Blog

Taking your dog to France

Thinking of taking your dog to France on holiday with you? Read our essential guide here…

Christmas in France

CHRISTMAS is a time for traditions – but expatriates in France will have noticed several differences between the French way of doing things and what they have been used to. Here are just a few ways Christmas in France may be just a little different… Christmas cards Although Christmas cards are available in shops, French […]

Last-minute offers for Gites in France

New – look out for our new special offer emails featuring deals across a range of family-friendly gites in France. As well as our top posts on all things France (from driving licence rules to taking pets abroad) you’ll also benefit from our latest deals as we have them. Poitou-Charentes Escape to Charente, Saint-Front, Charente […]

Which French holiday suits you?

Which type of holiday would you choose? Are you a camper or do you like your private hot tubs? From holidays on a budget to luxury holiday homes, check out the latest France for Families holiday ideas…

Last-minute Easter Ski Holidays

Save 25% plus free kids lift passes on a last-minute Easter ski holiday to France. Find out more with France for Families…

Best theme park attractions in France

France do theme parks differently. Very differently. Find out about the best attractions for kids and grown-ups alike in our Top French theme park blog.

Top gites in the Charente

Discover our top gites in the Charente – a fabulous family-friendly area of France and personally recommended by France for Families

NEW gites in the Dordogne

Take a look at our latest added holiday homes in the Dordogne – a beautiful selection of gites in a stunning area of France.

8 Euro-busting ideas for 2017 holidays to France

8 euro-busting ways to make your holiday to France cheaper. Read our handy guide and start your holiday planning now!

Charente sunflower

Luxury gite holidays with the wow factor

Never mind the X-Factor. Check out our top luxury gites in the France that have the wow factor!

No-fly Family Holidays

  An interesting question was posed to me earlier this year… is it possible to take a no-fly family holiday in the south of France? Answering the question became this year’s summer family holiday. The children and I discussed the question over supper late one evening in May; whether we jump in the car, or […]

Save 40% on gite holidays in the Vendee

Save up to 40% on family friendly gites in the South Vendee with Vendee Vacances. With heated swimming pools, free WIFI, bed linen & towels all included, this makes a perfect late summer holiday either with toddlers or extended family.

Chateaux of the Loire Cycling Special Offer

We thought we’d let you know about the great offers the guys at Headwater are offering France for Families subscribers.

Their featured offer is book their Chateaux of the Loire Cycling holiday and they’ll upgrade your room on the first and last night of your holiday. Click on ‘Read…’ below for details and many more offers.

This featured cycling holiday offer is a route through the Loire’s majestic forests, vineyards, poppies and sunflowers on traffic-free lanes. Not to be missed.

Late Villa Deals from Vintage Travel – Save up to £600

Vintage Travel are currently offering villas in the south west of France with savings of up to £600 in August.

Try Villa Soulages in Aveyron – An idyllic place where time stands still and beauty overwhelms. The spectacular setting of Soulages will not fail to impress: surrounded by landscaped gardens, there lies nothing between you and the stunning panoramic views over tree clad hills, the deep river valley below and the open sky.

Click on ‘Read…’ for more details and how to book.

European Breakdown cover in France from only £12.45

Gite with a pool in France – Check, Ferry crossing – Check, Kids – Check, Luggage – Check, Breakdown Cover?
Don’t forget to buy European breakdown cover for your trip this summer. We’ve teamed up with experts Breakdown Direct to offer you great value for money breakdown cover in France from only £12.45

Win your 2017 family holiday to France

To celebrate going ‘social’ with our new Facebook page we have teamed up with Castelwood to give away a 2017 family holiday to France. Simply head to our Facebook page to enter at facebook.com/franceforfamilies. Do it now!

30% Discount on Remaining Summer Breaks at Château

Stay at Le Pavillon de St. Agnan this summer and save 30%. Nestled in the heart of the beautiful Dordogne, the château, its holiday homes and grounds, including 2 heated pools, offers cultural-minded families a peaceful setting to enjoy a break. For details of the offer and to find out more about the excellent holidays offered by Le Pavillon de St. Agnan, please click on Read the post here below.

Save up to 40% on a Summer Break in the Alps

We’ve just heard that Lagrange Holidays are offering up to 40% off selected July & August Alpine breaks.

To take advantage of the offer, book a 7-night self-catering stay in any one of their seven resorts in the French Alps before Monday 20th of June. Prices start at just £133/week. Click on ‘Read post here’ for more information

Taking your dog to France

  Taking your dog on holiday to France is really straightforward, provided you follow a few golden rules of the Pet Travel Scheme and prepare in advance. We find that there are no restrictions and only brief microchip checks when leaving the UK to travel to France; however officials are super-switched on when it comes […]

Summer Holiday Savings with Siblu

Siblu has just launched their new campaign ‘Spring into Summer’ that can save you up to 40% on summer holidays at 4-star holiday villages in France, if you book before 31st of May. You can choose from 15 villages mainly in coastal locations, each include free kids clubs, free family entertainment and free life guarded pools.

If you can getaway in June, Le Bois Dormant and Le Bois Masson in the Vendée offer free bike hire for 2, gym access and 2 massages with all new bookings for holidays taken between 4th and 25th June. See their website for terms.

Adventurers by day, Kings by night

We are very proud to introduce Cycling for Softies to France for Families. Their luxury cycling holidays are expertly planned so that you and your family can explore and indulge in all that France has to offer. Their itineraries especially crafted for families have easy cycling, lots of cycle paths, hotel pools, flexible eating arrangements and plenty to see and do nearby. Click on Read more for details of their breaks, their latest availability and prices.

