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Perpignan - good place to live?

Perpignan - good place to live?

Old Oct 9th 2020, 6:59 pm
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Default Perpignan - good place to live?

I am a young 60 year old with wife. Living in Normandy. Sick of cold and wet. Play guitar, write novels, paint. Would Perpignan be a suitable place to live? Looking for things to do, a bit of night life, very little in Normandy (assuming of course Covid goes away/we get back to something like normal. We would not move until then I think - at least we feel safe in the countryside!!)
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Old Oct 9th 2020, 9:26 pm
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Default Re: Perpignan - good place to live?

Hi MM2000
Welcome to the forum
I would be careful of what you wish for.
You are fed up with the cold and wet but the summers have been getting hotter in France.
We had neighbours - she was French and from the département (Indre Loire) and he was English and they have just sold up to move to the UK because the summers were frequently reaching mid-30s.
She couldn't stand the heat.
If you really want to move south then consider Montpellier or Collioure.
Montpellier is a lively city with really good light for painting.
Collioure is much quieter but also has a superb light.
Consider Tours - not so far South but lively all year round with English language studio cinema and a concert hall and is lively all-year-round.
Consider Lyon - also lively all-year-round.
Both of these have TGV links to Paris.
If you need transport links to the UK then you should check these out also.
HTH

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Old Oct 9th 2020, 11:49 pm
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Default Re: Perpignan - good place to live?

Thanks a lot for the message!

Lots of good info there - I will do further research - do you have something against Perpignan or you just consider the other places you mention better?

I lived in HK and Thailand for 30 years so am used to the heat!

Cheers
MM
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Old Oct 10th 2020, 6:41 am
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Default Re: Perpignan - good place to live?

Originally Posted by Majormajor2000 View Post
I am a young 60 year old with wife. Living in Normandy. Sick of cold and wet. Play guitar, write novels, paint. Would Perpignan be a suitable place to live? Looking for things to do, a bit of night life, very little in Normandy (assuming of course Covid goes away/we get back to something like normal. We would not move until then I think - at least we feel safe in the countryside!!)
If you do move there then don't buy something close to a river!!!!!
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Old Oct 10th 2020, 8:44 am
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Default Re: Perpignan - good place to live?

Cyrian makes a good point, you have to think about the changing climate. I've only been to Perpignan once, and enjoyed it, it's a beautiful area. Where I live which is slightly south-west, I have found the summer's quite difficult, although it helps having an old stone house to keep cool indoors. This past summer has not necessarily been hotter than others (certainly not much rain!), but the intensity of the sun has definitely had an impact on vegetation and vegetables/fruit - my neighbour noticed the same. We're currently investing in a place up on the north coast of France; when my wife spoke to the firm managing her investment, rather than trying to talk her out of parting with her savings, they actually told her it was a smart move, and that more people are buying in these areas because of climate changes. Our circumstances are a little different though, as we're not looking to move in there for another 15-20 years or so.

I guess to some degree, people crave something they don't necessarily have too much off. I'm happy with more rain and some wind, but I can see why someone who has too much of these things would crave more sunshine and calmer days. If the extremes of weather continues, I think neither location would be much fun. I suspect your artistic temperament would be better fulfilled in the south, but then again the impressionist movement largely came out of Normandy, and they seemed pretty happy there.

Cyrian mentioned Collioure - I would be very happy there! When I visited maybe 12 years ago now, I was living in Paris at the time, and remember being shocked by the property prices. As we were looking through the estate agent's window a woman struck up a conversation. A few years previously she sold a 300m2 property there, at fairly normal French market prices, and she was also amazed at how the prices had soared. She had wanted to move back to the area, but couldn't even afford a 50m2 place. Collioure definitely ticks all the boxes for a creative mind.


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Old Oct 10th 2020, 8:50 am
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Default Re: Perpignan - good place to live?

Originally Posted by Majormajor2000 View Post
Thanks a lot for the message!

Lots of good info there - I will do further research - do you have something against Perpignan or you just consider the other places you mention better?

I lived in HK and Thailand for 30 years so am used to the heat!

Cheers
MM
I don't have anything against Perpignan but if I did it wouldn't be relevant.
Members of the forum have chosen their locations for their own personal reasons and you need to do the same.
You need to visit likely locations - especially off-season - and choose the one that suits you best.
There are loads of potential locations in France for you to choose.
Remember as you get older, the heat has a greater effect.
The couple I spoke about were in their 80s and couldn't cope with the heat anymore.
HTH
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Old Oct 10th 2020, 10:54 am
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Default Re: Perpignan - good place to live?

