France is the most visited country in Europe and has
more hotel rooms than any other EU member, but a trip
to France can soon get expensive if you spend every night
staying in a hotel. If you are planning on staying for
an extended period in one city or area of France vacation
rentals may be a good idea.
Renting an apartment or house in France has become increasingly
popular in recent years. In terms of vacation rental France
has many opportunities. Numerous travel agents specialize
in France vacation rentals, so you are likely to find
something for any budget. Prices start at about $500 a
week in the off-season, but can go up to $10,000 a week
for luxury accommodation in some areas. Expect to pay
several hundred dollars in deposits and rental agency
fees. The Fédération Nationale des Gîtes
de France, the national network for France vacation rentals,
rents all types of accommodation, rated on a scale of
one to four based on stringent criteria. A nationwide
catalogue is available. The vacations rentals France offers
vary from urban apartments to rural farmhouses. The vacations
rentals France have are often known as gites. Gites are
nearly always supervised by owners who live nearby and
who will be there to greet you and answer any questions
when you arrive (a knowledge of French is generally useful
for these interactions). Looking under "gites"
in a local French or English paper is an excellent way
to find hidden rental deals.
France is a varied and beautiful country with every type of terrain, from towering mountains in the French Alps to lush valleys and sun-soaked France beaches. If you choose a region that suits the type of visit you want, you can contact the departmental office of the Fédération Nationale and request a photo catalogue of France vacation rentals specific to that area. Sometimes the best vacations rentals France has to offer can be found by getting in touch with a city’s tourist office and asking for their list of locations meublés (furnished rentals).
France vacation rentals are almost always booked from Saturday to Saturday, though some have weekend rentals in the off-season. When you stay in a vacation rental France becomes a home away from home. Most will have much more space than a hotel and have cooking facilities so you can try your hand at French cooking. Note that the average vacation rental France offers does not include bed linen or towels, though these are usually available for an additional charge.