Posts Tagged ‘Family friendly France’
If your kids have been inspired to get active this summer by watching team GB’s triumphs at the Olympics, you can road-test their enthusiasm for multiple sports at Pierre et Vacances Holiday Villages.
Holidays at Pierre et Vacances car-free resorts open up a world of activities, with many included in your booking price – meaning your little ones can sample all manner of sporting fun and find the event or activity they enjoy best, before committing to expensive lessons or equipment.
Tennis – Lessons for children aged 5 up as well as adults are offered on the Pierre & Vacances Holiday Village courts for budding tennis champions. And since sing pong or ‘whiff whaff’ has come home, according to Mayor Boris Johnson, table tennis is also available for those who enjoy the more diminutive game.
Swimming – Not just pools but water parks galore available for children of all ages from water babies to competitive juniors perfecting their freestyle.
Biking – Cycling in the French countryside is the perfect way to enjoy the scenery. Your aspiring Bradley Wigginses can stage their very own Tour de France with cycle hire available at all of Pierre & Vacances’ Holiday Villages.
Sailing – Another activity at which we Brits excel, sailing (plus kayaking and windsurfing) is available at Holiday Villages in coastal regions. If the children are not quite ready to take to the water, they can even try their hand at sand yachting on-site.
Volleyball – With beach volleyball teams set to get the nation’s pulses racing this summer, kids can hone their skills at any of the Pierre & Vacances Holiday Villages. Other available team sports in resorts include football and basketball.
Trapeze & Circus Skills – Not everyone is interested in competitive sports; creative kids can also join in the active fun with flying trapeze lessons, juggling and other circus skills.
Pierre & Vacances’ 15 Holiday Villages are located throughout the most popular beauty spots in France, Spain and the French Antilles. For further information or to book, visit pierreetvacances.com/gb-en or call 0870 0267 144
There’s still time to snap up the last few apartments in Pierre & Vacances Holiday Villages for Summer 2012. Deals can be found from just €86 (around £67) per person per week.
If you’re a diehard fan of our blog you might be keenly anticipating Nick’s annual write up about his family holiday to one of our Pierre & Vacances Holiday Villages in France. Well, it’s here!
Not a diehard fan of this blog? You will be! And then why not try a visit to Pierre & Vacances’ Normandy Garden holiday village in France yourself – and see why Nick and his family loved it!
We decided on Normandy Garden as we wanted a June half-term break to France, not far from Calais, but with lots to do inside as the weather forecast was rubbish. Normandy Garden sells itself as an all-weather holiday park. So Normandy Garden it was.
A ferry to France
Our littles ones, aged 5 and 3, still love the ferry, so we booked a return ferry crossing with DFDS Seaways who have just started running crossings with LD Lines ships on the Dover-Calais route. Though we were late (again!) DFDS very kindly found us a place on the next boat and the journey was excellent. The kids loved the soft play area and we had a bite to eat from the cafe which offers hearty French and English cuisine at a reasonable price.
From Calais the journey to Normandy Garden is relatively straightforward, and between 2.5 and 3 hours with only a few small toll charges to pay. We all got very excited about the breathtaking journey over the Pont de Normandie bridge.
Normandy Garden Holiday Village Review
When we arrived at Normandy Garden the staff were very welcome and checking in was very quick. Fortunately the mini-market is right next to reception so we were able to grab a few essentials before heading to our house. We had reserved one of their new two bedroom VIP houses. It was lovely.
Both modern and stylish with a bit of Normandy charm thrown in. We particularly loved the spacious modern shower room and the special touches like the DVD player and the Senseo coffee machine (no mess!). Plus there were lovely views of the villages from our terrace.
If the kids had their way we wouldn’t have left the village. Number one on the daily list was the heated swimming pool ‘aqua’ complex with large central pool, lazy river, a choice of hot tubs, a great paddling area for little ones, and two outdoor pools with sunbathing area.
Number two was the hugh indoor playarea – perfect for the Normandy weather. Also in the village is a football pitch, tennis courts, table tennis, outdoor play area, crazy golf and a petanque terrain. You can hire bikes and horse riding is nearby.
Our youngest wanted to try the children’s club so we booked them both in for a session with three other English girls and they had a lovely time. We didn’t eat in the restaurant this time but there is a fab takeaway service where you can order pizza, roast chicken or kids meals and take them back to the apartment.
