Self-drive holidays are incredibly popular at the moment due to their perfect mix of freedom and isolation. Eurotunnel Le Shuttle stated recently that the ‘phones have been ringing off the hook’ as holidaymakers make a bid for freedom.
In light of this growing trend, Heaven Publicity has compiled five self-drive holidays situated less than four-hours’ drive from Calais, France or Zeebrugge, Belgium.
The accommodation is ideal for families and/or couples; what are you waiting for?
Outdoor living this summer, with Al Fresco Holidays
Al Fresco Holidays offers great value self-catering holidays at Europe’s best parks, Just a couple of hours drive from Calais in Champagne, 5* La Croix du Vieux Pont is a large, vibrant park. It boasts an outdoor pool with lazy river and indoor pool with two water slides. Sports such as football and table tennis are free of charge for guests, whereas pedalos, trampolining, go-karting and archery are available on site for a small charge. One of the biggest draws for families is Disneyland Paris* – Mickey, Minnie and co. are within driving distance, as is the romance capital of the world, Paris.
*Disneyland Paris will reopen on 15 July 2020.
Al Fresco Holidays offers a seven-night holiday at 5* La Croix du Vieux Pont on 18 August for £1,051 (based on a family on six sharing a two-bedroom Rossini mobile home). Price includes return ferry travel from Dover – Calais.
Al Fresco Holidays (0161 332 8900, www.alfresco-holidays.com)
An eco-friendly family trip to Les Villages Nature® Paris in France
Situated 32 km from Paris (and just over three hours from Calais) Les Villages Nature® Paris combines nature, architecture, sustainability and learning. Comprising five immersive worlds, kids (and big kids) can learn how to care for animals at BelleVie Farm, marvel at the many plants in the Extraordinary Gardens, let their imagination run wild in the Forest of Legends and treat themselves to a meal on the picturesque Lakeside Promenade. The fifth world, called the Aqualagon®, is the biggest water park in Europe to be heated entirely with geothermal energy. Home to eight slides, a wave pool, a climbing wall and a giant water tree it’s easy for families to spend hours splashing around in this exhilarating paradise. Les Villages Nature® Paris offers a multitude of workshops across the park too, from bee keeping, bread baking and chocolate making to creating a vertical wall garden, building a den in the woods and signing up for a treasure hunt.
A week’s stay, from 15-22 August 2020, in a self-catering Premium Cottage, costs from €2,309 / £2,082 total (was €3,439 / £3,101 total – saving 33 %).
Les Villages Nature® Paris: www.lesvillagesnature.com/gb-en
An active family holiday to Val Joly, Northern France, with Summer France
Based in northern France, Val Joly is an ideal destination for active families. Located two-and-a-half hours from Calais 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 heat 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 outdoors. 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 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 15-22 August 2020, at Les Cottages de Valjoly costs from £100.50 pp (£603 total – was £709 total, saving £106) for a two-bedroom cottage sleeping up to six. Accommodation only, return Eurotunnel and food extra.
Summer France (0203 475 4756, www.summerfrance.co.uk)
Explore the beautiful waterways of Flanders this summer on a self-drive cruise
Le Boat is the number one provider of self-drive cruises on Europe’s beautiful inland waterways. One of the operator’s most popular destinations is the region of Flanders in northern Belgium. Here holidaymakers can explore the beautiful coastal lowlands, which are a haven for seabirds and beachgoers. Cruisers start and finish at the Le Boat base in Nieuwpoort, allowing them take in the historic cities of Ypres, famous for the beautiful “Halle aux drapes”, and Bruges, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with countless museums and excellent restaurants to explore. The cabins are set fore and aft to enhance privacy and huge sundeck features a fixed table and padded seats.
A seven-night stay on board Magnifique, which sleeps up to ten people, starting and ending in Nieuwpoort, departing 22 July 2020, costs £4,697 per boat, £469.70 pp (down from £5,209 saving £512). No boating license or experience necessary.
Take P&O Ferries from Hull to Zeebrugge www.poferries.com, just forty minutes’ drive from the port to the base – 57 km. Prices from £378 return up to four passengers.
Le Boat (023 9222 2177, www.leboat.co.uk)
A fun holiday in North Picardy, France, with Pierre & Vacances
Located between dunes and lakes in the Somme Bay in North Picardy, just two hours’ drive from Calais, Pierre & Vacances’ 4* Belle Dune Holiday Village offers a varied programme of daytime and evening activities in and around the car-free resort. Guests can enjoy the fresh ocean air as they explore the Somme Bay, which is home to an abundant range of migratory birds, seals and other wildlife. Back at the holiday village, families will have plenty to keep them occupied, from swimming in the large, outdoor heated water park to teeing off at the local 18-hole golf course and making the most of the other sports and entertainment facilities. After each day, relax in a modern self-catered apartment or house (sleeping up to 12 people) with its own fully equipped kitchen, living area and bathroom. Either cook up a storm in the kitchen or walk to the central square, where restaurants serve traditional dishes typical of the region and a market is organised every Wednesday (5 pm to 8 pm).
A seven-night stay, from 15-22 August 2020, in a one-bedroom house that sleeps up to five people, is priced from €1,283.50 / 1,157 total (was €1,510 / £ 1,361 total, saving 15%). Accommodation only, Eurotunnel and food extra.
Pierre & Vacances (0870 0267 145, www.pierreetvacances.com/gb-en)