Safety of our guests at Bel-Air Gites

The glorious heated pool

New measures in place for the safety of our guests

Wherever you go on holiday you want it to be relaxing and safe. In France the government, health organisation and tourism departments are continually updating the information and advice for businesses in all areas. But for the hospitality sector, there are specific measures that must be in place to ensure the safety of our guests.

At present hotels, gites, campsites and other types of accommodation are open without restriction across France. However, all accommodation must adhere to the strict health guidelines issued by the government.

Our priority

The health and safety of our guests has always been – and always will be – one of our highest priorities. At Bel-Air Gites we want you and your family to enjoy your holiday, and we also want you feel safe whilst you are here. This is why we provide lots of Covid-19 travel advice and information when you make a booking, and in all our gites. And it’s the reason why we have implemented some changes of our own.

Flexible check-in dates

You can now check-in on any day of the week. This helps you make travel arrangements which fit in with your busy schedules. So you can travel on dates and times that suit you. It also means that we don’t have all our guests checking-in and out on the same days, which is safer for all our guests. We also have a minimum of 24 hours between check-out and check-in for each gite. This gives us plenty of time to do a thorough clean and change-over, with less risk to ourselves and our guests.

Allocated areas

The safety of our guests and everyone that works at Bel-Air Gites is our priority, and therefore we must impose some restrictions. We have worked extremely hard to try to ensure that the restrictions do not take away from your enjoyment of your holiday.

In the summer months the pool is our guests’ favourite location, and we want everyone to be able to enjoy it. With this in mind, we will now be allocating each gite their own area by the pool, with their own sun loungers. All of the sun loungers will be disinfected every evening, and we will also provide disinfectant for guests to use during the day.

There is a limit of 10 people in the pool area at any one time. So we ask all guests to be mindful of other guests, who might be waiting to use the pool. And please make sure that you take all of your belongings – toys, inflatables and pool towels – back to your gite.

Toys and Games

Unfortunately the Play Barn will remain closed for the foreseeable future. This is because we do not feel that we can guarantee that all games, toys and surfaces can be thoroughly disinfected every night, and during the day. However, each gite will have their own box of DVDs and games which can be used for the duration of the holiday.

The playground and trampoline are still open, and it is up to parents to decide if their children can use them or not. The equipment will be disinfected every evening, and and we will also provide disinfectant for guests to use during the day.

Days out

Obviously there are restrictions in place for all businesses and you need to bear this in mind when you are planning your days out. Cafes, bars and restaurants are open and everybody must comply with the social distancing measures in place. Wearing a mask is compulsory in enclosed public spaces for anyone aged 11 and over. And you must use the hand-gels provided.

If you are planning to travel on public transport you shouldn’t have any problems, as long as you follow the guidelines and wear a mask. Trains, buses, trams and all the stations have safety measures in place to protect members of the public and their staff.

So I’m sure you will agree that wherever you go in France you will be safe. And there is nowhere that you will feel safer than here at Bel-Air Gites in the Charente-Maritime.

Just ask

If you still have questions about your stay here with us then get in touch. Because at Bel-Air Gites we want to assure you that the safety of our guests is really important to us. Just ask. We are here to help.

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Family-friendly holidays in the Charente-Maritime

Reduce the stress of packing for your holiday

How to reduce the stress of packing for your holiday

Whether it is your first holiday or you are a regular traveller, packing for your holiday can be very stressful. Maybe even more so if you are packing for a family holiday and need to think about baby and toddler essentials. At Bel-Air Gites we think we have a solution to help reduce your stress levels. And as well as helping you decide what to pack, it will also help you remember to take everything back home with you.

You need a holiday checklist.

packed suitcases holiday packing

Where to start

First of all, what type of holiday is it? Packing for your holiday will depend on whether it’s family holiday, a romantic weekend for two, or a meet up with friends. Will you be spending time on the beach or hiking through the woods? And what is the average temperature at your holiday location? We can’t help you plan for every eventuality, but hopefully our hints and tips can start you off on the right track, whatever you are planning.

