Next year, we are hoping to go on one big family holiday to France to celebrate my mum’s 65th birthday. We have so many happy memories of French holidays, so it is really lovely to browse through family villa holidays online.
We’ve camped, caravanned and stayed in hotels on previous French holidays but in the UK we love a family cottage break, and I think when you are travelling as a large party, as we will be, villa holidays actually become more practical and affordable.
Ideally, we would like to spend some time in Paris, as the kids have never before explored this ‘fairy like’ city, despite having been to Disneyland Paris previously. We would either find a villa just outside Paris, so we can travel to the city on certain days to explore the sights and sounds of Paris, and then spend the rest of the holiday exploring a French village and enjoying good quality family time in our villa; or we would stop one night in Paris before travelling further south to enjoy a warmer, Mediterranean break.
Here are some of our favourite villa choices so far:
Maison Migneaux, Paris
Maison Migneaux is a luxurious estate just 15 minutes from Paris. It can accommodate up to twelve people and is perfect for group gatherings.
From this base, we could easily spend a day at Disneyland Paris, a day or two in Paris and the rest of the holiday enjoying the French countryside and family time in the magnificent house and grounds.
|Water Lilies in Claude Monet’s Pond in Giverny – Photo Ariane Cauderlier|
Local attractions that we would visit would be Ferme de Gally, a farm with animals, as well as a workshop for children to press apple juice or knead bread, they could also pick seasonal fruits or vegetables (just 20 km away) and the famous gardens of Giverny where Monet got his inspiration from the water lilies (a 20 minute drive away) and enjoy lunch at Jardin des Plumes.
Villa Belle de Nuit, Vendee
For a warm seaside holiday in France, without the need to travel too far South, Villa Belle de Nuit, Vendee, is a good choice. If we were travelling by self drive ferry then this is as far South as I would like to go.
I can really imagine a lovely holiday here. Shopping the French markets in the morning for fruit, cheese and wine, then coming back to the villa to play in the pool overlooking the sea, relax, eat together, walk through the cave to the beach and then home for a family barbecue. There are also tennis courts, an estuary to kayak (which the kids love) and bicycles are provided. I can’t see us ever wanting to go far from the villa!
If we did venture out, we would visit the Musee Maritime, La Rochelle Aquarium, the Museum of Natural History and the old posts, towns and vineyards (of course).
Villa Sol, Cote D’Azur
As long as we can have an overnight stop in Paris, then a villa holiday in the South of France would be perfect. I have always dreamt of staying in Côte d’Azur.
In the past, I always felt like the South of France would not be so easy to travel to with the kids, especially as flights are not simple for us with Danny’s heart condition. However, now, you can travel from Paris to Nice in under six hours on the TGV so the South of France by rail is definitely an option.
Villa Sol, is a heavenly destination. Imagine swimming in the pool, overlooking the Mediterranean sea, family meals on the balcony and staying less than 100m from Villefranche Beach.
I would love to visit Grasse, the Capital of Perfume, the kids would enjoy playing at The Wood Elves (Le Bois de Lutins) Adventure park, a fun family day would be to take the Mini Train through Nice and then to walk through the Promenade du Paillon, having fun in the water fountains and then onto the children’s playground. A day in Cannes would be fun too, spotting our favourite movie star’s handprints. Throughout the Summer, there are Les Soirées Estivales (Summer evenings) each evening, so there would be plenty of musical entertainment too.
Have you been on a French Villa holiday before? Which region would you recommend?
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