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Leesa21 Nov 8th, 2015 03:30 AM

French Village Stay
French village stay
Hi all, I am planning my birthday trip next year and I am wanting to find a charming French village to rent a villa for around 8 house guests. My birthday is in August so for one week towards end of August.

On my Wishlist:
Charming French village
Villa for less than $6000 AUD Per week
Not to big but with markets, bars, restaurants, markets
Seaside would be beautiful and/or pool at villa
A villa "in town" - walking distance to bars etc.

Would appreciate suggestions as I'm really struggling trying to find the perfect place.

Thank you. ��

StCirq Nov 8th, 2015 03:38 AM

You don't have ANY idea at all about where in France? There are thousands of places that could meet your criteria.

nytraveler Nov 8th, 2015 04:16 AM

Well waht you are talking about doesn't sound like a village (limited services) but more like a small town. And villas by their nature are usually not IN the town - but may be close enough to be accessible by foot or bicycle - but I would assume that you would have to rent cars to go sightseeing.

So you really need to provide some idea - of what you want to see/do in order to even reco a region. Provence? Dordogne? Normandy? Burgundy? Alsace?

Christina Nov 8th, 2015 06:36 AM

No villages have lots of bars, restaurants, markets, etc. Yes, some have a weekly roving market or so but definitely lot lots of bars.

Villas aren't usually in town, either. You can find lots of rentals with pools in Provence but they are out in the country. it is rare to be within walking distance of bars, restaurants, etc. with a villa.

6000 AUD is about 3900 euro per week, should be do-able, over 550 euro a day. Of course that is peak rate season in areas like Provence or on the Riviera.

When you say 8 guests, how many bedrooms do you really need? It makes a big difference if you only need 3-4 versus 6+, and if these are adults or small children.

Just use VRBO or soething like that, and narrow it by bedrooms you want, etc. Check the Nice area, here's one that looks perfect for you

annhig Nov 8th, 2015 06:37 AM

This website might help a bit, but you still really need to think about an area:


Things to consider

1. ease of access - I see that you have mentioned AU$ in your OP, so if you and your guests are coming from Australia, being able to get there without too much hassle would be an advantage.

2. beach and/or pool - anywhere near a beach is going to be pretty busy in August, or very remote. Somewhere inland with a pool might be less crowded. but if you go for the coast, I would still want a pool for those days when it's just too much effort to go to the beach.

3. What do you want to do? sightseeing? gastronomy? wine-tasting? the website above has the option to choose those and other themes - see the panel on the right of the home page.

once you start to narrow it down it should get easier!

bilboburgler Nov 8th, 2015 07:39 AM

going with 4000 euro for a week in August. I then looked at gite de france website, you need to know how many bedrooms as well as how many people.

There are about 2500 available today for 8 people. I looked at Isle de Re, which will be packed but might be your sort of thing and for just short of Euro 2000 you can get 4 bedrooms in St Marie (which is ok, not fantastic but ok). What is interesting is that is the only thing available in what is one humungus holiday island.

So you need to get your skates on, look at train access and start searching

kerouac Nov 8th, 2015 01:39 PM

If you want to be not too far from Paris, have a look at Moret-sur-Loing.

Leesa21 Nov 15th, 2015 02:34 AM

Thanks for all your advice. Main thing I want is to be staying within a beautiful village or town where we can easily get around without a car. At least one cafe and bar would be good. Any further suggestions very welcome.

sheila Nov 15th, 2015 04:29 AM

I think the world is your oyster (or, at least, France is). Really, at the very least, you need to fix on a "style" of location.

If you want seaside, Brittany would do it for me, I must say. Weather will be as good as it gets. It you MUST have fine weather, look to the Med. The Cote d'Azur is much more expensive, but the Provencal hill towns are special. Montpellier, Perpignan- round there.

