French PropertiesNew life in France

Time for an adventure? Why not run a business in France?

Running a business in France remains a popular goal for those escaping the routine of commuting to a day job or seeking a fresh direction during early retirement. France is the most visited country in the world and there were 7,000 new gites added to the Gites de France Network in 2023. Along with gites, there are cycling businesses, yoga retreats and wedding venues.

There are companies that will help you with the paperwork and visas and Charles Cramailh of Leggett Property Management suggests you take expert advice from a chartered accountant on tax changes for business owners.

Leisure Market Report 2024  – MARKET REPORT Comment on the French hospitality & leisure market Spring / Summer 2024

So what might you fancy?  Here are three ideas…

Award-winning yoga retreat

A superb chateau with cottage and renovated barn that has been run as an award-winning yoga retreat is for sale in Clermont, in the Midi-Pyrenees. It comes with a spring-fed lake, a private river, and 18 acres – could there be any more tranquil surroundings? It’s been visited by yoga fans from around the world for many years, run by Dagmar and Michael Bere from Dorset. The couple are now retiring, ready to hand over the property to another family. “It could host cooking classes, photography or painting workshops, cycling holidays – there’s so much scope,” says Dagmar, 79. “It comes fully furnished and ready to go. A farmer even looks after some of the land.”  For sale at €1,179,000.

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Fully booked gites in the Charente

This eight-bedroom gite complex has had all the work done for you. It has been lovingly renovated by Valerie and Ian Wright from Shropshire who acquired it as a near-derelict property 12 years ago to renovate it into two gites. “The two gites are typically rented together by families or friends,” says Valerie, 59. “With both gites running 2023 was a really full year. The French tend to book more than the British right now. It’s been a great adventure, but we want to retire properly!” The gite is for sale at €520,000.

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Languedoc chateau with five gites

A stunning 17-bedroom chateau in the Languedoc has played host to all sorts of guests, from ecology students to the Omani royal cavalry and also yoga fans too. The 17-bedroom property in the Gard sits in six acres and five gites. Owners Chris and Alison Burns are ready for another project after 22 years but say their property has always provided a good living. “It provides a good income, and there’s scope for a creative owner to do all sorts of things,” says Alison, 60, a yoga teacher and astrologer. Chateau du Fraissinet is for sale at €1.495m.

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