France is the perennial favorite for those wishing to holiday with the family and for good reason too. The country strives to portray a heady mix of crowd-free landscapes, fine food and drink, and an altogether relaxed outlook. It appeals to adults and children alike. The best activity destinations are those that deep dive into the French cultural hotspots, while never missing an opportunity to slow things down.
France is huge and jam-packed with so many kid-friendly activities and attractions you won’t know where to begin. So check out these five top family active holidays in France, for an enriching and enjoyable experience. After all, this world-class getaway is a paradise for families. Especially, those who love being outdoors and not just confined themselves to the treasures hanging on the walls of the Louvre Museum.
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Ardeche River Adventure, South France
No activity-based family holiday trip to France can be deemed complete without taking the world-famous canoe trip down the Ardeche River. Also referred to as the “Grand Canyon” of Europe due to the tall 300m high gorges of limestone. This canoe excursion is said to be the best river trip to be experienced anywhere.
This magical two-day river journey can be undertaken with the guidance of a well-qualified team of experts. They will provide instructions on how to paddle and lead the family all the way down the 26km stretch.
Other adventurous activities in Ardeche include rope making and raft building for the kids. Therefore, a visit to places such as Vallon, Aubenas, and Ruoms apart from the famous Orgnac Caves is a must.
In addition, those looking for tranquility and peace should however avoid the peak season months of July and August. A designated Nature Reserve, the Ardeche gorges are well marked and ideal for rambling. A marvelous way for the whole family to enjoy the natural beauty of Ardeche.
Family Adventure in the French Alps
This Alps family adventure holiday is all about reconnecting with nature and bonding with the kids and ourselves. This is where you leave all your gadgets at home, shun technology in order to be with nature, and enjoy time with your loved ones.
Moreover, skiing and snowboarding are a great novelty. So, to enjoy the best of the conditions you will need to visit the larger glaciers. This is where Tignes, Les 2 Alpes, and Val d’Isere have large runs open right from June to August.
To pack more fun into your day, you can try out a resort-based activity after enjoying your morning skiing lesson. Some of the things the family can try their hands at are tennis, paddle boarding, mountain biking, rafting, archery, etc. However, you can just laze in the sunshine.
The trip caters to children from babies and up to 17year olds. It is all about a community where both the adults and children are good friends.
Corsica Walking Holiday
From hardcore hikers to casual ramblers, Corsica is a paradise for walkers. This diminutive mass of land jutting up from the Mediterranean may seem small, but what lacks in size it makes up with its magical villages and vibrant coastal cities.
The landscape here is varied, and so are the activities. For history buffs, there are a plethora of castles and museums to explore. For the activity crazy family, there are the island’s numerous walking trails, of which the GR20 is said to be the world’s longest and toughest.
You can opt for a guided trip based in the central village of Bocognano for a week. A quaint mountain railway operates from this place and connects to some of the best walking routes on the island. The journey traverses mountain passes, lush meadows, thermal rock pools right from the central highlands to the ocean.
All accommodation is in family-run hotels and includes five days of walking on good roads, with some steep sections, and includes a day of rest on the beaches of Ajaccio or exploring the charming cobbled streets of Corte.
Winter Holiday in Chamonix
If you are looking for a memorable ski trip with the family, the pretty Chamonix valley has got pretty much all the ingredients to make it happen. You will be housed with other like-minded families in charming ski-in and ski-out outdoor centers located in the Chamonix Valley.
Every family will have their own dormitory accommodation with all ensuite facilities. Activities include daily yoga sessions, cinema, children’s entertainment. Outdoor fun includes a trip to the glacier and ice cave with a ride on the highest cable car in Europe. All this will be an important inclusion of your ski pass.
The ski-in and ski-out area outside your dormitory is just right for young children, beginners, and intermediates. You will find the skiing at Vallorcine and La Blame very extensive and fabulous. All ski materials including cross country equipment and snowshoes are available on hire at the Outdoor Centre.
While the children enjoy their time with other kids at the Outdoor Centre with picnics, crafts, and games, the parents can utilize these extra hours skiing. Kids up to 18 are welcome, although ages 6-16 are recommended.
Guided Walking in the French Alps
A guided walking holiday in the Savoie region of France takes the family on a week-long excursion through the hiking havens of this fantastic region. You will be housed in a chalet in the mountain village of Samoens, surrounded by scores of scenic walking paths through alpine environments in the company of an expert guide.
As you walk at a leisurely pace, your expert will educate the family about the local wildlife of the area which is known to them like the back of their hand. The Haut Giffre Valley, where you will be doing the major walking, has well-marked trails with no large ascents.
The walk is slow, with plenty of rest stops for the kids, and affords time to enjoy the tranquility of the mountains gradually, rather than just rushing from one place to another. There is a free day to rest and explore Samoens at leisure or take part in the many mountain activities on offer such as mountain biking, river rafting, etc.
Samoens makes for a perfect family holiday destination in the stunning backdrop of the French Alps. Needless to say, the joys of such a walking holiday with the whole family while exploring the eclectic French landscape and enjoying the regional cuisine are indeed a lifetime experience.
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