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What's the best thing about living in the languedoc?


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My husband and I are about to exchange on a hoilday home in Calvisson.  We have already had 2 properties in normandy but since having children we decided we would be better in the south of France for he sunny weather.

the last 2 years holidays with the children have been awful as they want the beaches and swimming every day.  The beach was a 1.5hr drive away adn it was never warm enough for the pool!!!

Our houses were in the middle of nowhere and the children were quickly bored.

Are we being optimistic in thinking we are guarenteed sunshine in July and August? 

The house we have bought is a new build on a complex where there is a pool and activities so we think we've go the kids covered there!

I'm beginning to get nervous as we've never actually visited the house / area.  Some people would think we are barmy mad but we bought our first two houses like this and we have a 'sell up if you dont like it' attitude.

So ... what's the best thing about the languedoc?!??

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[quote user="katietom"]Are we being optimistic in thinking we are guarenteed sunshine in July and August? 

[/quote]

Well, of course, you're pretty much guaranteed really hot weather at that time - at least until mid-August anyway, when it can start to get a bit changeable.

The previous two contributions were not perhaps of the most helpful variety, so here's a few thoughts:

  • Use the rivers - the Gardon is close by and canoeing from Collias to the Pont du Gard is a great day out. Cheap and crowd-free, even in high season.
  • Beaches in the Herault of course - don't do them myself, but others will know better. Busy in July / Aug though.
  • The people: tourism is important around here & most of the locals know it.  I think that it's as friendly as anywhere and better than most.
  • Plenty of variety in terms of things to do and see: I won't list them otherwise I'll sound like a guidebook, but you'll find out for yourselves.  Nimes is a pleasant small city: not too big nor too small.  Montpellier is good too, but leave your car at the Tramway on the edge of town.
  • Oh, and the accent.  Takes a bit of getting used to, but I love it.

Hope you enjoy your new place. 

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Interesting replies above ?

Calvisson is in a very good location.

It is in the Vaunage which is a large plain populated with similar small villages. It is surrounded by vine and olives.

Calvisson has very old origins, and was once an important town. It has some very impressive old buildings, and was on the main Nimes-Sommieres-Montpellier road (now it has a bypass). It also has a disused station. It is around 30 minutes from Montpellier, Nimes, the Med and the Cevennes. It has a few expat residents (not many English), and at least one French expat who keeps a house there.

It has excellent travel connections -

TGV Paris - Nimes in 3 hours

Low cost airlines (to about 30 destinations) from Marseille, Nimes and Montpellier

A9 autoroute is nearby

There is a local bus service

It is a very desirable village because it has a few shops, bars and restaurants, a Sunday market,  and is half way Nimes - Montpellier. There are 4 supermarkets within 7km, and Sommieres has around 100 businesses.

A pool will reach 30C in summer with no heating.

July and August will be hot (30C - 40C). Rainfall is rare at that time and normally falls overnight (interestingly, apart from a few overnight storms, this weekend has had the first real rain since May).

Others who have "moved" from Northern France have settled happily in Languedoc.

You can contact me for more information,

Peter

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[quote user="Tony F Dordogne"]

[quote user="groslard"]There is also a high degee of poverty, and a 40% population of Arabs in some areas.
If you are happy with that, Welcome![/quote]

And your problem with a 40% Arab population is what?  And are they Arabs or north Africans who may not describe themselves as Arabs?

[/quote]

Exactly but I fear the figure is rather high and designed to be alarmist. In my neck of the wood, Limous, Quillan it is around 2% according to the Marie. But then Brits don't appear to be as racist as a lot of French I have come across. It won't effect the Brits so much as we are used to living in a multi cultural society.

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Thankyou for the last few replies.  As this is my first post on here, if I had had only the first two replies I don't think I would have bothered again!

Its great news about the weather.  When does the sunreally start to shine then?  April?  

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[quote user="katietom"]When does the sunreally start to shine then?  April?  [/quote]

You may not believe this, but I always reckon that Spring starts at the beginning of March. From then on, plants are budding and the temp rising fast.  Realistically though, it's April before it's warm enough for 'shirtsleeves'.  We take the cover off our pool around that time and start cleaning it up, but it's well in to May before it's warm enough to use - unless you're very macho, that is!

