Print Posted By Lost in France on 2 Oct 2012 in Travel to France - France Travel Guides

Luxury homes for exchange in France mean luxury holidays for less

With hotel, villa or apartment costs often swallowing a large part of your French holiday budget, any potential savings on accommodation costs is good news. In fact there is now a way to have a luxury French holiday with no accommodation costs at all. This means you will have plenty of euros saved that can be spent on those luxury holiday treats.

The new phenomenon of holiday home swaps, offered by networks such as Love Home Swap, has taken the French by storm and there are hundreds of stylish properties all over France just waiting to be enjoyed: view the list of properties available for exchange in France and ask yourself just what you could be doing with all that money you have saved on hotels.

For many visitors to France it is the French lifestyle itself that appeals and what better way to experience this than to stay in a real French home and to enjoy life as a French person would. Of course not all French homes are the same - but fortunately nor is everyone's idea of luxury the same.

Whether it's an apartment in Paris, a renovated farmhouse in Provence or a beach-side home in Nice the French lifestyle can be yours to feel at home in however you wish to live. Here are three recommended places to enjoy a luxury holiday in France for less.

The luxury of a simple life: Bassin d'Arcachon, Aquitaine

The designer of the Louis ghost chair, Philippe Starck, nominated the rustic charms of a tiny village called Les Jacquets in the Bassin d'Arcachon as his ideal holiday home-from-home in France. This beautiful area offers holiday makers the luxury of a simpler life to enjoy.

Jérémie Machot

There is unpretentious food of great quality, including stunning oysters and the best Bordeaux wines, alongside a local lifestyle that emphasis natural luxuries and simple pleasures. There are great forests to explore, rolling sand dunes to wend your way down to the sea's big waves that are idyllically calmed by the almost Venetian lagoon of the Bassin d'Arcachon itself.

Natural beauty and solitude in the eastern Pyrenees

The area lying between Collioure and Ceret is a virtually untouched coastline fringed by mountainous landscapes that may look strangely familiar. Art lovers will recognise the angular shapes cast by the Pyrenees from the many cubist paintings by Matisse, Picasso and Braque, who took their inspiration from this region of awe-inspiring natural beauty.

Rob Glover

The area has inspired mystics ever since the 12th century when the Cathar prophets and seers staged their romantic revolt against the institutions of Roman Catholicism. The romantic remains of several Cathar fortresses and castles, such as those of St-Michel-de-Cuxha in Codalet, are still waiting to be breathtakingly discovered perched atop the high peaks of the eastern tip of the Pyrenees.

The glamour of Paris

A holiday home swap apartment in Paris will place you in the heart of the city's glamorous attractions with the benefit of the owner's tips for the best places to eat, be entertained and pampered. They will even recommend places off the beaten track where you can enjoy romantic strolls should you need a break from all the excitement and glamour the city offers.

For instance, the Parc des Beaumonts is a suburban park in Montreuil with fantastic views over Paris for lovers young and old and in the Albert Kahn garden in Paris you can stroll through a variety of formal and informal gardens which range from a traditional French garden, to wilder areas of tall pine forests and even stumble upon a recreated Japanese village.

About the Author

Tracey writes her way around the globe focusing on travel, culture and matters of the heart. She recently downloaded another Calle 13 album, plans to go on her own Eat, Pray, Love adventure to India at some point and notably misses living without daily coverage from the BBC.

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