Soon after France announced its reshuffle of new administrative regions, Ryanair introduces a daily service from Stansted to Toulouse Blagnac to take effect in November 2016. On 1st January France’s 22 regions were reduced to 13. The Midi-Pyrénées is henceforth joined by Languedoc-Roussillon, with Toulouse taking-over Montpellier’s title as the capital of this new “super region”.
New flight routes are an indicator of increased visitor numbers to a region and often followed by a surge of interest in holiday home ownership. The new affordable flight route thus bodes well for La Durantie, a historic chateau development situated near Albi in the Tarn department, just 50 minutes (84 km) from Toulouse. With three different airline providers now offering services from London airports to Toulouse Blagnac, the neighbouring rural areas of Cathar country are likely to come onto the radar of more British Francophiles.
Cordes Sur Ciel © CDT TARN Laurent Frezouls
The newly merged region will soon boast combined economic prosperity as both Midi-Pyrénées and Languedoc-Roussillon are leaders in research and innovation; specialising in aeronautics, space, agriculture and health. Toulouse is home to France’s pioneering aerospace industry, including the global leader Airbus Group and the country’s fastest-growing population, so it is no surprise ‘La Ville Rose’ has been elected the new regional capital.
Place du Capitole, Toulouse
Steeped in culture and history, this new region encompasses some of France’s “Grandes Sites” including the Cité de Carcasonne, the episcopal city of Albi (UNESCO World Heriatge Site) built around the original cathedral, the Gorges du Tarn and the Gorges du Gardon. It is expected that the eventual name, to be determined in 2016, will be “Occitanie”, a historical reference to varieties of Occitan spoken in both regions until the nineteenth Century, with the language still in use in some villages today.
Albi © Grands Sites MP D VIET
The master plan and architecture of La Durantie is inspired by the authentic village-style found in nearby Castelnau-de-Montmiral and throughout the surrounding region. Designs feature gentle sloping terracotta rooftops, with the houses picking up colours of the sand and limestone used to build 17th Century farm buildings. Homes are being built on different levels in order to create realistic, staggered rooftop heights, as little hamlets are terraced into a south facing gentle slope. Combining the best of old with new, top quality modern interiors provide luxurious comfort and each home will have its own landscaped private garden and pool.
Castlenau de Montmiral © Tarn Tourisme Frezouls
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