Originally Posted by Majormajor2000 View Post
I am a young 60 year old with wife. Living in Normandy. Sick of cold and wet. Play guitar, write novels, paint. Would Perpignan be a suitable place to live? Looking for things to do, a bit of night life, very little in Normandy (assuming of course Covid goes away/we get back to something like normal. We would not move until then I think - at least we feel safe in the countryside!!)
Welcome to the forum!
Just a few words about Perpignan. I've lost count of the number of times I've driven through, and even when in no particular hurry heading further south, I've never really been tempted to stop and explore. Perhaps I've missed out on a great experience, but over the years I've never heard anyone on this forum or elswhere exulting in the pleasures of that particular city.
Cyrian makes some good points. Montpellier or Collioure are well worth visiting, both places we've been to several times and stayed for days, especially Collioure, a delighful little place. But the property prices there now are hair-raising - as G-J-B noticed 12 years ago. You may even need hair restorer at today's prices! Delighful place as it is, I wouldn't like to live there, as it becomes overrun by tourists during the high seasons, and that descent from the D914/N114? down into Collioure is no joke when the centre becomes bottlenecked.
Would Perpignan be a suitable place to live? I believe you'd need to spend at least a few weeks there out of season, say Nov-March to come to a meaningful decision.
G-J-B also say's, "This past summer has not necessarily been hotter than others", but be aware that Sept 2020 was the hottest ever on record. I would have hated to have been in Perpignan last month in that case, and I too have lived in HKG, also Singapore, and spent many months in Thailand, the heat 'ain't the same. I too love hot weather, but thank goodness we had aircon installed 2 years ago, it's paid for itself in comfort, especially this year.
Please stay with us and share your future plans. Unfortunately so many newcomers disappear rapidly without trace. I'm sure your experiences in Normandy could interest many here.
(Amazingly I hear that the number of wild wolves is increasing in Normandy! And they've taken at least 80 brebis over the last 10 months). But you may not have that same concern in Perpignan..........

Last edited by Tweedpipe; Oct 10th 2020 at 10:59 am.
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Old Oct 11th 2020, 8:02 am
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Default Re: Perpignan - good place to live?

Don't forget that the south suffers from the cold and wet, too! What about all the "épisodes cévénols/méditerranéens" which we frequently suffer from, and which devastated the area behind Nice last week?
I would add that the Tramontane, which blows frequently all year round in the whole of the (former) Languedoc/Roussillon, shouldn't be underestimated. It comes as an unpleasant surprize to any one who has never encountered it. Its only redeeming feature is that it helps humans to tolerate the blisteringly hot summers here, but it also increases the drought conditions. It's blowing at least 100 km/hr this weekend which adds to the chill factor of the already parky temperatures....
FWIW, my (French) nephew in Paris has bought a second-home in Brittany, believing that, in the years to come with the continuous climatic changes, the South will be unbearable to live in, and that the north of France will be more "comfortable".
As suggested, Covid permitting, why not go visiting various possible locations, preferably in the winter and high summer, to experience the extreme conditions?
HTH
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Old Oct 11th 2020, 12:00 pm
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Default Re: Perpignan - good place to live?

I guess whether or not the heat in the south of France is bearable is completely subjective. We also lived in Hong Kong and travelled extensively through Asia, including spending about 9 months on and off in Thailand and two months in the south of India. We don't just stand the heat in Carcassonne, we love it. We bought an old, stone house which helps keep it cool and have fans in the rooms including sleeping with one at the foot of our bed. Our small, walled courtyard gets very hot in the afternoon, but the mornings and evenings are nice.
The tramontane is another matter. I don't mind it. It does cool things down in the summer and adds a touch of wild weather at other times. As a recreational sailor, and having overwintered in Port St Louis at the bottom of the Rhone, I find no real difference between the tramontane and the mistral now, which is blowing much more frequently than it used to, probably due to climate change if you believe in it. Between the two they certainly cut out largish chunks of the south of France if you want to avoid the winds. Each to their own.
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Old Oct 11th 2020, 12:04 pm
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Default Re: Perpignan - good place to live?

Originally Posted by cyrian View Post
Members of the forum have chosen their locations for their own personal reasons and you need to do the same.
You need to visit likely locations - especially off-season - and choose the one that suits you best.
There are loads of potential locations in France for you to choose.
HTH
This ^^

Originally Posted by Majormajor2000 View Post
Looking for things to do, a bit of night life, very little in Normandy
I also live in Normandy, in a small town around a half hour's drive from both Lisieux and Argentan. Plenty to do in both those towns - theatres, concerts, lectures, cinemas, exhibitions, foires, markets, restaurants, bars, sports facilities, sports events, organised walks. If I don't want to drive anywhere there are also restaurants and bars within walking distance and a programme of concerts, shows, filmshows and other events, there is something on most weeks. So I don't think you can really say there is "very little in Normandy", I think it all depends on exactly where in Normandy you chose to live.
However your comment on the climate does apply to Normandy, it's not the sunniest part of France. It is a more gentle climate than the south and I felt more comfortable with it, although saying that it's had its share of storms and floods in recent years. But I have a motorhome and I like to travel a lot, sometimes for months at a time, so my "home" has never been a place where I spend 365 days out of 365. Over the years I've fallen in love with so many other places - Brittany, Gard, the Midi, Alsace, the Loire valley. Yes Alianco, and Carcassone. But I know they are just holiday romances and part of the romance and excitement is their "alien-ness"; I love visiting for a holiday but I have no desire to actually live there. It's always lovely to get back "home" to Normandy and relax peacefully for a while until the next trip.
So as Cyrian says, everyone has different lifestyles and different reasons for having decided to settle where they do. I'm nomadic by nature but I need a comfort zone to retreat to in between trips, and small town Normandy is my comfort zone. If you feel you need a change of lifestyle, go for it! France has so many lovely and very different places where you could live, it's a shame to stay somewhere that isn't what you want.

