How do you choose a family holiday in France that’s right for your kids?
You could look at the country region by region and hope for the best. Or you could take the expert advice of Summer France and know for sure that everything, from accommodation to activities, is going to match your kids’ ages and stages exactly. It’s not a hard choice, is it? So, here’s where Summer France thinks you should go on your French family holiday this year, and which of their fantastic properties work best for your family: whether you’re travelling with a new baby or several picky teens in tow…
If you’re planning a holiday with baby this summer, think about the north coast of France. It’s always a popular choice for young families because of the fast and frequent ferry crossings from Dover to Calais. But the enormous Atlantic beaches, sweet seaside towns and warm (rather than unbearably hot) weather appeals just as much as travel practicalities.
Cayeux-sur-Mer sits west of Calais and hits a baby-friendly note right off by having one of world’s longest boardwalks. Reaching more than two kilometres, it’s perfect for buggies and trimmed with cute beach huts and fabulous ocean views. Sunny weather and safe streets make strolling around town just as pleasant. Plus, tempting cafés and shops offer the best excuse to park up and take it even easier, as often as you like.
Résidence Les Terrasses de la Plage is just opposite the beach in Cayeux-sur-Mer: great for early morning and evening strolls along the boardwalk, and long, lazy days by the sea.
A week at the Residence Les Terrasses de la Plage, commencing the 12th May, costs £66.50 per person for a family of four, staying in a one-bedroomed apartment.
With its long Atlantic coast, romantic forests and Pay de la Loire heritage, Vendée is ideal for family holidays. It’s west-central France, so you can expect delightfully warm and sunny weather and no shortage of beautiful beaches to make the most of it with toddlers.
Saint-Jean-de-Monts sits on the Vendée coast, less than 90-minutes drive south of Nantes. It’s a perfectly sized resort for younger kids, and Grande Plage and Plage des Demoiselles have brilliant paddling potential. Mix days by the sea with days in the countryside and you’ll find everything from historic villages to easy woodland walks, châteaux and nature reserves, all within toddler-friendly driving distance.
Le Domaine de Vertmarines is set in 16-acres of protected parkland just south of Saint-Jean-de-Monts. Beaches are minutes away, but each villa has a private pool too: heaven for little first-time swimmers.
Seven nights in a three bedroom villa costs from £129 per person, per week. Based on a family of six.
Les Mas de Saint Hilaire is surrounded by a 600ha pine forest, close to lively Saint-Jean-de-Monts and its glorious, family-friendly beaches.
Seven nights in a two-bedroom cottage, with mezzanine, costs from £46.50 per person, per week. Based on a family of six.
Northern France is fantastic for active holidays with under 10s this summer. You can rely on the weather to be warm and sunny, but not too hot. Which is good news since adventures on the edge of the Lac du Val-Joly, the largest lake in Northern France, are non-stop. Indeed, there’s so much on offer visitors need not return to their car until it’s time to leave. Guest can make use of the ‘PassJoly’ activities pass, which comprise of sailing, cycling, horse riding, trampolining, golf, wind surfing, swimming and kayaking and much more.
And if the sun doesn’t make an appearance, kids can always head indoors for the thrill of rides, slides and swimming pools at Aquatica Park or check out the fresh-water aquarium that houses 50 species of local fish.
Les Cottages de Val-Joly sits lakeside on Lac du Val-Joly in the heart of Avesnoise National Park.
A week in Les Cottages de Valjoly, commencing the 2nd June, costs £71.50 per person for a family of four, staying in a one-bedroomed cottage.
Pretty Moliets-et-Maa is a heavenly resort for tweens. It sits on the Atlantic between Biarritz and Bassin d’Arcachon on the Landes Coast, where beaches are simply too big to ever get crowded.
Wannabe surfers can look forward to world-class waves and lots of learning from the best schools in France. On dry land there’s everything from treetop adventure parks to fabulous nature reserves. Bikes are the area’s preferred mode of transport, so you’ll find hundreds of kilometres of dedicated cycle paths. And, if you have a tween urban-adventurer in tow, Bordeaux and San Sebastian are both less than two hour’s drive from Moliets-et-Maa.
Villas La Prade sits surrounded by pines on the edge of Moliets Golf Course, minutes from Moliets-et-Maa and Atlantic beaches.
A week at the Villas La Prade, commencing the 19th May, costs £176.50 per person for a family of four, staying in a two-bedroomed villa with TV included and a private swimming pool.
Luxurious Villas la Clairière aux Chevreuils are set against a backdrop of magnificent Landes forest, close to Atlantic beaches, and within minutes of Moliets Golf Course and Moliets-et-Maa.
Seven nights in a four-bedroom villa with mezzanine, costs £114 per person for a family of eight (total £912), staying in a three-bedroomed villa with premium service included and a private swimming pool.
Teens might seem like the pickiest travellers, but the trick is to find them a great resort, add heaps of exciting activities and give them some space. Flaine has all of that down to a fine art, and not just during ski season. It’s an equally good choice for older kids in summer, when the Alps are up for anything from water rafting to mountain biking, climbing, hiking, road cycling and general all-round adventuring.
Plus, Flaine is family-friendly and very safe, so you can let teens off the leash a little, which they’ll love.
Three star Résidence Les Terrasses de Veret with an indoor pool, plus all apartments have satellite TV and WIFI is also available.
A week at Les Terrasses de Veret, commencing the 2nd July, costs £55.25 per person for a family of four, staying in a one-bedroomed apartment with access to the indoor swimming pool.