France is a great destination for any kind of family. Whatever interests you have as individuals or as a collective, you’ll find ways to match those interests on a holiday in France. And as it’s only a short ferry crossing on the other side of the Channel – and even quicker with a Chunnel crossing – you can go for just a few days if that’s all the time you have available.
The great outdoors and sport
If your family loves camping, there’s no better place to go than France. As well as all the private campsites in touristy areas that have amazing facilities for sports, great swimming pools and entertainment and activities for kids of all ages, almost every town in France will also have a ‘camping municipal’. These are campsites run by the local communes and though they won’t always have the extra facilities, they are always well-maintained and are often located just on the outskirts of a town so you can walk or cycle into it easily.
A great choice for an outdoor activity holiday would be to visit the Verdon Gorge – where an emerald green river runs through a sheer gorge in the Alpes de Haute Provence. Here you can take part in lots of water sports on the river and other pursuits such as canyoning, abseiling and climbing on the walls of the Gorge itself. It’s a great place for an adrenaline-filled holiday.
The biggest annual sporting event in France is the Tour de France and you could easily plan a holiday that takes in some of the routes. The route changes each year, but covers a lot of the country and always includes some spectacular climbing races, as well as the sprint sections. Coming up in 2016 there’s also the UEFA Championship, otherwise known as Euro 2016, and this will be hosted by France. The tournament takes place every four years and Euro 2016 will be the next big international football event to follow this year’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Many footie fans who couldn’t afford a trip to Brazil will be making a journey to France instead. Anyone interested in football betting will probably be aware that the Euro qualifiers are being played this autumn, to whittle 53 nations down to 23 to join host nation France for the finals in June and July 2016. So far, the England team have had a surprise success against Switzerland, so things are looking good for England making it through to the finals. If football’s a big thing in your family, you could combine the two pleasures of football and travel into one trip to France.
Art and culture
It’s difficult to know where, to begin with, the cultural opportunities in France – there are just too many of them. Visit the chateaux of the Loire region, see beautiful cathedrals in almost any city you care to think of – Reims, Rouen, Strasbourg, Chartres, and Paris to name but a few. And Paris itself is an epicentre of things cultural – from the churches such as Montmartre and Notre Dame cathedral, through to museums such as Le Louvre and the Pompidou Centre, as well as more off-beat attractions such as the Parisian Catacombs and the Sewers of Paris – source of inspiration for Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables.
Of course, these are just a few examples of what France holds for the visitor. It’s a country that one could return to again and again, year after year, and never run out of things to do and see. It’s no wonder that so many people love going to la belle France.