Technically speaking to be called a gite the owner must live
close by in order to provide help, assistance and a warm welcome to guests, whereas if it
is known as a French holiday cottage, then this
normally means that it is owned by someone who does not live in France, like British,
German or even American owned.
Gites are generally old farmworkers cottages or converted outbuildings and barns within
the proximity of the owners' principal residence. This type of holiday accommodation
is sometimes regarded as 'basic' in terms of facilities, however most gites these days are
generally very well kept and a growing number will have excellent facilities such as fully
fitted kitchens, en-suite bathrooms, TV, DVD and even access to a swimming pool or other
sporting activities that you and the family can enjoy.
Holiday gites are encouraged by the local tourist board and planning authorities as they
attract investment and tourism, and all owners are required to ensure that their gites 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 and a number of classes are
defined and graded by Gîtes de France and some of these are:
These offer self-catering accommodation located in the countryside, by the sea, or in
the mountains and are completely self contained with one or more bedrooms, a lounge,
sometimes a dining room, a kitchen and bathroom facilities for famlies.
These are specifically holidays for children. It is during the school holidays
that host families 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.
These are stopover and holiday getaways, which are normally off the beaten track and
mainly for groups of walkers or cyclists. The best comparison is most probably a
Holiday gites can range from simple converted barns to part of a large chateau in private
grounds and these can be located all over France, from rural villages, through to the
centre of towns, up in the mountains or right near to the sea and beaches.