When you know the sort of holiday you have got planned then you can start your holiday checklist. And here’s how we start our list.

Essentials

Although you might be thinking hairdryer, we are actually talking real ‘essentials’. The things that are going to get you from home to fantastic holiday and back again.

  1. Valid passports. Check you have got passports for all the family members you are travelling with. Are they valid and is the expiry date correct for where you are going? For some countries your passport expiry date has to be at least 6 months after your return date.
  2. Flight tickets, ferry tickets. Printed off and kept with the passports. Some airlines now over digital tickets. If that’s the case with yours then make sure they are saved online where you can find them quickly and easily when you are at the boarding gate.
  3. Travel Insurance. It’s vitally important that your travel insurance covers all members of your party for the whole period of your trip. Make sure it’s valid for non-essential travel and for any activities you might have planned while your away. For example jet skiing, scuba diving and zip wires might not be covered on a standard policy.
  4. Credit cards, cash and foreign currency. Exchange rates and other transaction fees can cost more when you are abroad, so think about getting your holiday money or a currency card before you go.
  5. Driving Licence and driving permits. Make sure your licence is valid for the countries you are driving through, and check if you need any other driving permits. Make sure vehicle insurance and breakdown cover is sufficient for your whole trip.
  6. Visas. Do you need any travel visas for the country you are going to? If so, apply early to make sure they arrive in time for your trip.
  7. Medicines. If anyone in your party has to take regular medication, make sure that you have enough for your trip.
  8. Keys. Sounds obvious doesn’t it? But you would be surprised how many of our guests phone us when they get home and ask did we find any house-keys in their gite. If you have a spare key, then leave it with a friend or neighbour.
packing for your holiday

Family Holiday Checklist

How many times have you forgotten something and had to buy another on holiday? When you are away there are things you probably wouldn’t think of using at home, such as insect repellent or flip-flops.

Here are a few items that you should be packing for your holiday, whether you are coming to Bel-Air Gites or going elsewhere.

For the Car

  • Blanket(s)
  • Baby wipes
  • Tissues
  • Toys, games and reading material for the journey
  • Car window shade
  • Nappy changing bag
  • Booster seats
  • First aid kit

For the pool, beach and Bel-Air Gites

  • Sunglasses
  • Flip-flops
  • Suncream
  • Swimwear, flotation aids, swimming goggles
  • Insect repellent
  • Beach ball or inflatables
  • Sun hats
  • Beach towels

What we provide

Having a break at Bel-Air Gites takes a lot of the stress out of packing for your holiday. Because we want it to be your best family holiday we start by providing all the basic kiddie essentials. Whether you have babies, toddlers or bigger kids, at Bel-Air gites you will find everything you need to make this your family’s home-from-home.

We pride ourselves on being ‘child-friendly’ which means that in the gites you will find everything you need, including:

  • Cots and linen, high-chairs, pushchairs, baby baths, stair gates, changing mats, baby monitors, booster seats, potties and toilet trainer seats.
  • Steriliser bags, child steps, bath/shower non-slip mats, child-proof cupboard and window locks, bath toys and children’s cutlery
  • Hand blender, night lights, blackout blinds and much more!

There is no extra charge for baby equipment or towels for the length of your holiday. And if you can think of something that we haven’t listed just let us know, and we will do our best to provide it.

Entertainment

There’s a large selection of toys, books, DVD’s, indoor and outdoor games. Our large playground is full of swings, a slide, climbing frame, trampoline and tunnels. And the large, heated outdoor pool is fenced in and securely gated so children cannot get in or out unsupervised.

For your safety

At Bel-Air Gites the safety of our guests and staff is high priority, so naturally we have to impose a few restrictions due to the coronavirus. We have worked hard to ensure that the restrictions do not stop you enjoying your holiday. And we are following the guidelines issued by the French Government and Health Organisations.