Breakdown cover in France from only £12.45

Whether you are planning your first European road trip or are a seasoned traveller, buying European breakdown cover is a ‘no-brainer’. We’ve teamed up with experts Breakdown Direct to offer you breakdown cover in France from only £12.45

Offer from Country Kids in Languedoc

Laure and Sylvain from the Country Kids resort in Languedoc have just informed us of their latest offer for France for Families subscribers along with their availability for the summer. For more information…

Two New Vendee Destinations For 2016

You could easily describe Madame Vacances as a France specialist, they have been providing family holidays in France for 25 years. We recently came across a couple of their holiday places in the Vendee – St Gilles Croix de Vie and at Le Mas de St Hilaire – well worth a look for this summer…

A Family Yoga Retreat in Provence

Head to the La Bastide Avellanne in Provence Côte d’Azur, a stunning villa that specialises in family gite holidays and relaxing Yoga breaks.

Top 8 Gites in the Dordogne with great pools!

Check out our list of the top 8 gites in the Dordogne with fabulous swimming pools…

Fly and Drive This Summer?

If you are thinking of hiring a car in France, we have arranged an exclusive discount with Rhino Car Hire with up to 10% off for France for Families subscribers. Read more details by using the link below.

Pierre & Vacances Launches Beach Holiday Flash Sale

Thinking of booking your 2016 summer holiday? Why not take advantage of Pierre & Vacances’ Flash Sale? Up to 40% Off Holiday Villages along France’s Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines. Hurry though! Sale ends of Wednesday 16th March.

Spring Season Special Offer at Country Kids

We’ve just heard about a great new offer from Country Kids to help you and your children banish those winter blues for another year with a Spring break in the south of France. They are offering a FREE massage for every adult for all holidays booked to stay between the 26th March to the 7th May 2016.

Spring in the South of France is perfect, no crowds, warm sunshine, trees and flowers in full bloom and lighter evenings for you to enjoy a nice glass of handpicked local wine, for a wonderful late Apéritif. Find out more about Country Kids using the link below.

Paradise for Kids, Heaven for Parents

We are very proud to introduce La Ferme du Cayla in the South West of France. To be seen 6 top-notch family holiday cottages with pool set in beautiful grounds. And they have thought of everything – spend quality time with your children or relax while they are entertained and discover new things in a safe and natural environment. For photos, prices and availability please click on the link.

Top 5 beaches in the Charente

Take a look at our top picks of the best beaches in the Charente…

Booked your touring break in France?

Booked your touring break in France already or planning to soon? Don’t forget to take out essential breakdown cover. We’ve teamed up with experts Breakdown Direct to offer you European breakdown cover in France from Only £12.45.

Headwater Holidays in France

Looking to do something a little different with the children this year? We recently came across Headwater and invited them to tell us more about their holidays in France. Here is what they told us…

8 ways to celebrate Christmas like the French

We’re sure it’s not escaped your notice that Christmas will soon be upon us, but spare a thought for the French where Christmas celebrations start on the 6 December – also known as Saint Nicholas’ Day. Read our 8 ways on how to celebrate Christmas like the French…

Ski out 2015 with a Snow Guarantee*

White Christmas anyone? We’ve noticed that Pierre & Vacances have just launched their *Flash Sale* with up to 40% off family Christmas Holidays & New Year breaks in France. It starts today and features breaks in Avoriaz, Meribel and La Plagne.

Île de Ré: Bicycles, Wine and Oysters

Even in summer, when the main roads can be busy, it is possible to find a quiet spot, though you may have to seek it on foot or by bicycle, there are more than 60 miles of official bicycle tracks to explore.

Quirky Glamping and Treehouse Holidays in France

Ever fancied staying in a Treehouse? Or even a Mongolian yurt? Or how about my children’s favourite, la Maison Escargot? Well we have found somewhere very special for your 2016 holiday in France.

10 Things to know about eating out in France

The French take their food seriously. In a land of three-course lunches, three hour dinners and mandated 35-hour work weeks, the French spend as much time and energy eating and drinking as they do working. Find out our top 10 things to know when eating out in France…

Handpicked holiday homes in France all with private pools

Find out which travel company is recognised as one of the UKs top 10 holiday villa rental companies by Condè Nast Traveller readers last year. And offer handpicked holiday homes in France all with private pools, ranging from historic homes surrounded by lush countryside to modern homes close to the coast.

11 things to know when travelling to France

Think you’re up to date about what you should know and equipment you should have when travelling to France? Check out our handy guide here…11 things to know when travelling to France.

I want to ride my Bicyclette…

We love our cycling here at France for Families HQ, so it is no surprise that as winter approaches we are keen to think of sunnier climes, the gentle warm breeze blowing inbetween the spokes and une vue incroyable as we ride by. We’ve picked out 3 cycle routes in France that could inspire your 2016 adventures.

Montpellier – Arty, Intellectual and Near the Beach

Overlooked by many British visitors to France, the city of Montpellier is an elegant, sensual and subversive city that offers those who venture here unexpected sensory pleasures. Talk to any local and they will tell you that if you want to capture what Montpellier is all about, arrive at Place de la Comedie early in the morning and watch the city awaken.

Christmas at Disneyland: Save 35%

Welcome to the Magic, Disneyland Paris specialists, have today launched their new offer allowing families to save 35%. We think this is a perfect opportunity to take everyone to Disneyland’s Christmas celebrations.

