If we were to do France with a 3 year old and a 9 month old, where would you recommend?

(33 Posts)
maldivemoment Thu 10-Jan-13 21:19:05

We usually holiday in the the UK and have had many brilliant holidays here but I think we need some sunshine this year!
I don't even know where to begin in terms of 'googling' and I can't face the prospect of spending HOURS online so if any of you can point me in the right direction, to get me started, I'd be most grateful.

Not really looking for a 'sit-by-the-pool' type holiday. Off the top of my head;

Ideally fairly close to airport
Campsite or self catering
Plenty to keep little ones amused
Nice beach
Close to village
Bike hire, that sort of thing
Access to pool

I'm sure I could go on and on but you get the idea.
If you can help, thank you sooooo much!

Portofino Fri 11-Jan-13 08:35:32

La Carabasse with Siblu? Walking distance to the beach, village, huge fun fair, mini golf, supermarket etc. Lovely pool complex, tiny tots club each day, playgrounds. You could cycle to Adge Cap D'Agde along the Canal to Midi, or do boat trips. Very close to Beziers airport.

Portofino Fri 11-Jan-13 08:36:46
ledkr Fri 11-Jan-13 08:45:24

French campsites are great for babies. Shallow pools baby bath rooms I love it. Beaches are amazing too.
Will you drive or fly?
We were heading south last summer but stopped in the Vendee as the weather was lovely.
We dove from Calais but found it a long way so this year we are going to get the ferry down further.

Bonsoir Fri 11-Jan-13 08:47:36

Ile de Ré, every time!

You can fly to La Rochelle and get a taxi transfer onto the island where there is plenty of mid-priced accommodation (lots of camping). There are bike paths all over the island and lots of lovely beaches and villages.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Fri 11-Jan-13 08:50:49

I have thought about that part of France before Bonsoir but is the weather reliable in summer?

katolla Fri 11-Jan-13 08:57:15

Bonsoir do you fly with a tent or rent a pre made one?

Bonsoir Fri 11-Jan-13 09:06:20

It isn't Saint-Tropez reliable, but it is the most reliable part of the Atlantic coast (better than Normandy, Brittany or the Biarritz area). We have had lovely weather there in July/August, and not as scorching for young fair skins as the south of France.

Bonsoir Fri 11-Jan-13 09:06:50

We don't camp - we live in France and we drive from Paris (5 hours) or take the train, and self-cater or stay in a hotel.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Fri 11-Jan-13 09:12:25

We were near Biarritz last summer and it was postively baking (45 degrees at one point). Thinking of near Carcassonne this year - thoughts? We always get a gite.

Bonsoir Fri 11-Jan-13 09:28:41

Thoughts on gîtes: most of them are overpriced! You can, funnily enough, often get better VFM in a hotel.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Fri 11-Jan-13 11:42:07

when I say "gite" I don't mean from gites de france or whatever it is. The last 2 summers we've used ownersdirect.com which is very good once you get over the nervousness involved in paying the money over to people you've never met! Chez Nous also seems to have good and reasonably priced properties.

Bonsoir Fri 11-Jan-13 11:46:10

Sure, gîtes just means a holiday rental.

I live in France and, tbh, we rarely rent properties for holidays - we mostly find that we get much better value for money in small (owner-run) hotels.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Fri 11-Jan-13 11:51:19

I like to self-cater, but then you have to remember that as I don't live in france the whole shopping, finding random stuff we don't get here and taking it home and cooking it is all part of the holiday fun...last year we stayed near the most lovely town which had the best markets, made british farmer's markets look like the overpriced slums they very often are. Also I like space and my own pool, if poss, and so do the DC.

ThatBintAgain Fri 11-Jan-13 11:54:12

We had a great holiday here . The kids loved the site and there was so much to do in the surrounding area.

Bonsoir Fri 11-Jan-13 11:57:37

Fair enough!

