*this post is an advertorial in collaboration with Novasol.*
France is a favourite destination among British holidaymakers. It’s easy to see why. The country boasts exquisite wine, a more hospitable climate than the UK, and arguably the best cheese in the world. Even better: a ferry crossing from Dover to Calais can be as short as 90 minutes, or just 25 minutes with Eurotunnel. And then, with your car loaded up with all the games, colouring books and audiobooks you need for a family road trip, some enticing self-catering properties are only a drive away.
From the historic shores of Nord Pas de Calais to the heady, rolling countryside of Aquitaine, France has something to offer every family. Here is a selection of a few delectable but affordable French holiday properties from Novasol. To help you plan your trip, we’ve found properties that range between a one and an eight-hour drive from Calais.
A one-hour drive from Calais would take you to Marles sur Canche, in Nord Pas de Calais.
Marles sur Canche is a restored forge close to the pretty ramparted town of Montreuil-sur-Mer. This traditional cottage with original features and a large garden has four authentically furnished bedrooms, with space for eight people to stay. It’s available from just £340 per week.
Things to do nearby: Nord Pas de Calais is sometimes overlooked when people drive through from the UK on their way further south. But the region has plenty to offer families. The Nausicaä National Sea Centre is one of the largest aquariums in Europe. You can see sharks, sea lions and mesmerising fish from across the planet. Outside the aquarium, seals are a common sight along the shoreline. Nature-lovers can see the coast on horseback, on a trek along the beaches, or at Berck nature reserve.
A three-hour drive from Calais would take you to Ocquerre apartment, in Île-de-France.
With a large shared swimming pool and tennis courts, Ocquerre apartment gives visitors a taste of the high life once lived in this eighteenth-century manor house. With four bedrooms and space for seven guests, it’s available from just £521 per month.
Things to do nearby: Ocquerre is just an hour away from Paris by car. Ocquerre’s visitors can continue the quest for opulence and luxury by paying a visit to the Palace of Versailles. Those in search of natural beauty and tranquility can explore the 150,000 acre Oise-France Regional National Park, whose hiking trails, gardens and castles hold many treasures.
A six and a half-hour drive from Calais would take you to Taulé in Brittany.
Quaint and traditional, Brittany is a French region beloved of British visitors. Novasol’s Taulé holiday property is located in the village of the same name. The house is just a fifteen minute drive from the beaches of Carantec. For prices starting at £436 per week, visitors can enjoy the four-bedroom 17th century house. It’s big enough for seven guests, and boasts a games room as well as a spacious garden.
Things to do nearby: The popular Océanopolis aquarium is in Brest – we enjoyed the day we spent there, and you can read about it here. For history buffs there’s Quimper Gothic Cathedral. Nature lovers can enjoy a trip to the Jardin Exotique de Roscoff botanical gardens, or a cliff walk on the Pointe du Raz peninsula.
An eight-hour drive from Calais would take you to Saint Amand de Coly in Aquitaine.
Covering both the Dordogne and the coastline around Bordeaux, Aquitaine is a region famed among Brits for its blissfully long, sunny days. The Novasol holiday home at Saint Amand de Coly is an 18th century sandstone cottage that comes with its own private pool. Of all the self-catering properties in this feature, Saint Amand de Coly’s is perhaps most well-suited to smaller families. It has two bedrooms big enough to sleep four. Nestled in a tiny hamlet, the house is available to rent from £549 per week.
Things to do nearby: Aquitaine is a land of adventure and beauty. Visitors to the region can go kayaking along the Vézère river, see the Font-de-Gaume prehistoric cave drawings, or visit the pools, lakes and parkland in Périgord Limousin Natural Regional Park.
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