We’ve visited the country many times over the years. In fact, Nicky lived in the Ardeche region for six months as a child and so it’s always held a special place in her heart.
Nowadays, we visit to house sit in lovely rural and village properties and to enjoy the laid-back lifestyle, with its traffic-free rural roads. And, of course, the wine, the food, the weather, the sublime scenery. The list is endless.
HOW TO PLAN A EUROPEAN ROAD TRIP FOR THE HOPELESS ROMANTIC
From sipping pink champagne in rural France to cruising the Grand Canal in Venice, it’s a European road trip made for two – as long as you’re up for sharing the driving
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO HOUSESIT IN RURAL FRANCE?
Everything you need to know about house sitting in the magnificent French countryside
HOW TO SPEND THE PERFECT DAY AT MONT SAINT-MICHEL
How to get the most out of your visit to Mont Saint-Michel – one of France’s top tourist destinations and a UNESCO World Heritage site
THE BLAZING AUTUMN COLOURS OF THE FRENCH PYRENEES
Glorious weather, no crowds and autumnal scenery to die for – just three reasons to visit the French Pyrenees in October
CHEESE, FIGS & COGNAC – OUR NEW STAPLE DIET
Three items that should always be in your French shopping basket
WHERE WE’VE STAYED
House-sitting assignment – 36 days
House-sitting assignment – 12 days
House-sitting assignment – 11 days
House-sitting assignment – 33 days
House-sitting assignment – 3 months
IMAGES OF FRANCE
Drive around the Dordogne region of South West France and you’re never far away from a beautifully maintained medieval village. Belves is one of the finest examples.
Just as pretty is La Roque-Gageac, which clings to the hillside above the Dordogne River.
MORNING MIST IN TARN
Tarn is probably our favourite area of France. Less touristy than Dordogne but no less beautiful. And our month-long house sit included fabulous views to the rear.
AUTUMN IN TARN
We were fortunate enough to be in Tarn during the autumn – just as the forests were turning from shades of green to yellows, reds and browns. Which made our daily dose of dog-walking an even more pleasurable experience.
One of the many fortified bastide towns in South West France, Cordes-sur-Ciel has a stunning medieval centre high up on a hilltop. Another gem in the Tarn department.
Just north of Tarn is the Aveyron department and Najac, another magnificent example of a bastide town. It’s spectacularly perched along a rocky ridge and is dominated by the hilltop 13th Century chateau.
Our visit to the Pyrenees also coincided with the changing colours of autumn. In fact, the combination of green fields and red/yellow/brown forests contrasting with the blue skies and white snow-clad mountains just blew us away.
And the Pyrenees highlight for us was the walking on offer around the mountain village of Gavarnie.
Read more at The Blazing Autumn Colours Of The French Pyrenees.
Further north, in the Haute-Vienne department, is another medieval gem of a village. And wandering around the streets surrounding the Notre-Dame church in Bellac is like taking a step back into the Middle Ages.
WALKING THE DOG
We love house sitting in France. And part of the attraction is being able to spend time in the countryside with our temporary pets. As with this lively dog in the Loire-Atlantique department.
LE MONT SAINT-MICHEL
One of France’s biggest tourist attractions and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this tiny commune sits on an island just off the Normandy coast. If you’re in Northern France make sure you don’t miss it.
Read more at How To Spend The Perfect Day At Le Mont Saint-Michel.
VIEW FROM THE RAMPARTS
The walk from the car park to Le Mont Saint-Michel is one to be savoured, but the views from the top of the ramparts are an added bonus once you get there.
MORE ON FRANCE
Excellent and comprehensive guide by region
Travel and thematic guide to France
Official site for tourism in Paris
The indispensable guide for budget travellers