For those looking for an authentic rural holiday in France, a gite is a great idea. These cottages and original farm buildings have been converted by their owners to accommodate visitors of all types and thanks to the government supporting the idea of creating these; they are spread widely across the country. In a gite you can expect an old barn or a sleepy cottage house, somewhere out away from the town and with little service other than maybe a greeting from the owner, who typically lives not too far away. However, if you aren’t particularly bothered about the style of place you will be staying in, if rural is just as appealing as urban, or if you simply just want to go to France by whatever means necessary then you do have some alternatives. Here are some other options worth weighing up if you aren’t committed to a gite.
Today a gite is probably most closely associated with a villa, although the main distinction is that gites typically were rural houses and buildings that were modernised where as villas were always intent on being homes or holiday homes. A villa also comes with an implied amount of luxury, typically villas are larger livable areas with several bedrooms and also come with more high class amenities such as a pool and/or a hot tub. Things like bed linen here are to be expected as are central heating or air and a decent sized TV. Gites on the other hand could be missing any or all of these, so if you are aren’t as self-sufficient or if you are with a large group, the typical villa may be a better option. Price wise you are looking at a more expensive stay, with weekly costs raised by hundreds over a gite, though since they are bigger, if you are splitting the cost it may work out cheaper.
On the opposite side of the coin is the hostel, a significantly cheaper variation that really puts your independence in the front and center. Though not all hostels are creepy or (or deadly as horror movies would indicate), though some are definitely on the sketchy side. The difference here is that hostels are quantity over quality, they try to cram as many guests into their space as possible, which if you are fine with sharing a room with strangers isn’t an issue. Facilities are usually basic but decent enough, and often have shared spaces like a common room if you are keen to meet new people. Hostels aren’t for staying in all day, but if you intend to spend all day outdoors, it’s a great option that often costs less than £20 per night.
Of course the modern standard in accommodation is still viable. Hotels don’t have the quiet or the solitude of a gite, but they do have all the features you could need. Here you don’t need to remember you towel, soap, bedding or snacks, they will be all available here. On top of this you can expect great customer service (from the good ones anyway) so you don’t have to worry about any issues that arise or having to work around anyone else’s schedule. Some are situated in the country anyway so there is no need to miss out on nature.