Or, weather less certain, somewhere on the Atlantic coats round St Jean de Luz.or Biarritz.

hetismij2 Nov 15th, 2015 06:18 AM

Villas in Provence in August are very expensive in my experience.
Is there a reason you don't want to hire a car? Without one you need somewhere on a railway line, and big enough that you won't go stir crazy after a couple of days, which rather cuts out most villages.

StCirq Nov 15th, 2015 07:00 AM

You really either need to change your requirements or rent a car.

Trains don't go to villages. There is virtually no bus system in France other than for workers and students. A village that has only one café and bar, or even only two, won't be accessible by anything other than a car and probably won't have a villa for 8 people.

Robert2533 Nov 15th, 2015 11:07 AM

>for less than $6000 AUD Per week< won't get you much in Provence, but whatever you're looking for needs to be booked as soon as possible.

You might want to look in the Pays Basque-Béarn region for something a little more affordable (

pariswat Nov 15th, 2015 11:52 AM

I really like this thread.
Giving advice to somebody who has no criterium of choice.

nytraveler Nov 15th, 2015 04:02 PM

Rereading the original post it really doesn't say the total number of people. We have been assuming 8 but it says 8 guests - so is that a family plus 8?

Also what are the ages and relationships - important in terms of number of bedrooms and baths as well as bed configurations. Many villas with 3 or more bedrooms have at least 1 bedroom for children - often with bunk beds. If you are all adult couples this may not work.

Really - more info would help a lot. As well as your thinking about the problems of doing this without a car.

The more I read it the more I think you don;t really want a villa - in the country with grounds and pool - but may be looking to rent a house in the town (but need to understand grounds may be very small and pool is unlikely).

Leesa21 Nov 16th, 2015 03:22 AM

Thanks again for all comments. I think I'm starting to think I may need to reassess what I'm looking for. I guess when I say no car I mean I don't want to be staying somewhere which relies on driving anywhere. It will be 7 adults and 1 child. One couple (me) another couple with child, and three singles. So 3 or 4 bedrooms. Maybe what we need is more of a house in a bigger town. We want to be able to wander into town and if we feel like staying for a few drinks we can wander back when we like. And if in town we don't all have to be stuck together all the time. Beachside would be great and warm weather please. ����

pariswat Nov 16th, 2015 06:05 AM

'I think I'm starting to think I may need to reassess what I'm looking for.'

You have a great sense of humour ! loved it.

Seems you could like places like Antibes on the Riviera.
Tell us if it would fit the bill, and others will then join with ideas.

hetismij2 Nov 16th, 2015 06:44 AM

Will the singles be happy sharing a bedroom? the arents and child?

Have a look at Gites de France, or any of the other websites offering houses for rent. Put in your dates, your bedroom requirements and you price and see what they throw up. You can then decide which, if any best suits you, since you don't seem to have any idea of which region you wish to visit.
You will need to book soon though - August will be selling out fast.

StuDudley Nov 16th, 2015 07:07 AM

If you use the Gites-de-France web site, make sure you put the language flag on France and not GB (English). If you use English, you will only retrieve gites that have English descriptions - about half of all those available. We've rented 65 gites through Gites de France.

Try these southern cities to get warmer weather:
Aix en Provence

And these villages
Menton B
Antibes B
Sarlat la Caneda
St Jean de Luz B

"B" is a beach city

Stu Dudley

nytraveler Nov 16th, 2015 09:24 AM

OK - I think what you want it much clearer. My only concern now is if you will find what you are looking for within your budget (especially being near the beach) which is less than 4,000 euros per week.

I did a quick look at the Gites web site and it doesn't seem to have any properties available in August in the places right near the beach. You might consider looking at other web sites. But we did that a few years ago for a vacation that didn't happen for family reasons - and most of the properties were above your budget.

stokebailey Nov 16th, 2015 10:24 AM

I agree with Kerouac that Moret-sur-Loing would fit many of your criteria, besides being < 1 hour from Paris by RER. Landlocked, of course.

We used gites de france website a few years back, looked at many places and then were delighted with our choice. It was a couple of steep miles uphill from the nearest restaurant, though, and several miles from a marche or bakery.

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