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Take the Family › 17 Sensational Self-Catering Properties for Family Holidays in France

17 Sensational Self-Catering Properties for Family Holidays in France

The stilted cabins at the Domaine du Val in the Somme © Domaine du Val.The stilted cabins at the Domaine du Val in the Somme © Domaine du Val.

France remains a perennial favourite for family holidays – close at hand and easy and relatively inexpensive to reach, with fantastic food, scenery and beaches.

Another big plus is its huge choice of self-catering properties, from luxurious villas to rustic gîtes. They're especially suitable for those travelling with younger kids, allowing you to save on restaurant bills and take advantage of all those wonderful French markets. Here are some of our favourites around the country:

PICARDY

Domaine du Val

Guests at this intimate resort of wooden stilted cabins can eat produce from the veg garden, visit the beehive and play football in the pastures, as well as enjoy the use of the indoor pool. But you’re also only a few minutes’ drive from the gorgeous Baie de Somme with its seal-spotting, seal-kayaking and steam-train rides.

NORMANDY

Center Parcs Les Bois Francs

While most of us know what to expect with Center Parcs both in the UK or in Europe, each has its own unique offerings. This one just two hours from Caen ferry port stands out for its 9-hole golf course and academy with lovely castle views, as well as for its new-in-2016 pony holidays whereby kids get to stay near the riding stables and care for the same pony over the course of their stay.

BRITTANY

Cottages in Brittany

Whether coastal or inland, cottages.com’s vast choice of self-catering family holiday properties in one of France’s most popular regions with kids range from traditional farmhouses to contemporary cottages, many with swimming pools. Sign up to our newsletter for details of special discounts. Or check out their cottages in Normandy or cottages in France.

Eurocamp Les Ormes

Everything from budget-friendly tents with kitchens to treehouses (with kitchens in a separate tent on the ground) make this holiday park in 400 acres of wooded parkland popular with families. There’s also a lake, indoor and outdoor pools, an 18-hole golf course and riding stables.

Pierre & Vacances Port du Crouesty Holiday Village

By the hugely scenic Golfe du Morbihan on Brittany's Atlantic coast, this holiday resort is 300 metres from a beach with a sailing club. On-site you'll find pools, kids' clubs and apartments for a wide range of budgets.

POITOU-CHARENTES

La Grange du Moulin

These cosy, rustic gîtes with a toddlers' pool and a large enclosed garden with a sandpit and plenty of toys are just an hour's drive from the Atlantic beaches and from the airport at La Rochelle. Other draws are a mini-crèche for children up to age two and a babysitting service – plus regular exclusive offers for our readers.

AQUITAINE

Cottages in Dordogne

A pretty gîte of your own can be one of the best ways of exploring this lovely region, and with Cottages.com you can tailor your choice to your needs – especially handy if you are travelling with babies or toddlers. And our newsletter subscribers get special discounts.

Summer France Moliets Villas and Apartments

Ranging from apartments in a residence on a golf course to premium villas with private pools, this impressive option has a shared pool complex and a brilliant location for active families, with surfing, cycling, an adventure park, tennis and endless golden beaches at hand.

LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON

Imagine Roussilllon

This luxury mini-resort handy for the beaches includes a complimentary kids’ club, a heated outdoor pool, a Pilates studio and a massage room, PLUS up to two nights' inclusive babysitting in some seasons. Accommodation is in villas and apartments sleeping four to eight.

Château St Pierre de Serjac

This fabulous resort embraces an outdoor pool, a luxury spa, a kids’ club, boules and tennis courts, and bikes for exploring the local countryside and typical French villages. There are hotel rooms, but families will fight over the holiday houses, some sleeping eight and many with a private pool and garden.

Château les Carrasses

Chic yet relaxed, this splendid luxury resort nestled amidst vineyards also offers both self-catering and hotel accommodation plus fantastic facilities and services for families: a heated outdoor pool, tennis and boules courts, bike loan, and a kids’ club in July and August. Many of the apartments or villas have their own outdoor pool and terrace or garden area, plus a BBQ and alfresco dining area.

Country Kids

A superb option in the Hérault close to Montpellier, this delightful place takes entertaining children very seriously but also knows that parents need little treats too – the accommodation is five-star and the list of facilities and activities is impressive, including a crèche, a petting farm, two nights’ babysitting, catered meals, massages and yoga.

Can Llouquette

This converted two-bedroom fruit farm with its 4.5 hectares to explore in the gorgeous Pyrénées Orientales is a simple, beautiful place, close enough to the coast yet miles away from everywhere else – a place to keep the kids happy (there are donkeys and a swimming pool) while you lie back and admire the mountains.

SOUTH OF FRANCE

Mas du Grand Champeau

This luminous, luxurious five-bedroom farmhouse in the Luberon offers a stylish and peaceful family escape just 30 minutes from both Marseille airport and Avignon TGV station. The outdoor pool, hot tub and pétanque court provide lots of scope for outdoor fun, and there’s a summer kitchen for alfresco dining. Inside, a stunning mezzanine games room invites you to gather for games or pool and table football, and there’s a sauna to relax in afterwards.

Résidence La Vallée de la Sainte Baume

Within easy reach of Marseille and Aix en Provence, this villa complex of 35 villas is right beside the lovely 18-hole golf course at Nans les Pins and offers green fee discounts. Many of the pretty blue-shuttered villas have private pools and all have gardens, and there’s a shared outdoor pool, a tennis court, table tennis, a pétanque court and bike hire.

FRENCH ALPS

Summer France Résidence Les Terrasses de Veret

Close to the slopes and beside a ski school, these self-catering apartments for 4–10 are ideally located for family ski holidays in Flaine – the winner of our Best Ever Family Ski Resort award with over-sevens. The indoor pool is great with kids, while parents appreciate the sauna and outdoor hot tub. Flaine is also worth considering for its short transfer time (just over an hour) from Geneva airport.

Pierre & Vacances Premium Residence L'Amara

These five-star ski apartments in family-friendly, car-free Avoriaz please kids and adults alike with their indoor pool and lovely spa. Kids’ club places and ski school in the resort can be booked, while apartments sleeping up to 12 make this great for holidays with other friends or grandparents.

Read also our features on unusual places to stay with kids in France, best treehouses, glamping and unusual camping sites in northern France, and green places to stay in France with kids

By Rhonda Carrier

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