SQUIRRELED away in the north east corner of France is Alsace, bordered by the Rhine to the east and the Vosges mountains to the west.
It is a region of dense forests, but also well known for its wine and beer production and during the winter is popular with cross-country skiers.
The main city, Strasbourg, is home to the European Parliament as well as a stunning cathedral and the town’s main square hosts one of France’s largest Christmas markets.
There is a strong sense of history in the area with people holding onto the Alsatian dialect, which you will see on some shop signs and in menus.
Transport links to the region are good with an autoroute to Strasbourg, and a direct TGV service set to arrive in 2007, plus the airport at Mulhouse in the south is served by easyJet.
Property prices tend to be high as the influence of the European Parliament and industrial centres based around the Rhine mean it is an area popular with business executives and parliament staff.
The potential for people to find a job if they possess language skills can be good.
Alsace is a popular area for winter sports so the weather can be bitterly cold, with heavy snowfall at times, but during the summer it enjoys high temperatures but you may be hit by thunderstorms.
Départements: Bas-Rhin (67), Haut-Rhin (68)