Ok…after signing up to this forum several years ago I’m now actively planning and researching. I have asthma that as I get older is not improving.8 years living in the Rockies taught me that altitude, low humidity and low air pollution improves my health. I’ve read so much about microclimates in France…can anyone recommend small towns having a dry climate and plenty of not too hot sunshine(kills house dust mites) with reasonable facilities that I should research further. I’ve already looked at haute provence and alpes de haute provence. Both areas a bit touristy and with a lot of second homes. I’m looking for somewhere more French with good UK access for family.
I reccomend you take a look at the area West and South West of Perpignan in the Pyrenees Orientales. There are lots of small villages in and around the foothills of the Pyrenees but also some larger more established towns like Ceret, Amelie-les-Bains, Villefranche-de-Conflent,Vernet-les-Bains and Prades. Perpignan airport has regular UK flights and Perpignan itself is a beautiful town with the Mediterranean and Spain very close. My own choice would be Vernet or Ceret - Both are an hours drive from the airport with Vernet being at greater altitude than Ceret. Niether could be described as touristy - I hope this helps and good luck with your search;
We have a house in the Chartreuse Regional Park at 700m (30min north of Grenoble) . A lovely area and nicely non touristy. Maybe an option.
I will be staying near Beziers in July and will check out some of your suggestions. I searched on the internet looking for climate info and I can’t make much sense of rainfall patterns around the Pyrenees Orientales. Where I live in Lincolnshire apparently gets less than 600mm rain a year though grey skies and damp make it feel wetter whilst the Pyrenees seem to get a lot more rainfall. If its fewer rainy days with heavier downpours that will work. Living with tile and wood floors and being able to expose bedding to strong sunlight are strategies that reduce house dust mites and are easier to follow in a sunny warm climate. Somewhere fairly rural also reduces the pollution load which seems to be better in western France.
I appreciate all the advice I can get because the info on the internet can create a misleading picture.
Amélie les Bains (Pyrenées Orientales) is a thermal and air-cure place, my asthmatic cousin used to be sent off there in the holidays as a child.
my friend who lives in Pau claims that they have more rainfall than Dublin but that it comes in just a few torrential storms .
Hope this helps.
You’re area sounds appealing. What is your rainfall like? I am hoping that more sunny dry days will compensate for heavy precipitation. Dust mites apparently don’t live above 1000 metres. Humidity levels are an important factor. When I lived in the Rockies the humidity was nearly always below 50%. I won’t get that in France but a lower humidity than the UK and having a whole house dehumidifying system will help a lot. Lots of days of strong sunshine throughout the year also matter. Direct strong sunlight also kills the mites. As you can see climate is all important!
Thanks for the info…did your cousin see definite improvements?
Here is where we are:
We are at 700m