Delighted to have recently read in France Living magazine that France has once again come top in the United Nations World Tourism Organisation league table of most visited countries.
The article goes on to say France was the only country with over 80 million visitors in 2013 (38 million more than the number of residents) and lists 6 very good reasons why it remains ever popular:
- Access. Bordering 8 countries makes it ever so easy for European Francophiles to just ‘pop on over’. Certainly getting here is a doddle. From the UK around just 1hr 20 minutes (often via one of the more cost effective airlines), then just a 25 minute drive from airport to destination Grandmont Gites. Course, if you don’t have a car we do offer guests our shuttle service.
- Cities and Culture. With landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Louvre and Champs-Elysées, the French capital is loved the world over. We’ve certainly no shortage of culture. Grandmontines were the monks of the Order of Grandmont, a religious order founded by Saint Stephen of Thiers, towards the end of the 11th century. The order was named after its motherhouse, Grandmont Abbey in our very own harmonious little village and remains a popular tourist spot.
- Wide open spaces. France’s 66 million residents have over 640,000km2 to roam around in – in the UK 64 million people squeeze into almost 244,000km2. Le jardin at chet Grandmont is often referred to as ‘the field’ so we totally back this statement (especially since said ‘field’ is just one of three generous gardens at our complex).
- Gastronomy. French gastronomy is so important it was added to the UNESCO intangible heritage list in 2010, the first time gastronomy made it onto the list. There has to be some acceptable reason why these days we’re carrying a few extra pounds but much as we love devouring the gastronomic delights, we gain equal joy in putting our own twist on some of Frances’ most popular dishes and serving them to our guests.
- Diversity. It would be very difficult to become bored with France! Each region has its own character, as do the different departments and communes. Yes, there’s Paris but here at Grandmont we’re lucky to have Limoges (Paris without the hustle and bustle) practically on our doorstep and being surrounded by many fine museums, arts, historic churches, preserved villages and much, much more, we feel rather spoilt and – dare we say – perhaps a little smug.
- Property. From grand châteaux to country cottages, elegant townhouses to charming farmhouses, and cosy chalets to glamorous villas, there’s something for every househunter in France. And we can offer the perfect accommodation for house-hunters in the Haute-Vienne. Not only do we have three very charming, stylish and cosy gites available for long-term rental during the winter months, we can also provide storage and the services of our resident bi-linguist (Sylvie) who can assist you throughout the process.
All this serves as a great reminder – not that we needed one – as to just how lucky we’ve been in finding such a gem for our own France living. So we thank you – France Living magazine – for a superb summary of all that is good here and we thank you, past, present and future guests of Grandmont Gites for making it possible for us to live the French life!
Louise and James