Property in the Touraine

A guide to the Touraine area of France and property found here

Searching for property in the Touraine

Mention the Touraine, and the uninitiated will reply, "Where?" If you are one of those who have not yet become acquainted with this lovely region of France, it may be worth spending a little of your time addressing the gaps in your knowledge... especially if you are considering purchasing a property in France in the near future. It could also be that you actually know the region better than you think, and that you have simply known it by another name, for the Touraine is its old name, the name given to the old province whose capital was the great city of Tours in central France. The Touraine is also commonly referred to as "The Garden of France".

Where is the Touraine, exactly?

Situated somewhat south and south-west of Paris (Paris Property Guide), the Touraine is the land that lies right in the very heart of France, where the River Loire crosses the region known now as the Centre Val de Loire (The Central Loire Valley Property Guide), and where the tributaries of this great river, the Indre, the Cher and the Vienne, also bring a lushness and fertility to the land.

What is the Touraine famous for?

The Touraine is famed for its wine, for its fine lifestyle, and for its chateaux. If you are seeking a property in a piece of classic France, then look no further, for this is the character that is stamped all over this region. It is a place where great rivers traverse the countryside, where ancient castles raise their fairytale turrets to the skies, and where hectares of perfectly ordered vineyards are laid out and carefully nurtured to produce some of France's finest wines. (French properties with vineyards.)

Who will buy property in the Touraine - who will it most suit?

There are, of course, many diverse aspects to the Touraine. It is perfectly possible to find a property in a quiet corner where a simple rural lifestyle beats as ever to the rhythm of the land and the seasons, unchanged by the demands of modern life or the requirements of a sophisticated society. The Touraine, though, in general, is best suited to those would be British ex-pats who love the finer things in life, and who should find their aspirations a perfect match for the Touraine and all it has to offer.

Property seekers who are lovers of culture

The ancient capital of the province, Tours (Tours Property Guide) is a city of great elegance, with a reputation as an intellectual stronghold. There is history and sophistication by the boatload here, but also a young and vibrant student population who keep the city from becoming stuffy and caught in its own constraints. Certainly lovers of art, architecture, history and culture of all sorts will find enough to keep them in Tours for a long time.

Property seekers who are lovers of nature

The Loire valley, revered as one of France's best loved and most desirable regions, is also a haven for lovers of nature. The lushness of the river valley provides a perfect environment for some rare and delightful flora and fauna, and nature walks along the river banks are sure to be a never ending source of interest and pleasure (Finding property in the best walking areas of France). Not for nothing is the Touraine known as "The Garden of France".

Property seekers who are lovers of history

The Touraine is a wonderful region with a rich historical heritage. The evidence is everywhere, but perhaps most famously evident in the proliferation of fabulous chateaux that seem to be simply everywhere in the region. There are chateaux that are open to the public, so that you can get a glimpse of what life was really like for the rich and privileged... and perhaps a glimpse of how the lifestyle of today can be lived within the walls of a great castle as well.

Property seekers who are lovers of gastronomy and wine

As well as for its wines, which are known as some of the finest in France, Bordeaux and Burgundy notwithstanding, the Touraine is famed too for its gastronomy, and features on many a fine dining tour of France. Try the pork and cheeses for which the area is best known, and fitting in a wine tasting session at a local wine domain is a must! (Buying and cooking French food.)

Property seekers who are lovers of sport

Sportsmen are not forgotten here either (Sport in France). You can find excellent fishing (French Properties with Lakes), golf courses (Property Near Golf Courses in France), horse-riding, tennis and many other sports and sporting facilities in the Touraine.

Are Brits welcome in the Touraine?

Are the British welcome in the Touraine, and are there many settlers here already? Yes, yes, and YES. Ok, I know there wasn't a third question, but the emphatic yes signifies that this is a region that has already proved itself of great interest to British property buyers (Brits in France). You may wonder, if this is the case, why you haven't heard more about it, as it rarely features on buying property abroad programmes and suchlike. The answer is simply that the people who discover the delights of this region are not the sort of people who want to shout about it. Quietly elegant, like the area, they prefer to keep it to themselves and thus to preserve the very qualities that drew them to the Touraine in the first place.

British and French are friendly and welcoming in the Touraine

So you will find other British people here, certainly, who are welcoming and friendly (as are the French), but it's not the place to be if you fancy setting up a chain of fish and chip shops, British style pubs and Bingo halls. Incidentally, Mick Jagger has had a home in the Touraine for many years and it is said that he is a regular figure in the bars and restaurants of Tours.

What sort of property is available in the Touraine?

The property available in the Touraine is one of the region's principal glories. If you have ever dreamed of owning a great French chateau then this could be your lucky region. Seriously, there are plenty of grand chateaux and manor houses on the market in the Touraine, but don't expect to pick them up for a song. The area is all too close to Paris for that, and too elegant and sought after too, although a canny soul may find cheaper large properties around if they keep their eyes on the market.

Expensive property in the Touraine

Those with money to burn should concentrate their searches around the Loire valley where there are some wonderful properties in the higher price bracket (at the time of writing there is a chateau property (complete with pink brick, blue slate roofs and fairytale turrets) for sale with 35 hectares of land, a turreted gatehouse and a guarantee of all your dreams coming true. OK, the last statement may be a slight exaggeration, but as long as you have €1,600,000 to spend, then I think you would be very happy there!

Cheaper property in the Touraine

Cheaper property (Cheap French Property), including farmsteads to renovate (House Renovations in France) and village houses, may be found in the Cher department (Cher Property Guide) to the east of the region, and in the south of the Indre (Indre Property Guide).

Getting to the Touraine

The best way to see if the Touraine is for you is to experience the place at first hand. This is simplicity itself, thanks to the city of Tours which offers an airport, with flights from budget airline Ryanair; a coach terminal for the ultimate in budget travel; a TGV stop, for the super fast service of which France is justifiably proud; and the efficient A10 auto route that makes driving a pleasure (French Connections - Travel to Centre-West France). The only thing you can't do is sail there! (French Connections.)

Anything else I should know?

The climate, perhaps... this is generally excellent, blending a touch of the cooler north tempered by a smidgeon of the hot south... resulting, for the most part, in a temperate and very pleasant climate offering long warm summers and short mild winters. Spring and autumn can be damp, but you have to have rain sometime for all that lush greenery! (Weather in France.) There are also advantages to be found from being so perfectly centrally situated. Tours opens up the whole of France to you, should you wish, as nowhere is really too far away from this accessible region. (Travel France.)

Additional articles which may be of interest:

Gascony Property - an insider's guide
Quercy Property - an insider's guide
Alps property
Property in the south of France
South-west France Property
Property for sale in Brittany
Languedoc-Roussillon Property - an insider's guide

About the author

Joanna Simm moved to the Languedoc area of south-west France in October 2004 having found her property through French Property Links.

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