Things to do with the kids in Normandy
When we did manage to get them out and about in Normandy we enjoyed Trouville and Deauville. We found the Trouville beach to have more for the children to do, including an aquarium which unfortunately was closed for lunch when we tried to get in. The nearest resort to Normandy Garden is Villiers Sur Mer which is a lovely little resort with a choice of restaurants and ice cream stalls.
We also spoke to other families in the village with older children who had made the most of visits to Normandy Landing beaches, D-Day events and nearby Bayeaux. Which all seemed to go down very well with the kids and the adults!
Book Normandy Garden online or by calling 0870 0267 145.
Pierre & Vacances is offering up to 40 per cent off its range of self-catering accommodation all over France and Spain booked before 2 July 2012.
From Seaside holidays and mountain escapes to city breaks and short breaks to the sun, the offer includes a wide selection of dates including the school holidays, and also features the popular family-friendly Holiday Villages in a range of sunny locations: Belle Dune, Cap Esterel, Port-Bourgenay and Port du Crouesty.
So whether you want a fun family break to beautiful Brittany, to explore the sparkling seas of the South of France with a self-catering base or enjoy the sun in the Spanish Costa Del Sol, there’s a holiday deal for you!
The snow arrived in the nick of time for 2012, but with the dozens of options available, how do you choose which French ski resort to spend your hard earned pennies on this season?
In an attempt to match you up to a resort that you will love, channelling Cilla Black from her Blind Date heydays, we’ve put together three compelling reasons to pick our selection of cool contenders…
Alpe d’Huez – There’s no chance of getting bored in this traditional, historic and lively resort…
- Airboarding – A new(ish) snow sport has arrived en piste. This time on an inflatable grooved sled-like cushion. Airboarding allows you to hurtle down the mountainside head first while lying stomach-down on the board. This, of course, poses a slight hazard to fellow skiers so Alpe d’Huez hosts Airboarding and ‘snow toys’ sessions at the Poutran lift every Friday between 10am and 4.45pm.
- Alpe d’Huez Ice cave – Whimsical ice sculptures are carved annually in this cave gallery at 2,700 m. The Alpe d’Huez ice cave was dug into the snow by two high mountain guides, Bruno Gardent and Bernard Lambolez. It is accessible via the Grandes Rousses DMC lift. This year’s themes are ‘The Garden’ and ‘Biodiversity’.
- The world’s longest ski run – At 16 kms and with a vertical drop of 1,820, Sarenne is the world’s longest ski run. Once a month during the ski season you can even ski Sarenne by moonlight after a meal atop the Sarenne Glacier.
Where to stay in Alpe d’Huez:
Pierre & Vacances Residence L’Ours Blanc – The recently refurbished Pierre & Vacances L’Ours Blanc residence is located in the centre of the resort. The pretty wood-decorated building has superb views over the valley of the Massif de l’Oisans providing direct access to ski lifts and the Olympic skating rink.
Pierre & Vacances Residence Les Bergers – Less than 100 m from the ski lifts each apartment features a balcony with views over the resort on one side and the Ecrins mountain range on the other. Facilities include a swimming pool and heated relaxation room, sauna and a restaurant.
Val d’Isère – One of the original ski resorts and still one of the best. Challenging skiing with superb nightlife.
- It’s high up! It’s a no-brainer really, if you’re after lovely fresh white powder, choose a resort that’s at high altitude – it’s colder up there and there’s more chance of snow. Val d’Isère’s position offers skiing from 1550m-3470m, that’s the height of more than ten Eiffel towers stacked on top of one another.
- Olympics standard slopes – The location of the 1993 Olympics men’s downhill race, Val d’Isère provides immediate access to 300 kms of groomed slopes in the Espace Killy ski area, with further opportunities to ski in first class off piste powder AND in neighbouring Paradiski and Three Valleys systems. There’s enough here to challenge even the most experienced skier.
- Dick’s Tea Bar – It’s legendary for après ski partying attracting big name DJs, and its Val d’Isère premises have just re-opened for the season with a makeover.
Where to stay in Val d’Isère:
Pierre & Vacances Residence Les Chalets de Solaise – Self catered apartments with access to the outdoor heated swimming pool and wellness area and located at the heart of Val d’Isère.
Pierre & Vacances Residence Les Balcons de Bellevarde – Typical of the Val d’Isere region with its pretty wooden and stone-clad front, ski apartments facing the slopes and balconies for all-day sunshine.
Belle Plagne – another action packed resort, in fact, if skiing is not your thing you can pack in a week’s worth of snowy fun without ever strapping on a pair of skis!
