The articles you find listed throughout our website were written by Les Amis De La Giraudière, or in English, “the friends of La Giraudiere”, also contributions from volunteers and interns who have participated in the different programs at La Giraudiere. We hope you enjoy.
Gite De France
When searching for accommodation, holiday accommodation or self-catering accommodation in France you will come across the word Gite or the organisation gite de France. Gite de France originally started to help the falling income of agriculture industry in France. Originally a gite de France would be an extension of a traditional French farmhouse or perhaps an annexe to. This part of the property was made clean in preparation for the town folk to come and stay in the country side. I remember my first stay in a gite de France and I will never forget it. Every time we switch on an electric appliance the lights would blow. The wiring would glow during the night which was perhaps our only form of heating. The beds were from the Victorian age, this is only a guess as they were only 1.50 meters long and my legs would hang out the bottom of the bed so the mosquitoes could “manger une Anglais”. The shower was not much better, enough hot water for one person per day. Do not worry things have changed. Now days gite de France is a well-organized body offering all different classes of accommodation within the French countryside. All those offering gites have regular inspections by gite de France and have to comply to the regulations of gite de France.
All gites are classified according to their location, comfort and amenities and on merit are awarded an ear de corn ranging from one to four.
There are 10 national guides labeled gite de France ranging from Snow to Peche all with the gite de France label and also 4 regional guides. There are over 55,000 registered gites belonging to the gite de France body and you can acquire information from any tourist office. For those of us that have used gite de France or had a gite holiday in a French gites we immediately relate the word French gite to self-catering holiday accommodation which is exactly what it is. But it is strange that the word gite or French gites is not used in the English-speaking part of the world except when referring to France. Even the English and other nationalities that have settled in France use the word French gite or gite to explain their holiday accommodation. In France many forms of gite or gites exist such has Gite Rural, Gite Chambre d’hotes, Gite d’enfants, Gite d’etape et gite de sejour and Gite accessible.
What is a French Gite Holiday in a French Gites Like?
For those of us that have used gite de France or had a gite holiday in a French gites we immediately relate the word French gite to holiday accommodation which is exactly what it is. But it is strange that the word gite or French gites is not used in the English-speaking part of the world except when referring to France. Even the English and other nationalities that have settled in France use the word French gite or gite to explain their holiday accommodation.
The word gite is also becoming popular with different regions of France for instant you have gite de Charente or Gite Rural Limousin last month alone there was 569 searches each day for the word gite rural limousine. In our village they have started a website called Brossac Gites and there are over 300 gites upon it.
The French Gite Holiday
A typical French gite holiday After you have made your booking, which can be done in advance by witting, by telephone or on the Internet you load up your car with all that you may need including your bed linen towelling and probably a lot more than you will ever use you head off for the voyage ahead car full of kids and thoughts of previous French gite holidays. After negotiating the auto routes, service stations and not forgetting the peage (Otherwise known as a donation to the auto route de France) Eventually you arrive to be welcomed by the gite owner. You are all prepared with your rusty knowledge of the French language only to find the owner is Belgium or English and speaks perfect English. This could be the case now days as many foreigners who have settled in France run Gites or Gite holidays and do so very well. After you have unloaded the car made up the beds you may have time to rustle up something to eat before you can settle back and relax. The next morning it is up and off to the village to take on some bread and other French delicacies for breakfast (Remember they close at midday). You just have time to finish the last croissant and clear up the breakfast dishes before you are off to the Supermarche to stock up and do not forget Lunch today. If you are like me you arrive at the Supermarche just in time for Lunch closing and have to come back again at 3.00 o’clock. Well, whatever you end up fighting your way round the Supermarche eventually you check out Normally they have 5 cash desks but only one in operation because of staff holidays, I wonder if they are having a gite holiday in a gite rural limousin or Charente. Anyway, it is back to the Gite for Lunch (Thats if you made it before 12) and maybe just maybe you will have time for an excursion. The days normally pass this way it is a bit like being at home doing what you normally do but in a different place. Having said all this I have had some great gite holidays and some awful ones as well but, I would recommend that you take one and then let me know or write an article about your experiences and I will put it upon this website page.
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