Explore France from the Comfort of a Family-Friendly Villa
If you’re still mulling over a summer destination for your family, look no further than France. Picturesque landscapes, fascinating castles and cobblestone streets abound in the country’s medieval villages, making them a worthy addition to your bucket list. Add to that the countless activities available for all ages and interests, whether you want a hiking trip in Provence or to soak up sun at a beach on the Cote d’Azur.
Read on for inspiration planning your next holiday in France, with activities sure to be enjoyed by the whole family.
The breathtaking French Riviera offers families ample opportunities to experience the country’s culture, relax in the sun or chill both on and in the water. We suggest canoeing between the Bay of Cannes and the Lérins Islands. It might seem like an impossible task at first, seeing the islands in the distance, but it is actually easier than you might expect, even for a beginner. Due to boat traffic, the route to the islands is clearly marked and supervised by an instructor.
Taking a stroll through the streets of Saint Paul de Vence is always an adventure. The narrow cobblestone roads wind up the hill that this medieval town is perched upon and art galleries are found on both sides of your path. The kids will enjoy the ice cream shops at the corner, as well as artisan sweet stores that sell fabled nougat. For the full French experience, join locals for a game of pétanque on the boules court at the entrance of the Old Town.
For an indulgence, the Confiserie Florian at Tourrettes-sur-Loup is the place to go for all sweet. Guided visits are offered and end with a tasting of the local treats, such as crystalized flowers, candied fruit and chocolate.
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat | Bedrooms: 8 | Sleeps: 16
From $54,905 per week
In a strong contrast to the hustle and bustle of the Cote d’Azur, Provence offers tranquillity and holidays centered around outdoor activities. Consider renting bikes and exploring Provence’s lavender fields and vineyards at your own pace. Enjoy a picnic on the road or stop in one of the villages on the way for a bite.
Taking the kids for a tour of Avignon and the Palais des Papes is another sure-fire choice. It might sound like a dry history lesson, but walking around a medieval fortress is anything but. The scenery of Avignon is stunning and harkens back to 1300, when several popes resided here. This tour is recommended for older kids, as it involves a good amount of walking.
There’s also hiking around Roussillon on the Sentier des Ochres, where the trail winds through a former quarry for ochre clay. The red and orange landscape evokes the feeling of walking on another planet. Old shoes and clothes are recommended. The trail has some steep drops, so it is not recommended for small children.
Lumio | Bedrooms: 5 | Sleeps: 8 + 2
From $4,784 per week
Bordeaux and Dordogne
While you may think that the Bordeuax region is only for wine tasting, in reality it has so much more to offer. Between castles, ancient river boats and vineyards, there are activities for the whole family. We suggest visiting Le Bournat, a village that recreates life in the Périgord around 1900. A stop affords boat rides on traditional gabarots, as well as a journey on an exact replica of the Stanley Mountain Wagon. The village is open from beginning of April through the end of September.
Then again, exploring the Lascaux caves, known for their Stone Age wall paintings, is an adventure for all ages. Though the caves are now closed to protect the artwork, a replica is open for visitors that allows a much more detailed look at the paintings than is possible in the original.
Arguably, though, hot air balloon flights are the best way to see the beauty of the Dordogne. Flights can be scheduled for sunrise or sunset and reveal castles in the mist and a landscape dotted with fields and rivers.
Le Mas Du Luberon
Bonnieux | Bedrooms: 6 | Sleeps: 12
From $5,973 per week
La Bastide aux Citronniers
Plascassier | Bedrooms: 4 | Sleeps: 8
From $9,317 per week
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