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Buying and living in Pays-de-la-Loire

From relaxing on the sandy beaches of the Vendée, to the exhilaration of the 24hr Le Mans festival, a property in Pays de la Loire will give you endless enjoyment. Welcome to Pays-de-la-Loire


Family friendly beaches, authentic French towns, some lovely chateaux, and bargain property prices. Property in the Pays de la Loire is exceptional value for money, and is easy to get to from Paris, the UK, Belgium, Holland, and Germany. Perhaps this is why so many international buyers have a holiday home here.

Situated on the Atlantic coast, the region has an excellent climate with mild winters and warm (but not stifling hot) summers. This means that the beautiful, sandy, beaches in the Vendée are popular with families who enjoy the warm sea, and pretty seaside resorts. Inland the ancient Duchy of Anjou straddles the Loire River, and it is here that you will find the rolling vineyards that produce the famous aromatic rosé wine. Expect to see your neighbours enjoying many a sunset, with a glass of local wine in their hands.

The capital of the region, Nantes, has been cited as offering the highest quality of life in France. The medieval core of the city has narrow streets and half-timbered houses, and the city has a real energy about it, as you find the tourists mixing with the university students. Buy a property in the Pays de la Loire and you really will be opening the door to an exceptional quality of life.

Transport and Access

The main airport in the region is Nantes Atlantique, which is easily accessed to the south of the city. You can catch direct flights to over 80 destinations throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East and North America. This is a particularly popular airport with buyers from the UK as it has flights from London, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Bristol, and Dublin.

The TGV between Nantes and Paris takes around 2hrs 20 mins, and from here you can get the Eurostar to London, or travel onwards to Brussels, Amsterdam and other major European cities. Don’t forget too that there are over 250 SNCF stations across the region.

The A11 motorway connects Nantes, Angers and Le Mans with Paris Orly airport, and then Paris centre. Heading north, the RN137 takes you to Rennes and the Brittany ferry ports, whilst the A83 heads south to Niort and from there to La Rochelle and Bordeaux. Why not take the smaller roads though, and head along the valley to Angers and Saumur, taking in the pretty riverside villages.

The market

For an in-depth analysis, read our latest Grand Ouest market comment (below), which includes average prices in nine of the major towns and resorts, as well as expert comment from our local agents in the region.

This is a popular region for holiday homes as property prices are so reasonable. It is estimated that 11% of the 1.9m homes in the region are holiday-homes. The Pays de la Loire has seen some of the biggest house price rises in France over recent years, although they are beginning to stabilise now. Price rises in the five departments have been: Loire Atlantique 2.2%, Maine-et-Loire 3.1%, Mayenne 6.2%, Sarthe 6.2% and Vendée 7.3%.

Country property has been particularly popular in recent years, with high demand but low supply. There have simply not been enough new properties coming onto the market to satisfy the number of domestic and overseas buyers. Older property, with plenty of space and large gardens has been at the top of many buyers lists. Despite recent rises, you will find that property prices are generally lower than elsewhere in France (particularly in Sarthe and Mayenne).

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The fairy-tale chateaux in the western side of the region are a great place to start. Saumur is known as the prettiest and it overlooks both the Loire and Thouet rivers. Built in the 10th century it was extensively restored and is well worth a visit. Whilst in Saumur you should definitely also go to see the Cadre Noir (black clad horse-riding instructors) at the Ecole Nationale d’Equitation (French military riding academy). Open to the public, you can see training in process and visit the stables. The riders also perform as an equestrian display team, and this is one of the “Big Four” classical riding academies in the world.

Of course, you could also go and watch the worlds oldest endurance race in Le Mans. The 24hr race is part of the “triple crown” of racing, alongside the Indianapolis 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix. Over 250,000 visitors come to watch the race every year, with a full week of entertainment and events. Locals will tell you that more fun is had at the “Le Mans Classic” though. Here you will see 800 classic racing cars on the track, 8,500 classic cars formally on display, and thousands more driven by enthusiastic spectators. Many visitors are from the UK and the motorways north, after the event, are a sight to behold, with suitcases strapped on the back of the old cars.