Each gite now has an allocated area with sun loungers by the pool. The loungers are disinfected every evening, and there is disinfectant available for guests to clean them during the day. There is a limit of 10 people in the pool area at any time, so we ask our guests to be mindful of other guests who might be waiting to use the pool.

Unfortunately the games room will be closed, but we have provided a box of DVDs and toys in each gite. The playground and trampoline are still accessible, and they are disinfected each evening. As is always the case, for all our amenities we leave it up to the parents to decide whether their children should use them or not.

If you have any questions or concerns about booking your next family holiday at Bel-Air Gites then please get in touch now. We want you and your family to be happy and feel safe during your entire stay with us.

Book Now For 2021

Top 5 Things to Look For When Booking Your Family Holiday

booking your family holiday pink flamingo on the water

What is most important when booking your family holiday?

Knowing what matters the most will help ensure that you have a fantastic holiday with your family and friends. Here are our 5 tips to help you when you are next booking your family holiday. And coincidentally, we think Bel-Air Gites ranks very highly on all five counts.

1. Great Location

Location has to be top of the list when you are booking a holiday. If you have already decided that you want to visit France then there are so many beautiful places to choose from. Location will depend on how you are travelling too. Most of our guests either have their own car or hire a car from the airport. And unless you are flying into somewhere like Bordeaux or La Rochelle for a city break, then driving is the best way to explore the area. If you don’t want to take the car every day, then you can easily hire a bike for a few days. We recommend Bike Hire Direct as they can deliver to and collect from your holiday accommodation.

There are not many places that can beat the diversity of the Charente-Maritime. Our Bel-Air child-friendly gites complex is perfectly located for white sandy beaches, theme parks, and stunning forest walks. We are also close to some of France’s most beautiful chateaus and historical cities, such as Bordeaux, Cognac and La Rochelle.

2. Amazing Accommodation

When booking your family holiday you want somewhere that has lots of room for adults and children to sleep, and spend time together, without getting under each others feet.

The best accommodation should be fully-kitted out with all the essentials, so that you can dine in without having to source extra pots and pans. If you have small children or toddlers then you should also look for little extras like pushchairs, stair gates and baby monitors. Because the less you have to pack, the less stressful your holiday will be.

Our self-catering family accommodation consists of a traditional Charentaise farmhouse and four rustic-style gites. So there is ample space for all your family and friends. And we provide everything you need for a relaxing stress-free holiday, so you don’t have to.


Here at Bel-Air gîtes we have created a wonderful fun haven for children and toddlers, somewhere they can play safely all day while you relax, unwind and have a stress-free holiday. Our large outdoor swimming pool, playground and trampoline are a big hit with all our guests. As are the fully-equipped gites with private patios, garden furniture, and the all important barbecue. Each gite also has an allocated area with sun loungers by the pool. So there’s no need to get up extra early to make sure you get a good spot.

3. Places to Go

The last thing you need when you are on holiday is the kids saying they are bored. But likewise, you don’t want to have to spend half your holiday driving around looking for things to do. So your holiday accommodation needs to be in a good location with plenty of family attractions on the doorstep. You also need to consider how close it is to shops, and cafes or bars where you can grab a coffee and watch the world go by.

Time spent travelling while you’re on holiday can be more stressful. You can reduce travelling and stress levels by planning your days out. This can also help with advanced bookings for theme parks, or family attractions, and might even get you a better price.


Here at Bel-Air we are surrounded by a multitude of attractions, and there is something to suit everyone, young or old. The nearby market town of Gémozac has plenty of cash-points, supermarkets, tabacs, cafes and restaurants. If you want to take in some French culture and shop for the freshest ingredients for your barbecue the local markets are the best places to go. Royan market has an excellent selection of fresh, local produce and is open 7 days a week from 7 am – 1 pm. It really is a gastronomic experience with its huge selection of stalls selling fruit and veg, meats, local cheeses, seafood, bread and gateaux.