A guide to Where to Visit in Paris

Our trip to Paris in August of this year gave us the great opportunity to re-visit some of the most famous attractions of Paris and at the same time introduce them to our children. Amongst other facts discover Paris’ Grand Axis, what happened to the Palace des Tuileries and the best day and time to visit the Louvre.

Summer sport in the French Alps

Has cycling in France become your passion? Check out our latest video from the La Plagne in French Alps.

Overnight stop in Saint Quentin

Each summer on the way back from the south of France we tend to stop at different towns on route and explore somewhere new – do you have a favourite stopover place?

Tour Montparnasse 56

The rooftop is breathtaking, warm winds greeted us as we reached it, with the lights of Paris filling our gaze as we begin to identify the areas of Paris we know. There are glass screens around the rooftop for safety, but the view is crystal clear and incredible.

Paris with ‘4 roues sous 1 parapluie’

We were here to meet our rides, two 30-year-old Citroen 2CVs whose drivers would be our tour guides around central Paris this morning.

Le quatorze juillet

The 14th of July marks Bastille Day in France, or as it is formally known as La Fête nationale, and more often referred to by the French as Le quatorze juillet.

The day was celebrated with mass at Champs de Mars, after which followed a 4-day feast celebrated with fireworks, wine and running naked through the streets to show their freedom.

Cycle your own Tour de France

With the Tour de France hitting the headlines at the moment it’s the perfect time to consider your own cycling holiday to France.

July 1st 2015: Headphones banned in France!

Measure No 22 of the Action Plan for Road Safety announced by Bernard Cazeneuve in January 2015 comes into force today – Wednesday, July 1, 2015. The road safety measure aims to prevent car accidents caused by distraction by sounds and noises.

Save on Self-Catering Holidays at Disneyland Paris

If you’re planning a trip to Disneyland Paris with children it’s important to choose the right accommodation, so we asked Katie Edwards from Disney specialists www.welcometothemagic.com to give us the low down on the Disney’s self-catering option – Disney’s Davy Crockett Ranch.

Says Katie: “This collection of log cabins is part of the Disneyland Paris Resort, but set in its own Swiss Family Robinson-style location surrounded by woodland, yet with loads of its own facilities to keep families wowed. ”

Visit franceforfamilies.com now to read more and discover a great offer available for Disneyland breaks this summer and autumn.

Hiring a car abroad? Are you ‘au fait’ with the new licence rules?

Now we know that hiring a car in France can be painful at the best of times but a recent change to UK law means that it may now become more complicated…

Top 6 Reasons to Visit Normandy

June 13, 2015 – Family holidays to Normandy remain popular with the Brits, due to it’s easy-to-reach location and it’s authentic French charm. This is a region brimming with history and culture, combined with some beautiful coastlines, perfect for relaxing with the family.

There’s plenty to keep you occupied on your holiday to Normandy, from tasting the famous ‘Calvados’ and the local cheeses and breads, to exploring the ancient history. The famous Mont St Michel is to be found here, a great day out for the family – you’ll love the tiny winding cobbled streets filled with scents of fresh food and battlements just waiting to be explored.

Now that May is over, France can get back to work

French workers get more holidays than we do, and as reported in the New York Times at the weekend, not since 1972 have the French been able to enjoy so much time off in one month. But, as reported, even holidays

France for Families launches door-to-door Travel Search Engine

France for Families today launches a door-to-door travel search engine that returns a travel itinerary for flights, trains, coaches/buses, ferries and driving options to and from anywhere in the UK and France.

The Lovers of Verdun

The Grand Parc du Puy du Fou is a live action theme park dedicated to the history of France.  Created in 1978 in the Vendee, Puy du Fou welcomes more than 1.7 million visitors annually. And as we found out, the Cinéscenie performance can feature more than 1000 actors!             […]

New Futuroscope Attractions for 2015

  If you are unsure of where in France to holiday this year or you have already planned a family break on the west coast of France, then Futuroscope near Poitiers is the ideal attraction to head to.  You won’t be disappointed. With more than 40 million visitors since it opened, Futuroscope is one of […]

Do you need breakdown cover for driving in France?

  Have you ever been tempted to save money on your holiday to France by driving over without breakdown cover? We asked Tim Jury, of Breakdown Direct, to tell us about the pitfalls of parking a European policy. Why do I need European breakdown cover? What will it cost if I break down and don’t […]

Discover the Vendee: an insider’s guide

  We think the Vendee is a great destination choice for families – there are great beaches, some lovely seaside towns and it’s far enough south for great weather without being an epic ride from the ferry ports. So we asked expert Martin Holmes, of Vendee Gites, to tell us even more about the region. […]

Summer adventure in the Alps

Alpe d’Huez is best known as one of the Alps’ most popular ski resorts, but Catherine Cooper tells us how it also makes a brilliant family destination in summer too. Says Catherine: “Alpe d’Huez is one of the most famous stages of the Tour de France, and as such it is a big centre for […]

On yer bike with the Veloscenic bike route

Active families can enjoy France from the bike saddle by following bite size chunks of Veloscenic, a 270-mile cycleway linking Paris and Mont-Saint-Michel. The route takes on special significance this year, with the final leg arriving at Mont-Saint-Michel, which will complete 10 years of development work to restore the tidal flow which cuts-off the iconic […]

