Holiday Rentals in Provence: What is a Gîte?
Customs and terminology can be confusing in a foreign country, and France is no exception. North Americans and other international travellers might not understand (or search for) terms like gîte, mazet, chambres d’hôtes, or hôtel de charme.
What is a Gîte?
A gîte is a terrific option for holiday rentals in rural France for short-term accommodation. There are many advantages to renting a gîte for your visit to Provence as they provide a self-catered “home away from home” type of accommodation. In an urban setting, a gîte is an apartment or small village house.
Gîtes vary from rustic to luxurious and in size from 1-bedroom cottages to larger homes with several guest rooms. Or, in some cases, an efficient studio layout with a small kitchenette and seating area. It is common to find these cottages grouped on a larger property with shared amenities such as a pool, outdoor kitchen, or a boules pitch. The owners may live on the property or are close by.
Often owned and operated by locals who live in the surrounding area, gîtes give visitors a chance to experience Provencal country life and culture in a more authentic way than they might be able to in a hotel or other more tourist-oriented accommodation. Visitors can cook meals, explore the countryside, and enjoy a more relaxed and independent holiday experience.
Holiday Rentals in Provence
Holiday rentals in France are typically by the week, usually from Saturday to Saturday. However, in some cases, shorter-term rentals are available. The high season is typically May to October, with July and August falling into the prime rate categories. The low season is typically November to April. Consider these factors when renting a holiday home:
• Location: urban vs rural
• Transportation: how much driving do you want to do?
• Sleeping Arrangements: Make sure to ask about the bedroom configuration.
• Amenities: Air conditioning, laundry, heated pool etc.
• Visitor Reviews
Finding a Place to Stay
The Perfectly Provence holiday listings include bed and breakfasts (B&Bs), boutique hotels, cottages (gîtes), apartments, and self-catered homes and villas in Southern France and the French Riviera. Our platform contains filters for location, number of guests, air conditioning, pets, pool access, parking and other amenities. We work with owners and reputable rental agencies, allowing you to book directly with these partners. In addition, our service connects you to our partners, who are happy to answer any questions about availability and area highlights.
Small self-catered rental cottages = Gîte or Mazet
Bed and Breakfast (B&B) = Chambres d’hôtes
Villa = Maison privée
Village house = Maison du village
Boutique hotel = Hôtel de charme
Holiday in Provence
Key to a great holiday in Provence (or anywhere) is striking a balance between activity and downtime. We have been fortunate to have many friends visit the region. Of course, we like to think it is all about us, but Provence is magnetic. After observing several families and generations visiting the area, we recommend allowing enough to enjoy the pool and meals at “home.” The following is a proposed 7-day trip to Provence.