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[quote user="groslard"]There is also a high degee of poverty, and a 40% population of Arabs in some areas.

If you are happy with that, Welcome!

[/quote]

It's actually illegal in France to release population percentages based on skin colour or race so i'd love to know where you got this figure of  40% from.

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[quote user="raindog"][quote user="groslard"]There is also a high degee of poverty, and a 40% population of Arabs in some areas.

If you are happy with that, Welcome!

[/quote]

It's actually illegal in France to release population percentages based on skin colour or race so i'd love to know where you got this figure of  40% from.

[/quote]

It's called living here for a long time, not reading magazines or quoting statistics.

Where I live there are no other Europeans, except some Romanian gypsies.

I don't have a problem with this, but it needs to be explained to innocent buyers..

Unlike some people on here  (agents and those who get a commission from them for selling the 'French Dream' ) I have no self-interest in promoting the idea of buying a property in France.

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Who is this groslard?  everything he or she says is negative.  I see the psotings stared on 26/12/07 and are already over a 100.  Probably all misleading, negative and incorrect.  I do not know of anywhere in France that fits the description.  Is it a wind up or am I  reading groslard wrongly as big fat....
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[quote user="Tj"] I see the psotings stared on 26/12/07 and are already over a 100. .[/quote]

Maybe he/she/it is an unwanted Christmas present?

As far as I can work out the name in English would equate to a fat lump or the American expression would be a clod.

Just quoting the dictionary, no offence intended.

 

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[quote user="Tj"]Who is this groslard?  everything he or she says is negative.  I see the psotings stared on 26/12/07 and are already over a 100.  Probably all misleading, negative and incorrect.  I do not know of anywhere in France that fits the description.  Is it a wind up or am I  reading groslard wrongly as big fat....[/quote]

Groslard could be translated as 'fatso'..I am fat.

If you haven't read the postings please don't generalise.

Does your ignorance of parts of France (such as the quartier St Jacques in Perpignan)

mean that they don't exist?

Or am I imagining the Quartier de la Devèze at Béziers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Qco4T6NYWw&feature=related

?

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Sorry Clair,  you are right, I should not have got personal.

My point was lost in my final sentence.  I believe that it is important for people to post based on knowledge.  Personal observations should be supported with evidence where possible.  The first two comments on this subject were  not correct and would have spoiled any anticipation for the future happy settlement in this region.

For instance, Perpignan has probably one of the highest North African immigrant populations in France outside of Marseilles.  They reside in a quarter which is 90 per cent North Africans.  The only trouble in the past five years was when  gitane family fell out with their neightbours. 

The weather in summer is similar to Languedoc,  generally sunny hot and reliable.  Summer starts in May and ends in October... admittedly 2007 did not have a heat wave but that was an advantage.

Finally I would implore all posters replying to initial enquiries such as this thread,  do not be negative without knowledge......

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[quote user="Tj"]

Finally I would implore all posters replying to initial enquiries such as this thread,  do not be negative without knowledge......

[/quote]

Sure: but I have lived in a quarter like the two I mentioned above for well over 10 years.

In my building there is an Algerian girl who has just had a baby by a Turkish illegal immigrant. This has the incidental advantage of giving him the right to stay in France, and her the right to various allowances, but has little advantage for their  neighbours since the two families are not entirely happy with the 'match'

The building opposite was torched by a Gypsy drug dealer because the girl who lived in the ground flood flat owed him money.

And we have had a murder and suspicious death in the last year.

Is that being negative with or without knowledge?

I repeat I am not in the slightest bit racist, and personally I am happy here.

But it wouldn't suit everybody in search of the French 'Dream'

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Re the posting by groslard on the Quartier St Jaques, Perpignan, made whilst I was formulating my last reply, the incident refered to by him, was as I mentioned one incident in the last five years.   I frequently visit the area as the best and freshest spices can be purchased in the shops.  The Mahgrebs, Catalans and French live in harmony.  I do not have knowledge of Beziers quartier.  
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[quote user="Tj"]Re the posting by groslard on the Quartier St Jaques, Perpignan, made whilst I was formulating my last reply, the incident refered to by him, was as I mentioned one incident in the last five years.   I frequently visit the area as the best and freshest spices can be purchased in the shops.  The Mahgrebs, Catalans and French live in harmony.  I do not have knowledge of Beziers quartier.  [/quote]

It is also 200km from Calvisson, the village the original poster was interested in.

