France is a fabulous destination for family holidays. There is so much to do – outdoor activities; sights, cities and markets; excellent theme and water parks, along with great food. Holiday gites and villas are also extremely good value compared with other European countries and offer a relaxed environment where you can choose between going out, staying around the pool or having a barbecue under the stars.
But not all families are the same size or age range, not all have the same budget or holiday wishlist. Here are some great accommodation ideas for family holidays of varying types. All are available to book through France specialist French Connections.
Arty family holiday
Bordebasse is a former farm now offering one four bedroom and one two bedroom house as holiday lets. It stands on a Mediterranean hillside in the Aude surrounded by sunflower fields with views of the Pyrenees – a perfect spot to inspire artists.
The owner, Gill Masters, is a painter who shares her creative passion with visitors, offering an informal introduction to painting in her studio on site. Both children and adults can spend one or more afternoons in the studio. Gill supplies all the materials and gives a few demonstrations and visitors go home with a piece of work. Family members who prefer not to paint can go boating or fishing on Bordebasse’s own lake.
Visit the Bordebasse profile here.
Animal loving families
French Farm Gites are two stone cottages with a heated swimming pool set in five acres of land deep in the Dordogne countryside near Brantome. The cottages are pet friendly, which means that guests can bring their own dogs on holiday with them, as long as they have a pet passport.
In addition, families can enjoy the menagerie of animals kept by the dedicated owners, who live in the farmhouse on site. There are always miniature pot-belly pigs, ducks and a few laying hens; April and May visitors may see an orphan lamb or two and for late summer guests, there’s the arrival of the turkeys. All this gives children a daily interest – and a bit of respite for the parents!
Value family holiday
La Petite Maison, La Laiterie and La Petite Grange are three 17th century stone cottage gites that make up La Haute Richardière, which lies close to the sleepy village of St Siméon in Normandy, an area producing cider, calvados and Camembert cheese.
This peaceful, lush countryside is the perfect place for a traditional family holiday. The cottages are fully equipped for cooking, which is valued by families with children who are on a budget and the excellent prices are set in sterling to give a sense of security to visitors and avoid any shock changes in the exchange rate. For example, the three bedroom cottage sleeps up to five people and represents great value at £270 to £400 per week for the 2017 season.
Luxury villa family holiday
Pont Jalbert is a beautiful old French farmhouse with original beams and exposed stone walling close to the village of La Fouillade, in the Aveyron, a region of rolling green hills and atmospheric bastide towns. Set in a landscaped garden with swimming pool, the farmhouse has been lovingly renovated and furnished as a luxury self-catering gite to accommodate up to ten people, with babies welcome.
In addition, there is a state of the art gym with top quality aerobic equipment and sound system available for guests to use free of charge as part of their holiday. Little wonder that many families who visit hardly leave their holiday home from home!
Visit the Pont Jalbert profile here.
All inclusive family holiday
Le Castel is the first luxury all-inclusive family resort in Normandy – and it’s in a classic Napoleon III chateau with twin turrets, close to all the region’s top tourist sights. Although furnished with elegant antiques, the two bed, two bath chateau suites are available in summer for all inclusive family holidays, generally for children aged up to twelve, and on a B&B basis at other times.
All-inclusive holidays include child care each day and all meals and drinks with wine and spirits. Children’s meals are served around 5pm so adults can enjoy a peaceful dinner later. There is a huge play marquee in the four acres of grounds plus an above ground swimming pool, swings, sand pit, woodland den area and indoor children’s toys.
Visit Le Castel profile here.
For a huge range of other family holiday rentals, visit www.frenchconnections.co.uk