The Pretty Provence Town of Cassis

When you think of Cassis, the French blackcurrant liqueur is probably the first thing that springs to mind but Cassis is also the name of a pretty town in the Provence region. The famous drink isn't actually from the town, which is better known for its wines than its liqueurs. Located on the coast, Cassis is a favourite destination among French and foreign tourists, known for its excellent seafood and stunning beach. The beach at Cassis is not to be missed. It gets busy in summer but its beautiful golden sands and crystal clear water makes it worth braving the crowds. At quieter times of year, it's a peaceful haven and is one of the best beaches in this part of France. If you... Read more

The Vibrant Brittany City of Rennes

Rennes is the administrative capital of Brittany and is a must-see for anyone staying in the region. Many of the best gites and villas in France are located within easy reach of Rennes and there's plenty to see and do on a trip to this historic city. With picturesque medieval streets and squares, it's a great city for exploring and a photographer's dream. Much of the original city of Rennes was destroyed by a fire in 1720 but some buildings survived and can be found among the new properties. Many of the streets are lined with charming half-timbered buildings, giving the city a fairy-tale feel. One of the most stunning buildings in Rennes is the parliament building, located to ... Read more

Market Day in Sarlat

The Dordogne town of Sarlat boats one of the best and most authentic markets in the region. The market days are Wednesdays and Saturdays when locals and tourists flock to the town from the surrounding areas to stock up on the finest local produce. The abundance of villas near Sarlat means a lot of tourists visit this market but the sheer number of locals who also rely on Sarlat market keeps it feeling authentic and traditional.The market takes up the entire area around Place de la Liberte, rue de la Republique and rue Victor Hugo and the streets are filled with brightly coloured tents and stalls. All the usual vendors can be found here and regional specialties such as duck, ... Read more

Alsace's Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle

The imposing Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle is one of France's most popular tourist attractions and welcomes some 600,000 visitors every year. The castle was originally built in the 12th century, then re-built in 1899 and is remarkably well preserved. The re-building was faithful to the original and the castle provides a great example of 12th century architecture. Holidaymakers staying in one of the many gites in Alsace will have a huge selection of castles to choose from for day trips and excursions, but Haut-Koenigsbourg is top of the list for most people. The castle enjoys a spectacular setting atop a rocky outcrop and commands stunning views over the surrounding villages and count... Read more

The Brittany Town of Lorient

The seaside town of Lorient is located in Brittany's Morbihan department and lies at the mouths of two rivers: the Scorff and the Blavet. Its coastal location makes it perfect for a day out for those staying in one of the charming rustic gites in Guebernez or any of the other traditional French villages in the surrounding countryside.The closest beach is Larmor Plage, with a popular Sunday morning market and a beachfront lined with restaurants and bars. Nextdoor is Plage de Locqueltas, a vast stretch of sand backed by grassy dunes, with shallow rocky pools that are perfect for children to paddle in. On the other side of Lorient, and visible across the bay, is Port Louis with i... Read more

Brittany's Best Food Festivals by Bev Fearis

Every year Brittany hosts a series of festivals devoted to food, from crepes to seafood to smelly sausage. Bev Fearis, owner of Gites Guebernez , picks her favourites.  Festival Saumon July 5-7 Thanks to its location and history, the pretty town of Port Scorff has a strong connection with salmon fishing. Every July it celebrates its cherished pink fish with three days of music and entertainment, cooking workshops, and special meals, all featuring salmon of course. Fete de la Crepe July 27-28 Brittany’s specialty is the crepe, or the savoury version the galette, so it’s no surprise that it hosts a festival dedicated to the pancake. Each July, the M... Read more

The Idyllic Coastline of Pas de Calais

Most Brits speed through it, but Pas de Calais rewards those who leave the motorway and spend some time in this corner of north-west France. For a more scenic start to your driving holiday in France, the magnificent coastal road might be a bit of a detour but takes in 75 miles of glorious vistas. Pas-de-Calais is a fairly flat region, meaning views stretch on endlessly. In the early 1900s, Pas de Calais attracted large numbers of wealthy Parisians and Brits who flocked to the sandy beaches and smart hotels. The region is now often ignored by holidaymakers, who simply pass through on their way to the hotter beaches of the south, but the coastline here is definitely worth stoppi... Read more

An Introduction to the French City of Nancy

If you're looking for an idyllic rural holiday, staying rustic, a gite Lorraine, is a great way to enjoy the French countryside while still being close enough to major towns and cities for day trips and excursions. The city of Nancy is a large city in the Lorraine region and boasts a wealth of attractions and sights for day trippers. 2013 is a great time to visit Nancy as Renaissance celebrations, festivals and events are taking place all over the city this year. The huge square of the Place Stanislas is one of Nancy's main attractions and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At over 125 metres long, the square is impressive and is a popular meeting place. The square contains man... Read more

An Introduction to Limousin

Limousin is a popular destination for British holidaymakers and it's not hard to see why. Boasting areas of stunning natural beauty, the region is an excellent choice for those wanting to take full advantage of the French countryside. The three Limousin departments are Creuse, Haute-Vienne and Corrèze and each has its own unique set of attractions. Creuse is located in the Massif Central and the River Creuse runs through the region. The landscape is characterised by gentle rolling hills and dramatic valleys. The weather here is a little cooler and wetter than in other nearby regions but it can still get very hot in the summer. Creuse is home to a lot of farmland and some of t... Read more

Out and about in Vichy

The town of Vichy is situated in the Auvergne region and is known for its springs. Believed to have healing powers, the sulphurous springs attract many thousands of visitors every year. Vichy has traditionally appealed to an older demographic, who flock to the town to receive spa treatments. In recent years, however, the town has made a concerted effort to promote itself as a younger destination by marketing the health benefits of the springs to all age groups. Vichy gets very busy during the summer months but if you're staying in a rustic Auvergne gite in the surrounding Auvergne area, you'll be able to pop into the town to enjoy the sights before leaving the hustle and bus... 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