We have listed our Top 10 attractions on our website, but if there is anything you are particularly keen to see or do then just get in touch. We’ve also created a planner that you can download, so everyone can add something that they want to do. Plan in advance to cut down on travel time.

4. New experiences

It’s difficult to describe any family holiday as ‘a holiday of a lifetime’, unless you are planning to climb Mount Everest or go swimming with sharks. But you do want everyone to remember the holiday because they had such a fantastic time.

Seeing your child’s face light up when they step into the Futuroscope amusement park, or when they go out on a boat taxi at La Rochelle. These are all moments we treasure for a lifetime.

Making wonderful lasting memories is what we try to do. Our Bel-Air Gites guests always tell us that they never want the holiday to end. And when we have families coming back every year, not as guests but as friends, we know they love their holidays here.

5. Relaxation

This has to be the most important part of any holiday, especially for the adults. You want to be able to relax doing something that you love. Whether that’s playing golf, walking, fishing, swimming or just putting your feet up. You need time and space to chill-out, and recharge your batteries.

Here at Bel-Air Gites we take care of everything. Within the grounds we have created a safe environment for children of all ages to have fun and create happy memories. With a large playground full of swings, a slide, a climbing frame,  trampoline and tunnels. And a large, heated outdoor pool that is fenced in and securely gated so your little ones can’t get in or out unsupervised. That is one less thing for you to worry about.

At Bel-Air gites we have years of experience in providing child-friendly, fun-filled family holidays and are confident that we have can provide everything you need. We want it to be your best family holiday ever.

Make Bel-Air Gites your family’s home-from-home

Book now for 2021


Do chocolate and BBQ go together?

toasting marshmallows on bbq
Toasting marshmallows on the BBQ before dipping in warm chocolate sauce

That’s a tough one. Summer, chocolate and BBQ? – It’s a Yes from Bel-Air Gites!

Even when it’s as hot as it is today, we can still make a little time for a piece of good quality chocolate. But we are not just talking about chocolate bars. They’re good. But when the coals on the BBQ have fizzled out, sometimes you just need a little something sweet to finish off. Nothing beats a perfect serving of ice cream – three scoops, one each of vanilla, strawberry and chocolate, with a drizzle of chocolate sauce. So it’s a Yes from Bel-Air Gites. Chocolate and BBQ do make a good pairing.

Sunny morning

I don’t know whether I dreamt it, but this morning, as soon as I woke up my first thought was ‘barbecue’. It’s another gloriously sunny Charente-Maritime morning, so the evening will be wonderfully warm too. So, when the weather is this good, why spend it indoors? A quick mental list to self for today’s barbecue menu and I’m off to prepare the marinade.

But part-way though chopping courgettes for the veggie skewers, I stopped in my tracks. What can we have for dessert? I could just picture their faces in my head..

Veg kebabs AND fruit kebabs?

I was going to have to be a little more ‘inventive’. But what did we have in stock, so that I didn’t have to go shopping?

Still a few strawberries in the garden so that was a good start, and we still had a deliciously juicy charentais melon in the fridge too.

They would go perfectly well together, cut into equal sized pieces and mixed in a bowl. But deep down there was a craving. I needed ‘something’ to bring them together. Both of these fruits are delicious as a refreshing, chilled starter, steeped in a little local Pineau des Charentes. But I’m after dessert ideas. I didn’t want to skewer the fruit, so decided a warm sauce would do the trick.

Berry sauce recipe

250 g frozen raspberries, crushed, and mixed with a little sugar to taste. Warm through later on the BBQ embers. Perfect – almost. Something warm is especially splendid poured over something very, very cold. Like ‘chocolate-ice-cream’ cold.

Et viola! Barbecue menu sorted for this evening, and it’s not even midday. So chocolate and BBQ does go together.

