Cheap Holidays in France: Gites, Farmhouses and Farm B&Bs

Looking in France for farm holidays? Looking for cheap holiday accommodation in France? Sometime ago the government offered owners of French farmhouses a grant to improve any unused farm dwellings that would be suitable for habitation for farm rentals. As a result, many of the abandoned French farmhouses were restored to their former glory, and are now offered, at very reasonable rates, as gites.

What is a gite? Well the direct translation is lodging. But the French gite has become synonymous with a simple, and usually inexpensive rural vacation retreat, usually farmhouses. This is good news for travelers, because it means that instead of having to pay expensive hotel bills in the the Côte d'Azur or in Provence, the two most popular tourist destinations, it is quite feasible to pay low rentals on a farmhouse tucked away in the French countryside and still only a day trip away to those touristy spots that you may not be able to resist. For those of you who are wanting to visit Paris, you can still find many gites or farm accommodation in outlying areas that will suit your tourist needs and your pocket!

For those of you who are thinking about doing some fruit picking during the summer, read this article on one person's experience in Picking Olives in the South of France.

This is such a large country that it would take a whole web site of its own to describe the main places to visit. Suffice to say, however, that France is home to the Alps on the eastern border and therefore a haven for skiers. In the summer it is also a wonderful area to take the cable car to the top of some of the mountains and see mountain flowers and breath-taking scenery. Rural Provence lies in the south-eastern region, famous for its olive oil, lavender, Chateauneuf du Pape, and where carline thistles are nailed to front doors for good luck. And it is not just Provence that is famous for its food. French food is world renown and each area has its own specialties. You might also be tempted to try out some of our Quick and Easy French Recipes.

The wine regions of Bordeaux in the Aquitaine province is a must for wine lovers who can visit vineyards to their hearts content. Bordeaux the city is a fascinating place to visit, and I remember being rendered speechless when I came across a fountain in Bordeaux known as the Monument aux Girondins that I still rate as one of the finest in Europe. It consists of horses with devil-like features with fine mists of water coming from their nostrils. 

When you do take a trip to France, I give you a word of warning, the French are not great lovers of the English language. Although many can speak it, they refuse to do so. As a result, you really do need to learn how to speak some form of conversational French to get you by. Rocket French shows you how.

If you have a farm in France that you would like to showcase visit our Farm Photos. You can upload a picture and brag a little. We don't mind! Share a farming story, tell us about your best or worst farm holiday and lots more. 

Do you know what to do and see in this country? Do you need more information? Visit See and Do France - a complete guide to France's most famous landmarks, monuments, museums, attractions, and more. Come along and explore! 

Everything to see and do in France!

The Auvernge France

We have heard of Bordeaux, the Alps, even Provence, but where in France is the Auvernge? This is an unspoilt region in the center of France famous for its volcanic landscape, Roquefort blue cheese and Volvic spring water. 

The rural hilltop farming communities have not yet been subjected to mass tourism, which makes it a wonderful area to explore at your leisure and thankfully without the dreaded tour buses and over-priced, touristy kitsch. The weather, however, is not always very kind with long, cold winters and hot dry summers, the latter often punctuated by vociferous thunderstorms. 

So what is it like to stay in a place like this on a regular basis? Do you like reading farming blogs from around the world? If you do head over to a blog called A Place in the Auvergne This is a photo-journal compiled by Ian Walthew, author of A Place in My Country,: In Search of a Rural Dream. (Wiedenfeld & Nicolson; hardback 2007; Phoenix paperback, 2008). Did he find his rural dream? Does he live there permanently? I'm not telling, you will have to read his book to find out. Is it worth reading? It certainly is, in fact it is a cracking good read with great reviews that have even included endorsements from the likes of Jeremy Irons, the British actor.

Read an article on Auvergne written by Ian Walthew that appeared in L'Express.



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