If you have ever looked for self catering accommodation in France you will probably have come across the word ‘gite’. This is the traditional name given to a rented holiday home in rural France, and was the original name for basic shelters such as a bothy, where shepherds or labourers sheltered from the rain. It has evolved over the years and is now the recognised term for a self contained, French holiday accommodation.
The owners of gites usually live quite close by, and as they are often created from the likes of converted farm buildings, giving them the kind of charm and character that is quintessentially French. Staying in a gite in France was once considered to be the rough and ready back to basics option, but this is certainly no longer the case.
Even the simplest of rural cottages that is classed as a gite will have decent bathroom and kitchen facilities, and more often than not a lot more besides. Many are rented out privately by their owners, and you will find them listed on various websites, as well as being available through Tourist Information Offices.
The prices of gites vary greatly as the category covers everything from a simple holiday apartment to a luxury house. Also now included are chic villas and cottages that have their own private pools, high tech facilities and sumptuous furnishings.
Whether it is applied to a modern, ancient, urban or rural property, the term gite implies a certain air of Gallic charm, As with all self catering accommodations, the details of what is included in the price varies greatly, and you should always make sure that you find out in advance whether the likes of towels and linen in provided, and what facilities you can expect to find on your arrival.