Search results

Apart from making a chocolate sauce for dipping, I wanted to find a few other recipes. Typed ‘chocolate and BBQ’ into my search field and came back with the following results. Try it, and see what you find.

  1. Chocolate BBQ Kit from Choc On Choc. Devilishly simple
  2. Chocolate and Marshmallows Banana Boats. Bananas are great done on the BBQ wrapped in foil
  3. Texas Chocolate and Barbecue restaurant – not actually cooked together, but chilli and chocolate go well together so why not as a steak sauce?
  4. Chocolate baked bananas
  5. BBQ chocolate dip – simply done and great for dipping fruit or marshmallows
  6. Chocolate chilli barbecue sauce – it has to be done!

And those were the top ones. I’m sure with a bit more digging we could find something a bit more exciting. But today, we will be very happy with our mixed fruit, warm berry sauce and chocolate ice cream. How about you? What would be your chocolate and BBQ dream dish?

Book Bel-Air Gites for 2021

If you want to have your own daily barbecues dilemmas, then you need to book your next family summer holiday at Bel-Air Gites. Child-friendly, family holiday accommodation in the sunny Charente-Maritime. Our gites are booking up fast. So don’t delay – book today!


Sunny Days. Starry Nights

Image credit : Michal Mancewicz on Unsplash

Starry, starry nights

Think of Bel-Air Gites in the summer and you will dream of long, hot sunny days relaxing by the pool, or family day out at the beach. But here in the Charente-Maritime when the day-time is cloud-free, so are the evenings. Just imagine.. all the kids are settled, and the grown-ups are chilling out on the patio. The evening is warm, crickets are chirping in the grass and the skies above are twinkling with beautiful bright stars. Sunny days and starry, starry nights.

Star-gazing

We are so lucky in France to have clear open skies, ideal for star-gazing because we do not have the artificial background light from street lamps and traffic. This makes the various regions of France popular with amateur and professional astronomers, as well as star-gazing romantics. There are regular events throughout the summer months when the starry nights are more likely to be cloud-free. And you don’t need an expensive telescope or binoculars to enjoy our incredible skies.

Comet over Mont-Saint-Michel, Brittany

Comet Neowise

Throughout July and August this year we can all witness an incredible event with our own eyes. Comet C/2020 F3, – or Neowise to it’s friends – is visible at dusk and in the early hours of the morning. Before the sun brightens the sky, and the birds start singing their dawn chorus, you can see the comet making it’s way towards the northern horizon. It is a truly incredible sight. You are going to have a long wait if you miss it this summer, because the next time it will be visible will be in 7000 years time.

If you can’t watch with us at Bel-Air Gites then see if it is possible to view it where you live. Just search for COMET C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE).

Events Nearby

On your next visit to Bel-Air Gites, if you are interested in finding out more about the night sky, why not check the French Astronomy Association website. They hold various events most of the year. This summer there are several in the Gironde department, which is not too far from us.

But if that all sounds too intense, why not just plan an evening with a special someone, star-gazing at some of the universe’s most incredible creations? Cuddle up together, find a shooting star, and then make a wish.

Bel-Air Gites Book Now For 2021

Image Credit – Chats de Chatillon Cat Refuge, Parthenay.

Barbecue-time at Bel-Air!

Summer is finally here at Bel-Air Gites so it’s time to fire up the BBQ

It’s been stopping and starting for the last couple of months. A few lovely warm dry days, followed by warm wet ones. But now the forecast for our beautiful area in the Charente-Maritime is ‘scorchio’. So we are washing down the patio furniture and stocking up on fantastic, fresh local produce. It’s barbecue-time at Bel-Air Gites!