Last edited by EuroTrash; Oct 11th 2020 at 12:09 pm.
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Old Oct 11th 2020, 12:29 pm
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Default Re: Perpignan - good place to live?

Have to agree with EuroTrash, horses for courses. I've lived in central Paris, which at that time in my life suited me perfectly and I loved it. When the second child arrived, I wasn't finding it very child friendly (try getting a pushchair onto the metro or even a bus for example!) and moved out into the middle of a very quaint rural middle-of-nowhere. It was a radical change, but I adapted and love it here too; it's more suited to my current situation and age in life. I fear if you start getting wanderlust, wherever you end up, you'll dream about the next potential place to move to, and how much better that might be.
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Old Oct 16th 2020, 10:28 pm
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Default Re: Perpignan - good place to live?

Originally Posted by dmu View Post
Don't forget that the south suffers from the cold and wet, too! What about all the "épisodes cévénols/méditerranéens" which we frequently suffer from, and which devastated the area behind Nice last week?
I would add that the Tramontane, which blows frequently all year round in the whole of the (former) Languedoc/Roussillon, shouldn't be underestimated. It comes as an unpleasant surprize to any one who has never encountered it. Its only redeeming feature is that it helps humans to tolerate the blisteringly hot summers here, but it also increases the drought conditions. It's blowing at least 100 km/hr this weekend which adds to the chill factor of the already parky temperatures....
FWIW, my (French) nephew in Paris has bought a second-home in Brittany, believing that, in the years to come with the continuous climatic changes, the South will be unbearable to live in, and that the north of France will be more "comfortable".
As suggested, Covid permitting, why not go visiting various possible locations, preferably in the winter and high summer, to experience the extreme conditions?
HTH
Very good point regarding climate and although Perpignan gets less rain than many other parts during winter, the wind in that area can feel very cold too and ironically it can get a lot hotter than our part of Spain in summer. Like Tweedpipe we always drive past Perpignan but never really stop there and just want to get across the border to Spain. Roses is not too far from Perpignan and although I love the place, I'm actually glad we couldn't afford to buy a holiday home there. Like Perpignan it can feel very cold and the wind adds to that. Although sunnier, the temps here in Ireland/Galway are roughly the same from November to beginning of March. The bigger worry seems to be extreme heat and droughts during summer and the more I think about it the less desire I have to ever move permanently. At least we're still lucky so far and the balance between sun and rain is OK and winters are pleasant. Who knows what it will be like in 10-15 years but if we're all still alive and healthy many of the moaners I know might also appreciate the climate we have in parts of Ireland. But even here the hurricanes have arrived and might get worse, although luckily flooding is not an issue in our part yet.

Last edited by Moses2013; Oct 16th 2020 at 11:07 pm.
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Old Nov 8th 2020, 10:54 am
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Default Re: Perpignan - good place to live?

You have to be more specific.

For example : what was it that attracted you to Normandy in the first place ?

And why have you hit on Perpignan as an idea ? EG as opposed to Toulouse ? Or Narbonne ?

do you specifically wish to live in the city itself, or rather do you mean a small town or village in less than an hour's drive from it so you can access what cities have to offer ?

Did you mention 'ART' as in painting, or was that someone else?

If you have that sort of interest then check out CÉRET. Not far from Perpignan but a world away in terms of peace and quiet............And a wonderful art gallery which has permanent and changing exhibitions, as well as quite a few artists' studios who have set up........

Fairly easy drive to the coast.

Forget Collioure unless you have pots and pots of money to buy somewhere. prices are increasing in Céret too but not to the Collioure levels.

If i were you i would look to book ( when circs permit ) a ten day break, taking in three days in Perpignan for starters, then another three based in Céret and then finally Narbonne. ( and Narbonne Plage, don't forget, for those hot hot hot summer days ). How much will you have to actually spend on a place once you have sold up in Normandy ? Be prepared to have MUCH less space for the same money ( unless you have savings to add to it, of course ).

After the ten days pottering around and looking at potential places, you might want to rent for six months before committing to a purchase.


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Old Nov 8th 2020, 11:14 am
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Default Re: Perpignan - good place to live?

Originally Posted by riv View Post
If i were you i would look to book ( when circs permit ) a ten day break, taking in three days in Perpignan for starters, then another three based in Céret and then finally Narbonne. ( and Narbonne Plage, don't forget, for those hot hot hot summer days ). ....

After the ten days pottering around and looking at potential places, you might want to rent for six months before committing to a purchase.
Wise words riv but man, you are making me so nostalgic for the days when you could book ten day breaks, just like that, and potter round looking at places

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Old Nov 8th 2020, 11:19 am
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Default Re: Perpignan - good place to live?

The OP hasn't been on since October 9th - perhaps he didn't get the replies he was looking for.
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