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Saint Girons - charming and lively

The town of St Girons, situated in the south-west of France in the Ariège department of the Midi-Pyrénées region, is a charming and lively town with some 7,000 inhabitants. It is the commercial heart of this sparsely populated and mountainous region, and also attracts a good number of visitors, both to enjoy its olde worlde ambience and also to attend its excellent street markets.

Picturesque setting

The town of St Girons has a wonderfully picturesque location, in the foothills of the beautiful Pyrenean mountains, close to the border with Spain. Above the town the peaks jut into the skyline, snow clad in winter and green and inviting in summer. The ski resorts are close at hand, and both the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean are within two to three hours travel.

Saint Girons - markets galore

There is always plenty going on in St Girons, and perhaps among the best of its regular activities are the local produce markets that set up in the town every Saturday. If this isn't enough to satisfy your need for French markets, then every second and fourth Monday, St Girons also offers big general markets, where everything but the kitchen sink can be bought and sold! (Actually, you probably could find a kitchen sink if you looked hard enough!)

St Girons - its amenities and festivals

The town has all amenities, lots of interesting and useful shops, bars, restaurants and other entertainments including street festivals in the summer months, celebrating theatre and folklore.

For the energetic...

If you are energetically inclined, then you will love the area around St Girons. In the winter you are only a hop away from some great skiing and snowboarding territory, and in the summer the mountains exert their siren call to all those who love walking, mountain biking, pony trekking and generally enjoying the spectacular scenery of the great outdoors.

Out and about

There are plenty of interesting places to visit from a base in St Girons too, with Spain easily accessible at either Irun on the Atlantic coast or La Jonquera on the Med. Then there is the tax free principality of Andorra (for cheap shopping), the historical Cathar towns and cities of Foix and Carcassonne, the great rose-coloured city of Toulouse, and the Atlantic surfing resort of Biarritz.

How to get there

The airport of Toulouse is close at hand, and there are several airlines that offer direct flights to Toulouse from airports around the UK including British Airways, easyJet, bmi and Jet2. It is also possible to fly to Carcassonne (Ryanair), Pau (Ryanair), or Perpignan (Ryanair, bmibaby, flybe). The TGV train runs to Tarbes or Toulouse, giving you the option of train travel too. It is also a realistic possibility to travel by boat. There is a ferry that runs to Bilbao/Santander which is only a few hours drive from the town.

Property prices and availability in and around Saint Girons

St Girons is in a little known area of France, at least to many property seekers. As long as the area remains relatively undiscovered, prices will remain reasonable, but it is gradually gaining in popularity as the British, Dutch and second home buying French discover the many advantages of owning property in this lovely region. The answer seems to be to buy now rather than to wait until prices have risen. The other good news is that at the moment, unlike in many beautiful parts of France, the town and its immediate environs have a lack of good rental properties, so there is a chink in the holiday rental market to exploit if you are interested in buying to let.

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Saint Girons AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Saint Girons?

Saint Girons lies in the south-west of France, almost halfway between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. It lies in the west of the Ariège department.

Saint Girons Property Map

IN THE REGION OF MIDI-PYRÉNÉES

Midi-Pyrénées Guide

Midi-Pyrénées Property Map

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF ARIÈGE

Ariège Guide

  Ariège Map


Population: 7,000


Access: By air: Fly to Toulouse, Perpignan, Carcassonne or Pau, with a variety of airlines. By rail: The TGV runs to Toulouse or to Tarbes, so with a simple change at Paris you can travel almost all the way by train.


Economy: The economy is a blend of commerce and agriculture. Tourism is becoming more and more significant.


Interesting fact: There is a chocolate shop in town that has a warm chocolate fountain... find the shop (... hint!... Place Jean Jaurès) and you will be given a teaspoon and invited to taste!

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