Best remote holiday cottages in France
After a year spent mostly indoors, a remote holiday cottage with plenty of opportunities for quiet reflection and off-grid wandering is just what the doctor ordered. We’re craving quintessentially French holidays with bike rides through unbroken countryside, day trips to quiet beaches and plenty of poolside lounging. Read on to discover five of our favourite French country cottages for ditching the crowds and silencing the noise.
With a lake to fish, a terrace for sunbathing and a saltwater pool for cooling dips, Le Farat is one of our favourite French country cottages for truly unwinding. The house is situated in unspoilt countryside one hour south of the Dordogne, and arriving here feels like entering rural bliss. Huge barn-like doors welcome you in, and the interiors are bright and airy with touches of country charm like stone walls and a beamed ceiling. Spend days catching rays on the terrace and enjoying the views, or stroll through the orchard to go fishing in the deep lake. The kitchen has everything you need for evening meals, but if you fancy a treat then a short, scenic walk will take you to a Michelin-recognised restaurant that specialises in seasonal produce. If your feet start to itch, go exploring in local markets (this region is famous for Agen prunes, wine, Armagnac, peaches and nectarines to name a few), set off on glorious country walks or visit the medieval village of Auvillar.
As French country cottages go, this 11th-century castle is one of the best for the views alone. Situated in a remote village in the foothills of the Pyrénées, the location couldn’t be more idyllic and you’re reminded of this every time you look out a window – each of the bedrooms has views of the Corbières hills. It’s easy to do absolutely nothing here – the rooms are restful and comfortable, there’s a lovely veranda for sunbathing and a heated saltwater pool and jacuzzi. If you do manage to tear yourself away, Lagrasse is a 10-minute drive for artisan shops and beautiful ancient houses, or hire electric bikes and go for a wild swim in the gorges of the Orbieu. Beautiful beaches, medieval Carcassone and the Regional Natural Park of the Narbonne are all within 50 minutes’ drive. Bring your four-legged friend – this also happens to be one of our favourite dog-friendly cottages in France.
If you’re looking for remote cottages in France with a pool, this one is for you. This serene stone farmhouse is hidden away in a leafy valley in the Dordogne, and offers total seclusion and peace. Rooms are full of light thanks to sliding glass doors, and the decked terrace is the perfect spot for sipping your morning coffee and taking in the spectacular valley views. Spend lazy days lounging by the pool, or if you feel like going exploring you can do so from the door – lush woodland and orchid-rich meadows surround the cottage so there are plenty of glorious walks. Further afield, St Cyprien is a great choice for shops, restaurants and a lovely Sunday market – stock up on local produce (the area is known for its truffles) and return to cook in your well-equipped kitchen. Active types will love being so near to the river, and canoes and kayaks can be rented nearby.
This lovingly renovated 250 year old farmhouse is one of our favourite rural French country cottages. Tucked away in a tiny hamlet but only a ten-minute drive from Cognac, this charming cottage wears its agricultural history with pride – archways once used for bringing in hay and an opening where grapes were thrown in for pressing are now unique doors and windows. Limestone walls and climbing roses continue the rustic feel. There’s a lovely pool in the garden, and figs, plums, apples and strawberries can all be picked depending on the season. Cook up a feast in the open-plan kitchen and dining area, cook pizzas in the wood-fired oven or fire up the BBQ. You’re welcome to bring your dog, and they’ll love it – plenty of glorious countryside walks start from the door. Stroll into local villages to grab supplies from butchers or boulangeries, hire bikes and explore rural landscapes or venture a bit further to the coast (40 minutes away) for beachy walks and salty swims.
French holiday cottages don’t get much more charming than this eco-friendly apartment in rural Provence. Perched on a wooded hillside with beautiful views of Lubéron, this secluded cottage is the perfect romantic escape for couples. Your hosts’ commitment to sustainability can be seen everywhere, from furniture made from old beams and wine barrels to cupboard doors made from recycled shutters. There’s a pretty terrace for relaxing day and night, and zero light pollution means you can look forward to spectacular starry skies on clear nights. The surrounding area is just as stunning – lavender fields, green oaks and the ochre hues of the Colorado de Provence national park provide a striking natural colour palette, and the latter makes the ideal day trip for keen walkers and lovers of unspoilt nature. Visit local markets, go wine tasting or stay put and simply relax in the peace of your leafy terrace.
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