Situated in southern France, the Aude department is an extremely popular spot with overseas buyers on the hunt for a French abode. Here are five reasons you might love the Aude and areas to consider buying in.
1. Enviable location
Firstly, its enviable location: nestled between the Med and the majestic Pyrenees Mountain. It is about seven hours away from Paris. If you’re flying, you’ll most likely be heading to Carcassone Airport.
2. Natural paradise: from lagoons to orchids
The Aude is predominately an agricultural area: expect to find beautiful vineyards and olive trees. In the East, you’ll find lagoons and coastal lakes and pink flamingos! While the West is home to gorgeous black mountain country forests of oak and beech. Plus, you’ll also see thriving orchids.
3. Warm…but not too warm
The Aude boasts of a Mediterranean climate. You can expect temperatures in the 20s from May to October. July is the hottest month with highs of 28°C. It enjoys over 2,200 hours of sunshine a year.
4. Grand local history
The Canal du Midi, a UNESCO Heritage Site, crosses through many villages in the Aude. It is a summit-level canal climbing through Toulouse to Seuil de Naurouze. As well as being a visual treat, it’s a great place for picnicking, hiking, biking, and boating.
The Aude is famous for Catharism, a Christian dualist movement prevalent in Southern France between the 12th and 14th centuries. If you’d like to read up and see some of the local history, there’s plenty to see and do.
5. Striving for a greener future
The Aude holds the badge for being the first department to generate hydroelectric power, in not one but two sites. Plus, with 113, it has the most wind turbines. Together, they produce electricity for about 100,000 people.
Where to buy
The Aude department is gaining popularity among international property hunters, especially as it offers the second cheapest homes in the Occitanie region. More than 14% of properties in Aude are second homes. This is higher than the national average of 10%.
For a grand, old-fashioned feel…
At the heart of Aude lies Carcassonne, the fortified city that is part of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. The city is divided into the fortified city and the lower town, which houses the Carcassonne Cathedral. Carcassonne’s old town is a maze of cobbled winding streets. It is one of the most visited sites in Southern France.
For crafts and prettiness…
Lagrasse, known for its wine production and artisanal pottery, is another attractive area to consider when looking for property in Aude. This small commune, listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France, could be the perfect base for those looking to establish an artisanal business.
Montolieu, referred to as the “village of books,” could be an ideal place to settle. The village is home to over fifteen bookshops. It is a bit of a tourist magnet, so could be an excellent choice if you want to rent out your home to holidaymakers.
For natural beauty…
Bize-Minervois, located between Narbonne and the black mountains near Minerve, is known for its beautiful old stone houses and the river Cessea. It is a perfect location for wild water swimming in the summer.