Narbonne is easy to fly in and out of, culturally and historically rich, and is in one of the most picturesque parts of Occitanie. Overall it is a well-serviced, sunny and vibrant area to retire to
Narbonne is located in the Aude department in Occitanie and is an ancient Roman city surrounded by natural parks, stunning coastlines, beautiful beaches and vineyards.
Having been established in 118 BC, Narbonne was located on the first Roman road ever built in Gaul, the Via Domitia. Today, the remains of this road can still be found exposed outside the Archbishop’s palace in the heart of the town.
An area that has long been popular with the French, it is becoming more known by international buyers who are attracted to its sunny climate, historical roots, convenient location and magnificent beaches.
The rejuvenated town centre is lively all year round, not just during the summer, and is also well serviced with all the facilities you could need. From quality shopping to hospitals, the plentiful interest in this area from buyers looking to settle in France after retirement is on the rise.
1. Easily accessible
The older we get, the more likely it is that our friends and family will be scattered around the world. Living in a location that’s easy to fly in to and out of is vital to ensuring you can easily keep up with the people you care about.
Flying into Narbonne couldn’t be easier because there are so many airports to choose from, such as Béziers, Toulouse, Perpignan, Carcassonne and Montpellier. There’s also a train station in the centre of town, which connects you easily with Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Barcelona and Madrid.
2. Culturally enriching
Criteria for a good holiday home is usually different to the requirements of a location where you’re going to live permanently. Fortunately, Narbonne ticks both boxes and it can offer a holiday experience during the summer months, but remains lively during all seasons of the year.
Narbonne’s historic roots and Roman heritage stretch back to the 1st century BC. The Roman Horreum offers a fascinating exploration of underground storage galleries that were constructed at the end of the 1st century BC and the city’s gothic cathedral is spectacular and imposing.
There is a popular theatre and cinema, as well as a busy events calendar all year round.
3. House prices are starting to rise
Following a gradual increase in house prices to 2007, since then they have remained relatively stable to 2017 with average house prices rising again recently in 2018.
Property in Narbonne tends to hold its value, but as the market becomes more in demand, the prices should continue to rise providing a savvy investment opportunity for international buyers.
While Narbonne’s town centre is highly coveted by Home Hunts’ clients looking to buy property in the area, other sought-after locations in the surrounding area include: Bages, Peyriac-de-Mer, Bizanet and Ginestas.
4. Eat, drink and be merry
Over the last couple of years investment in Narbonne has benefited the city considerably and it is brimming with restaurants and shops, even along the canal banks. Locals say it’s the canal that brings the community together, for walking, cycling, meeting, eating and drinking.
Narbonne’s famous covered market at Les Halles always evokes an awakening of the senses. Ground coffee, fresh prawns, ripening mangos and sacks of herbs and spices – to name a few – mean diverse aromas perfuse the air. It is impossible to leave without buying at least something from one of the 72 daily traders.
In terms of wine, the vines were here even before the Romans and the town is in two AOC territories: AOC Coteaux du Languedoc La Clape and AOC Corbières. The success and dynamism of Narbonne’s wine-making heritage is there to enjoy on a daily basis, either through private wine tastings and purchases or in the town’s eateries.
5. A simply beautiful place to live
Between Narbonne town and Narbonne Plage – which offers around 5km of wide, sandy beaches and a marina – lies the Massif de la Clape natural reserve. This protected area of 15,000 hectares is truly extraordinary and consists of high rocky plateaus, garrigue (the scrub associated with the Mediterranean), pine groves and vineyards.
The beaches are huge and less crowded than the French Riviera, but still on the Mediterranean Sea, so rental opportunities are good for owners wishing to make some extra income during the high season.