to live a short drive away in the Dordogne valley, where housing is more affordable.
A hot favourite for young, urban professionals due to the economic opportunities, Bordeaux is a friendly place where a great many expats have chosen to make their home.
The city is nestled in wine country where vineyards flourish and local markets brimming with fresh produce are a daily occurrence. Expats can enjoy all the amenities of the big city, combined with the laid-back pace of Mediterranean life.
Rennes is the choice for the expat in search of a smaller town, but one with plenty of life and soul. This vibrant destination offers a town of two halves. The old city is characterised by quaint, cobbled streets and traditional architecture, while the new city is bursting with museums, galleries and fine places to eat. The warmth of the Bretons is renowned throughout France, and this international town knows a thing or two about welcoming in a diverse range of visitors, thanks to its two universities.
The location of Nice takes some beating, sandwiched between traditional villages as well as the stunning resorts that make up the French Riviera. These ribbons of golden coastline attract not only retired expats looking to soak up the sunshine but also those seeking employment against a backdrop of sparkling sea and azure skies. A diverse and tolerant culture gives Nice a refreshingly cosmopolitan ambience.
Set in a postcard-perfect, countryside setting, dominated by forests, lakes and hills, Limoges is a magical location for those who love to be close to good old Mother Nature. The property prices and living costs are comparatively lower than other locations in France, making this a popular destination for international expats.