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Take the Family › Great reasons to choose a Holiday Village in France for May Half Term or Summer Holidays

Great reasons to choose a Holiday Village in France for May Half Term or Summer Holidays

By TakeTheFamily
Horse riding at Holiday Village Normandy Garden.Horse riding at Holiday Village Normandy Garden.

Travelling by car means taking as many holiday toys (bikes, kayaks, games etc) as you like including the family pet! Plus it gives you the freedom to enjoy all the local activities and attractions under your own steam such as a historical theme park like Puy du Fou in the Vendée, a picnic on the secluded Calanque beaches in Provence, or joining in high octane adventures at ParcAventure in Normandy.

France remains a super popular holiday destination, partly for being so easy to reach, but more importantly for the vibrant cities, glamorous seaside resorts, relaxed rural retreats, stunning vineyards and, of course, the cuisine!

We’ve looked at the best destinations for a self-catering break and we think holiday villages offer the perfect solution for those travelling with active and social kids. They all offer fantastic flexibility, space, great value for money and a provide a perfect opportunity to meet other like minded families from all other Europe, the kids' and teen clubs are very multi-cultural. The villages are easy on the eye too, designed in harmony with the local region and often surrounded by excellent golf courses. And, as an added bonus, the May half-term week doesn’t coincide with any other nations’ school holidays – making this a great value week for a getaway.

The Opal Coast in Picardy, Northern France
Just a short hop from Calais, the historic region of Picardy has long inspired nature lovers with the tranquil beaches dunes and meadows of the Bay of Somme.  Explore on foot or by bike, canoe, boat or land yacht, and  don’t forget to look out for the  seal colonies and several rare species of bird in the Marquenterre nature reserve.

Stay: Pierre & Vacances Holiday Village Belle Dune. This is an eco-village with an indoor and outdoor water park and a range of great sporting options including tennis and horse-riding. Fort-Mahon and Quend beaches are nearby. Golfers will enjoy the links inspired 18-hole course that surrounds the village. The houses and apartments reflect a modern take on the Gothic architecture of the region.

Ardèche, Rhone Alpes, South of France
The stunning Gorges d’Ardeche is one of the largest natural canyons in Europe and is the perfect base for an active family who will enjoy the challenge of kayaking down this famous descent enjoying some truly dramatic scenery. The region also offers some great hiking and cycling and delightful villages to explore such as Vallon close the much photographed Pont d’Arc.

Stay: Pierre & Vacances Holiday Village Le Rouret. This is a perfect base for adrenaline-seeking families, the nearby adventure parc includes climbing, abseiling, zipwires, a monkey bridge and rope-bridge, plus motor sports including buggy-driving, quad-biking, go-karting, motorbikes and more.  The village itself boasts a fun water park and the traditional village architecture is very pleasing on the eye.

Vendée, Pays de la Loire, Atlantic Coast
There is over 160km of safe and sandy beaches on this coast and the islands to explore with only 20% granted development permission, this coupled with the mild climate has long made it a firm favourite with British visitors. Exploring the countryside by bike is a must with the largest cycling path network in France beautifully intertwined with canals. Culture lovers are in for treat from prehistoric times through the middle ages to Renaissance times with parcs, chateaux, gardens and historical monuments galore.

Stay: Pierre & Vacances Holiday Village Port Bourgenay. Perfect for the nautically-inclined, the village is set around a lake next to a marina and 1.5km from a fabulous beach for water sports including kayaking and surfing. On site, as well as a fabulous water park, sports include tennis, golf, football, volleyball and quadbiking. Make sure you try the local seafood specialities in the unusual Le Green restaurant in the Golf Course clubhouse.

Calvados, Normandy, Northern France
In easy reach of the Western Channel ports there are endless places to see in Normandy, including homes of the impressionists, infamous D-Day landing beaches, UNESCO sights such as Mont St Michel, the picturesque coastal resorts of Deauville and Honfleur as well as endless museums, art galleries and exhibitions reflecting the heritage of the area. Covering farm history, calvados, fossils, pre-historic Neanderthals, mining, fish, watches, ceramics to name a few and, of course the home of the Bayeaux Tapestry. Active families are spoilt for choice with cycling, hiking, golf, fishing, kayaking, sand yachting and horse riding being high on the agenda. After using all this adrenaline up, stock up on the local specialities incorporating a lot of cheese, milk, butter and, of course apples and cider!

Stay: Pierre & Vacances Holiday Village Normandy Garden. Set in 12 hectares of rolling rural landscapes this is the perfect base for a Normandy adventure, just 15km from Deauville. Designed around a traditional Norman village, kids will love the heated indoor and outdoor pools and water park whilst sports lovers can practice their tennis on the indoor court or join the basketball and football challenges. There is also an equestrian centre next door for horse riding enthusiasts.

Var Agay-Esterel, Provence, South of France
This national park is situated between Cannes and St Tropez and is just the perfect location to explore all the coastal delights of Mediterranean and the stunning scenery of the Esterel National Park which can be discovered on foot, bike or horseback. Take some time out to chill in of the glamorous nearby resorts of the Riviera including St Raphael and Port Grimaud. The coast offers endless water sports opportunities and a wide selection of beaches, but exploring inland is a delight too including the perched medieval villages Gassin, with its endless vineyard to choose the perfect rosé to accompany your Provencal gastronomic experience.

Stay: Pierre & Vacances Cap Esterel Holiday Village. This Provencal-style village is surrounded by a golf course, and overlooks the Mediterranean Sea, with endless sports and activities on site. The inland lake is home to the adventure parc with zipwire and rock climbing amongst the thrills on offer.  Younger kids and teenagers will love the 3 swimming pools and the water park with wave pool and slide, as well as their own zone to hang out in. The village centre has a large selection of bars, restaurants and shops and hosts entertainment every night.

Moliets, Gascony Aquitaine, Atlantic Coast South West France
Renowned for fragrant pine forests and kilometres of long sandy beaches this is deep in surfing country and learning to surf is a holiday ritual in this area. There is also so much more to explore too; there are few hills so cycling along the tree-lined paths is a treat, or meandering along the waterways and fishing for perch and carp. For some beach inspired retail therapy head along to Biarritz or St Jean de Luz. The cuisine of Aquitaine is legendary in France, being surrounded with the vineyards of Bordeaux, Atlantic seafood, the cheese from the Pyrenees, and duck and mushrooms contribute to many of the specialities here, not to mention the ham and chocolate from Bayonne.

Stay: Pierre & Vacances Moliets Holiday Village. Set in one of Europe's most beautiful golf courses this timber-framed Landes-themed holiday village offers tennis, 4 swimming and paddling pools, a surf school and plenty of sports including volleyball and football. There is a wide selection of spacious apartments, houses and villas to choose from.

Find out more about Pierre & Vacances self-catering holiday villages

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