D and I have chosen the place for our Summer family holiday: France. The countryside, the cheese, the language, the wine….we both grew up with regular doses of fresh Gallic air, and on breakfasts of croissants with chocolat chaud. It’s been too long since we visited.
This year we’re off to the family-friendly Loire Valley, which I’ll be writing about after our trip. In the past, we’ve also visited other regions – Normandy, and the Dordogne – which have plenty to keep all the family happy. Here are some of their highlights.
Normandy is perfect for kids. It’s close to the UK, and is home to several stunning beaches. A top attraction is Mont Saint-Michel, an island about a kilometre off the coastline. When the tide is out, you can walk across to this picturesque town, which has justifiably been given World Heritage Site status by UNESCO.
Then there’s the Bayeaux Tapestry, a 70-cm long embroidered cloth showing events leading up to the Norman conquest of England. It dates back to pre-1476, and is a must-see for any history buffs, old or young.
This part of France is a top destination for horseriding enthusiasts, especially in Calvados, where you can trek through lush countryside.
For Mum and Dad, there’s the Route du Cidre, a 25-mile tourist trail through beautiful Pays D’Auge orchards, taking in cider farms reknowned for their high-quality (and very reasonably priced) produce.
Perfect for a tiny bit of (civilised) carousing, when the kids are safely tucked up in bed….
It’s the Dordogne’s magnificent weather that make it a safe bet for a glorious summer holiday. Even if you do get the odd thunderstorm, it’s likely to be exciting, dramatic, and over in a flash.
The Dordogne is reknowned for its fine cuisine. Although one of its major exports, foie gras, isn’t to everyone’s taste, there’s plenty in the way of truffles, strawberries and (of course) wine to bring a smile to most people’s faces.
There is tons for children to do in the Dordogne. Bergerac Aquapark is set in 2 hectares at the end of the Dordogne river, with 4 pools and water slides. The town of Le Bugue and its nearby attraction, Jaquou Park, boasts an aquarium, a reconstructed village from the 1900s, an animal park and another aqua park. The region seems to delight in its history; as well as castles (1001 of them, apparently) and Romanesque churches, holidaymakers can also visit Prehisto Park at Les Eyzies, to play at being cavemen.
Where would you go in France, if you had the chance?
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