Gites de France - Holidays in Cognac country

The town of Cognac has long been associated throughout the world with this finest of French spirits, but long before the invention of the double-distillation method that gave rise to the famous drink, the town made its name as a port, vital for the salt trade from France's Atlantic coast and locally-produced wines. Visitors to the region will be suitably impressed by the wealth of activities, both connected and separate to the production of Cognac. Indulge in a guided tour of Hennessy, the world famous cognac house, pay a visit to the intriguing Musèe des Arts du Cognac or discover a wealth of knowledge on the surrounding area at the nearby Cognac Country Discovery Centre. W... Read more

Gites in Picardy - Regional Flavours

Food from the northern region of Picardy reflects very much the French tradition. Hearty, country food such as flamiche, a kind of leek pie, Amiens duck pâté, its regional specialty cheeses and locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. The area also offers a variety of desserts, including gateau battu and 'Chantilly' whipped cream, to be enjoyed by those holidaying in gites in Picardy. Flamiche aux Poireaux Considered by some to be Picardy's answer to quiche Lorraine, this tasty leek pie is a fine example of northern France's country cooking. As a relatively simple dish, the main ingredients are chopped leeks, crème fraiche (or milk) and butter. Additionally Flamiche aux... Read more

From the mountains to the sea: Gites in Aquitaine

The region of Aquitaine is situated in France's south-western corner. With a long coastline to the Atlantic Ocean on the Bay of Biscay, it stretches down to meet at a border with Spain on the Pyrenees Mountains With a clement all-year-round climate and a wealth of activities to choose from, there is always something to do for the holidaymaker staying in gites in Aquitaine.  Dune du Pilat Dune du Pilat, on the coast near Arcachon Bay, is the largest dune in Europe. Although the climb to the top is not for the fainthearted, it is known for its breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, particularly at dusk. Vignerons de la Rote des vins en Jurançon Running from September... Read more

Gites in Provence: Diving on the Cote d'Azur

Since the world-famous French explorer, conservationist and film-maker Jacques Cousteau first made deep sea diving popular in the region in the 50s and 60s, it has grown exponentially to become one of Provence's best loved watersports. With the surface sea temperature ranging from around 9°C (48°F) in January to some 23°C (73°F) towards late August, there are some supreme dive sites in the region for the experienced and novice alike. A good proportion of established dive centres also offer baptêmes de plongée (trial dives) for the absolute beginner. The best dive sites recommended locally are to be found around Hyères, Marseille and Cavalaire as well as at certain locati... Read more

Cultural diversity and fine wine: Great reasons to visit France

France is and always has been considered one of the top holiday destinations, attracting millions of visitors each year from every corner of the globe. With its diverse landscape, rich cultural heritage and a variety of climates, there is something for everyone. Markets, festivals and events No town in France would be complete without its special events. Steeped in tradition, street markets and festivals play an integral part of French life, with plenty of celebrations taking place all year round. One of the most exciting festivals is held in Quimper, Brittany. The nine-day Festival de Cornouaille is an amazing coming together of international artists in a celebration of perfor... Read more

Eating out with children in Brittany

Situated in the north west of France, Brittany is a beautiful and easy to reach holiday location which is perfect for families. There are a diverse selection of self-catering gites and villas in Brittany available to rent, offering holidaymakers the flexibility to eat in as well as venture out and experience some delicious cuisines available locally. For those travelling with children, Brittany has some exciting options for eating out. Restaurants Self-catering gites are great if you have a young family as it can be daunting to find family-friendly restaurants when staying away from home. Brittany, however, really does have its pick of them. As a prime location for families, l... Read more

The Atlantic coast of Aquitaine

With over 150 miles of Atlantic coastline and many more miles of coast if you count all the inlets and river mouths, Aquitaine is home to some of the best beaches in France. The coast is lined with many seaside resorts, varying in size, style and ambience and divided between four distinct districts: The Médoc, The Bay of Arcachon, The Landes and The Basque Coast. There are countless gites de France properties situated in this region, most within easy drive of the coast. The Médoc The Médoc peninsula is located to the nort and west of Bordeaux. Renowned for its world-famous wines - such as Pauillac, Margaux and Saint-Estèphe - the region also boasts around 60 miles of stunni... Read more

Holidaying in Languedoc with children

School's back for most British kids now but if you are planning a half-term holiday to Languedoc, or looking ahead to next Easter and summer, you may be looking for child-friendly day trip ideas. Gites and villas in France make for the perfect family getaway but to stop younger family members getting bored, it is a good idea to select a few day trips which are guaranteed to entertain kids and adults alike. The Languedoc region is a diverse area with a great range of attractions for kids, offering everything from child-friendly castle tours to huge water slides. La Bouscarasse and Aqualand Water Parks For younger children it is hard to beat La Bouscarasse. Smaller than most wate... Read more

Rocamadour in the Midi-Pyrenees

The town of Rocamadour has attracted tourists for years and those staying in gites in the Midi-Pyrenees region will find it offers plenty of attractions for a daytrip. A great spot for a leisurely day out for adults and children alike, its scenic setting makes it a great spot for walking and taking photographs. Classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Rocamadour's modest size belies the number of historical buildings and cultural sights the town is home to. Set in a gorge, Rocamadour itself is built on a cliff face and the sight of grand buildings apparently jutting out from the steep slopes makes for some dramatic vistas. Although the town has a very small population, it can ... Read more

The Cognac Country of Poitou-Charentes

One of the finest spirits in the world, Cognac dates back to the 17th Century when double distillation was first discovered. Named after the town of Cognac, the drink is now produced by over 20,000 people in the Charente department of the Poitou-Charentes region. In excess of 130 million bottles are sold around the world each year. Anyone staying in one of the many gites de France in the Charente department will find it difficult to avoid the region's best-known export but its interesting history is enough to hold the attention of even non-drinkers.The rich soils, temperate climate and influence of the Atlantic combine to produce the distinctive taste of Cognac. The Cognac gro... Read more

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Romantic Gite For Two In Aquitaine