If you are UK based, France is a great option to travel to with a family.
Firstly you have a choice of transportation, you can catch a short (and often low cost) flight, or choose instead to travel by Eurostar or ferry, allowing you to drive elements of the trip and take it at your own pace. ]
We have travelled to France fairly regularly both with and prior to having the children, most recently we enjoyed a trip to the often overlooked Camargue in the south.
Our family holiday to the The Camargue, France
We have travelled to the Carmargue previously and found that it pleasantly surprised us, with its distinctive landscape and abundance of wildlife, so we decided to return, taking with us the children’s grandparents.
The Camargue’s unique landscape is quite different to other areas of France we have visited before, with much of the wetlands that cover the area being dedicated to UNESCO as one of their national parks. Flamingoes pepper the flat waters and the famous Carmargue white horses provide a striking feature.
Getting to the Camargue
We used Ryanair from Luton to travel to Nimes, a small but perfectly formed airport. Unfortunately our daughter lost her favourite cuddly toy, a cheetah (called Leopardy) purchased on our trip to Kruger National Park earlier in the year, and as always Ryanair’s customer service proved itself to be as good as its punctuality. They are absolutely the worst airline we have travelled with – but on a short and often very cheap flight, I guess you just have to put up with the uncomfortable seating, the airline staff running up and down the aisle and the overpriced snacks – for the greater good!
Alternatively you could catch a ferry or the Eurotunnel and self drive to the Camargue. Flying does tend to be cheaper and gets you to your destination quicker, but if you plan on taking in some other French villages (or maybe even Disneyland Paris) enroute then a road trip could be just the ticket.
Where to stay with children in the Camargue
We have stayed, on both trips and a Yelloh Village. These are top French campsites with all the facilities you would hope for from a campsite. We opted for a lodge, a little like a stylised static caravan with two bedrooms, a small living space and a decked area for alfresco dining (and wine drinking) in the evening.
The Yelloh Village we stayed at is the Petite Camarguis, which has an abundance of swimming pools, a brilliant children’s entertainment programme, a bouncy castle, restaurants including a pizzeria and a brilliant play area. Much to our children’s delight much of the site is also scooter friendly!
Whilst there are B&Bs and gîtes available, we highly recommend sticking to the campsites which are plentiful across the area.
What to do in the Carmargue with kids
We spent many a day relaxing by the pool side, whilst the children made full use of the flumes and adventure pool.
I love that they are now old enough to enjoy the pool with us supervising from the side, but I still miss their dependance on us to pull them through the water and throwing them up in the air to squeals of sheer delight.
In addition to the fun and excitement on camp the Camargue offers so much to do for young families; including riding the famous white horses of the Carmargue, kayaking under the Pont Du Gard, exploring castles and a seaquarium. There are many traditional French villages to explore, amazing restaurants and seaside resorts. Our things to do in the Carmargue post goes into more detail about the activities we enjoyed whilst there with our young family and their grandparents.
So much to see and do in the Carmargue
The Carmargue offers a laid back and honest view of France. We have been lucky enough to travel to many areas of France both with and without children and we have found the Carmargue very intriguing in its own right. Often overshadowed by its more glamorous cousins along the Cote D’Azur, it brings a more relaxed vibe which lends itself to family holidays.
If you are looking for a laid back option for your first holiday abroad with children, the why not try the Carmargue, its old fashioned charm and bounty of child friendly activities is bound to delight you.