Fresh from the market

There are some great local farmer’s markets where you can buy everything you need for your barbecue. From locally-sourced meat – chicken, pork and amazing Charentais beef; home-grown vegetables, creamy cheeses and fresh crusty bread. If you get up early enough, you can even grab yourself some freshly-caught fish or seafood at Royan market


Barbecue-time

Our guests know that when the sun is shining, we provide everything you need to make your family barbecue-time absolutely perfect. All our gites are fully-equipped with crockery, cutlery, barbecues and you have your own private patio area.

What are your family’s favourite things to cook on the barbecue? We have put together a few quick and easy recipes for you to try out. Tell us which ones you like the best.

1. Vegan kebabs with avocado dressing – This is so tasty, instead of the dressing, you can crush the avocado with a fork and make delicious guacamole instead.

2. Grilled veg – takes a little longer to cook to make sure the veg are soft and delicious, but we especially love aubergines on the BBQ. Serve with a crisp, fresh salad.

3. BBQ Corn-on-the-cob with melted comté cheese – we find that comté cheese gives this dish a bit of extra oomph.

4. Perfect Barbecued chicken – if you can marinade the chicken overnight it definitely makes it more succulent and tasty.

corn on the cob
Hot corn on the cob

Tips to help you barbecue safely

If you’re unsure about how to light the charcoals, or worried about burning your kebabs, then read ‘tips on starting a barbecue‘, and how to tell when the coals are ready for cooking.

I don’t know about you, but looking at all those delicious dishes has made my mouth water.

Have you got any favourite barbecue-time memories? Were they at home or on holiday? We would love to hear them.

And you can have lots of fantastic family fun here at Bel-Air Gites. We are filling up fast for next summer. Get in touch with us and start planning your family holiday today.

Book Bel-Air Gites for 2021

Chai patio overlooking meadow
Our gites have a barbecue and private patio

Sunflowers – ancient symbol of the sun god

Sunflowers in the Summer sun

Fields of golden sunflowers everywhere you look

If you are driving or cycling in the Charente-Maritime in the summer, you cannot fail to notice them. Fields full of tall, strong, beautiful sunflowers for as far as the eye can see. Do you ever wonder why there are so many? And what they are used for?

Origins

The botanical name for the sunflower – helianthus annuus – comes from the Greek words ‘helios’ for sun, and ‘andanthos’ for flower. And the french word for sunflower is ‘tournesol’. It is a member of the daisy family and is the largest, most popular plant from this family. They can grow up to 4 metres tall. In the fields around Bel-Air Gites and the Charente-Maritime, they are 1 to 1.5 metres high. Native to North America, sunflowers are now grown across Europe, Russia, and the Ukraine.

They flower from June to September, and coincidentally, those are great months to bring your family and friends to Bel-Air Gites!

Symbol of the Sun God

The ancient Mayans worshipped the sunflower as a symbol of light and fertility. They drank tea made from the leaves and ate the seeds, stems, leaves, and petals. The sunflower was also a symbol of the sun god, because at dawn the flowers start to turn their heads to face the sunrise. They follow the sun as it moves across the sky, all day.


Uses

Sunflowers are incredibly beautiful and versatile. You can use every part of the plant. Seeds, petals, leaves, even the stems, can all be pressed, eaten or dried. Rich in herbal oils, vitamins, minerals and protein, sunflowers are full of health benefits.

They are a great source of Vitamin E, essential amino acids, and various minerals. And contain calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium and iron. They are an excellent nutritional supplement to everyone’s daily diet.

We ‘Googled’ sunflowers to see what else they can be used for. Here is our Top 10 list. Can you think of any more?

  1. The sunflower seeds are edible and very nutritional
  2. The petals are edible
  3. The seeds can be ground down to make flour
  4. Sunflower seeds are one of the main ingredients in birdseed
  5. The leaves and seeds can be used as feed for livestock.
  6. It can be pressed to make vegetable oil
  7. It can be used as a traditional herbal medicine
  8. The oil can be used in soaps and candles
  9. Sunflower oil can be used to help relieve skin conditions
  10. Sunflowers make beautiful bouquets!