There is so much in Nantes to fall in love with, but one attraction that you may not have thought of are the Machines de l’ile. Difficult to describe, but incredible in reality, these are a collection of machines inspired by Jules Verne and Leonardo da Vinci. The centrepiece is a giant mechanical elephant, that people can ride upon as it strides along the quayside, spraying tourists with water from its giant trunk. Superb fun for children and adults alike.

Similarly, while most tourists flock to Eurodisney and Parc Asterix, those in the know head to the Puy de Fou. It has been voted as the worlds best theme park. Visitors travel through history, taking in 18 shows and four villages. You are free to choose your own period of history and the shows are designed to be like live movies. From sword fights and gladiators to aquatic displays, set to 17th century ballet, these are experiences that will live with you forever.

Finally, we’d suggest a trip to the coast. Not to laze on the 200km’s of sandy beaches, but to see the start of the Vendée Globe. This is the greatest sailing race around the world, non-stop and without assistance. The boats are all 60 feet long and are sailed solo. The next race sets off in January 2025, make a note in your diary now.

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Pays-de-la-Loire region map vendees
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    • The Gulf Stream gives western France a beautifully mild climate, with mild winters and warm summers.
    • Property in Pays de la Loire is well-priced, with many bargains to be had.
    • The river valleys are scenic and dotted with pretty villages and market towns.
    • Some of the local vineyards produce excellent, well-priced, wines. The Rosé is world-famous.
    • Pays de la Loire has some of the best beaches in France, pure sand and family friendly.

    Over 288 properties and 42 multilingual local agents
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    Departments and Major Cities

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    • € / m² € per m² FNAIM source - non contractual
    Loire-Atlantique (44)
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    Nantes - Châteaubriant-Ancenis - Saint-Nazaire

    €3191 per m2
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    Mayenne (53)
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    Laval - Château-Gontier - Mayenne

    €1463 per m2
    View Mayenne properties for sale

    Sarthe (72)
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    Le Mans - La Flèche - Mamers

    €1685 per m2
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    Maine-et-Loire (49)
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    Angers - Cholet - Saumur - Segré-en-Anjou Bleu

    €2130 per m2
    View Maine-et-Loire properties for sale

    Vendée (85)
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    La Roche-sur-Yon - Fontenay-le-Comte - Les Sables-d'Olonne

    €2547 per m2
    View Vendée properties for sale

    Some typical properties

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    Pays-de-la-Loire :

    The Pays de la Loire is renowned for its beautiful coastline and is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in France. From the wide, sandy, beach in La Baule to the rugged coastline of the Vendée, there are plenty of opportunities for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports. The region is also home to the western side of the Loire Valley, a UNESCO world heritage site. Here you will find many of the smaller, less well known, chateaux such as Brézé, Saumur and Clisson. The markets in Pays de la Loire are colourful and full of local delicacies. The wines are particularly good, and many compliment the fresh seafood that is brought in from the boats landing in the ports and fishing villages of the Loire Atlantique.

    The five departments of the Pays de la Loire offer different styles of houses and apartments, each with a unique charm and appeal. Along the coastline you will find a mix of traditional fishing villages and modern seaside resorts. Some of the latter feature Belle Epoque villas. Apartments with a sea view in Les Sables-d’Olonne, and Saint Jean-de-Monts fetch premium prices.Further north, the fishing villages are home to charming cottages and apartments that reflect the maritime heritage of the Loire Atlantique. Some of the most in demand are the houses and apartments in Pornic and the other resorts in the Baie de Bourgneuf.

    Inland the Pays de la Loire is famous for its vineyards and agricultural land, and you will find a mixture of farmhouses and old stone country houses. Many of these have been beautifully restored to regain their original character and charm. Bigger cities like Nantes are home to half-timbered houses and more modern apartments. These homes offer a mix of historical and contemporary living. New build (VEFA) properties are also popular in Nantes as it has a large student population and accommodation in the city centre is not easy to find.

    To summarise, you will find a variety of houses in Pays de la Loire, with something to suit all budgets and tastes.

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