Real estate watch: Hérault – cheap houses far from Montpellier

Capital of department 34: Montpellier

Main towns/municipalities: Béziers, Sète, Lunel, Frontignan, Agde, Lattes, Mauguio, Castelnau-le-Lez

When, in the 1960s, Charles de Gaulle ordered the beaches of Hérault to be transformed into playgrounds to attract some of the tourists flocking to Spain, the technocrats in charge declared that they had three things to conquer: swamps, wind and mosquitoes.

Old university and beaches

Drains sorted the swamps and helped create marinas, trees were planted as windbreaks and an agency, still in place, was created to reduce mosquitoes to manageable levels.

Read more: Mosquitoes are making a comeback in France – tips to keep them away

Montpellier, the capital of the department, already had a large student population.

The added attraction of beaches a short bus ride away made the old university even more appealing.

Main cities in the south

The Montpellier basin has experienced one of the fastest demographic growths in France over the past 50 years.

Away from the beaches and the town is a belt of agricultural land, dominated by vines, melon and early wheat, then the mountains of the Cévennes.

Besides Montpellier, the main cities are in the south.

Sète is piled up on a small piece of land between the lake and the sea, Agde is a new resort, and Béziers, a little inland, is a dream of the end of the 19th century when it carried wine trains every day. to Paris.

Read more: Tielle de Sète – The poor man’s pâté that has become an icon of local French cuisine

The motorways feed traffic to Montpellier, Spain and Marseille.

Trains follow the same corridor and Montpellier has its own airport, with international destinations such as Gatwick and Luton by easyJet.

While resorts and towns have exorbitant prices (think €250,000 for a small bungalow), there are houses €50,000 and under in the mountains and in small villages far from the sea.

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