Discovering and staying in small villages in France while learning French

Travelling to France and being able to find places to stay which are out of the bigger cities is a great way to discover France and practice speaking French especially when staying in smaller villages where you will meet French locals and you will be forced in a nice way to speak French and being immersed in the language.

I have been lucky to get to know some Australian people that have shared with me their little piece of paradise in some small French villages and regions. All the places mentioned below are owned by Australians with a love of France and everything French.




Our cottage in France is located in Dordogne and offers two rental properties run by Neil and Rae-Helen Fisenden who also offer escorted tours to visit the region. The first cottage is located in Beaulieu sur Dordogne in the centre of a medieval village and close to the historical village of Rocamadour plus several of the Plus Beaux Villages de France, including Collonges la Rouge. The village itself is nestled right on the banks of the Dordogne River and is home to historic Benedictine architecture including a remarkable Abbey. Their second property, a stone cottage, is in the charming village of Berbiguières and close to the historic area of the 100 years’ war featuring the Châteaux of Beynac and Castelnaud, as well as the famous villages of Sarlat, La Roque Gageac and Domme. Both properties are over 300 years old and have been lovingly restored to a high standard of comfort but with authentic French features.




Chez Olivia and René is a bed and breakfast in St-Quentin-la-Poterie near Uzes, less than one hour from Avignon, and is run by an Australian-French couple who also offer dinner to their guests. This accommodation in a small village gives you the opportunity to practice your French with the locals. As the name says the region has lots of potters’ markets which are popular with tourists. This historical village has a lot to offer and is a paradise for hikers and cyclists.




Petite Stays is an Australian-run boutique service offering tried and tested B&Bs in Paris, Portugal and Australia. Regina is a Portuguese native, Australian resident and is a B&B accommodation expert with 10-years industry experience. Regina offers a personalised service and is able to help guests select the right accommodation for their needs. Why not choose a stay in one of these apartments before you continue your trip to another of the smaller towns mentioned on the blog today?




Le Cormoran Talloires is a village house in the French alps near Annecy, famous for its beautiful lake and its proximity to a multitude of ski resorts. It is available for holiday rental in summer or winter and owned by Catherine Berry, the Australian author of the book and blog “But you are in France, Madame”. Catherine spent 3 1/2 years living in the Annecy area with her family before purchasing their home in Talloires. This is a picture-perfect place to unwind and enjoy nature, swim, go for long walks or cycle whilst being immersed in the French atmosphere and language. A French teacher herself and knowing the area as she does, Catherine is able to advise on specific language courses and must-do activities.



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Chateau du Jonquay is located in Normandy not far from Deauville, which is the closest seaside resort to Paris. This beautiful property is owned by a couple, Jane and Steve Hiscock, from Melbourne, Australia who decided in 2013 to renovate both the château dating from the 17th century and the farm house which they have transformed into a luxurious get-away, which easily accommodates larger groups. The chateau sits on 5 acres in the heart of the Normandy countryside and provides privacy but is surrounded by many French villages and farm houses. Jane also runs wellness workshops in conjunction with a health coach.

 Hope you enjoy reading this blog and it gave new ideas of places to stay for your next trip to France!

Cela rend modeste de voyager . On voit quelle petite place on occupe dans le monde.
— Gustave Flaubert