Top 10 rural French bolt-holes

13 March 2017

If you're not prepared to up sticks and leave the country on a permanent basis, why not do the next best thing and live like a local in a beautiful holiday cottage in France?



We've chosen a few excellent options for a French holiday with that home-away-from-home factor, so that you can indulge in those moving abroad fantasies on your next break


1. Maison Calvisson

Sleeps: 4

Bedrooms: 2

Location: Gard

A traditional stone terraced property, tucked away in a tranquil hamlet, this stunning property offers easy access to the hiking and cycling trails of the Pays de Sommières as well as a bustling market, held weekly in the quaint village square.

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2. L'Ancien Chai

Sleeps: 4

Bedrooms: 2

Location: Dordogne

A touch of luxury prevails in this elegant property, set in 25 hectares of private parkland and complete with its very own swimming pool and tennis court. A landscape of rolling hills dotted with chateaux, medieval villages and local vineyards completes this blissful scene.

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3. Orchard Cottage

Sleeps: 6

Bedrooms: 3

Location: Manche

Traditional design features such as exposed wooden beams and stone walls meet a tastefully renovated modern interior at this luxury property, located close to the sandy beaches of Jullouville and Granville. Enjoy the crackle of an open fire in the colder months or fire up the barbecue when the sun comes out.

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4. Maison Maillezais

Sleeps: 6

Bedrooms: 3

Location: Vendée

A property for all seasons, this three-bedroom conversion boasts its own indoor, heated swimming pool as well as a wood-burning stove and plenty of outdoor space for sunbathing or dining alfresco. Guests can ramble or ride bikes alongside the canals, stopping for refreshments at one of the many cafes en route.

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5. Maison Massignac

Sleeps: 4

Bedrooms: 2

Location: Massignac

French country chic rules supreme at this charming semi-detached holiday home, near the town of Massignac – think exposed beams, wooden floors, comfortable sofas and twinkling chandeliers. Visit the castle at La Rochefoucauld for a fun day out.

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6. Les Doursines

Sleeps: 6

Bedrooms: 3

Location: Dordogne

Treat yourself to a stay at this detached stone cottage with its own private swimming pool and breath-taking view across the valley to the medieval riverside market town of Montignac. The light, bright and airy interiors have been decorated to a high standard, combining contemporary chic with rustic charm.

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7. Villa Panoramique

Sleeps: 8

Bedrooms: 3

Location: Hérault

If a mountain retreat is your idea of bliss, book a stay at this holiday home in the hills with its panoramic views and access to the natural splendour of the Haut-Languedoc Regional Park. Soak up the scenery whilst floating in your private swimming pool and let the stresses of everyday life drift away.

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8. Mas Laborie

Sleeps: 10

Bedrooms: 5

Location: Lot

A spectacular property for a larger group, this traditional farmhouse with its fairy-tale tower offers plenty of space with a huge, stone-vaulted living room and dining area, spacious terraces and four acres of grounds. Plus, there's a private salt-water swimming pool. What more could you ask for?

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9. Maison Le Touquet

Sleeps: 4

Bedrooms: 2

Location: Pas- de-Calais

Located in a quiet residential area of Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, this holiday home is within easy walking distance of sandy beaches and a range of amenities. The resort offers a magnificent golf course for sports fans whilst anglers will find excellent fishing opportunities nearby.

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10. Maison Saint Font La Riviere

Sleeps: 4

Bedrooms: 2

Location: Dordogne

This unique property is as quaint and charming on the outside as it is stylish and modern on the inside. Make the most of quiet, country life in the tiny village or journey 30 minutes out of town to Périgueux, the capital of Dordogne, with its mighty cathedral, museums and shops.

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Saga readers can save up to 10% by booking with cottages.com. What more are you waiting for?

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.