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Ardeche or French Alps with younger kids

(12 Posts)
Dereksmalls Mon 15-Apr-13 23:00:53

DCs will be aged 7 and 4, DC2 liable to protest if made to walk "too far" (ie if gets bored). What do you think is the better option? Would be end of July.

Dereksmalls Tue 16-Apr-13 15:18:34


PetiteRaleuse Tue 16-Apr-13 15:23:49

Depends what you want to do on holiday? Both areas are beautiful and great for walking. Although the Alps do have a lot to do they tend to be winter focussed - quite a lot of businesses close in July and/or August.

My personal preference would be Ardeche, though it can get very hot there in the summer.

Dereksmalls Tue 16-Apr-13 21:16:52

Thanks, I'll pay more attention to temps. I thought it would be high but not too high so that is a concern - DCs have blue Scottish skin so them frying is a worry!

PetiteRaleuse Wed 17-Apr-13 13:27:19

Nothing a decent hat and sun cream won't protect you from, but if, like me, you don't like heat then it could be tough. I went on a walking holiday there once in May and it was torture. That said the Alps can be pretty warm too but somehow it isn't as stifling or desert like.

PetiteRaleuse Wed 17-Apr-13 13:28:00

The Gorges du Tarn in the Ardeche is beautiful by the way.

majormoo Mon 22-Apr-13 20:13:31

we had a great week in Ardeche with our kids who last year were 8, 5, 3 and 1. We didn't do loads-picnics, drives, river beach, ice creams, general exploring. We also spent a couple of days just around our campsite. The weather was hot at first (late Aug)-mid 30s, then we had a mad thunderstorm and it was cooler. It is a beautiful region. I did think it would be good to go back when ours are older and canoe, all cycle independently etc

Hattsmum Mon 22-Apr-13 20:18:33

Where did you stay Majormoo? That sounds exactly the kind of holiday that we would like to do with dc (12 and 9)

Startail Mon 22-Apr-13 20:21:36

Beach, pool they will hate you. Alps all walking, ardeche beautiful, but very hot. I canoed down it at 19, loved it, but with a 4 year old.

stringbean Mon 22-Apr-13 22:38:06

There's a lot to do in the Ardeche - it's a beautiful area - but the traffic can be a bit of a mare on the main road along the river. The weather can also be hot. We were about half an hour south of there last year, camping, and had temps of nearly 40 deg C. The campsite had a lovely pool (well, two, one inside) so we were happy to spend some time there, but equally we visited river beaches, villages and local markets, 'Go Ape' style tree-top adventure, local caves. Canoeing is not recommended for children under about 7 or 8 on the Ardeche - my dd couldn't have managed it, but ds - 11 - loved it, but capsized a few times! - but there are other rivers that are more gentle (eg. the Ceze).

My experience of camping in the Alps was pre-dc when we used to do a lot of walking. We had a great time, but the weather was far more unpredictable. What about somewhere like Annecy? It's not so far into the mountains, but still a lot in the area to see and do and weather may be more consistent.

stringbean Tue 23-Apr-13 17:53:49

Hattsmum - we stayed here

Fab location and lots to do, but a bit of a trek - our dcs are same age as yours but they're used to it now. The upper part of the site is def the best bit, but means that on the evenings there's a disco or karaoke (one evening/week each last year) you get the noise. Stops at 11 on the nose though.

Hattsmum Tue 23-Apr-13 19:03:16

Thank you - that does look fab!

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