Holiday gites in France are
encouraged by the local tourist board and planning authorities as they attract investment
and tourism into the area, and all owners are required to ensure that they are safe and
comply with the necessary rules, regulations and insurance requirements.
Gites de France assesses them, which means the quality has risen and they are far better,
well equipped and comfortable compared to how they used to be. Plus with the foreign
investors who have purchased property in France for renovation, the standard has risen
even higher and you will not come across many gites that are any where near as basic as
what we mentioned earlier. To be honest, we have not come across one since that
doesn't at least have a kitchen, seating area and proper bathroom facilities so you will
not need to panic too much!
But there are a number of classes of gites, which are graded by Gîtes de France and to
give you a help in hand, some of these are as follows:
Known as Gite Rural, these offer self-catering accommodation and can be located in the
countryside, by the sea, or in the mountains. They are completely self contained
with one or more bedrooms, a lounge, sometimes a dining room, a kitchen and bathroom
facilities and it is these particular types of gite that have come up in standard
considerably over the years.
Gites d'Enfants are specifically for children and it is during the school holidays that
host families will provide lodgings for children of various ages with a wide variety of
activities. Children's gites are very well regulated and inspected to ensure a safe
and secure environment for each child and similar to hearing about summer camps, these are
on a similar lines, yet on a smaller scale.
The stopover and holiday getaways, known as Gites d'Etape, are normally situated well off
the beaten track and are mainly for groups of walkers or cyclists. The best
comparison to this type of gite is most probably a youth hostel and these are extremely
So as you can probably realise by now, holiday gites
can range from the very simple converted barns to part of a large chateau in private grounds and are located all
over France. Right through from rural villages, to the centre of towns, up in the
mountains or right near to the beaches, the choice of accommodation is endless.
And with there being so many different gites to choose from, it is a good idea to get the
family together and make a check list of the type of amenities that you feel are important
to you. After all, like us, you may prefer having separate sleeping areas so that
you have your own space, rather than being crowded in one large bedroom. Having
entertainment on hand can be great for the children, especially if you happen to have bad
weather for a day, so you may want to check what is available on that front as well.
Depending upon your budget, you may also feel that a gite with its own pool and outside
dining areas can be the best option for your relaxing holiday
in France. But don't forget that some of these are situated way out in the
sticks, so location is also something that must be considered. Like when we stayed
in one area, although it was only about two hours drive from Bordeaux, it was almost an
hours drive to get to a sensible shopping centre for the ever important supplies!
France is a vast country and you will be able to get the perfect gite for you and your
family, but the motto we have learned is prepare and organise first, so that you can enjoy
your holiday to its fullest.