A couple reads in the shade along the Vienne river in Limoges. Photo: AFP
France is traditionally a country people flock to for their retirement years. But which French city is the best for growing old in?
For many, the retirement years present an opportunity for a new adventure.
And now a new study
by comparison website Market Inspector reveals which French city offers the best quality of life for retirees, overall.
Comparing 39 cities with more than 100,000 residents, the site judged their attractiveness for retirees according to seven categories: safety, access to healthcare, cost of living, quality of public transport, cultural offering, access to social life and living environment.
And it was the south west-central city of Limoges that topped the table.
The city in France's Haute Vienne department is famed for its porcelain, its cathedral and Art Deco railway station.
But it wasn't just the city's cultural offering that helped secure it the top spot.
"Limoges surpasses all its competitors thanks to its safety and pleasant living environment. It has become the ideal destination for retirement," said the study.
Close on its heels was Le Mans (2nd) in the western Pays de la Loire region, followed by Nice on the French Riviera.
Overall the cities in western France and especially the south west scored well "thanks to the quality of the air, safety and fixed expenses globally lower", which pushed them ahead of their Eastern counterparts.
And it was the eastern city Villeurbanne to the east of Lyon which came bottom of the pile, ranked the worst city in France for retirees.
The greater Paris region of Île-de-France also scored poorly due to its "high crime rate, poor air quality, high prices and the difficulty finding doctors."
Paris came in 29th out of 39, while Saint-Denis in the French capital's northern suburbs ranked 35th and Boulogne in the western suburbs coming just ahead of the capital at 28th.
The map below shows cities marked with different colours according to how attractive they are as place to grow old. Dark green indicate the most attractive cities, followed by light green, yellow, orange, with red indicating the worst.