French Connections

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futuroscope 2

France is home not only to Disneyland Paris but also some of the best theme parks in Europe. They make a great family adventure and are still open during half-term week later this month.  Although most theme parks do have hotels on site, they can be costly and get booked up in advance. We offer a range of self catering holiday homes near to most parks, which can be a more affordable option and give you more flexibility to enjoy local French life. Here’s our top picks:

Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris is the biggest theme park in France. The enchanted kingdom offers sensational attractions, breath-taking parades and a fairytale backdrop...And of course, there’s the chance to meet Mickey, Minnie and all their Disney friends wandering around the site!

Disneyland Paris 2
Situated in Poitiers, Western France, Futuroscope (top photo) is one of France’s most visited parks – and most of its attractions are indoors, so perfect for October. It’s all about multimedia, cinema, audio visual and robotic technology of the future.

The Astérix Park
Inspired by the famous comic book, Parc Astérix is based on the adventures of Asterix, Obelix, Getafix and their friends. It features a range of rides and attractions with an ancient history theme.

The Vulcania theme park gives visitors the chance to experience science through sense and feelings and features underground tours and film shows exploring the story of volcanoes. Attractions include magma explorer, angry earth, earth machine and the unveiled planet.

Use our guide to theme parks in France to find more detail on these and other options and to choose accommodation in the vicinity of your favourite park.

158549 Dave and Kath Vowles with dogs

The Good Life France website and digital magazine are a great resource for ‘everything you need to know about France’. The emphasis is on quality content, so we’re delighted that right now the site is featuring advice from French Connections as the editor's pick of the week. It’s on a topic of interest to owners and holidaymakers – the top skills needed for running a successful holiday let.

Our article has prominent position on the Home page of the site and also promotes our holiday lets and their owners with stunning photos that link to the specific properties they show. This is all part of our publicity drive to support our owners and help to get them noticed. The photo above shows Kath and Dave Vowles and their dogs at their pet friendly farmhouse and gites in Ariege, south west France

We all know the difference it makes to a holiday when the accommodation owner is helpful, friendly and efficient. That feeling of a smiling swan gliding on the surface, yet paddling like mad unseen. So what are our tips about the skills that owners need? Well, they range widely from language to business, from people skills to property maintenance.

Whether you’re new to the business of letting or an experienced old hand, you’ll find food for thought in this article – and maybe you have something to add about the skills that you find important. Read our article ‘The top six skills that gite owners need’.

Own a holiday rental in France? You still have time to grab our great summer 20% discount offer and start getting your property noticed online.
The offer is open to new advertisers listing on the French Connections site and applies to both our Classic and Professional packages. Both are fixed cost advertising with no commission charges, so you keep all your earnings.

Adverts are easy to compile, as we put you in control of your pages. And optional upgrades mean you can display extra photographs, host video tours, run special offers and feature in promotions.

We specialise in France so you’ll also have the back-up of our great customer service and personal support, including native French speakers, and our active programme of promoting our owners in the Press. We get regular coverage for our advertisers in French Property News, Living France and The Good Life France.

So, if you’re thinking of letting your French property for the first time or looking to get more bookings, start at the link below now.

163881 le vieux moulin

An article in the latest issue of French Property News magazine tells the story of two really rather romantic French Connections gites with a fascinating history. Both properties have been lovingly restored and now their owners invite holidaymakers to both savour the past and enjoy modern comforts - all in the glorious countryside of France.

A watermill in Maine-et-Loire

163881 Carol and baby owls 

Carolyn and Peter Johnson fell in love at first sight with Le Vieux Moulin (above), especially its tranquil location on a small island between the mill stream and the River Thouet, the fabulous views and the regular sightings of kingfishers, herons, deer and other wildlife.

“The old mill house was re- built in 1846”, explains Carolyn. “We’ve traced it back to Napoleonic times but we know there has been a mill here since the 13th century. Now it’s our home and we’ve made a gite in the extension, which was once a restaurant and space for dances. Couples would get married at the Mairie and have their reception here.”

Now, after major renovation work, the watermill gite offers guests an enormous lounge with conservatory and French doors to a balcony, along with modern kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.

A Perigordian farmhouse Pigeonnier


Jerry Shiveley

In 1989, Jerry Shively and his wife, originally from the USA, decided to retire to France and discovered Le Tondu, a small estate near the quiet Dordogne hamlet of Naussannes.

