To put it in a nutshell holidaying in a gite in France is basically a self-catering holiday and everything that is associated with such a vacation. The accommodation is supplied, but items like food and travel are not. Either you eat out or buy food and cook for yourself, perhaps on an outdoor grill or barbecue. Gites can differ greatly in what type of building they are in, normally they are typical of the region and could be anything from a chateau to a farmhouse.
Be at Home
One great feature of a gite holiday is that you are more or less left undisturbed, in other words you can make the gite as if were your own home for a fortnight. Mostly gites are self-contained, some with gardens and access to a swimming pool. The gite could be part of the owner’s property and on their land, but other times they are not and fully self-contained. However, the owners will be on hand to dispense vital information about local shopping and restaurants etc.
The Advantages of Staying in a Gite
There are many advantages of holidaying in a gite, firstly cost. A gite holiday is one of the cheapest ways of staying in France, the price is per gite and not per person, so it does not matter how big your family is. Another big advantage is freedom, you are left to do your own thing. There are no fixed times for meals, no formal dining and the choice of what you eat is totally up to you. Also chamber maids are not banging on your door at the crack of dawn to clean your room, normally the gite is cleaned when the occupants go out for the day. One of the beauties of staying in a gite is that they are normally in rural France and so you stay in the heart of the beautiful French countryside. You can explore at your own pace, and because the gite is so economical you can even spend the night in a hotel if you want to go afar.
The Luxury of a Gite
A lot of people who have never experienced a gite just dismiss it as a rustic form of accommodation. Sure, there are some terrific barns and farmhouses that constitute a gite, but that is also their charm. In some places, gites are pretty swanky affairs, many are maintained to extremely high standards and offer amenities such as swimming pools and outdoor kitchens. Basically, you will get what you pay for, normally the higher you pay the more amenities you will get. There are even some gites that are part of a chateau, and the manicured lawns and estate are open to the holidaymaker as part of his stay.
One of the great things about holidaying in a gite is that you can deal directly with the person who owns the property, thus cutting out the travel agent from the equation. A good tip is to book your gite early, that way you will get a choice of the best gites that the owner has, if you leave it late there will be less choice.