France has been one of most visited countries in Europe for decades now, and rightly so. With its culinary genius, spectacular culture and undeniable romance, France has a little something for everyone. Whether you want to spend your holiday in Paris, immersing yourself in art and coffee, or exploring the outdoors, hiking and biking across the country – either way, France has exactly what you’re looking for.
Of course, to truly experience French culture you should opt to stay in more traditionally French buildings. Here are three of our favourite, and quintessentially French, places of accommodation:
It doesn’t matter where you grew up, tales of medieval castles filled with kings and queens protected by gallant knights were some of our favourite bedtime stories. Even today, with books like Harry Potter and TV shows like Game of Thrones, set in their magnificent castles; many of us still dream of living in a castle. Whilst owning one is highly unlikely, unless you win the lottery, your castle dream might not be entirely fruitless as it is possible to rent and stay in your very own French castle.
Renting a spectacular castle is one of the best ways to enjoy French opulence, and regions like Dordogne have an astonishing 1000 castles! True, most of these are for tours and days out, but there are a surprising number of castles to rent in the area. Most of which are far more affordable than you might think. Castles come in a wide range of options, from full castle rentals to apartments within a larger castle, more suitable for couples. They tend to mix the classic décor of a medieval castle with modern amenities such as swimming pools.
There is nothing more romantic than a luxurious French chateau; indeed, many look like they’ve come straight out of a fairy-tale. Historically, Lords and other wealthy high-ranking people in France owned these opulent homes. Usually designed by the best architects of the time, each with its own unique appeal. Expect high ceilings with ornate cornicing, huge numbers of rooms as well as the old servant bells used to signify that guests were ready for dinner.
These chateaus are surprisingly affordable, with many not costing more than a hotel, particularly if you’re travelling in a large group. Rentals tend to be for the whole chateau unless it has been converted into separate apartments; however, there are also plenty of small chateaus that give the privacy of a full rental, perfect for couples.
Of course, all that grand luxury isn’t for everyone. But, France being as versatile as it is, has a gem for everyone and a quaint farmhouse rental can make for the most magical vacation. Speckled across the French countryside, staying in a farmhouse allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, whilst surrounded by gardens filled with wild flowers and herbs. Spend many an afternoons relaxing, reading, and cooking local French produce from the market in a traditional country kitchen.
Like others, farmhouse rentals come in a number of sizes. Most, though, are suitable for a family with two or three bedrooms and some will come with more modern amenities such as pools or hot tubs.
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