What type of accommodation?
France has a wide range of accommodation including
- Hotel or Auberge
- Bed and breakfast
We recommend using the converted, renovated farm/hamlets/vineyards/chateaus etc termed GITES
France has been “invaded” by people from outside France who have come to settle here. The majority are those from the UK who have purchased rundown buildings in rural France and renovated them.
They range from the broken-down barn shown (that was actually SOLD!) to the chateau ruins below.
Where to stay?
You need to decide if you wish to be in a city such as Cognac in the heart of the Cognac region, or a town such as Beaune in Burgundy, or a village like Fleys in Chablis. Or in a rural area such as the Herault department in the Languedoc. We prefer rural areas as you are often off the tourist routes and you are in contact with “real” France.
Much of the accommodation on English speaking websites is either one the west coast, in popular wine regions like The Loire, or in the south in the Armagnac, Roussillon, Languedoc and Provence.
How to find accommodation?
Once you are in France it is difficult to find accommodation. The level of signage for “accommodation available” that can be found in the UK is not apparent plus a lot of good accommodation is off the main highways and not easy to find. Our accommodation seeking is totally Internet driven. There are some excellent English speaking portal websites for accommodation in France. We recommend and use:
- French Connections www.frenchconnections.co.uk
- An excellent site with very good information regarding driving, weather etc plus an outstanding range of accommodation and an easy navigation system.
- France this Way www.francethisway.com
- FRENCH holiday Homes www.frenchholidayhomes.com
- Bonnes Vacances Direct www.bvdirect.co.uk
- Mind My House www.mindmyhouse.com
- A global house sitting matching service with listed properties in France & is ideal for those who want to spend anything from a week to a year in France at little or no cost.
While all property owners appear to have been born with the gift of creative writing some of the descriptions may not be totally accurate.
Terms like “near”, “easy access to”, “handy to” may mean a journey of over 200 kilometres.
Standards vary and most are not subject to outside inspection with your being totally reliant on the owners’ level of maintenance. “Basic” could well be primitive, while “luxury” may mean hot and cold running water.
Beware of owners who either have a string of properties and/or require huge damages deposits—there are plenty more without such difficulties.
With so many “new” properties coming available for rent we tend to favour those that state “new conversion, newly renovated etc” Such properties are often great value as they attempt to break into the market.