Gite holidays are synonymous with France. Think of a gite, and you think of France. Your mind takes you to a converted farm building or a restored cottage in the country. But what is a gite exactly, and is it Le Rhun Gites or Le Rhun Gîtes? Does it really need the circumflex accent on the I?

The name gite derives from the Middle Ages from the Latin verb giser, (to lie down or rest). Since then it has been used to describe the humble lodgings of a traveller or a pilgrim, and now there are different types of gite so that the traveller knows what he or she is getting.

Gites d’Etape tend to be basic hostels for walkers or cyclists; they are often off the beaten track and are for one night stops. In that regard they are not unlike a Youth Hostel. Gites d’etape, usually provide meals and have dormitory accommodation.[They are found along long distance trails and paths. The holiday homes type are fully furnished and equipped for self-catering. 

We hope our gites at Le Rhun are more than just humble lodgings, and we fall into the ‘Gite Rural’ category. Our gites at Le Rhun are fully furnished and are real homes from home. They all have fully equipped kitchens with mod cons, a comfortable lounge area with TV and DVD and a dining area big enough for the whole family. Our tastefully decorated bedrooms have inviting comfortable beds with freshly pressed linen. Outside, each gite at Le Rhun has a private space for al fresco dining and a barbecue grill.

Many rural gites will be refurbished farmworkers cottages or converted barns or stores. Some will be standalone, whilst others will be one of a group, which is the set up here. Our five gites were once part of a thriving Breton cider farm, and the largest gite, La Ferme was originally the farm’s second farmhouse, having been built in the early 1900’s. The former cow shed is now our gite ‘Etable’ whilst the former cart horse stable has become the gite ‘Ecurie’. Hibou and Les Chataigniers were both once stores.

Gites like those at Le Rhun make holidaying with families easy. We are away from busy roads with lots of land to spread out in. There is a heated pool on site plus lots of toys, games and things to do to keep families happy. We even get a visit from the local fairies every summer! And with five gites, we are not a large holiday park, but there’s bound to be children at another gite just waiting to make friends! Being parents ourselves, we also make sure the gites themselves are equipped with children in mind. We include everything from safety features like stairgates and useful items like step-stools to fun things like a large toybox in all the childrens’ rooms!

Some gites market themselves on their own whilst others join forces to market as part of a group. Gites de France is one of the largest collection of independent gites in France.

Other gites that you might see include Gîtes d’Enfants. During the school holidays host families provide lodging for children of various ages with a wide variety of activities. A gite providing a staging post for people travelling across France on horseback is known as a gite equestre. These are similar to a gite d’etape but a gite equestre will generally include stabling for horses as part of its offer.

And finally, what’s about the spelling- gite without an accent, or gîte with the accent? The official spelling was amended to drop the accent in the 1990 as part of a wider tidying up of some parts of the French language, although the two continue to be used interchangably side by side today.

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