A Nature Holiday in Auvergne

For repeat visitors to the Auvergne region, the spectacular landscape and biodiversity are two of the main attractions. The region is blessed with beautiful scenery, large areas of untouched landscape and all manner of rare flora and fauna. Conservation and sustainable development are key in Auvergne and you will find the countryside well-preserved and highly respected by locals and visitors alike. Auvergne is home to many areas of outstanding natural beauty and, no matter what your interests, you will find plenty to take your breath away. Whether you are a keen cyclist, a horse-rider, an ardent nature-lover or you just enjoy casual walks through unspoilt countryside, you'll f... Read more

Auvergne - Holiday attractions in France

Auvergne, one of France's 27 administrative regions, is comprised of four departments: Puy-de-Dôme, Haute Loire, Cantal and Allier. Surprisingly there are numerous dormant and extinct volcanoes in the area with the last eruption occurring some 6,000 years ago. Many have now been subject to the effects of erosion, forming distinctive round-topped hills referred to locally as 'puys'. Today, this mostly rural region offers many laid-back, relaxing activities for couples and families staying in holiday villas in France. Puy-de-Dôme Puy-de-Dôme takes its name from a local extinct volcano, which is itself one of the most popular tourist sites in Auvergne, attracting more tha... Read more

Beaune - The Wine Capital of Burgundy

The pretty town of Beaune is located in the Côte d'Or and it's known for its wine, music festivals and food. A must on the tourist trail for those staying in gites in Burgundy, there is so much to see and do in Beaune that one day here is rarely enough. Shopping is an absolute joy in Beaune. The streets are lines with independent retailers selling all manner of goods. From high-fashion to books and from artisan ceramics to touristy postcards, you'll find it here. Market day is Saturday and keen shoppers will be delighted to find over 150 stalls selling the freshest and best local produce as well as everything else you'd expect to find at a good French market. Beaune is a gre... Read more

Centre - A food lover's paradise

Lovers of true French 'Cuisine du Terroir' will find much to enjoy in the mostly rural region of Centre. Famous foods from the area include mouth-watering pork dishes, such as Andouillettes sausages (cooked in Vouray wine) and Tours Rillettes, and goats cheeses, arguably the most renown being Crottin de Chavignol and Sainte Maure de Touraine. Boasting a wide selection of locally grown fruits, the area is also famous as the birthplace of one of France's most popular deserts, Tarte Tatin. Tarte Tatin This delicious combination of light, flaky pastry and caramelised apples (which can also be spelled 'Tart Tatin') was apparently invented by accident around 1898 in the Loire V... Read more

Gites in Provence – Attractions in the Region

Aix-en Provence The jewel in the crown of Provence. Intimate streets and sun-kissed stone. The Cours Mirabeau, its main street, is a delightful tree-lined meander of cafés, restaurants and shops. Also worth a visit is the Cathedral of St. Sauver and, naturally, the city's famous Cézanne Museum. Aix-en Provence is to be enjoyed especially in the morning, where hours could be spent wandering through the labyrinth of cobbled streets that make up old town. Here you will uncover a wealth of boutiques, daily markets, restaurants and shops. The perfect place to stop and enjoy an al fresco meal or drink – weather permitting. The city is also a perfect jumping off point to e... Read more

Gites de France - Historic Roman Sites in Languedoc-Roussillon

For lovers of all things Roman, there are some simply stunning historic sites in the Languedoc-Roussillon region. Ambrussum Lying to the North-East of the village of Lunel, this fascinating ancient site contains 3 very different attractions: The Oppidum – an iron age settlement, plus a complex and Roman bridge dating back to the 1st century AD. A visitor's centre, opened in 2011, contains a wealth of information for the history buff. Carcassonne The hill fort, or 'oppidum' at Carcassonne is said to date back to the 6th century B.C. Built and rebuilt by first The Romans, The Visigoths and on into the medieval era, when its reputation as an invincible hilltop fort reall... Read more

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

Holiday Gites and Villas in France - Book Direct

Charente is perfect for family holidays
Mont St Michel, Brittany
Taking the ferry to France is quick and convenient