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Pros & Cons of Living in Dordogne

Planning a potential move to Dordogne? Delve into this comprehensive article, which delves into the various pros and cons of calling Dordogne home.
|-Pros & Cons of Living in Dordogne

Thinking about moving to Dordogne? Below we highlight some of the pros and cons of living in Dordogne.

France, a country known for its rich history, culture, and cuisine, is home to many beautiful regions. One such region is Dordogne, located in the southwestern part of the country. Known for its picturesque landscapes, charming villages, and historical sites, Dordogne has become a popular destination for both tourists and expats. But like any place, living in Dordogne has its pros and cons. Let’s delve into what makes Dordogne a unique place to live, and some of the challenges one might face.

Pros of Living in Dordogne

One of the biggest advantages of living in Dordogne is the stunning natural beauty. The region is known for its rolling hills, lush forests, and beautiful rivers. The Dordogne River, from which the region gets its name, is a popular spot for canoeing and fishing. The region is also home to the Lascaux caves, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its prehistoric cave paintings.

Another major pro of living in Dordogne is the rich history and culture. The region is dotted with medieval castles, such as the Château de Beynac and the Château de Castelnaud, which offer a glimpse into the region’s past. The local cuisine is another highlight, with specialties like foie gras, truffles, and Bergerac wines. There are also numerous festivals and events throughout the year, such as the Festival of Music and Dance in Sarlat, which celebrate the region’s cultural heritage.

Dordogne is also known for its strong sense of community. Many expats are drawn to the region’s slower pace of life and friendly locals. There are numerous community groups and organizations where newcomers can get involved and meet people. For example, the Dordogne Ladies Club is a popular group for English-speaking women in the region, offering a range of activities from book clubs to walking groups.

Finally, the cost of living in Dordogne is relatively low compared to other parts of France. Property prices are affordable, especially if you’re willing to renovate an old stone house. The cost of groceries and dining out is also reasonable, making it possible to enjoy the local cuisine without breaking the bank.

Cons of Living in Dordogne, France

While there are many advantages to living in Dordogne, there are also some challenges. One of the biggest cons is the language barrier. While English is spoken in the larger towns and tourist areas, many locals only speak French. This can make everyday tasks like shopping or visiting the doctor more difficult if you don’t speak the language. There are language schools in the region, such as the Alliance Française in Périgueux, but learning a new language can be a daunting task.

Another challenge of living in Dordogne is the lack of job opportunities. The region’s economy is largely based on agriculture and tourism, which can be seasonal and low-paying. For those looking to work in other sectors, options can be limited. However, with the rise of remote work, this is becoming less of an issue for some people.

The region’s rural nature can also be a con for some people. While the peaceful countryside is a draw for many, it can also mean fewer amenities and services. For example, healthcare facilities may not be as advanced or readily available as in larger cities. Similarly, shopping options can be limited, especially for those used to big city shopping.

Finally, while the cost of living is generally low, taxes in France can be high. This includes income tax, social security contributions, and property taxes. It’s important to factor these costs into your budget when considering moving to Dordogne.

In conclusion, living in Dordogne offers a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and a strong sense of community. However, it also comes with challenges such as the language barrier, limited job opportunities, and a rural lifestyle. Ultimately, whether Dordogne is the right place for you will depend on your personal preferences and circumstances.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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