At Bel-Air Gites we just LOVE sunflowers. They can brighten up the dullest of days and always make us smile. Walking, cycling or driving by these incredible flowers will bring a smile to your lips too. Why not come and visit us next summer and see them for yourself?

Book Now for 2021

Wish you were here? Book now for 2021

We’ve booked Bel-Air Gites!

It’s been very quiet at Bel-Air Gites recently. We have spent a lot of time in the garden, tidying up the gites, the pool area and Play barn. It still feels very strange that we are not busy with guests, check-ins and change-overs. Like so many families, the last few months have helped us to appreciate what we have got. And to learn not to take anyone, or anything for granted. We especially appreciated all the calls and video chats that lifted our spirits and made us smile. It made us we wish you were here.

Even though we have had enquiries for this summer, as a family we have decided to ease ourselves very slowly back into a more normal routine.

Now we are happy to report that Bel-Air Gites is open for business, and taking bookings for 2021. In fact, we have had so many enquiries already, it looks like it’s going to be an incredibly busy summer!

If you are planning your next holiday, here are a few very good reasons for you to get in touch. Make sure you don’t miss out.

Family-friendly

You only have to check out our reviews to see that we are recognised as one of the best, family-friendly holiday businesses in the Charente-Maritime.

At Bel-Air gites you will have everything that you need to make this your family’s home-from-home. Wish you were here?


And we mean ‘everything’

We want it to be your best family holiday ever and we start by providing all the basic kiddie essentials. Whether you have babies, toddlers or bigger kids, twins, triplets or even quads, at Bel-Air gites we provide everything.

  • Cots and linen, high-chairs, pushchairs, baby baths, stair gates, changing mats, baby monitors, booster seats, potties and toilet trainer seats.
  • Steriliser bags, child steps, bath/shower non-slip mats, child proof cupboard and window locks, bath toys and children’s cutlery
  • A hand blender, night lights, blackout blinds
  • Bath towels, hand towels and pool towels, even for the babies

If you can think of something that we haven’t listed let us know. We will do our very best to provide it for you. You can rest-assured that all of these items will be completely sanitised between check-ins. Our guests’ health and safety has, and always will be, our top priority.

Child-friendly means more than just providing a cot and high chair.

Accommodation

At Bel-Air we have four individual gîtes (holiday cottages) and a large farmhouse. They sleep between 4 to 6 guests, so they’re ideal for small families, or for bigger groups that want to holiday together.

All the gîtes are fully furnished and well-equipped, including TVs showing UK and French TV channels and DVD players. We also provide Free WiFi so you can keep in touch with friends, and share your wonderful holiday experience!

Each gîte has it’s own private patio area with barbecue and garden furniture. Large enough for you to dine ‘al fresco’, the patio area is the perfect place to wind down. Enjoy a chilled glass of wine, and watch the sun setting across the fields. I bet you wish you were here now.

Our Facilities

As if the accommodation wasn’t enough, we have created a safe and secure environment for children of all ages. They can play, have fun and create happy childhood memories.

We have a large playground full of swings, a slide, a climbing frame,  trampoline and tunnels. The large, heated outdoor pool is fenced in, and securely gated so your little ones can’t get in or out unsupervised. You can relax and enjoy your holiday, while the kids have fun being pirates and little mermaids.



The Playbarn at Bel-Air Gites is a massive hit with children of all ages, and the adults too. There is a large selection of toys, books, DVD’s and games, including a pool table, footballs, and other outdoor games.

Health & Safety

Our guests’ health and safety has, and always will be, our top priority. And we pride ourselves on keeping all the activity areas safe, clean and as up-to-date as possible.

From next year we are introducing more flexible arrival and departure dates. This will ensure that we have a full 24 hours in between all bookings. The extra hours will enable the team at Bel-Air to more thoroughly cleanse the property inside and out, and to ventilate the rooms. Hand sanitisers will also be provided in each gite.

