There's nothing quite like waking up in your own villa in the south of France, with the sun pouring through the window and the smells of lavender and oleander in the air, and eating a breakfast of fresh croissants and coffee by the pool. There's certainly no shortage of villas in the south of France - from quasi-palaces overlooking the Mediterranean at Cap d'Antibes to renovated farmhouses nestled in the vineyards of Provence or Languedoc, to charming village and town house 'villas' with pools scattered all the way from Menton in the Côte d'Azur to Collioure in the Roussillon. So with so many villas in the south of France for rent, what's the best way to find the one you want.
Location, Location, Location
Firstly, start with location. There's no point renting a villa in the south of France purely because you like the look of it. Not all of the south of France is beautiful, and some areas offer far better value than others. The first choice is to decide whether to turn left or right when driving down the A9 from Paris - will it be the glamour and sophistication Provence and the Côte d'Azur, or the old-world charm of Languedoc-Roussillon? Prices of villas in these two halves of the south of France do vary quite a bit, with Provence definitely more expensive than Languedoc, and the Côte d'Azur more expensive still. If you have a vision of a rustic south of France villa with pale blue shutters draped in wisteria in mind, then you might find that difficult to find along the coasts. These areas - from the Italian down to the Spanish borders, tend to be dominated by apartments, new-build villas in developments or, in the case of the Côte d'Azur, millionaires' mansions. For rustic charm, you'll probably need to move inland, into the rolling hills of Provence and Languedoc. Which is no bad thing - these areas are prettier generally (especially in Languedoc-Roussillon), and you may well find your villa in the south of France offers spectacular views of rolling vineyards and some distance church steeple - or even if you're lucky, of the sea, Alps or Pyrénées. Don't forget too that Languedoc isn't just cheaper in terms of villa rental costs - food, drink and pretty much everything else you buy will cost less here.
Once you've chosen the general area of the south of France, think about where in that area you'd want to rent a villa. If you're traveling to the south of France with a family, you'll probably care a little less about the look and feel of your villa - and more keen on a villa that isn't too far from villages, towns, shops and the sea. A gorgeous, south of France villa in the depths of Provence loses its charm when you have to drive 45 minutes to get to the beach or a decent supermarket. And remember to factor in summer traffic - a beach that is 20 minutes away in April could take an hour to get to in August - especially on the Côte d'Azur, where roads have never kept up with the explosion in visitors.
Ticking the boxes
Have a clear idea of what your villa in the south of France needs to have before you choose one. How big a pool? What aspect is the garden? How many bedrooms do you really need? Are you going to cook - and so need a big kitchen? Will you want air-conditioning (it can get very hot in the south of France), heating, an open fire? Is the villa overlooked by neighbours? Make a list of all the things that are important to you, and use it to filter out villas in the south of France that don't meet your needs.
Agency or Direct?
Villas in the south of France get rented out in one of two ways - either directly by the owners, or via a villa rental agency. Many prefer to use an agency when booking a villa in the south of France, as they feel it gives them extra security. The villa is less likely to be a scam (although these scams are rare), they have one constant point of contact for information and complaints, and the information provided on their websites tends to be more consistent and of a better quality. But you'll pay a premium. Agencies take 20% of the cost of villas in the south of France, so some of this gets added to the weekly rate, making them more expensive.
The other option is to rent your villa in the south of France directly from the owners. Sites like Creme-de-Languedoc ensure that lots of photos are provided, and that the owners give a good amount of information on the villa - such as the size of the pool, number of bedrooms, size of the garden, distance from beaches, villages and airports etc. And dealing with the owners, who are often living close to their holiday villa, can mean you get a better level of service. If something goes wrong, the owner can pop over to put it right. That's not a service that all agencies can provide. And, of course, you'll probably get a better deal on your villa in the south of France if you rent it direct - there's no 20% service charge to pay.
Finding villas in the south of France on our site
If you're looking for French holiday rental villas in Languedoc, the south of France, then you've come to the right place. You'll find a huge range of French holiday villas for rent in France's Languedoc region on our site - from traditional cottages nestled amongst the vineyards of south France, to luxury self-catering villas for rent.
To search, simply adjust the criteria down the left-hand bar to suit your needs. Holiday villas will appear to match your criteria on the right.
Before you start searching for your French holiday villa in south France...
Before you start your search for French holiday villas in Languedoc Roussillon, in the south of France, you might want to do a little research first on self-catering accommodation in the area. Languedoc is a huge area of France, and the terrain and climate here varies enormously. You'll also find that some areas are far more lively than others for people renting villas, or closer to airports or shops or sightseeing attractions.
Our 'Where to Stay' page shows on a map exactly where everything is in Languedoc, south France, and where the different terrain and climate types lie. You can even use it to search for French holiday villas in Languedoc, France.
Our 'Advice to Renters' pages offer really useful advice to those of you looking for holiday homes in France. It could mean the difference between finding a holiday let you love, and one that ruins your holiday.
Our 'When to Come' page gives you a clear idea of what the weather is like in Languedoc for each month of the year, so that you can rent your self-catering holiday villa in the south France at the right time.
Our Flights and Car Hire pages list all flights to Languedoc and the south of France, and car hire in Languedoc. And our 'Driving to Languedoc' and 'Trains to Languedoc' give all the motorway and train information you could need to get to this part of southern France.
Last, but not least, if you're looking to rent a holiday villa in the south France, you'll want to know what to do when you get here. Our Sightseeing, Beaches, Activities, and City Guides sections give you all the information you could possibly need to make your vacation a successful one.
So good luck with your search for French holiday villas in the south of France - and don't hesitate to contact us
should have encounter any problems or have any questions about anything to do with self-catering accommodation in general or holiday lettings agents in this area of France.