Information about French Gites
Beyond is not part of the Gîtes de France organization. For information on them, including catalogs of the accommodations and reservation information, contact the Gîtes de France for the department you are interested in.
What are Gites
Gites are furnished accommodations, roughly equivelent to the English Bed & Breakfast. The Gîtes de France are gites under the guidance and guarantee of the Gîte de France organization.
The Gîtes de France are the largest gites organisation in France, but there are plenty of others. You can find them on the Internet. There is no requirement to register a gite with Gîte de France, and the word "gite" is not a trade mark, but a common noun usable by anyone or any organisation.
There are dozens of ways to book gites directly, without going through Gîte de France, and many (if not most) of the internationally-owned gites in France - with English speaking owners - are not registered with Gîte de France.
This photo shows a gite (building at far left) at the village of Saorge.
Types of Gites
Gites Rurals are furnished accommodations located in rural areas, at the seaside or in the mountains, usually priced by the week. The Gite rural is an apartment or detached house with one or more bedrooms, a living/dining room, kitchen/kitchenette and bathroom. Except for the highest-level Gites, you must provide your own bedding and linen.
Gite Chambre d'Hôte
The Gite Chambre d'Hôte is the equivalent of "Bed & Breakfast" accommodations, with room and breakfast in the home of the host.
Gite d'Etape, Gite de Groupe
The Gite d'Etape accommodation is intended for nightly stays by hikers, skiers or riders. Dormitory sleeping and facilities for cooking is often provided, and there is usually space for groups (reservations recommended).
Gite de Neige, Gite de Pêche, Gite équestre
These are all variations of the Gite d'Etape, where the accommodations or locations are especially suited to the specified visitor: neige-skiing; pêche-fishing; Equestre-horseback riding.
Information and Reservations
We had lists of contact information here in the early days (from 1995). With the proliferation of independent gites and the improvement of the Web over the past few years, a static list is no long relevant.
Standard Gîtes de France rentals are weekly, from 16h00 Saturday to 10h00 the following Saturday, without exception. This is a limitation that we personally find to restrictive for our seat-of-the-pants travelling.