Rent a gîte in France
Howard Farmer | On 06, Sep 2013
Gites have been a traditional way to spend your holiday in France with owners direct. Often located in rural France (but many also located near beaches), they offer relaxing holidays with untold adventures to reflect on.
Different types of gites
There are various types of Gites depending on the nature of your holiday requirements:
- Gîte Rural
Self-catering accommodation located in the countryside, by the sea, or in the mountains.
- Gîtes d’Enfants
Holidays for children where the gîtes are regulated and inspected.
- Gîtes d’Etape
Stopover and holiday getaways off the beaten track for groups of walkers or cyclists.
- Gîte Equestre
A stop-off for people or groups travelling across France on horseback; or gîte offering stabling for horses.
Leisure Chalets so that you can enjoy fishing, horse-riding, archery, cycling, etc.
- Chambre d’Hôtes
The French equivalent to Bed and Breakfast. Stays as a guest in a private room with breakfast.
Popular areas for Gites in France
Although Gites are available across France, the most popular Locations for gîtes, chambres d’hôtes, group gîtes, children’s gîtes, campsites and chalets are:
1. Rhone-Alpes 7750 “gites”
2. Midi-Pyrenees 5800
3. Brittany 5200
4. Provence Cotes d’Azur 4600
5. Normandy 4000
Of course, some of these regions are very large by area, and the figures naturally reflect higher numbers. The “Gite” season is primarily July and August. If you want to book during the peak season in the southern regions of Provence, Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrenees then you need to act early in the year. The autoroutes are very busy in the southern regions at the beginning of July and end of August.
Rhone-Alpes is especially busy during the ski months but even in the summer the beautiful landscapes and trails are attractive to tourists. The Midi-Pyrenees is the largest region: the glorious summer weather and inspiring landscapes are popular too. Brittany is similar to Cornwall with better weather (although rain is still possible in the summer)! Visitors enjoy the wonderful sandy beaches, lakes and craggy interior landscapes. Provence Cotes d’Azur is very popular throughout the year; temperatures in July and August can be hot. The chic resorts of Nice, Cannes, Antibes, St Tropez, and many others attract millions of visitors. At the other end of the country Normandy is green and pleasant with gently rolling landscapes and historic locations such as Mont St Michel, Bayeux tapestry, and World War II beaches.
Although Gite owners were predominantly French in the early days, the lifestyle as a Gite owner is very attractive. Many foreigners (especially the Brits) have purchased gites in the 1990s and 2000s. The most popular area for the Brits is the Dordogne department of the Aquitaine region.