If you have any questions regarding the cleaning process or products used, especially related to allergens, then please contact us before booking.

Location

Your Bel-Air holiday retreat is perfectly located in the beautiful sunny Charente-Maritime. Surrounded by a wide variety of exciting, and fascinating attractions you will find something to suit all ages.

Beautiful seaside villages of Saint Georges de Didonne, Talmont, Meschers sur Gironde and Royan. The picturesque islands of Ile de Re and Ile d’Oleron. All these are at the top of the favourite family holiday destination list. And they are all only a short drive from Bel-Air Gites.

We’ve put together our list of the most popular family attractions in the area. But there are so many nearby, you will need to stay longer to fit them all in. 

Do you need any more reasons? We don’t want you to miss out. Book with us today and have the family holiday of a lifetime.

Bel-Air Gites, child-friendly holidays in the sunny Charente-Maritime.

We wish you were here

Blooming lovely!

All things bright and beautiful at Bel-Air Gites

bright and beautiful pink and orange flowers

The unseasonably warm March weather, which followed a very damp winter, has definitely confused the plants. At Bel-Air Gites we seem to be in the middle of a heatwave, with temperatures already in the mid 20s. But we’re not going to complain about the weather because now the garden is blooming bright and beautiful!

All the photos of the flowers were taken in our garden, and also a couple of others which are in bloom nearby. (Can you name them all?) We like to share these images with our family and friends because whenever we chat, they inevitably ask us what we have been up to.

With an average of 2250 hours every year the Charente-Maritime area is second only to the Cote d’Azur in terms of the amount of sun it gets.

Sunny Charente

When it got too warm in the sun, we took to the shade and started re-painting the gite furniture. All that’s stopping us from re-doing the whole gite complex is lack of paint!

And just look at that sky… not a cloud in sight, and we are only in April.

We can’t wait to be able to share all of this with you again ‘in person’. In the meantime, we’ll keep sharing our little diary.

From Bel-Air Gites, please follow Doctor’s orders . Stay safe and stay well.

Cheap and Cheerful Gardens

Create your own space

We are extremely fortunate at Bel-Air Gites to be surrounded by beautiful countryside and stunning scenery. But whether it’s small or large, nothing beats having your own space. Our gite complex has acres of garden which is great for guests, but takes time and money to keep it looking good all year. That’s why we have been scouring the internet (and rummaging through cupboards!) to find some cheap and cheerful garden ideas.

At this time of year, before guests start to arrive, we would normally be visiting some of the public gardens in the region to get ideas. Sadly this year is very different for all of us. Instead of going out we are staying in and learning to improvise with some inexpensive ideas for the garden and gites.

Recycle old pans into new planters

We often buy new pots and pans for the gites or just for ourselves. And have also acquired a few from the local ‘broccantes’ (the french version of a car boot or flea market).

Because pans in particular are hard-wearing, they are ideal as an alternative planter. You just need a couple of drainage holes punctured in the bottom before potting your plants.

Old ladders used as a plant display

cheap and cheerful for kitchen or garden

This was an idea that a friend of mine shared with me. She painted an old step-ladder and then used it in the kitchen as shelving for some of her herbs and indoor plants, but it would also look great outside in the garden.

Solar lights

We love this idea because fairy lights in the garden add to the ambience of al fresco dining. Strings of small solar- or battery-powered lights in jars placed around the patio, or even draped around the door frames, cast a pretty glow over the garden after dark. They are a simple solution that doesn’t have to cost a lot and can be brought indoors to brighten up the dining table or a child’s bedroom.

Wherever you live, we hope you are enjoying some warm, dry weather. And that you have some outside space that you can call your own.

Please Stay Safe.

If you have any cheap and cheerful garden ideas, Bel-Air Gites would love to hear them. Please comment below or contact us by email.

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