Aigues-Mortes is a small medieval town situated in the Gard department. The town is about 35 km from Nimes and 30 km from the city of Montpellier. The 1,650m of well-preserved city walls are particularly renowned. The picturesque town accounts for 7,000 inhabitants called the Aigues-Mortais.
Apparently founded around 102 BC, Aigues-Mortes is located in the Petite Camargue. Part of the Gard department, the area of the Camargue is a vast plain which comprises wide brine ponds, separate from the sea by sandbank and surrounded with marshes, covered by reed. A third of the whole Camargue is either lakes or marshland, and in the countryside, typical bulls and Camargue horses are bred, practically in the wild. This is the typical landscape you can see in Camargue. Thus, Aigues-Mortes is a perfect stopover for those who visit the area.
Aigues-Mortes’ economy has stayed linked to the natural resources offered in the Camargue area. Traditional fishing, breeding and cultivation bring delectable market garden produce and the original vins de sable (‘sand’ wines); which boast a very unique and tasty flavour. Nowadays, tourism industry has become predominant and brings the town a positive growth rate while developing the facilities.
Aigues Mortes is an animated place, especially during summer, and has many sights of interest. Louis IX rebuilt the beautiful harbour in the 13th century, as it was the only France’s Mediterranean harbour at that time. The constant tower finished in 1248 can still be seen. It is all that remains from Louis IX’s castle, and was designed to be impregnable with its 6-metre-thick walls.
The nice weather combined with a charming region and close to two main cities of the south, explains why Aigues-Mortes is a sought-after town. It is true that many people really seem to like Aigues-Mortes, because 15% of the properties are second homes. As a consequence, the prices in the town tend to soar. If you want to buy a property in this area, account around €3,275 /sq m for a house in Aigues-Mortes in 2009. It can appear expensive but it is however only slightly above the national average (€3,197 /sq m) and you should keep in mind that it is a loved tourist area. Indeed, many tourists rent houses or apartments in the area; especially during summer but thanks to its privileged climate the rest of the year as well. It therefore represents good opportunities in terms of buy-to-let investment.
The average area in this town is 118sq m. Only few studio flats are to be found (3 %) and the housing stock is mainly composed of three and four-bedroom properties. Prices also vary according to the type of property. If you want to buy a house, you can count approximately €3,510 /sq m for an apartment, €388,230 for a house and €721,667 for an estate. If you are afraid of this price, do not forget that we speak of prestigious properties coming with a beautiful plot of land and a big area. Furthermore, prices for this type of property currently tend to decrease. Then allow you to be tempted!
To get updated info about the property prices in the Gard department, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
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Setting: the setting of Aigues Mortes is not a common one. The town has its own style and character, thanks to the medieval city walls. Thus, to enter the town, you have to use one of the big but charming entrances. Besides, the prevailing lifestyle is one of a kind. Locals are imbued with their cultural heritage and arts & craft along with tradition come first. The life in the medieval town is all but common!
Local produce: you cannot be in the area without trying the vin de sable. Its vineyards are located on sandy plains bounded with the ocean resulting in a delicious sunny flavoured wine. Along the same process, the local asparagus is also worth to taste. Let alone the market garden produce of the highest quality, another pride of the town is its saline producing typical Camarguais salt. And do not forget the fougasse, a tasty bread sweetened with sugar and orange flavoured water. A dessert version is also on offer.
Art & historical heritage: the town offers lots of interesting sites to discover. The battlements alone are regarded as local marvel. Besides, some very ancient monuments are still to be found; notably the Constance tower where the Huguenot women were imprisoned and the Notre Dame des Sablons chuch, a vestige of the Crusades. The two chapels for their part (the Pénitents Gris and the Pénitents Blancs) are really pleasing to the eye. Several art galleries are also to be visited.
Landscapes: Aigues Mortes is also called ‘the city of the dead waters’ thanks to its soothing water tracts. The beautiful region of Camargue is certainly a big asset for the town. The landscape, with the wild horses, gives you an extreme feeling of freedom and serenity. Just make a break and enjoy both the beautiful landscapes and pleasant climate, you will not be disappointed. Besides, the sea and the Canal du Midi are really near from this city.
Location: Aigues Mortes is a small town of only 7,000 inhabitants. However, big cities are located only about 30 km from the medieval town. Thus, it is easily accessible and gives the opportunity to choose to travel by plane, train or road. Two big airports (Montpellier and Nimes) are not too far from there and allow you to travel to reach Paris in only 1h30. From the capital you can then easily access European metropolis. Furthermore, flying from Montpellier to London takes you no more than a hour.
Mas: made in local stones, the Mas are rural-properties typical of the region. This kind of properties is a set of outbuildings, which constitute a complex volume. Thus, you will easily find towers, vaults or other architectural elements which give style and character to the property. These properties are nowadays quite expensive, because they are usually huge and renovated with taste.
Villas: there are several villas in the surroundings of the medieval town centre. The properties vary in terms of size and luxury, but they usually don't have a particular style.
Harbour houses: in front of the marina, there are some harbour (fishermen's) houses with coloured facades, which really correspond to the southern atmosphere. These houses are situated outside of the medieval quarters, but however not completely decentralized. They take advantage from the lively town with its animated streets, bars and restaurants.
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