Midi-Pyrenees Property Blog: News and Information from the region

PYRÉNÉES ATLANTIQUES – Pau plays host to the equestrian world …

The Étoiles de Pau or Stars of Pau is a Three Day Equestrian Event held in Pau every October. It is one of six annual CCI events in the world (the highest level of competition), in addition to the Burghley Horse Trials and the Badminton Horse Trials, held in Great Britain.

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Pau is a town in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department of Aquitaine, about an hour north of the mountains and an hour to the east of Biarritz and the Atlantic coast.

MIDI PYRÉNÉES – Larger in area than either Denmark or Belgium!

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MIDI PYRÈNÈES …

This region is made up of 8 different departments, so it’s not altogether surprising that the surface area of the Midi Pyrénées is considered larger than either Denmark or Belgium!! and very fitting that the beautiful city of Toulouse is the capital of the Midi Pyrénées. The city sits on the Garonne river, on the site of an ancient Roman settlement; even today, many of the smaller streets follow their Roman counterparts and many of the red brick buildings are of a pseudo-Roman style. These buildings are also what gives Toulouse its nickname La ville rose (The pink city) due to the colour of local stone.

In the middle ages, Toulouse was one of the richest cities in France due to the sale of blue coloring (pastel) extracted from woad plants. This monopoly was only broken when the Portuguese began to import Indigo into Europe. A great number of what are now hotels and private mansions, remain witness to the past wealth.

Toulouse of course benefits from excellent transport links and the TGV high speed train takes just 2 hours to Bordeaux and around 5 hours in total to Paris. The international airport just outside the city hosts airlines flying to all corners of the world. Toulouse is a wonderful location for either a weekend of discovery or an opportunity to enjoy life all year round in this fascinating and historic city.

Our Midi Pyrénées team of agents have a wonderful selection of properties throughout the region, search now …

 

PYRÉNÉES ATLANTIQUES & LANDES – Wine making time in the Jurançon region…

It’s “vendange” time here in the Jurançon region – lots of activities going on in the “Chais” from September to December – if you’re into dry white wine – this is the place to be !

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PYRÉNÉES ATLANTIQUE & LANDES – Meet our Agent: Martin SHEACH

13044Martin heads the Equestrian Property team here at Leggett.

My wife and I moved here in spring 2008 along with our horses, dogs and cats to seek a better work life balance. The better climate allowed us the opportunity to develop our equine breeding. We would thoroughly recommend the move if you are seeking, like us, a more rural and tranquil lifestyle where the horses live out more and our own kitchen garden increases year on year. Arriving with “rusty French” our language skills were soon developed to incorporate the local accent, which vary village to village. We do not feel isolated as the neighbours are helpful and allowed us to integrate into village life. A wide range of commercial facilities are within easy reach of most parts of the area. As you can see from my portfolio the houses range from traditional to modern and I look forward to being able to share my enthusiasm for the area with you.

The Area …

Landes has a lot to offer – long Atlantic surfing beaches, behind the dunes pine forests with cycling trails, rolling unspoilt countryside used to grow corn and to the south it is close to the Pyrenees for winter sports or climbing. The coastline has resorts such as Capbreton and Hossegor as well as quieter beaches. Inland the Parc Regionale des Landes de Gascogne is ideal for those who love the great outdoors. The region’s capital and administrative centre is Mont de Marsan, which has a full range of shops and services. Dax with its thermal springs attracts those wishing health cures and there are also a number of smaller popular spas. The nearest airports are Bordeaux to the north, Biarritz to the south and Pau to the east. The TGV Atlantique reaches Paris in 4 hours and there is a wide network of roads leading to the motorway network. The region has its own wine and Armagnac and is known for its foie gras, duck, chicken and ham. Many of the villages have markets selling a wide range of local produce and in the summer each has a fete.

PYRÉNÉES ATLANTIQUES & LANDES – European Heritage Days

 

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Ride the ‘Petit Train d’Artouste’

The 19th and 20th September are “Heritage Days” here in France (a chance to discover national treasures not far from home), so why not take the opportunity to ride in what is regarded as the ‘highest train’ in Europe – le Petit Train d’Artouste. Before going on the trip up to the Lac d’Artouste, you can enjoy the little mountain station of Sagette and learn about its history. However, don’t miss out on this unforgettable ride at 3000 metres, with spectacular views of the Pyrénées and the Pic du Midi.

Contribution by Sarah Biggar-Piedade.

PYRÉNÉES ATLANTIQUES & LANDES – Enjoy the Medieval ‘Spectacle’ in Lescar near Pau.

12-13 September 2015

MYSTERES DE LA CITE

Fantastic medieval show with book fair, street theatre, fire-eaters, jugglers, dancers, music, a “trollball” tournament and fireworks. Possibility of dining in a replica medieval tavern. Medieval village and night market.

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ARIEGE – A beautiful department in the heart of a Parc Naturelle …

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It seems to me, sometimes, that the world needs to know about the Ariege, so let me tell you why I love it so …

It’s a department set within the region of the Midi-Pyrenees and bordered by Spain. With no big industry here, tourism and agriculture are the main income generating activities. Pollution free, crime free, fabulous climate, abundance of both winter and summer activities, ski stations, mountain walking, cycling, host to the Tour de France every year and home to the second highest mountain peak on the French side of the Pyrenees. Down here, we are little known to the outside world, but that is what makes it so special, a place of traditional values, almost lost in time, with stunning mountain scenery all around yet with a good solid infrastructure to be able to connect with the 21 st century….should you want too!!

Everyone who visits the area, is completely smitten with it and returns year after year, or better still believe they have found the perfect place to turn their dreams of living in France into reality … Bienvenue !

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Contribution by Leggett Agent, Sally Roe.

PYRÉNÉES ATLANTIQUES & LANDES – The best place to live in France! …

According to the fourth annual “Better Life Index”, published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Midi-Pyrenees is the best place to live in France.

The region scored 7.82 out of 10 across a range of 11 “well-being criteria”, including employment, health, the environment, education, civic engagement, access to services, and public safety. The score puts the Midi-Pyrenees on a par with southern Sweden, Umbria in Italy and Madrid. – See more at: http://www.connexionfrance.com/france-oecd-better-life-index-midi-pyrenees-corsica-limousin-aquitaine-provence-alpes-cote-dazur-16106-view-article.html#sthash.ELEM3q8v.dpuf

So, with the Pound still strong against the Euro, why not come and spend some time in this beautiful region and hopefully find your dream home here too.

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Your dream home in Midi-Pyrenees

PYRÉNÉES-ATLANTIQUES & LANDES – Summer events in the Vallée d’Ossau …

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August 2015: This year, experience the transhumance in the Ossau valley. Transhumance is “the action or practice of moving livestock from one grazing ground to another in a seasonal cycle, typically to lowlands in winter and highlands in summer”. You can witness the return of the herds of cattle from Ayous to the “plateau du Bénou” from 24 au – 26 August 2015. You are re invited by Annie et Kattalin to stay for 3 days, in the company of the shepherd Jean-Pierre.

Contact the Office de tourisme de Laruns : Tel : +33 5 59 05 48 94

Contribution by Leggett Agent, Sarah Biggar-Piedade