For generations France has been the chosen destination for family summer holidays and today it is still a first class choice. With beautiful country, historical attractions, and amazing cuisine, itís easy to see why holidays in France are so popular.
France offers so many variations on a theme. The short hop across the Channel to Normandy is the perfect pick-me-up weekend getaway for a fix of France at any time of the year and the long stretch of Atlantic coastline reaching down from Brittany to Biarritz is a favourite with families looking for sandy beaches and safe swimming for their family holidays in France. Perhaps you will choose the chic and glitzy Mediterranean coastline of the CŰte díAzur or the Languedoc beaches at Cap díAgde and Collioure on the way down to Spain for those hot summer holidays in France. For nature lovers the vast hinterland regions offer culture, history and amazing outdoor spaces for cycling, walking canoeing or any number of other pursuits for all the family. Of course you donít have to be active when on your holidays in France, indeed the very laid back pace of French life encourages long lazy breakfasts, followed by restful lunches extending into the mid-afternoon, followed by dinner in a small auberge or elegant restaurant. Thatís the beauty of France - there is just so much for everyone when choosing to take your holidays in France!
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Here is a quick whistle stop tour to whet your appetite for some of the most popular regions where we can offer first class villas with pools, apartments and cottages.
For many of us, our first childhood memories of holidays in France are of the sandy beaches, rocky coves and wild headlands of Brittany. Long a favourite with British visitors, Brittany is proud of its culture and likes to consider itself independent from the rest of France. In many ways the region closely resembles its Celtic cousin, Cornwall. There's a familiar ring to place names and the landscape is dotted with the traditional white cottages Brittany is famous for; seafood is always on the menu and there are also the glorious beaches to enjoy.
Holidays in France can teach us a great deal about our own history, nowhere more so than in Normandy. Its history of power and influence is reflected in the rich Norman landscape. The region's buildings - half-timbered houses, grand abbeys and towering cathedrals - speak of the wealth which built them, while its fields flow with milk and honey. Normandy offers the chance to enjoy the best of the coast and countryside. Its coastline is world famous and the beaches have played their part in history. From the wide expanses of Mont St Michel Bay with its impressive island abbey to the pretty Cotentin port of Barfleur where a boat was built which carried Duke William on his voyage to victory over England in 1066. Nine hundred years later, Normandy beaches witnessed the D-Day landings, when Allied troops set out to liberate France and end the Second World War. No visit would be complete without viewing what survives of these ventures; the Bayeux tapestry, war museums at Bayeux, Caen, St-Mere-Eglise, Avranches and Cherbourg and the war cemeteries. Head inland to explore the lush landscape of dairy herds and apple orchards where cattle graze the meadows to produce the creamy cheeses and butter for which Normandy is famous, while innumerable bees busy themselves pollinating the fruits which make cider and the apple brandy, Calvados, after which this region takes its name.
When it comes to summer holidays in France, Aquitaine has some of the finest and emptiest beaches. Stretching from Bordeaux to the Basque country it is truly a treasure trove with something to offer everyone. While surfers seek their thrills in the Atlantic rollers of its long sandy beaches, wine buffs find their pleasure in cool chateaux 'caves'. The great coastal lagoon of the Bassin d'Arcachon provides sanctuary for wild birds while inland, the immense pine forest of the Landes houses both a thriving timber industry and regional nature reserve. To the south, the lush foothills of the Pyrenees Atlantique beckon. With a mix of gentle and more challenging routes, these have become a popular destination for walkers in recent years, with paths well waymarked.
No matter how many holidays in France you have taken, a glimpse of the Mediterranean is always magical. Who could resist dipping a toe in those sparkling blue waters, which lend their name to this dramatic stretch of coastline between Hyeres in the west and lovely Menton in the east? Renowned for its beauty and climate, the Riviera has inspired many artists and its popularity with the British has grown ever since Queen Victoria patronised its shores in the19th century. Then, most of the coastal communities would have been engaged in fishing. Today, many have become chic resorts, bristling with yachts at anchor and luxury villas, acquiring reputations as celebrity playgrounds. Inland in a sun-baked landscape, the gnarled olive tree thrives and has come to symbolise Provence. Take time to savour all the charms of the place; the gentle murmur of a fountain in a shaded square; aromatic fields of lavender; breathtaking views of villages perched dramatically on a hillside and the taste of rich olive oil in a bistroís Ďplat du jourí.
A popular destination for sun-soaked holidays in France, the Languedoc offers the chance to enjoy the best of the coast and inland. A tour of this region reads like a wine list - Cotes du Roussillon, Aude, Herault, Pays du Gard . . . evidence that, for hundreds of years, man has scratched a living from its rocky soils. This is a land of contrasts where the gentle, sandy coastline stretching from the Pyrenees to the Rhone mouth is backed by a rugged interior. The arid beauty of the landscape belies an unforgiving past. Until their brutal extinction, the Cathars took refuge in fortresses protected by the inaccessible terrain.