10 Small French Cities for Families to Explore

Away from the treats of Paris, Lyon, Marseille and the country’s other huge metropolises, France has a large number of smaller cities with just as much to offer families. Journalist Ben Lerwill gives us 10 of the best, ranging from globally renowned tourist spots to enjoyable under-the-radar destinations. Find accommodation with our choice of family […]

Observing the stars from the Pic du Midi

Catherine Cooper and her children are left seeing stars after a visit to the Pic du Midi to see the largest telescope in France. It’s not often that I will willingly get up at 6am, and it’s even less often that my children Livi, aged 10 and Toby, 12 are happy to do so. But […]

Best museums in France for children

  Boring museums? Think again! From gold panning, to interactive science games and old fashioned circus rides, travel writer Heidi Fuller-love gives us her guide to France’s top 11 kid-friendly museums. For family friendly accommodation close to any of these museums, head to our gites pages. www.franceforfamilies.com/gites 1. Futuroscope, near Poitiers With more than 40 […]

Twelve Unforgettable Day Hikes for Families in France

  France is a natural option for families and couples in search of an active experience without foregoing the nightly comfort of their gites. From the Alps to Normandy and from Burgundy to Haute-Savoie, it has some excellent short-distance walking trails for families. Here are 12 of the best from award-winning travel writer Ben Lerwill. […]

The 12 Best Family Skiing Holidays in France

  Are you planning to take the family skiing in France, but you’re not sure which resort to choose? We asked travel expert Jane Egginton to pick 12 of our favourite skiing holidays for families. To find family friendly accommodation at ski resorts in France visit our Alps pages: franceforfamilies.com/gites/alps-accommodation. 1. Courchevel This resort may […]

10 of the Best …. Animal Attractions in France

  From tots to grannies, everyone enjoys an animal park and France offers some unforgettable close encounters; France expert Gillian Thornton picks 10 of her favourites. Le Parc des Oiseaux (Rhône-Alpes) Clustered round a central lake, the Bird Park at Villars les Dombes showcases birds from around the world in landscaped areas reminiscent of their […]

Self-Catering Holidays at Disneyland Paris

If you’re planning a trip to Disneyland Paris with children it’s important to choose the right accommodation, so we asked Katie Edwards from Disney specialists WelcomeToTheMagic.com (www.welcometothemagic.com) to give us the low down on the Disney’s self-catering option – Disney’s Davy Crockett Ranch. Says Katie: “This collection of log cabins is part of the Disneyland […]

Les Petits Mousses de Plymouth

  A new Saturday school in Plymouth has been launched to help children learn about French culture and language. It was setup by a number of French mums to ensure their children don’t lose touch with their French heritage. It is believed that at least 100 children with French associations reside in the city and […]

South west France welcomes the Autumn sun

  Temperatures hit 30°C on the south west coast of France this week as many families took their annual La Toussaint week’s break. Toussaint (All Saints’ Day in English) is a Catholic celebration to honour all saints, known or unknown; and is celebrated on the 1st of November each year. This year, French families were […]

Normandy: 70 years on…

2014 marks 70 years since the Allied invasion of 6th June, 1944 and we explore some of the reason why you should visit Normandy next month. There’s plenty to keep you interested in Normandy, from tasting the famous ‘Calvados’ and the local cheeses and breads, to exploring the ancient history. Travel east from Dieppe to […]

Tignes: The Skiing Destination for all the family

  Tignes, set high in the Savoie Alps, is a superb, purpose built, ski in – ski out resort linked with Val d’Isère to create the l’Espace Killy domaine which offers over 300km of pistes. Although the resort is not particularly pretty, it is in a stunning setting. Our likes/dislikes: Skiing is really convenient with […]

Going underground in the Pyrenees

  The department of Ariège in the Pyrénées shelters some of the world’s most important cave art. Walk by torchlight inside the mountain to marvel at original paintings of bison, horses and other beasts in fabulous the Grotte de Niaux, and get the full story of the people who roamed here 10,000 years ago at […]

Morbihan – wild shores, legendary forests and mysterious menhirs…

  One of the 4 departments that make up the popular region of Brittany, Morbihan takes it’s name from Breton ‘Ar Mor Bihan’ meaning ‘the little sea’.  Discover this most beautiful area with a mild climate, rugged coastline, legendary forests and mysterious menhirs. Morbihan is rich in scenery, from charming towns, myths and legends and […]

Know your boucherie from your boulangerie

  September through to December is the perfect time to head across the channel for a day trip or weekend, and sample some authentic French cuisine and meander amidst French life.  If you are learning French in one of the many evening classes offered, this is an opportunity for you to practice. Use our Day […]

Holidaying in France becomes less costly, as pound hits 2-year high

  Do you plan to cart your family off to France for a week of fun and relaxation? If so, it may please you to know that doing so will now leave less of a dent on your wallet, because the pound recently shot up to its highest against the euro in 2 years. To […]

3 Perfect French Small Wedding Venues

  There are many reasons for keeping your big day an intimate occasion, amongst them the fact that you will be surrounded by the people who love you and the day will feel more like a celebration than a performance. And with the average price of a wedding now at over £20,000, a smaller wedding […]

Futuroscope ready for the School Summer Holidays

  School’s Out! If you are holidaying in the Poitou-Charente, Pays de la Loire or Dordogne  areas of France, why not pay a visit to Futuroscope, one of the best-known attractions in France.  Read more about Futurescope Here’s a taster of what you can expect to see… New for 2014 – The Time Machine An […]

