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Pont Saint Esprit - at the door of Provence

Pont Saint Esprit is a little town that sits at the door of Provence, in the east of the Languedoc Roussillon region of the south of France. It is a town that counts its blessings rather than paying the price. It is not disfigured by tourism in the way that many lovely old Provençal towns have become and it is not so expensive that only the very wealthiest can afford to buy property there. Yet Pont Saint Esprit enjoys the same long sunny summers, being dressed in the same glorious olive trees and lavender, and offers the same slow southern ambience and quality of life. Pont Saint Esprit embodies the reasons why the Gard is known to many as the undiscovered department of Provence.

Uptown and upbeat

The town is a prosperous one with excellent facilities. There are lots of shops, selling everything from local goodies such as olive oil and olive products to art and crafts. All the usual amenities are available to you, with a school, doctors and a restaurant all close to hand. Wines, of course, are big business here too, with the local appellation "Côtes du Rhône" sold everywhere in the vicinity.

Excellent bread on offer too!

The contaminated bread panic in 1951 which caused a mass poisoning and also outbreaks of psychotic behaviour, resulting in many townsfolk having to enter asylums, is now fortunately, a blip from the past. The bread today is not only safe, but excellent!

Ancient bridge

The bridge of nearby Avignon may be known to the world through the song, but the bridge at Pont Saint Esprit not only gives its name to the town but also remains complete in its span of the River Rhone, unlike its famous namesake! There are many other historic sites to discover in Pont Saint Esprit too, with the Priory of St Pierre, the St Saturnin church, the 12th century Maison des Chevaliers and a couple of very good museums.

Out and about

Taking Pont Saint Esprit as a base for further exploration of the region is an excellent idea, as the town is situated in a spot that makes the regions of Provence, the Midi-Pyrénées, the Ardèche and the Languedoc readily accessible. Travel west to see the spectacular Millau Bridge, track east to find the famed beauty and fragrance of Provence, south to the warm waters and sophisticated lifestyle of the Med, or north to the dramatic gorges of the Ardèche. That should be enough variety for anyone!

Sports and leisure

Sports fans can find plenty to keep them busy and fit in the area near the town. Try horse-riding, tennis, walking, cycling or fishing, or go multi culturally cultural and attend the fabulous music festival "Les Rencontre Musicales" that takes place in the town every year, and offers not only great music to listen and dance to with the open air concerts, but also lessons in several languages... including English! It also isn't too far to get to the Med and all the sporting possibilities associated with sea.

How to get there

To reach Pont Saint Esprit from the UK you have various possibilities. Air travel gives you the option of flying to Avignon (flybe), Nîmes (Ryanair) or Montpellier (easyJet, Ryanair). Rail travel will take you by TGV to Nîmes or Montpellier. Travelling by road you should take the A7 followed by the N86.

Property prices and availability in and around Pont Saint Esprit

To discover the joys of living in Provence without paying the high Provençal prices, consider the Gard. Prices for property in Pont Saint Esprit, while not cheap, are certainly reasonable, and there are a good variety of quality properties available in or close to the town.

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Pont Saint Esprit AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Pont Saint Esprit?

Pont Saint Esprit is located in the south of France. It lies in the north-east of the Gard department, very close to its region's borders with both Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur and Rhône Alpes.

Pont Saint Esprit Property Map


Languedoc-Roussillon Guide

Languedoc-Roussillon Property Map


Gard Guide

  Gard Map

Population: 9,265

Access: By air: Fly into Avignon, Nîmes or Montpellier. By rail: The TGV goes to Montpellier, Nîmes and Avignon. By road: The N86 is the closest to the town, accessed from the A7.

Economy: The economy concerns agriculture mainly, with local goods including olive oil and related products, tapenade, anchoiade, soaps and perfumed products, chocolates and snails.

Interesting fact: There was a huge panic in the town in 1951 caused by a mass poisoning which was finally traced back to some contaminated bread.

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