Located at the heart of the Armagnac area Nogaro is a charming small Gascony town renowned, however, in the whole country. Indeed the town is famous for its motorsport race track, called the Circuit Paul Armagnac. Many races are organized during all year long, and there are also many activities around the race track. With only 2,000 inhabitants, called the Nogaroliens, the town displays all the services a family can need: schools, hospitals, shops, post office, etc.
Nogaro is 1,000 year old as it was created in 1055 by Saint Austinde, Auch Archibishop. It was created as a sauveté, which was an area of refuge, where people could not be arrested and where wars were forbidden. It was called Nugarolium, which means ‘the walnut tree town’ and developed around the Saint Nicolas collegial, which still exists and is in a very good shape. Owing to its location, at the crossroads of the axis Auch - Toulouse and Bayonne - Eauze, Nogaro developed very fast and became a place where all kind of produces could be find.
Nogaro has also been an important stop in the Saint Jacques de Compostelle walkway, thanks to the Saint Nicolas collegial, and today owing to its beautiful countryside and way of life.
Buying a property in Nogaro or its surroundings is very affordable and can be a very good investment. With €1,460/sq m, prices in the Gascony town are lower than the department average (€1,730/sq m), not to mention the national average (€3,200/sq m). We can assume that prices are low because demand is also low. Indeed, towns in the countryside are suffering from rural depopulation, especially in the Gers department. People usually prefer to live in towns such as Auch or Condom, closer from big cities as Toulouse or Bordeaux.
However, Nogaro is a very touristic destination in summer, and buying a property for a buy-to-let seems an excellent idea. In that case you will prefer to buy a farmhouse just outside the town and convert it into a B&B or a gite. They are very successful as people going to Nogaro are looking for authenticity and prefer to stay in a half-timbered farmhouse beautifully renovated than in a brand new hotel.
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Motorsport race track: Nogaro is known all over France for its Paul Armagnac race track. In 1960, at its creation, it was then the first permanent race track in France. It receives over than 380,000 visitors each year attending national, but also international races, such as: International Finals Renault (40,000 visitors), Formula 3,000 world championship, European truck race, etc. The race track is the main asset of Nogaro, as it brings visitors and tourists, and is also the base of its economy. Indeed, many firms have flourished around the race track, and nowadays Nogaro has launched a mechanical pole (mécanopole). For instance, Nogaro high school has a section for race mechanics, and the school works directly with the race track.
Cultural heritage: Nogaro is a typical Gascony town and is proud of its cultural heritage. There are various events not to be missed during the year that will show you this vernacular culture. The Course Landaise is one of the most important events in Nogaro. It is similar in some ways to bullfighting, but there are some major differences: the animal is a cow and not a bull, they make the cow run but they never hurt it, it is a Gascony sport and not Spanish. All the family enjoys the Course landaise as it is amazing and beautiful to see how the écarteurs dance and jump over the cow. In Nogaro was created in 1956 the French championship of Ecarteurs, held every 3 years. Do not miss either the Corne d’Or every year for the 14th of July.
Architectural style: 1,000 year old, Nogaro is proud of its architectural and historical heritage. The symbol of its heritage is the Saint Nicolas collegial church, built in 1060 in a pure Roman style. It was damaged several times during wars and was rebuilt afterward. However, you can still see the beautiful sculpted capitals and the largest fresco of the Gers department. Since they discovered the fresco, the church has been listed as a historical monument.
Art de la tabe and alcoholic drinks: it seems useless to remind that Gers is one of the best areas when it comes to eat and drink. Nogaro is located at the heart of the Bas-Armagnac area, the best place to produce the mouth watering brandy (Armagnac). You will also have the possibility to taste the Floc de Gascogne, aperitif made with the brandy and grape juice, not to mention the Cotes de Gascogne wines, red, rosé and white. As regards the local gastronomy it is dominated of course by duck meat, but also by garlic and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Location: Nogaro has a very strategic location, located in the middle of a rectangle formed by the Atlantic Coast, the Pyrenees, Toulouse and Bordeaux: Nogaro is within 2 hours drive from any of them. As a result it displays all the advantages of them, without having the drawbacks, such as crowded areas, or pollution. From the UK, you can fly to Pau, Biarritz, Toulouse or Bordeaux, which gives you the choice as regards the company you will fly with.
Town houses: Nogaro’s main street is composed of terraced houses very deep and narrow. Almost all of them come with a garden (or a courtyard) called there a Ayguecéu, which means ‘water from the sky’. These houses were built some centuries ago, and as a result they were all half-timbered houses. However, during the 50’s the walls were covered with white or grey concrete, hiding the wooden structure. Today there is a new policy and half-timbered properties are again fashionable. As a result the concrete is taken off the houses and soon Nogaro will recover its medieval appearance.
Half-timbered farmhouses: all around Nogaro properties are farmhouses. This is understandable as the area around Nogaro is very rural and most people going to the town actually live in some surrounding villages. Farmhouses are very big properties. They usually come with some outbuildings, former stable, cowshed, etc. Many of these properties have been renovated, however there are plenty of them that need some works.
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