With 80s and 90s-style French gite holidays back in fashion… 12 chic gites for nostalgic, and stylish, country breaks in France
- Gites are self-catered holiday houses and searches for stays in them are up 90%
- Here is Sawday’s pick of 12 of the best gites for nostalgic French country breaks
- READ MORE: Cape Town is the best-value holiday hotspot for Britons in 2023
Another great trend from the 1980s and 90s is back – the French gite holiday.
Gites are self-catered holiday houses and searches for stays in them are up by nearly 90 per cent year on year according to Sawday’s, a rental site that specialises in properties for ‘people who love special’.
Here are 12 of the best gites in the Sawday’s portfolio for nostalgic, and stylish, French country breaks.
Penty de Lantecoste – Finistere, Brittany
This property sleeps seven from €205 (£180) per night or €1,435 (£1,262) per week
This traditional Breton stone cottage lies two minutes from the sea and boasts a garden that’s ‘leafy and large’, Sawday’s reveals.
The guide continues: ‘It’s a generous place, thanks to owner Arnaud, and from May to October you can enjoy his glamping site’s bikes, paddle boards, hot tub and sauna.’
It adds that ‘most extras are free’ and ‘there’s a bakery you can cycle to for morning croissants too’.
The property sleeps seven from €205 (£180) per night or €1,435 (£1,262) per week. Visit sawdays.co.uk/pentydelantecoste.
Judah – Sainte-Sabine-Born, Dordogne
This new house has been meticulously designed to look olde worlde
Sawday’s says that this abode ‘could be ancient but actually is fairly new’.
It explains that ‘the detail required to make it look like a typical old house of the area is second to none’ – for example, there are footprints of a cat and chickens in the terracotta floor tiles.
Plus there’s ‘a unique tower bedroom, with wooden steps to climb to reach it’.
The property sleeps nine from £250 per night or £1,400 per week. Visit sawdays.co.uk/judah.
La Braguese Gite – Lunac, Aveyron, southern France
This house lies in ‘the quieter, most pastoral area of the Aveyron’
Enjoy ‘big skies and blissful views from every room’ in this charming property.
How might you spend your days there? Sawday’s suggests: ‘Bask on the raised terrace, fire up the barbecue, play badminton, ping pong, or splash in the pool.’
The guide reveals that the house lies in ‘the quieter, most pastoral area of the Aveyron’, adding: ‘Less populated and less well-known than the Dordogne, it is nevertheless home to ten of France’s “plus beaux villages” [officially beautiful villages].’
The house sleeps four from £107 per night or £750 per week. Visit sawdays.co.uk/labraguesegite.
Maison d’Artiste, The Rustic Retreat – Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val, southern France
This retreat is a ‘light-filled space’ that’s ‘cosy with Persian rugs’
This stone house lies amongst flower-filled gardens and is surrounded by woodland, and while the gite’s artist owners live nearby, it’s still ‘nicely private’, Sawday’s reveals.
Guests will step inside to find a ‘light-filled space, cosy with Persian rugs, antique furniture and plenty of books’.
The guide continues: ‘Take a book to a quiet spot; there’s a hammock and tree swing outside. Children will love collecting eggs from the hens and meeting the friendly cats.’
The property sleeps four from €135 (£119) per night or €945 (£832) per week. Visit sawdays.co.uk/maisondartistetherusticretreat.
Gite du Manoir de Besse – Martel, southwestern France
Bedrooms are calmly stylish at Gite du Manoir de Besse, which overlooks the medieval town of Martel
‘You’re well tucked away here with your own terrace and lawn,’ Sawday’s says of this dwelling.
The guide says that the pool lies in a walled garden, and you can swim with views over the medieval town of Martel.
Sawday’s continues: ‘Indoors is open plan with an enormous comfy sofa, and bedrooms are calmly stylish with toile-covered armchairs and sofas, plenty of mirrors. Walk, cycle, wander down to the river – there’s a small beach at Gluges for swimming and picnics.’
The house sleeps 10 from €250 (£220) per night / €1,800 (£1,583) per week. Visit sawdays.co.uk/gitedumanoirdebesse.
La Cour de Husson – Charme, southwestern France
La Cour de Husson in southwestern France has ‘a light, arty feel’
Detailing this hideaway, Sawday’s says: ‘The pretty pale stone and wooden shutters are redolent of so many buildings in France but the fresh and vibrant interiors are a breath of fresh air.’
According to the guide, inside the property, there’s ‘a light, arty feel with some beautiful mid-century pieces and splashes of abstract colour on the walls here and there’.
It continues: ‘Roomy bedrooms are charming, one has a balcony for your morning coffee, and you have a big courtyard, garden, orchard and pool too.’
The home sleeps six from €150 (£132) per night or €1,050 (£924) per week. Visit sawdays.co.uk/lacourdehusson.