Lafaminute Fri 11-Jan-13 12:00:15

I'd say Campsites all the way with small kids - the pool is far enough away not to be a danger if you take your eyes off your kids for a minute, there are usually playgrounds and other kids to play with. I would aim for the coast near Bordeaux - with north or south of the Garonne. Better weather than further north but with an atlantic breeze (hopefully). We used to rent houses - VERY expensive option but as we went with my parents they would not entertain campsites. In the last few years we go to campsites and they would be my childrens first choice - and happy kids mean happy mum and dad.

maldivemoment Fri 11-Jan-13 22:22:14

Thank you so much. Plenty for me to go on...

One final question; 7 or 14 days?

Portofino Sat 12-Jan-13 10:12:44

Oh 14!

WildRumpus Sat 12-Jan-13 10:21:51

Bonsoir - happy to see your recommendation of Ile de Re. I've been eyeing it up as a holiday destination for years but never (yet) convinced DH.

Bonsoir Sat 12-Jan-13 13:39:51

What sort of accommodation are you looking for, WildRumpus?

LauraPashley Sat 12-Jan-13 17:35:16

Also marking place re Ile de Re. Camping Interlude gets very varied reviews but I'm wondering if the location itself would outweigh any negatives.

Bonsoir Sat 12-Jan-13 17:41:20

Ile de Ré campsites

We much prefer the far end of the island - Ars-en-Ré and then Loix are my favourite villages, and the whole West end of the island is quiet and pretty.

hifi Sat 12-Jan-13 18:03:43

whats the weather like at easter? ile de re that is

WildRumpus Sat 12-Jan-13 18:32:29

We usually prefer to self cater if its longer than a night or two - more flexibility for mealtimes etc

Lafaminute Sat 12-Jan-13 23:30:22

Sorry to butt in but we were recommended Ile de Re for the past several years. Having tried (and hated) the ile d'Oleron but loved the surrounding mainland we were reluctant to try Ile de Re. Last year we stayed in La Rochelle and cycled to the Ile de Re - cycled around the south east of the sland and then cycled back over the bridge. It made for a fantastic day out but I was left with the impression of a beautiful island but somewhat contrived - as in picture perfect just for all the tourists. Which is fine but I could not have stayed there for two whole weeks (or even one - I reckoned three days max. would have been sufficient) Each to their own of course but when I mentioned this to someone who had recommended the island to me they agreed and said 3 days was as much as they'd ever spent there!

Bonsoir Sun 13-Jan-13 09:24:52

A day trip to the Ile de Ré won't give you any impression at all. The whole point of Ile de Ré is to shop in the markets, buy your breakfast in the village, have the freedom to cycle to the beach and then back home without the whole family needing to be glued to one another.

LauraPashley Sun 13-Jan-13 18:56:13

Thank you for that site Bonsoir, it is doing a good job of distracting me from my work! I am shocked at the prices (booking eg a week's camping) from the UK. I am starting to get the impression it is quite an upmarket area, would that be fair to say? Low key obviously, but more affluent people being low key?!

Lafaminute why did you not like ile d'oleron?

katolla Sun 13-Jan-13 21:05:46

We used to stay at camping interlude (with eurocamp) when we were kids and we loved it. Never saw any of the island just went swimming every day and to the children's club. I think our parents got a lot of time away from us. That obviously wouldn't apply with a 3 year old and a baby though.

wearymum200 Sun 13-Jan-13 21:18:45

For the poster who was asking about nr Carcassonne, we stayed at domaine la castagne (Sorry, on phone, no links) last June. Cottage rental imo so much easier than hhotel with early to bed early to rise littl'uns. This place had little pool, trampoline ,play barn and big field for running off energy. We had a fantastic time and would def go again.
We drove from Calais, early morning shuttle and were there in time for supper.

NonnoMum Sun 13-Jan-13 21:45:52

Thanks for all these links to the campsites - they look great.

Can anyone recommend me somewhere (v v cheap) to stay if we broke up our journey down to South of France with a day or two in Disneyland Paris? Somewhere like a Formule 1 (or even a small independent place) that can cope with 5 of us in a room within a couple of hours drive of DLP?

TIA

LauraPashley Sun 13-Jan-13 22:35:00

Nonomum the keycamp etc brochures have a park 45 mins or so from DLP they do short term mobile home rentals I think?

NonnoMum Sun 13-Jan-13 22:37:31

Thank you!

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