Anyone with gite in Poitou-Charentes or Vendee region pls?

Hi there,

We’re thinking of moving our current main home with gite business to the regions in the title and I’d like to chat it over with someone who’s already there so if there is anybody out there willing to give me a few minutes of their time to talk, I’d be very grateful!

Thanks in advance, Danielle

Poitou-Charentes is the old administrative name for the department which now comprises la Charente (16), la Charente-Maritime (17), les Deux-Sèvres (79) et la Vienne (86).
The Vendée départment is actually Pays de la Loire.
You might wish to adjust your Topic title accordingly to reflect where you want to be.

Thanks Graham, we’re trying not to limit our research too much at the moment so we’ve been looking at all these areas. We need to balance accessibility, property prices and potential gite occupation rates.

However, in practical terms, Charente-Maritime is going to be out of our budget and The Vendée we included for tourism interest but it doesn’t seem to be turning up many properties that would correspond (we’re not excluding it for the time being though).

I think our main centres of interest are going to be Deux-Sèvres and Vienne, depending on whether the income from buying a property with existing or ‘nearly ready’ gites and our appreciation of what actually living there will be like, match with our potential budget.

I’ve found a lengthy list of both estate agents and property management companies on AngloInfo, so I’m going to start phoning around to see if they’re happy to let me pick their brains.

But, as always, I appreciate the honesty and trustworthiness of SFN members’ input so am hoping somewhere out there can provide input!

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We are in the southern Vendée - it’s much cheaper if you come a little inland - we are near Fontenay le Comte .

Hi there, nice to meet you!

Fonteney le Compte looks really pretty in the photos I’ve just seen. We’ve been looking a bit all around the Marais due to its attraction for walkers etc.

Whats it like actually living there? How’s things like access to médecin généraliste and how far is a decent hospital, for example? And is there work about?

Are there tourists about other than in the main holiday periods or is it quite concentrated then?

Thanks in advance for any insights you can bring… we’re looking to book a week in a gite in the summer and have to decide where to go look around. I’ve seen some places between you and the coast.

Hi - we are near Fontenay le Comte - happy to chat :slight_smile:

Fontenay is great with most shops you could want - it also has schools from little ones up to lycée.
The area is busier in the warmer months due to tourism - but never an issue - just pleasantly so.
Doctors and dentists in most villages as well as a hospital in Fontenay . Weather is lovely from April through to October / November.
Prices in this area are much more reasonable than nearer the coast.
We have a gite if you’re looking for somewhere nice to base your search :slight_smile:
Happy to answer questions

Sorry about the late reply I didn’t see your message :eyes:

Fontenay is a very nice town. We had a MS not far away (l’Absie) for about 10 years. It has a good market (or it was then, things do change) and some nice reasonable restaurants in the centre (esp. Pinkys) and a really good Morrocan restaurant. The Marais is also very beautiful, at least the eastern portion is. As you get closer to the coast, and north of La Rochelle it’s a bit drab. La Rochelle itself is also a really good town. It has lots of wonderful, if a bit expensive restaurants and a beautiful harbour. It’s a wonderful place to visit on 14th July as we have done several times.

Thanks! Don’t worry, I know what its like :sweat_smile:

We’ve booked a place in Moutiers sur le Lay as we really liked the look of the area. We’re loooking forward to a much needed week away!

But I think we’ve decided not to move away from the Oise after all. We’ve been weighing things up a lot since I started a new job here at the beginning of the month…

Hi Danielle, friends of ours have a gite business near Chalus, Haute Vienne. It is in the Limousin Perigord Regional Park. The property is beautiful with lovely gardens. They are selling due to ill health. If you want any more info please let me know.


Thanks Bryan. We’ve been doing some reassessment this last month since I started a new job up here and with yet another heat wave in June.

I think we have to retain the option of at least one of us having ‘proper’ employment, despite our success with the gites so far.

We’re thinking that we’ll stay closer to a relatively more ‘supple’ job market in the Oise and avoid going further south, where more extreme summer temperatures look likely only to increase with time.

Our hearts are telling us that doing gites full time would be great but our heads are telling us otherwise… or maybe ‘not right now’ anyway.

After more than 2 months of marketing, we still haven’t had any visits to our own property

Where are you marketing and in what language(s)? Have you looked at the prices of your competitors in your area? (Start low for your first season, to get people through your door, you then increase later). Can you get friends to stay (if necessary for mates’ rates) and then get them to review you - good reviews are VERY important and tough if you haven’t got them when you start.
Chatting to a French friend this morning who has a gite and she is full right through to October. Most this year are for a week only (which she hates, as it’s harder work). She also was saying that the world and his wife are opening up gites round here (Lot et Garonne) and there is already gross over-capacity. And likely to be so for a few years - no-one has the money.
Sounds like your heads are spot on if your area is anything like ours.
NB: Last year I didn’t open up until July/August on Vrbo/Abritel and the phone and the internet were red hot! I could have sold my summer three times over from people trying to book last minute holidays. The first year I started I had a phone call from an English family on the first Monday in August, they arrived on the following Saturday! They couldn’t believe their luck finding somewhere at the last minute. So the summer months may yet surprise you.

Hi Sue,

Sorry, I was talking about marketing our property for sale, we are trying to move.

The gites are fine, 80% booked roughly year round. Thats why we’re looking to continue that activity in a future property.

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Great, good to hear. Sorry, misunderstood. Good luck with the house sale.