Gîtes in France  – How to rent a gîte

Gîte, Villa, House, Farm???

What am I renting?

self catering quercy
Many properties are renovated farmhouses, often with good amounts of land attached.

As language has become internationalised with increased foreign travel, the distinction between the various types of property has become less and less clear with gite, house, villa etc all more or less interchangeable.


Gîtes traditionally were small apartments or annexes from an Owner’s house specifically for guest accommodation: If there was a small separate building, the term ‘Maison d’amis’ was often used, and remains common in rental property names today.

In recent years, and especially since the advent of the internet, a gîte has become any property available for holiday accommodation in France.


A traditional gite attached to the Owners house

Villa was the Roman / Latin word for a large house, but more recently became the South European term for a holiday home by the sea. Again, the advent of the internet and use of the word villa in the naming of websites has broadened the definition to cover any property available for holiday let across Europe


The word ‘ferme’ in French can mean either a farm or a farmhouse, and it has been common to renovate farmhouses as second homes or holiday properties: Very few actually have any connection to a working farm, although there will almost inevitably be agricultural land and activity close by.

Fences and Boundaries

A typical terrace – not a fence in sight!

In this area of France properties are generally reasonably well spread out, and boundaries may not be marked clearly with a fence, particularly away from towns and villages.  This is especially true where the property is very rural, and may have been renovated.

The extent of the land will be well known and recorded, but visitors should anticipate vague hedgelines or maybe nothing at all, so if you are at all concerned about children or pets wandering you should check with Halcyon Leisure about the security of the boundaries at the property.

For further information or discussion of your self catering holiday needs please contact HL Holidays

Related Articles

Contact HL for more information

Is your question not answered here?
Contact Form