I ignored the first two comments when replying in my original post as they did not deserve a reply.

Peter

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Having just got back from an excellent weekend of sport, OK I have been out and about since Friday. I have been sailing out of Port Leucate (http://www.spangle.org/pl/) on Friday, on Saturday I went to Perpignan to watch them play Brive (12.00 Euro), excellent game. They also play that funny game they call rugby league. The average temp has been 16 to 18 deg. I went skiing at Mijanes (48 Euros for 2 people including equipment and ski hire). I have just got back from our local rugby game (5 Euro), Quillan v Limoux (we, Quillan won by a fanny - that's a whitewash to us Brits). If you like sport this is THE place to be in the whole of France. If you love football then don't come here, its rugby country other than that you can think of any sport/activity we do it.

Christmas has either been spent sunbathing or shuddering with cold, it's the luck of the draw.

My recorded temperatures on our terrace, out of the sun, -10 to +40, currently tonight +16.

Arabs in Perpignan, not a problem, a quarter does not mean 25% of the town but then who cares, there are no problems, Toulouse is the same. I'd be more worried about the English Quarters than the Arabs. To be honest, not that I go looking for them, I never notice the Arabs in Perpignan, just nice Catalan people.

My personal comments about racism is because my daughter is of mixed race. We have had French people move tables (away from us) in restaurants. We have had people stare at us and we have had the odd nasty comment made by French people who had been friends until they met Joanna for the first time. France is a racist country but then the French male is very chauvinistic as well but then that's France. You just embrace the bits you like and ignore the bits you don't. It's not restricted to Languedoc, its wherever you go in France.

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Sounds as if you had better weather than in the Languedoc

We had a big storm:

Ailleurs, en Languedoc-Roussillon la tempête n'aura

provoqué que peu de dégâts : clôtures, cheminées ou tuiles emportées

ici et là, chutes d'arbres, 400 foyers privés

d'électricité  Les fortes précipitations

ont provoqué la montée des cours d'eau, notamment de l'Hérault et de

l'Orb. A Béziers, le fleuve est monté jusqu'à 10,59 m alors que la cote

de crue est de 11,50 m. Deux rues ont été bloquées à Valras.

http://www.midilibre.com/articles/2008/01/05/20080105-FRANCE-MONDE-Meteo-La-region-lessivee-mais-tres-peu-de-degats.php5

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It is winter.

On Friday the weather was fine when we sailed on Saturday it was gusting force 10 along the coast. The water was almost at road level in the marina, another few feet and boats could have floated on to the road.

On Saturday we were at Mijanes and skiing in 'T' shirts as it was so warm. If you watched the Perpignan match you will see it rained a little but hardly a full storm.

Yesterday was still warm but overcast and it showered early morning but the afternoon was dry.

Nobody in their right mind will give a yearly forecast because it changes so much year by year. Out of the six I have lived here this has been the driest year. I can see the results as the 'Aude' runs by the side of my garden and where it should be about 2 to 2.5ft high it's about 6". This year we have had about 2mm of snow two years ago just up the road from us there was 1.5 to 2.0M of snow, we had about a foot that year and it stayed for a week. Access to the Plateaus were cut of from the Carcassonne to Perpignan road for around 3 to 4 weeks that year.

One year it rained almost continuously from Christmas to May, we went to Provence to get away from it as it was so depressing.

The say that only one out of every three Brits pack it in and move back or elsewhere. Down here, out of the two that go one goes because 'the weather is not what we expected, it rains and gets cold'. Even though our winters are very short (ends officially in mid Feb) they are bad, -7 is the coldest I have ever seen on my terrace. So it's not sunny 365 days and April can be very good or very bad, it's the luck of the draw. If you want good weather every day then go to Spain or Portugal.

If you want to come and try the region out you should rent a property for a year and see if you like it before you commit.

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