Off the beaten track: family friendly France

  Are you still looking for summer holiday inspiration? These French destinations are not necessarily the best know for UK visitors, but each offers something special for families. Cycling in Mayenne (picture) Cycling for Softies, who specialise in gourmet cycling holidays in rural France, has launched a new itinerary to the little known Mayenne region. […]

Spotlight on Brittany Gites

Spotlight on our Gites in Brittany Rural life Looking for a real ‘getawayfromitall’ break? La Motte Parent Gites, Plouguenast, Brittany offers two delightful gites in a peaceful, rural setting yet within walking distance of the essentials (a lazy bar, the baker and a delicious creperie).   Surrounded by beautiful countryside this area is great for walking, […]

Top 10 … French art locations

  There’s an undeniable thrill at walking in the footsteps of great artists and seeing the scenes they painted. France expert Gillian Thornton tell us about her favourite art locations. Need somewhere to stay. Find a gite close to these arty settings. Barbizon – Ile-de-France Forerunners of the Impressionists, the Barbizon School owes its existence […]

10 of the Best … History Locations for Families

  Classroom lessons come zinging vividly at France’s many historical sites. Travel writer Gillian Thornton gives us 10 to try these for starters… Want somewhere to stay? See our list of gites close to history locations. Wellington Quarry, Arras, Nord (Nord-Pas de Calais) For families fired up by the World War I centenary, the Wellington […]

Cote d’Azur launches discount card for holiday savings

  Cote d’Azur family holidays have just got cheaper following the launch of a new discounts card providing savings on more than 100 activities and attractions. The money-saving pass costs from just €39 for adults and €21 for children, and gives free access to tours and excursions, natural attractions, museums and monuments, leisure facilities and […]

Ten of the Best – Beautiful French Villages

  France is dotted with stunning small villages, each one reflecting local history, architecture and tradition. Here, France fan Gillian Thornton picks out some favourites amongst the 156 members of the elite association, Les Plus Beaux Villages de France. Want somewhere to stay? Search our list of gites close to Les Plus Beaux Villages. We […]

10 of the best … UNESCO World Heritage Sites

  This summer, France hopes to see the prehistoric paintings of the Chauvet Cave in Ardèche added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list, ahead of the opening of a replica cave next February.  With more than 30 UNESCO sites to choose from, travel writer Gillian Thornton lists 10 of her favourites. Looking for somewhere […]

10 panoramic French views

  France is full of unforgettable views from river valleys and mountain tops to perched villages and iconic monuments. France specialist Gillian Thornton lists 10 of her favourite panoramic perspectives – all easily accessible to visitors. Col de Rousset, Vercors (Rhône-Alpes) Rising dramatically above the Rhône Valley south of Valence, the limestone plateau of the Vercors […]

Cycling (for softies) in France

  France loves cyclists, and taking your bikes on holiday is a great way of seeing some more of the destination you are visiting. We asked Claire Crawley, of Cycling for Softies, to give us her expert tips on how families with young children should go about planning a bike trip to France. 1. If […]

Ferry v. plane – how should families travel to France

  Brittany Ferries has published a revealing infographic on the merits of travelling to France by ferry or plane. Okay, the result was always going to be a resounding victory for ferries, but it’s really interesting to see how the pros and cons of both modes of transport stack up for families. Probably the most […]

Pierced skulls and sinking sands – the legend of Mont St Michel

  One stormy night in 708 (according to legend), the Archangel Michael appeared to Aubert, the Bishop of Avranches, in a dream and commanded him to build a church on a rock off the Normandy coast known at the time as Mont Tombe.    The Bishop wasn’t so keen and tried his best to ignore these […]

Cool accommodation for family holidays in France

  If you are looking for cool accommodation to wow your kids, we really like these quirky ideas from La Flèche and Glisten Camping. A night at the zoo in La Flèche La Flèche Zoo, which is located in the Loir Valley between Le Mans, Angers and Tours, has launched three new, super-stylish safari-style lodges […]

New family adventure company launches

  From bivouac-ing to bread-making, a new family adventure company is offering breathtaking breaks to France this summer. Family Adventure Holidays has launched three action-packed summer holidays based in different regions of France, with high-adrenaline thrills offering something for everyone from tots to teens – and their parents. Families can choose between a fun-packed, all-inclusive […]

Brittany Ferries launches new low cost service to France

  Brittany Ferries has announced plans to launch a new low cost ferry service from Portsmouth to Le Havre on France’s north coast. The service launches on 25 March and will be branded as Brittany Ferries économie, to appeal to those looking for cheaper crossings without the cruise-style experience normally provided by Brittany Ferries. One […]

Discover secret Paris with these child friendly tours

  City tours can sometimes be boring for children, so we love the idea of the ‘Secret Paris: Cheese, Art & Local Life‘ tour from Urban Adventures. The tour brings the city to life and is suitable for families with children aged six and over, as well as solo travellers and couples. The passionate local […]

New family friendly ski accommodation

  If you are planning a late-season ski holiday, we like the look of these new child-friendly chalets and hotels. Nine & Tenne has created a brand new luxury chalet in Chatel in the French Alps (just 90 minutes from Geneva airport). The chalet has been built with families in mind and features an indoor […]

NAUSICAA dives in to 2014

  Explore the might of oceans, come face-to-face with sharks and dive into the world of plankton following the launch of a new programme of thrilling events at NAUSICAA aquarium and marine centre in Boulogne-sur-mer in 2014. The centre, which is home to 36,000 fish and is one of the biggest attractions in the north […]

