Gîtes de France are equipped accommodation classified by 'épis', or sheaves (from 1 to 4) that can be rented for a weekend, a week, a month or more. A complete guide to the 40,000 gîtes scattered across France can be bought from the Maison des Gîtes. If you've already set your sights on a particular region, contact the local Regional or Departmental Tourist Boards or the Tourist Office.
With host families
By far the best way to see how the French live. Most guest rooms are found in the country, but they are also on the increase in towns. To make sure you knock on the right door, lists can be obtained from the local Tourist Office. Alternatively, contact a specialist (annual membership fees range 7.62 to 38.11 Euros): Bed and Breakfast, France Lodge, or Tourisme chez l'habitant,... Or simply keep your eyes open for signs indicating vacancies