Home to magnificent mountains, characterful towns and spectacular beaches, France is an ideal destination for a family holiday. Summer France has more than 30 properties across the diverse country, from luxury villas with private pools to spacious cottages nestled next to expansive lakes. Not sure where to start? Here are three regions to consider…
Best for toddlers: Vendée, west-central France
Just south of Brittany, Vendée offers 250 km of coastline, dense pine forests and mostly flat terrain (great for prams). Because of its position in west-central France, it’s easy to reach: Vendee is less than 90 minutes’ drive from Nantes Atlantique Airport. All of Summer France’s residences (six in total) are situated close to the beach and most have access to either a shared, or private, pool. Sleeping four to eight, Le Domaine de Vertmarines offers guests easy access to the shops, bars and restaurants of Saint Jean de Monts and the sweeping shores. The villas are set within 16-acres of preserved parkland with the historic city of Nantes, the pretty town of La Roche-sur-Yon and a number of friendly farms nearby. Each accommodation has a large living room, well-equipped kitchen, private pool and garden, spacious terrace and individual parking. Alternatively, Les Mas de Saint Hilaire (sleeping four to six people) can be found in a quiet area near Saint Jean de Monts and Noirmoutier et les Sables d’Olonne is just under 45 minutes’ drive away and provides a fascinating history and touristic places. Each bungalow features a living and dining area, well-equipped kitchen, terrace and parking space plus secluded gardens. Make the most of the communal swimming pool and the children’s pool, an ideal place to meet the other guests.
A week’s stay, from 27 May, at Le Domaine de Vertmarines costs from £129 pp (£773 total) for a three-bedroom villa sleeping up to six.
A week’s stay, from 27 May, at Les Mas de Saint Hilaire costs from £46.50 pp (£279 total) for a two-bedroom plus mezzanine cottage sleeping up to six.
Accommodation only, return flights, transfers and food extra.
Best for primary-school children: Val Joly, northern France
Based in northern France, Val Joly is an ideal destination for active families. Located just a few hours from both Lille and Brussels and home to the largest lake in Northern France, water sports are aplenty. Plus, its high placement means the temperatures remain cooler; great when there is lots of running around to be achieved. Summer France’s Les Cottages de Valjoly (sleeping up to eight guests) reside on the banks of the Lac du Val-Joly in the heart of the Avesnois National Park, five minutes’ drive from the centre of the town. Families can take part in the numerous water sports (including canoeing, sailing and pedalo trips) or enjoy the three pools, two of which are indoors. When it’s time to dry off, explore the lush grassy areas or the whispering woods of the Nostrimont forest, home to numerous walks (many of which have perfect picnic spots). Learn to ride a bike without stabilisers on the varied cycle paths, alternatively, try horse riding, archery, karting or a game of mini golf. And, there is even a fresh-water aquarium that houses 50 species of local fish to spot and learn about. Each wooden cottage comes with a fully-equipped kitchen, comfy living room, spacious terrace and double and single rooms.
A week’s stay, from 26 August, at Les Cottages de Valjoly costs from £75 pp (£450 total) for a two-bedroom cottage sleeping up to six. Accommodation only, return flights, transfers and food extra.
Best for tweens (and big kids): Moliets-et-Maâ, south-western France
Situated between stylish Biarritz and beautiful Bordeaux, Moliets is a town and beach resort forming part of the extensive Atlantic Coast. Think golden sand, ample surfing and golfing opportunities and internationally renowned gastronomy, including vin de sable (wine produced from vineyards grown in the sand). Summer France offers six villas and holiday apartment complexes in Moliets, with Villas La Prade and Villas La Clairière aux Chevreuils most suited for tweens (and big kids). Both are situated near the centre and within walking distance of the coast. Sleeping six to 12 guests, Villas La Prade are located in a quiet, idyllic area, surrounded by the great outdoors; with horse riding and tennis also available. All of the spacious villas feature secluded terraces, perfect for dining alfresco and large private pools. The luxurious Villas La Clairière aux Chevreuils (sleeping eight to 12 people) are designed to blend in with the woodland and natural surroundings. Each holiday home comes with an enclosed garden including a terrace and large pool, and children receive a complimentary ice cream on arrival. Embark on a day trip to Bordeaux through the spectacular Parc Natural des Landes de Gascogne (a two-hour drive approximately) or even venture over the border to Spain, where the wonders of San Sebastian and Pamplona await.
A week’s stay, from 26 August, at Villas La Prade, costs from £199 pp (£2,390 total) for a four-bedroom villa plus mezzanine, sleeping up to twelve
A week’s stay, from 8 July, at Villas La Clairière aux Chevreuils, costs from £332 pp (£3,981 total) for a four-bedroom villa plus mezzanine, sleeping up to twelve.
To find out more call 0203 475 4756 or visit www.summerfrance.co.uk.