Country Kids luxury resort in Languedoc: save €300 for Easter

  The Country Kids five-star resort in Languedoc in the south of France is offering €300 off all April stays! Easter activities This amazing resort has a great programme of Easter kid’s activities lined up, including Egg Hunts, Easter bonnet making and parade, eggshell mosaic making and games with real eggs for older kids which […]

Family friendly events and festivals in Brittany in 2014

There are lots of family friendly festivals and fascinating events taking place across Brittany 2014. These are great if you want to experience something that is totally unique to the region. Here are some of the events we are most looking forward to in 2014. If you need accommodation, search our gites in Brittany. Fête […]

Brittany’s Emerald Coast is a family holiday gem

  Are on the lookout for a great family holiday? We chatted to Lesley Willis about Brittany’s Emerald Coast and her selection of amazing child-friendly gites in Hénansal near St Malo. Says Leslie: “We were first attracted to Brittany because it wasn’t too hot but was warmer than the UK, was quite close to all […]

The cost of toll roads (péages) in France

  If you are driving long distances in France you usually have to choose between speed and cost – the motorways are fastest but they can add hefty toll (péage) costs compared to the ‘routes nationales’, which are cheaper but take longer. About Autoroutes France’s motorways are called autoroutes and have the prefix ‘A’. Most […]

The Mont St Michel Story

  At the request of the Archangel Michael (the archangel who mythically fought evil on dramatic hill-tops) and had its origins in 7th century Ireland), Bishop of Avranches built a church on the island in 709.   In 966, at the request of the Duke of Normandy, a community of Benedictine Monks settled on the rock.  […]

Consider Lot-et-Garonne for a Holiday in 2014

  Lot et Garonne a little know department within the Aquitaine region in South West France offers an huge array of activities, attractions and places to stay for the discerning family. Here are our six reasons to visit Lot et Garonne… starting with Number 1. 1. Drive your own cruise boat The Lot is navigable […]

Stocking up for Christmas?

  Thinking of heading to France to stock up for Christmas? Ensure you prepare your car appropriately, read our advice here http://www.franceforfamilies.com/travel-options/driving/preparing-your-car

Les Gets Ski Resort Factfile

Les Gets factfile: Resort height: 1172m – 2002m Access: Easy access from Geneva via A40 to Cluses, then D902 to Les Gets. Downhill runs: Mainly blues and reds – good for families. Size of domaine: 650km including Portes du Soleil. Lifts: Too many to number! Lift Pass: around €163* per adult, and €126 child for […]

Skiing 2013/14: Our Guide to Flights

  Our guide to flights from UK airports to French Ski resorts is out now… Check out our full guide here http://www.franceforfamilies.com/skiing-holidays/ski-flight-guide      

New Morzine ski lift gets ready for take off

  Gareth Marshall at Simply Morzine has been keeping us posted on the development of the brand spanking new 10 million euro Plenéy ski lift that will be ready in mid December for Morzine’s winter season. The lift goes from central Morzine to Le Pléney and will almost double the transport capacity of the system, […]

Love ‘The Tunnel’ on Sky? Here are 10 Channel Tunnel facts

  The Channel Tunnel is taking a starring role in Sky Atlantic’s newest grisly murder mystery, ‘The Tunnel’ which starts on Wednesday 16 October, so we have delved into some of the amazing facts that make the crossing from the UK to France so special. The Tunnel is 31.4 miles long from Folkestone in Kent […]

Easyjet announces low cost flights to France for summer 2014

  Easyjet has announced its 2014 summer schedule, so to give you a headstart for booking the bargains, we have rounded up the best prices for flights to France for the May half term and summer school holiday dates in 2014. If you find better deals please tell us in the comments below. All of […]

Watersports in the Alps: rafting and hydrospeed

  Not something we normally associate with the Alps, but the variety of rivers and lakes in the mountains ensure there’s always fun to be had splashing about in water. Something to try when the rivers in the Alps are full of life between May and October is ‘Rafting’ and ‘Hydrospeed’.  To do both you […]

Normandy gites close to World War II museums, memorials and attractions

  If you are planning to visit Normandy’s Second World War attractions, staying in a gite can be better value, more fun and more authentic than a hotel room or campsite. France For Families features a wide array of gites close to World War II museums, memorials and landing beaches across Normandy, covering everything from […]

Gites for large group holidays in France

  Are you travelling in a large group to France and looking for authentic, relaxing, comfortable accommodation? Then why not consider these giant gites that offer you stays in an assortment of converted farm houses, stately homes, even former wine estates. Is holidaying as a large group in France worth it? Yes, France is a […]

French alps

Summer holidays in the French Alps

  Most families tend to head to the coast for their sunshine holidays and leave the mountains for winter snow, but summer holidays in the French Alps ticks many of the boxes for a great family holiday, without the problems faced by families staying in packed resorts. We think there are three main reasons to […]

La Palmyre Zoo, in Charente Maritime

  A trip to the zoo might not be top of your to-do-list on holiday in France, but for a cloudy day or as an alternative to the beach, we rate La Palmyre Zoo as a great choice for entertaining the kids. On the approach to the zoo you’ll see cars already filling the parking […]

Breathalysers ditched for travellers to France

  Holidaymakers driving to France no longer need to include breathalyser test kits as part of their travel pack. The breathalyser law was only introduced in July 2012, but has already been suspended as doubts have been raised about the reliability and impact of the kits. Fines for not carrying the breathalyser kits were set […]

