Where are the cheapest places to retire in France?

7 min read

France has always been a popular destination for thousands of expatriate retirees from all over the world. Whether you want to enjoy pleasant weather, an excellent healthcare system or just feel like a change of scenery, France offers you all of this and more. In this quick read, we’ll explore some of the most affordable regions in France to make your retirement as comfortable as possible.

5 reasons to retire in France

  1. Weather is an important factor either when you’re deciding on a holiday destination or looking into a permanent move. That’s why it’s good to know that France’s climate offers a bit of everything: warm, sunny summer days and moderate winters. It just depends on where you choose to settle down.
  2. France is easily accessible from mainland Europe, by train, ferry and of course aeroplane. So, you’re only ever a few hours away from friends and family in the UK.
  3. As part of the EU, France offers a strong and stable economy, so if you invest in property for your future, then it may give you peace of mind to know that it will hold its value over time.
  4. You might be searching for a slower pace of life, a property by the sea, or want to enjoy scenic countryside views. On the other hand, you might crave the excitement of a bustling city. Whatever your preference, the French lifestyle is all about embracing culture, enjoying delicious food and drink, and going with the flow – all of which promise an enjoyable retirement.
  5. The healthcare system in France is ranked as one of the best in the world. In 2023 it was ranked 9th in the world by the World Health Organisation. So as you get older, you know that you’ll be well looked after.
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Where should you retire?

As the third largest country in Europe, there are plenty of options when it comes to choosing where to retire in France. Whilst the capital city of Paris is one of the most expensive in the world, there are plenty of more affordable regions to suit your retirement budget.

Things to think about when it comes to choosing your ideal location include:

  • The type of property and landscape you want to live in. For example, do you want to be in a rural area, or would you feel more comfortable in a well-connected town or city?
  • Is being part of an expat community important to you? If so, you might prefer areas such as Dordogne or Brittany – which we will explore later in the article.
  • What sort of recreation activities do you enjoy? If you love being by the sea, then you’ll want to choose a coastal area. Or if you enjoy sports such as golf, then you’ll want to look for areas near the best golf courses.
  • What is your budget for buying a retirement property?
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Affordable regions in France

Property prices will of course be a major factor in your decision making when it comes to buying a future home in France. Like most countries, prices vary depending on where you choose to live. City centre apartments might seem costly, but there are plenty of detached properties in the countryside and smaller towns that are the same price as a London apartment.

Our iad Overseas property consultants live all over the country, so they can help you narrow down the ideal location for your retirement home.

In this section we’ve chosen some popular yet affordable regions in which you might start your search.


Brimming with history, close to major ferry ports (within an hour’s drive) and surrounded by countryside, Normandy is one of the most popular places to visit for tourists and expats looking to relocate.

With plenty to do by way of outdoors activities such as golf, walking and vast coastal stretches, properties in Normandy are a blend of old and new, with plenty of renovation opportunities to suit your budget.

Divided into Upper and Lower Normandy, prices in the south are lower than other regions. Orne and Manche offer the lowest prices and are easy to get to from the UK. Seine-Maritime in the East of Normandy is the most expensive, but you can still find large family houses for around €250,000 (around £211,815.71).

Below is a breakdown of average house prices in various parts of Normandy.

Area in Normandy House prices per m2 (£ equivalent)
Seine-Maritime 1,771.63
Calvados 2,098.77
Eure 1,724.18
Manche 1,561.51
Orne 1,243.78

The above information has been sourced from Properstar.


With a large population of Brits choosing to relocate to Brittany, as a UK buyer, you’ll feel right at home in this rural corner of France. Easy to access by ferry and with six airports, there are plenty of property bargains to be had.

The landscape of Brittany is characterised by cliffs, dunes, white sandy beaches and rolling green countryside, so there’s something to suit every taste.

From fishing cottages, to thatched cottages, the property market in Brittany boasts some unusual and quirky homes alongside more traditional family houses.

Below is a breakdown of average house prices in various parts of Brittany.

Area in Brittany House prices per m2 (£ equivalent)
Morbihan 2,113.07
Ille-et-Vilaine 1933.45
Finistere 1906.34
Cotes-d'Armor 1,738.58

The above information has been sourced from  Properstar.

Being retired in France


Located in the southwest of Aquitaine, the Dordogne is one of the most popular places for British, Dutch, and Belgian expats in France. This makes it a great option if your French is limited, and you want to meet fellow Brits in the local area.

Characterised by lush green countryside and a relaxed lifestyle, the Dordogne spans over 9,000 km2  and is truly an area of natural beauty, a great place to retire and enjoy the outdoors life.

Beautiful medieval villages, with cobbled streets, historical buildings and traditional architecture make the Dordogne a picture-perfect place to spend your golden years.

Property prices range from as little as £100,000 to £1 million depending on the size and style of property you’re looking for.

Below is a breakdown of average house prices in different parts of Dordogne.

Area in Dordogne House prices per m2 (£ equivalent)
Saint-Cyprien 1,724.18
Bergerac 1,637.76
Perigueux 1,670.80
Lalinde 1,434.42
Nontron 951.48

The above information has been sourced from Properstar.


Located in Southern France, this region offers beautiful natural surroundings by way of its diverse landscape. Retiring in Occitania offers a laidback lifestyle and plenty of recreational activities to enjoy, from seaside strolls and mountain walks to taking in traditional village life.

This vast region is truly breath-taking and is popular with foreign property buyers from all over the world. Its rich cultural heritage, traditional cuisine and strong sense of history make it an amazing location to enjoy your retirement years.

The sheer size of this region means that there are plenty of properties to choose from to suit all manner of budgets. With luxury villas from around £1 million upwards, manor houses, farmhouses, mountain chalets, cottages and more, there are plenty of deals to be found with the help of our iad Overseas property consultants.


This stunning area of coastline in southern Provence is home to the glittering shores of Saint-Tropez – a world famous resort renowned for its glitz and glamour. The Var is however a lot more than just one resort, boasting impressive natural beauty, and an array of coastal towns and villages offering buyers traditional farmhouses, stone buildings and more.


A popular year-round tourist destination, visitors fall in love with the cobbled streets and small squares in the towns and villages. While others are wowed by the majesty of the Verdon Canyon, and the miles and miles of olive groves and vineyards dotted across the countryside.


Prices are higher around the Var in comparison to other regions, however it is a stunning part of the country which could provide you with a picturesque retirement, basking in warm temperatures and enjoying a slower, sunnier pace of life.


According to Properstar, while Saint Tropez houses cost an eye-watering €23,427 (around £19,848.83) per m2, the surrounding areas are much more affordable. With prices in Toulon starting at €4,296 (around £3,639.84) per m2.

How iad Overseas can help

Our property consultants are based all over France and are fluent in French and English.

They have worked with many expat retirees over the years and can help you find your dream property in the perfect location. Our iad Overseas property consultants will work within your budget to ensure your retirement home is exactly what you want.

Get in touch with our team today to start the next chapter of your life.

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