I have been to France many times and it is still one of my favourite places on earth. The views, the food, the people… it really is an amazingly beautiful country. This is a list of experiences I have had myself but also that some of my friends have had and we cannot recommend them enough! If you are travelling through france or planning to go there for a break, these are some fantastic things to do and see!
Walking with donkeys, Ardèche
What better way to liven up a family walking holiday than to take a donkey? On this new trip from Responsible Travel you will ramble along the Rhône valley and the Ardèche on carefully chosen paths accompanied by a placid four-footed friend. Accommodation is in comfortable B&Bs, with the best local produce in tasty evening meals.
Teenage kicks, Chamonix
Thrill-seeking teens are in for a treat with Scott Dunn’s new Chill and Thrill itineraries in the Alpine resort of Chamonix, which give kids aged 8 to 18 a choice of outdoor activities such as biking, climbing, paragliding, treasure hunts and hiking adventures, all led by mountain leaders and guides. The programme also offers downtime, which can be spent in the town’s museums and galleries or the hotel’s wonderful spa.
Ile de Ré escape
The Ile de Ré is a cycling family’s dream, with extensive bike tracks criss-crossing the charming island. Largely flat, it’s easy to pedal around, visiting pretty whitewashed villages and sandy beaches and spotting wildlife en route. Children will love the donkeys, which can be seen sporting their traditional culottes (or pyjamas) in the summer months in the town of Saint-Martin-de-Ré. Sawdays has several properties on the island, including the charming Galathée holiday house in Saint-Martin-de-Ré that sleeps four.
Family château, Languedoc
The Château Saint Pierre de Serjac opened in April 2016 and makes for a fantastic family getaway, with a kids’ club that offers activities such as bow and arrow-making, flower-pressing, vegetable gardening and bike rides through the vineyards. There’s also a boules piste, and children can hunt for treasure in an archaeological dig. For adults, there is a Cinq Mondes spa with indoor pool, hammam and aromatherapy sauna, and clay tennis courts, as well as a sublime infinity pool looking out over the surrounding vineyards.
Digital detox, Hérault
Take the family off-grid at this attractive new cabin, dubbed Château dans les Chênes (castle in the oak trees), overlooking the rugged Haut-Languedoc regional park. Sleeping up to five on two canopied beds and a single sofa bed, the charming abode is a chance to get back to basics. There is a big kitchen and a comfortable seating area, while the shower consists of a large wooden bucket and rainwater heated by the sun or stove, with staggering views while you perform your ablutions. There are games to play in a nearby yurt, walks in the surrounding hilly forests, and the Tour du Pin, a Cathar tower, to visit.
Gourmet cycling, Burgundy
Burgundy is a food lover’s heaven, with fantastic local produce along with some of the world’s best wines. So make the most of the gastronomic highlights of the Côte d’Or vineyards between Dijon and Beaune with a tailor-made holiday with the Hungry Cyclist, Based in a beautifully decorated lodge. Extras such as bicycle hire, picnics, home-cooked evening meals, daily wine tastings and cellar visits, and gourmet tours of Beaune market can be arranged. Or you can hire the entire lodge for up to eight people on a six-night stay that includes bike rental, a gourmet picnic, three evening meals, daily wine tastings and cellar visits.
Have you done any of these things? Do you have any other recommendations for people visiting France? Then please get in touch through the contact page on my blog! Gracias amigo!