La Rochelle: France old and new

  La  Rochelle is a stunning town on the Charente Maritime coast, stylishly combining historic buildings with striking modernity; a great place for a day’s mooching, but does it come up to the mark for children? As we drove into the town and made our way into one of the well signposted car parks, the […]

Bordeaux’s Miroir image

  Our daughter loved running across the Miroir d’Eau, the giant water feature on the iconic Garonne riverfront in Bordeaux. The Miroir is a large granite base which holds an inch or so of  water for most of the time, reflecting the magnificent frontage of the Bourse (the old financial centre), and looking out onto […]

La Palmyre beach proves a gentle spot on the Savage Coast

  Much of the Charente Maritime coast is part of the Cote Sauvage – the savage coast – where Atlantic waves come crashing in to the great sand beaches. But we discovered much gentler waters at the mouth of the Bonne Anse estuary, at the town of La Palmyre. Here, there’s a stretch of sandy […]

Meet the Gite Owner: Gareth Marshall, Simply Morzine

  In the latest of our series of Q&As with gite owners in France, we chat to Gareth Marshall of Simply Morzine – a small family company specialising in winter and summer holidays in the French Alps. Q: How long have you lived / owned your gite in France? We bought the land and had […]

Meet the Gite Owner: Julian Rothera, Les Gites de Carlux

  In the latest in our series of Gite owners interviews, we meet Julian Rothera of Les Gites de Carlux, close to Sarlat in the Dordogne. Q: How long have you lived / owned your gite in France? I moved out to the Dordogne in 1992, this summer will be my 22nd season Q: What […]

Driving through France, Route 3

  In our 3rd and final route through France, we take a look at the Atlantic Coast and cut our way through majestically from Normandy in the north to Biarritz in the Pays Basque in the south west. Unlike the other two routes, this route has holiday destinations all along the way – the route […]

Meet the Gite Owners: David & Nicki Needham of Chateau de Gurat

  Chateau de Gurat in the Poitou Charente is a brilliant base for families – the six luxury child-friendly cottages are set in beautiful grounds and there are heated pools and a play barn. Owners David & Nicki Needham, who live on site with their two young children Jake and Pippa, say life at the […]

St Malo and Dinard

  St Malo’s main attraction is its citadel, known as Intra Muros (within the walls), faithfully restored after destruction by bombs in 1944. Towering walls frame inviting glimpses of the elegant shopping streets and outdoor cafés within. Many of the streets are quite steep and paved with large cobbles. You can walk around the ramparts, […]

Versailles, France’s Ultimate Royal Palace

  The Palace of Versailles is a monument to the Sun King, Louis XIV. More like a town than a château, Versailles was the seat of French power for more than 100 years and kept members of the royal family safely cushioned from their subjects in Paris until the invasion of the bloodthirsty revolutionary mob. […]

Meet the Gite Owners: Jean-Guillaume and Maaike Niemeijer, Castelwood

  Meet Jean-Guillaume and Maaike Niemeijer, who came to France via the Netherlands and New Zealand and have built and run the amazing Castelwood complex of 15 wood cabins in the Dordogne. Q: How long have you lived / owned your gite in France ? We have lived in France since 1985 – almost 30 […]

Carcassone, France’s medieval cité

  The medieval Cité of Carcassone is the largest fortified town in Europe and never fails to amaze. Thanks to its elevated position, if you visit late in the day, the walls and turrets are often bathed in the soft, red glow of the setting sun. More than 3 million visitors a year pass through […]

Meet the Gite Owners: David & Nicola Warren, La Motte Parent

  Meet David and Nicola Warren, the owners of La Motte Parent Gites gites in Brittany: Q: How long have you lived / owned your gite in France? We signed the final parts of the contracts for La Garenne and La Pompe on the 23rd April 2010 on the assumption that, if the date was […]

Driving through France, Route 2

Route Two. Languedoc, Midi-Pyrenees, Northern Spain and Catalonia. The second of our two-day routes through to the south of France, may be new to you, mainly because it takes you close to Paris, and if you are not heading for the French capital, you will want to give the whole area a wide berth, except […]

Meet the Gite Owners: Isabel Lootens, La Moulinal

  In the latest in our series of interviews with Gite owners, we meet Isabel Lootens, a Belgian who has made a corner of the Lot-et-Garonne her own with La Moulinal gites. Q: How long have you lived / owned your gite in France? We have bought the gites in 2006. We had been traveling […]

Don’t forget your Breathalyser kit

  As we reported last year, the French Goverment passed new legislation requiring all cars travelling on French roads to carry a breathalyser kit. The law came into force on July 1st 2012, but a continuous shortage of kits made available to buy, meant this requirement was not enforced until March 1st 2013. They are […]

Orléans and Joan of Arc

  Visit the house of French heroine Joan of Arc and see her story told in the cathedral’s stained glass. Joan of Arc recaptured Orléans from the English in 1429 after an eight-month siege, and the city is now strongly associated with her name. But even before this, Orléans was the site of decisive battles. […]

Meet the Gite Owners: Jill Kirby, French Activity Holidays

  Jill Kirby, owner of a fantastic chambre d’hôte in the Pyrenees, tells us about life in France, the Pyrenees, and buying meat from her neighbours. Q: How long have you lived / owned your gite in France? This is our second year here. I have lived and worked in France for over four years […]

