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-   -   quaint villages in france (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/quaint-villages-in-france-777879/)

lhoverson Apr 8th, 2009 01:07 PM

quaint villages in france
 
i would love to rent a small place in a village in france to just relax with my husband and walk around,maybe drive to other areas some days.i think i have this "chocolat" kind of fantasy.does anyone have any experience renting a quaint house ,also what areas would be better. also, how hard is it to get to these areas?

StuDudley Apr 8th, 2009 01:52 PM

Wow - that's a pretty general question. We've rented about 40 different "quaint" gites. All of them near (but not in) quaint villages. There are hundreds & hundreds of quaint villages in France.

The villages where Chocolate was filmed was in Burgundy, but the village itself was a huge letdown for use - very "ratty".

If I may make a suggestion - read some tour books and find a region that interests you (Provence, Cote d'Azur, Dordogne, Pays Basque, Brittany, Ardeche, Alsace, Roussillon, Beaujolais, Burgundy, Loire, Auvergne, Alps, Franche Comte, etc) and then select a quaint village, and then a house near the village.

We find Gites here
http://www.gites-de-france.com/gites/uk/rural_gites

Stu Dudley

Michael Apr 8th, 2009 01:52 PM

In looking for the location of your dreams, you could start here:

http://www.cometofrance.com/PBVF.html

traveller1959 Apr 8th, 2009 01:58 PM

You find quaint villages everywhere in France.

If you want to rent a quaint house, you will find a good supply especially in these areas:

- Brittany.
- Provence.
- Cote d'Azur.
- Bourgogne.
- Dordogne.
- Alsace.

We have been to all these regions and have rented vacation homes there - and I can't tell which region I would prefer. They are all different and all have their beauty.

For many of these regions you will find specialised agencies for vacation rentals, most of them are based in Europe (not just VRBO). Do some internet research!

Experiences: We have found wonderful houses - all classes, some of them fancy, others more rustic. We always look for a fireplace and, in Southern France, for a private pool. Expect that even in high-end villas, the standards are often lower than what I have experienced with VRBO rentals in USA. In practically every house in France we experienced at least once an electrical shutdown. We always take a flashlight and make ourselves familiar with the electrical fuses (most of the time they are outdoors) so that we can fix it in darkness. Also expect rather poor beds and odd linens. It is part of the fun, but may cause an aching spine.

In any case, do a thorough internet research and look carefully at the photos which are provided. If there is only one thumbnail photo, skip it. There should be at least a photo of the bathroom, the kitchen and the garden. If you have found a promising house, locate it with Google Earth.

Be prepared that the landlords does not speak English, just French.

For most of vacation rentals, you need a car.

traveller1959 Apr 8th, 2009 01:59 PM

>>>If I may make a suggestion - read some tour books and find a region that interests you (Provence, Cote d'Azur, Dordogne, Pays Basque, Brittany, Ardeche, Alsace, Roussillon, Beaujolais, Burgundy, Loire, Auvergne, Alps, Franche Comte, etc) and then select a quaint village, and then a house near the village.<<<

That is exactly the way we do it.

zoecat Apr 8th, 2009 02:03 PM

I'm not an expert but thought I would share-

I spent 2 weeks in the quaint village of Lourmarin in Provence and thought it was lovely. You can explore the area each day or relax and hang out in the village. The Friday market is wonderful.

What time of year are you planning this trip and for how long?

You will need to fly into Marseille airport (a small and easy to navigate airport) and drive 45 minutes to Lourmarin.

Car rental-

autoeurope.com

Apartment-

http://www.rentourhomeinprovence.com/

Depending on the time of year, you may consider staying outside a village at a place with a pool. Search slowtrav.com for review on places to stay-

http://www.slowtrav.com/france/vr/list.asp?r=Provence

I'm sure others will have other recommendations.

Enjoy!

StuDudley Apr 8th, 2009 02:08 PM

>>In practically every house in France we experienced at least once an electrical shutdown<,

Strange - we've stayed in Gites for about 70 weeks total. I don't recall ever loosing electricity. Gas supplying the hot water source or the cooktop, a few times, but never electricity. We travel in June & Sept, however. Maybe electricity is more temperamental in stormy seasons. Several proprietors have instructed us on how to unplug the TV in case of a storm.

Stu Dudley

StCirq Apr 8th, 2009 02:11 PM

Gosh, where to begin? I don't think anyone can be of much help here until you've gone to the library and leafed through "The Most Beautiful Villages of France" and a ton of guidebooks and picture books, plus done a lot of internet research. There are thousands and thousands of quaint villages in every corner of France, and dozens and dozens of houses in each of them.

You need to narrow it down and learn more about the regions.

Barnum66 Apr 8th, 2009 02:47 PM

When my wife and I started our trips to France we had the "Most Beautiful Villages" book, and while I am sure many others did too, we never really experienced ridiculous crowds. Having said that, we always travled in September, and we never stayed in one place.

Langcraft Apr 8th, 2009 03:24 PM

You might want to try the Limousin region of France; the provinces of Creuse, Haut-Vienne and Correze. This is rural France at its' best. I have driven through the region and it does have its' charms. You might wish to visit Aubusson, a lovely town famous for tapestries on the banks of the Cruese river at the base of a ravine. Limoges is the major city of the region, famous for porcelain. Further south you could visit Collonges la Rouge which is a delightful village, albeit a bit touristy, famous for its' red sandstone buildings. This is a region of France for people who want to get away from it all.

StCirq Apr 8th, 2009 05:38 PM

Corrèze - oh dear, no. And Collonges-la-Rouge is a tourist mecca, an artist colony and all that.

And Stu, we have power outages at my house in the Dordogne all the time in summer when there are thunder storms.

Langcraft Apr 9th, 2009 05:30 AM

Admittedly, Collonges is touristy as I mentioned in my post but as a region towns such as Turenne and Uzerche are picturesque villages in the Correze which is what Ihover seems to be looking for.

sheila Apr 19th, 2009 01:41 AM

There are some lovely places in the Haute Pyrenees and the Gers too. Marciac would be one place to look at; and Castelnau Magnoac; and Arreau in te foothills of teh Pyrenees; Mirande or Bagneres de Bigorre are maybe a bit big/busy.

We have problems with power at our place all the time. One day I'll get round to getting it fixed.


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