Digne les Bains is a town of 16,000 inhabitants, part of the Alpes de Haute Provence department of which it is the prefecture, in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region. The name used for this French town is more often “Digne” than Digne Les Bains.
A charming town, Digne is located at the foot of several impressive hills which surround it. A very pleasant setting for this calm southern town. Digne is mainly renowned for being the centre and “capital” of lavender production in France. Other acknowledged assets are the record number of sunny days a year, the purity of its air as well as the love for sport activities. The town authorities recently received the “best place in France for sport lovers” award as they give free access to many sport facilities for the inhabitants.
The other obvious asset of the town is its greenery. Viewed from one of the hills surrounding it, the town is like honeycombed with trees and encircled by a lush nature. Definitely a great place to settle in the south of France.
The average price of property in France in 2009 is €3,200 / square metre and property is rent €12.22 / square metre / month. In Digne, property can be rent for €12.31 / square metre / month, which is a moderate price for an area with such assets. The table below compare property prices on the national level with local ones.
The bigger the house you buy in Digne, the less expensive the price / square metre. Property prices seem to be high but are in fact quite moderate for the French region.
Apartment prices are so cheap in Digne. An ideal investment as the area’s tourism could be developed easily. Stunning environment around and lovely property types reinforce the style of the town.
To get updated info about the property prices in Alpes de Haute Provence, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
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Tourism – sights: the Alpine hills and mountains around are stunning. The sea is also not far from there, a heaven for lovers of nature and sport. In winter, the area is very adapted to skiing holidays too. Next to the town, a national geological reserve can be visited: it is an area of high interest.
Climate and weather: climate is mild in summer and lets you enjoy the area fully. Excursions to the French Riviera are also possible: one of the most beautiful coastlines in Europe, definitely. In winter there is always snow, an excellent point to advertise if you plan to rent property in the area.
Lifestyle: the lifestyle here is typically provencal in spite of the mountainous profile of the surroundings. There are festivals organized during the year such as the Lavender festival, called Corso, which lasts one week during summer. The town boasts a number of gardens where you can relax as well as museums which will teach you the history of the town as well as that of Provence amongst others, ideal for newcomers.
Transport links: the town is well accessible thanks to main roads from the neighbouring cities of Grenoble and Marseille. By plane, land in Aix en Provence or Marseille then transfer to Digne. By train, TGV high-speed trains stop in Aix en Provence and there are shuttles from there to Digne. Another excellent way to get to the town by train is to take the “Pignes” train from Nice where you will have flown (many routes from the UK). Views during the journey are exquisite, from lavender fields to deep gorges… a complete change of scenery.
Up and coming area: the area is still largely unspoilt by foreign buyers. When it comes to houses, prices can be deemed high but reflect the natural and cultural wealth of the area. Buying a flat in or around the town can be a good and cheap way to discover Digne les Bains before buying a larger house.
Digne les bains’ architecture is quite similar to that of other towns in the deparment. Being half-way between Provence and the Alps, the architecture undergoes several influences.
Provence houses: these traditional Provence properties have coloured walls as well as shutters. In Digne you will mainly find town houses of this kind. Some of them have decorated windows’ and doors’ frames which give an even more pleasant aspect to the front façade. You won’t have to renovate that kind of property as they are generally in good condition.
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