Driving Route to the South of France

  Driving through France has always been seen as a challenge, I hear stories from other families about how long they drove for, day and night in many cases, to get to their holiday destination.  As for myself… I have ‘challenged’ myself on many occasions and dragged my family along on these challenges.  Last summer […]

Meet the Gite Owner: Carolyn Curr, Le Maison Bleue

  Carolyn Curr is the owner of Le Maison Bleue – an 18th century holiday cottage and bed and breakfast in the south of France. Q: How long have you lived / owned your gite in France? We have owned our French country home for almost 7 years, this is our 2nd season running our […]

Brittany Ferries launches new Portmouth to Le Havre route

  Brittany Ferries has launched a new cross-Channel route from Portsmouth to Le Havre in Normandy. The new fastcraft service will run four days a week, from Thursday to Sunday, and takes just 3 hours 45 minutes to make the crossing. With a 7.00am departure from Portsmouth and arrival in Le Havre at 11.45am, we […]

Event: Rendez-vous aux Jardins (31 May to 2 June, nationwide)

  More than 2,000 public and private gardens unlock their gates to the public for one weekend as part of “Rendez-vous aux jardins”, a nationwide event celebrating the majesty and heritage of green spaces across France. The annual celebration of “Gardens and their Creators”, which runs from Friday 31 May to Sunday 2nd June, sees […]

Meet the Gite Owner: Elizabeth Marriott, Gites2France

  Elizabeth Marriott is the owner of Gites2France – a fabulous farmhouse and two gites in the Poitou Charente region of France. Here she tells us more about her life in France. Q: How long have you lived / owned your gite in France? We have lived/worked in France for over eleven years. John is […]

Rennes – Brittany’s cosmopolitan capital city

  Brittany’s cosmopolitan capital city is a modern metropolis with a lively medieval heart. In previous centuries, the city played an important role in the region’s political struggles. seeing Rennes is often compared negatively with some of the more picturesque destinations in Brittany, but a day spent here can be rewarding. Inside the modern, industrial […]

Meet the Gite Owner: Tony Conlan, La Cour Cottages

In the first of a new series we talk to Tony Conlan, the owner of La Cour Cottages, two cottages and two converted barns on the border of southern Brittany and Loire Atlantique. Q: How long have you lived / owned your gite in France? We have owned La Cour since 2005. Q: What do […]

The Sistine Chapel of Prehistory – Lascaux, Dordogne

Lascaux is referred to as the ‘The Sistine Chapel of Prehistory’. Visit Lascaux to venture back to pre-historic times and see replicas of cave paintings around 17,000 years old. The original Lascaux cave system was discovered in 1940 by local schoolboys after their dog disappeared down a pothole. What they encountered underground was one of […]

Rouen – the historic capital city of Normandy

Normandy’s capital is a city of cobbled streets, tall timbered houses and Gothic churches, captured by the painter Monet in his Rouen Cathedral series

Futuroscope launches a bar above the clouds

Futuroscope is giving visitors the chance to the hit the heights by opening Aerobar – a snack bar that is 115 feet up in the air. Up to 12 people can share the experience, catching the bar at ground level before being lifted to the clouds with their feet dangling free. The ultra-modern, 23-ft airship […]

Types of holiday accommodation available in France

A holiday in France has much to recommend it but nothing more so than the huge range of accommodation options.  If you want total luxury and convenience (and don’t mind paying for it) then a hotel is probably for you. If, on the other hand, you want maximum entertainment at minimum cost, then a tent […]

Introducing Pierre et Vacances

Since 1967, starting with the key development of the Avoriaz ski resort in the French Alps, Pierre et Vacances has not stopped playing a significant role in European tourism. Today, the travel company offers various types of accommodation in France from Residences and Holiday Villages to Aparthotels.   The range of facilities and activities on offer […]

What’s new at FranceForFamilies.com

Welcome to the new look FranceForFamilies.com. We’ve had a bit of a revamp since the last time you saw us, but our changes were long overdue and will help to make our site even more helpful and easier to use. Here’s why: Search Function: at last, we’ve included one, so you can quickly search for […]

6 reasons to visit Provence this summer

With its scented lavender fields and ancient villages, chic seaside resorts and spectacular Alpine scenery, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur is one of the most diverse regions of France, with an attractive climate all year round. Whatever your family enjoy doing, you’ll find it here. There is delightful scenery in the Luberon and many other dramatic features such […]

Confused about the ‘Priorité à Droite’? We explain…

This famous feature of French driving etiquette still causes confusion today despite it being less common than in days gone by. The problem is this: If you are driving along a road, anyone joining that road from your right hand side has priority over you. They don’t have to stop, you do…..even if you are […]

Read about why the Dordogne remains a popular destination for many

The Dordogne region is one of the most popular holiday destinations in France. Although the Dordogne has no coastline for ‘bucket and spade’ holidays, there are wonderful rivers for canoeing and swimming, as well as sandy river beaches. The scenery is dramatic and interspersed with pretty towns and villages, both in the hinterland and along […]

Why taking the Ferry is still a great option for channel hopping

Ferries have always been the traditional way to get to France although now there is Eurotunnel, and of course budget airlines. But the ferry still makes a great way to cross the English Channel. Onboard most ferries there are great opportunities to shop, relax or have a meal to avoid having to stop in France. […]

Preparing your car for driving in France

Checking that your car is ready for a long journey is always a good idea.  However, if you are planning to take your car across to France this year, there are a number of standard and special requirements you need adhere to. Firstly, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for tyre tread (don’t forget the spare!), tyre […]