Plane, cave or lighthouse: quirky places to stay near water in France

Unique accommodation near lakes, rivers and the sea is proving popular with French travellers this autumn. The Connexion has picked ten options still available...

28 October 2021

Some of these places near lakes, rivers and the sea are still available on Airbnb for bookings during the Toussaint holidays Pic: Bertrand Gardel / Philippe Hiest / Airbnb

By Oliwia Geisler

Quirky accommodation close to rivers, lakes and the sea is especially sought after during this year’s Toussaint holidays, according to Airbnb’s recent report on French travel trends.

The report also states that travellers are favouring inland departments, although seaside accommodation is still in demand.

The Connexion takes a look at 10 unique lodgings, within close proximity to water, some of which are still available on Airbnb for bookings during the Toussaint holidays.

A plane in St-Michel-Chef-Chef, Loire-Atlantique

This old plane has been repurposed to provide accommodation for up to four people. The cockpit has been turned into a bathroom and the main body of the plane into a bedroom and living room, as well as a kitchen.

It is located on a campsite about a 45-minute drive from Nantes and a few minutes’ from the beaches of Tharon, Pornic and Saint Brévin.

A houseboat on the river Seine in Paris, Ile-de-France

This houseboat, named ‘Alphonse’, was built in the early 1930s out of mahogany.

It is located in the centre of Paris, a few minutes’ walk from the Eiffel Tower.

‘Alphonse’ can house two guests.

A cave in Calvi, Corsica

The Cave of Castaways is located on the northwest coast of Corsica, just above the sea. It is equipped with just a 140cm bed, solar shower and composting toilet.

The access to the cave might be physically demanding for some, with an elevation of 50m, and living conditions are minimal so guests are required to have prior knowledge of staying in the wilderness.

The idea is for guests to experience a simplistic lifestyle among the nature of Corsica, one of France’s wildest areas.

A yurt in Saint-Philibert, Brittany

A yurt is a form of portable shelter used by the pastoral peoples of inner Asia, especially Mongolia. It is a circular dwelling made of a lattice of wood and covered in felt.

This particular yurt, called Anna Maria, is 36m² and includes a Nordic bath with 30C water that overlooks the sea.

The yurt is equipped with a double bed, kitchen and wifi with showers and (composting) toilets in a nearby caravan.

A cabin in the trees in Cassis, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

This romantic cabin is built on a platform hanging from trees and supported by stilts and is within walking distance of the beach.

A floating tree house in Baurech, Gironde

Situated directly on Baurech Lake, the ‘Maison Flottante’ is a luxurious tree house situated 20km from Bordeaux, in the heart of nature. It includes a terrace.

A maximum of two guests can stay in the accommodation but children are not allowed.

A cocoon in Montolieu, Occitanie

This dome-shaped tent is perched in the trees, surrounded by nature and with a view onto the local lake, where guests are welcome to swim if they wish!

Amenities such as the kitchenette and toilets are located about 20 metres away from the cocoon itself.

A lighthouse in Saint-Raphaël/Boulouris, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

This three-storey lighthouse, whose bedroom on the third floor offers a view onto the sea, can host up to two people.

Guests have access to a heated pool as well as a private terrace and garden with direct access to the beach.

A bed under the stars in Belvédère-Campomoro, Corsica

This accommodation, located in a protected area of Corse-du-Sud, consists of a bed in the open air with a view of the Gulf of Valinco.

The area is surrounded by beaches, mountains and greenery.

Alternative accommodation is available in the event of bad weather.

A windmill in Vairé, Pays de la Loire

The windmill of Vairé is located 8km from the region’s large, sandy beaches and close to its salt marshes and state forest. 

It was renovated in 2017 and can house up to four guests.

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