Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 213: Owner, Les Souffrettes - #1583
4bed/2bath house near the village of Le Cerceuil, Orne, Normandy
Vacation Rentals By Owner lists houses in various regions of France, all offered for rent by the owners. Obviously, you do not have the guarantees that you would have with an agency, so you have to be sure you know what you are doing.
We rented a farmhouse in Normandy through VRBO in May 2000, and were very satisfied. As it turned out, the owner lived in San Francisco, near where we live, and we were able to deal directly with him, so we had a pretty good idea of what we were getting.
The house we rented was Les Souffrettes, near the village of Le Cerceuil, in the region of the Orne. It's an old Norman stone farm house, nicely restored, in a somewhat remote area of southern Normandy -- very picturesque, but not on the usual tourist route, and and certainly not for very many Americans. The house is quite isolated, at the end of a road that dead-ends in the forests of the Regional Park of Normandy-Maine. There are beautiful walks in the forest; you can also rent horses. The surrounding countryside alternates fields, meadows, orchards and forests. There are lots of picturesque small villages and old chateaux to visit.
The nearest town, at about 11 km, is the old cathedral town of Sées, with a Saturday market and all the usual French shops for produce and groceries. Further away is the larger town of Alençon. There are plenty of interesting day trips -- the tour of the Camembert country and a visit to the Haras du Pin, the French national stud, are highly recommended. You can easily drive to Bayeux and the D-Day coast in a day -- but if visiting the D-Day coast is your main interest in visiting Normandy this rental is too remote.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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