“The elderly couple who lived here were self-sufficient peasant farmers leading a disappearing lifestyle,” remembers Jerry. “They wore wooden shoes, there was no toilet and animals were everywhere. The Pigeonnier was full of chickens.”

The Shiveleys used local craftsmen to restore the Pigeonnier, preserving as much as possible of the original character and materials.  Now it is a beautiful Perigordian cottage gite with its own garden, a bedroom in the tower and outdoor seating under the eaves.

French Property News October issue is on sale now. Check out more of our Press coverage and read the full article here


The grape harvest months are nearly upon us, so it’s the perfect time to plan a wine trip to France. Explore vineyards, enjoy tastings, join in harvest celebrations and see some glorious countryside in the gentle sunshine of early autumn.

With so many iconic wine regions to choose from, where would my ideal trip take me? I like to be a bit different from the crowd, so I would seek out local wine from limited production family vineyards. I’d want to taste the producer’s love for the grape and its bounty in the finished product, for them to care that the wine is explained and appreciated.

The Loire Valley would be a good start – specifically at Pouilly-sur-Loire in the Nièvre département for its aromatic Pouilly-Fumé. The town is picturesque and around it are lots of wine domaines, two of which are chateaux.


Then, perhaps, a steady pace along the Bison Futé quiet rural roads towards Bordeaux where my gite or B&B owners could advise on the best and least known local red wines. Here I would aim to learn about that elusive terroir effect and, frankly, how to choose one Bordeaux wine over another.

My next stop would be the Mâconnais region of Burgundy in central France – not for more red wine but my other favourite white, Pouilly- Fuissé. Yes, confusingly, this one comes from a totally different area than Pouilly- Fumé and Chardonnay is its only grape variety.

On the way back to the ferry, a stop in Champagne country would be de riguer. I might still have room for a couple of cases of fine but great value bubbly!

To plan your wine trip to France, use our in-depth guide to the French wine regions


Now is the perfect time to plan an Autumn holiday or short break in France. Enjoy the relaxing peace and quiet of late season destinations and bask in the pleasantly warm sunshine flooding the hills, pastures, lakes and beaches of many parts of the country.

Another major bonus of spending time in France right now is that you can find beautiful accommodation at great value prices as owners adjust their rates for low season – and some make fabulous special offers for autumn weeks.

A holiday let offers plenty of space for your money and the opportunity to settle into a home from home with excellent amenities. This means you can return from a day’s activities to your own private retreat and choose whether to dine out or have a relaxing meal on your own terrace, taking in the view or the sky full of stars.

The gentler weather of autumn makes it a great time for an activity or sporty break and for days out sightseeing in towns and cities. Paris in the sunshine is hard to resist – and why not discover another of France’s beautiful cities?


Annecy in the Haute-Savoie, has clear air, lakeside strolls and mountain views, while Carcassonne’s romantic turrets and winding medeival lanes take you on a trip back in time. Hop on a train to visit sunny Avignon, the city of the popes, Bordeaux for the wine harvest or Tours for the Loire chateaux. For history there is Chartres, while for glamour and beaches, Nice is hard to beat.

At French Connections, we make it easy to find your destination and choose your accommodation, so start searching for your autumn break now and check out our special offers.


The September issue of Living France magazine features a two-page expert advice article from French Connections, drawing on our expertise and services for property owners who want to run successful holiday lets.

If you own a property in France and offer holiday lets to guests – or are thinking of doing so – do make the most of our top tips for successful strategies. They’re based on years of experience with online advertisers and holidaymakers and are designed to help you promote your property and get more bookings.

Topics covered in the advice article include:

How to set the right rental rate and keep your pricing policy simple and clear

- Deciding on your Unique Selling Point, which will help clarify the market you are aiming at
- Tips on displaying great photographs and writing a compelling property description
- Facilities that a property needs to offer for maximum guest appeal
- How to maintain your property
- Using the internet and investing in advertising
- Being responsive to enquiries and communicating well with guests



The article is featured on the cover of the magazine, with the title 'Make Yourself at Home'. You can read the article in the September issue of Living France magazine, both the published and digital issues, available at W H Smith, online and by subscription. There is a link on our Press page, where you can also browse a host of other articles of interest to owners.

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