Domaines Les Petites Vaines – Goult, Vaucluse, southeast France
Guests at Domaines Les Petites Vaines can ‘slip from stunning pool to chic lounger, and drink in the views of the Luberon hills’
Guests at this rental can stay in one of three eco retreats on-site – ‘Salvia’ and ‘Bonnelli’ extend out from a central farmhouse, while ‘Senecio’ is separate.
Sawday’s says: ‘All have secluded terraces – two overlooking fields of lavender, one facing lawns and pool.’
During their stay, guests can ‘slip from stunning pool to chic lounger, and drink in the views of the Luberon hills’.
Fancy setting off on a daytrip? The guide notes that the hilltop villages of Roussillon and Goult are a short distance away.
Sleeps four from €129 (£113) per night or €900 (£792) per week. Visit sawdays.co.uk/domaineslespetitesvaines.
La Roucoulade – Ventabren, Bouches-du-Rhone, southern France
La Roucoulade in the south of France is priced from €129 (£114) per night
This is ‘a lovely gite with cool lines and its own shady terrace plus pool, gardens, fountain and a relaxed family-friendly feel’, Sawday’s reveals.
The guide continues: ‘The living room is light, airy and with a parquet floor, Art Deco pieces and calming colours. Eat in the dining room or out on the pretty terrace.’
Sawday’s recommends spending ‘lazy, sunny days in the pretty gardens with deckchairs, pétanque, ping-pong and hook-a-duck in the fountain’. It adds: ‘Just outside the garden is the old windmill of Ventabren, a five-minute drive will take you to shops.’
The house sleeps four from €129 (£114) per night or €900 (£793) per week. Visit sawdays.co.uk/laroucoulade.
Le Tay – Carelles, Mayenne, northwest France
You have your own lovely secluded garden with views and a barbecue at Le Tay
This ivy-strewn cottage is ‘surrounded by orchards and pastures’, Sawday’s reveals, and features ‘a fireplace neatly repointed with a wood-burner’ and ‘French windows that open to the garden’.
The guide says: ‘On summery days, you have your own lovely secluded garden with views and a barbecue. Borrow the bikes, book a horse, stroll to the local bar, and visit medieval Fougeres. Or spend the day on the Emerald Coast [a stretch of Brittany’s coastline].’
As an added bonus, Sawday’s notes that there’s a baker nearby that delivers daily.
The gite sleeps two from €53 (£47) per night / €375 (£330) per week. Visit www.sawdays.co.uk/letay.
La Maison de Laurence – Vence, southeast France
La Maison de Laurence, a top-floor apartment rental in southeast France, is furnished with ‘elegant antique furniture’
This top-floor apartment is set in an old Provencal farmhouse.
Here, guests are ‘surrounded by birdsong’ and the owner’s ‘luscious, terraced garden’, Sawday’s reveals.
The guide says: ‘Your apartment is reached via open stone steps and a terrace that’s shaded by an ancient olive tree. Bedrooms are simple and cosy, beds dressed in fine linen. Both have elegant antique furniture and views through trees.’
Stuck for plans for the afternoon? Sawday’s recommends strolling down to the swimming holes and waterfalls of the Cagne river.
The apartment sleeps four from €78 (£69) per night or €550 (£484) per week. Visit sawdays.co.uk/lamaisondeluarence.
Le Seize, Montsoreau – Maine-et-Loire, western France
Enjoy your morning coffees in the ‘pocket-sized courtyard’ of Le Seize, a gite that’s set in the village of Montsoreau
According to Sawday’s, ‘natural stone floors, high beamed ceilings and neutral colours give a contemporary, airy feel’ to this gite.
The guide says: ‘The living and dining area is roomy with a comfortable sofa and an old stone fireplace with a wood burner for chilly evenings.’
It notes that there’s a ‘pocket-sized courtyard’ that’s peaceful for a morning cup of tea or evening aperitif.
The dwelling is set in the village of Montsoreau. While there, you can ‘step out to excellent restaurants and superb antique shops’ and visit the ‘fabulous’ monthly flea market, Sawday’s adds.
The property sleeps four from £115 per night or £805 per week. Visit sawdays.co.uk/leseize.
La Ferme d’Araucanie – Tourtoirac, Dordogne
La Ferme d’Araucanie in the Dordogne region features ‘seductively rustic’ bedrooms and a ‘simply lovely’ garden area
The owner’s restoration of this old farmhouse ‘is inspired by her love of the Dordogne and of rusticity’, Sawday’s reveals.
The guide says: ‘There are wicker sofas by the big stone fireplace, baskets full of games; furniture fashioned out of old farm tools. The kitchen-with-everything has a friendly big table, a sink hewn out of honey-coloured stone. Bedrooms aren’t huge but are seductively rustic.’
Not only that, but the exterior is ‘simply lovely’ – there’s ‘four hectares of garden to explore, pool, and a help-yourself vegetable and herb garden’.
The house sleeps eight from €422 (£372) per night or €2,950 (£2,597) per week. Visit sawdays.co.uk/lafermedaraucanie.
Other gite rental sites are available.
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