- Adrenaline activities – The bob experience: an exhilarating 19 bends worth of Olympic bobsleigh run, a giant zip slide high wire, an outdoor ice climbing tower, access to four free-style snow parks and snow quad biking. Yo name but a few…
- Child friendly – With snow kindergartens, a sledging track and crèche facilities – there’s plenty to occupy the little ones in Belle Plagne while you get on with some serious adrenaline sports.
- Keep on trekking – Glacial snow shoe treks, husky teams along with some superb cross country skiing opportunities will help you to explore the region and take in its beauty at a slower pace.
Where to stay in Belle Plagne:
Pierre & Vacances Residence Les Nereides – Located in the heart of the ‘Paradiski’ domain, with easy access to the slopes from the residence. These self catered ski apartments have recently been fully refurbished.
Pierre & Vacances Residence Residence Les Constellations – Situated directly on the slope, the wooden and stone chalets blend into the snowy backdrop in this peaceful setting.
Flaine – A stylised modernist French mountain resort and the perfect choice for those with young families and ski beginners.
- Paradise for beginners and kids – Flaine’s wide snowy boulevards are perfect for beginners and those with less skiing experience and there’s plenty of free activities and family focused fun on offer too. Excellent ski schools are also available for anyone who is slightly less confident on two skis, and there’s even a week dedicated to children from 4-13 April 2012.
- Free lifts – No need for lift passes so you can ski for free!
- Modernist architecture and art – It’s not to everyone’s taste but if you have a penchant for Bauhaus, architect Marcel Breuer’s buildings won’t disappoint. And there’s plenty of art to see too including a sculpture park containing works by Jean Dubuffet, Pablo Picasso and Victor Vasarely. The cultural centre, Art de Flaine, also hosts exhibitions of contemporary art.
Where to stay in Flaine:
Pierre & Vacances Residence La Foret – A residence with easy access to slopes and in the heart of the resort.
Pierre & Vacances Premium Residence Les Terrasses d’Eos – Stone and timber chalets, lit by large bay windows with a warm and elegant interior finish and nestled in a spruce forest.
This October we’re making family half term affordable for those after some last minute rays, with up to 20 per cent off self catering Pierre & Vacances accommodation in the south of France and Spain. Our family friendly accommodation along the Mediterranean coastline all have access to swimming pools and a range of activities, with prices starting from just £7 per person per night!
This half term families can take advantage of the free kids clubs offered at Pierre & Vacances’ Resorts, the clubs are available for three to 18 year olds and provide a range of activities for all ages, such as sports tournaments and handicrafts. Our resorts also organise day excursions to local towns and markets, plus activities such as whale and dolphin watching boat trips in Spain.
Below are a number of discounted Pierre & Vacances family accommodation. All the examples are for week long stays from 22- 29 October. Enquiries and bookings can be made here or by ringing 0870 0267 145.
Pierre & Vacances Village Cap Esterel, South of France
A two bedroom sea view apartment sleeping up to seven people for a week’s holiday is reduced by 20 per cent to £695- that’s £14 per person per night.
The 210-hectare resort overlooks the Mediterranean and is perched on a red rock hillside. The resort is surrounded by a golf course and gardens and is just 30 minutes away from the white sandy beaches of Cannes. Facilities include three large swimming pools with wave machines, two children’s pools, a small farm, tennis courts and bicycle hire. Kid’s clubs are available.
And for a taste of what Cap Esterel has to offer, see a real family’s holiday diary here.
Pierre & Vacances’ Residence Bonavista de Bonmont, Catalonia
A two bedroom apartment sleeping up to seven people for a week’s holiday is reduced by 20 per cent to £346- that’s £7 per person per night.
Bonmont lies on Catalonia’s coastline and backs onto the prestigious Bonmont golf course and the famous vineyards of Priorat. Guests can enjoy the aquatic centre which has a heated swimming pool, relaxing jets, a hydro-massage mattress and Jacuzzi. There are special rates for all guests at the nearby golf course and those with adventure in mind can go quad biking or go carting. And for a cultural day drip, Barcelona is an hour and a half away.
Or for a holiday in the countryside …
Pierre & Vacances Village Le Rouret, Ardèche
A one bedroom apartment sleeping up to four people for a week’s holiday is reduced by 20 per cent to £364- that’s £13 per person per night.
Village Le Rouret is a 100-acre multi-activity resort, ideal for family holidays. Set in the Ardèche region with views over the valleys, the village has an aqua area with fountains, water rapids, a rubber ring river and a swimming pool, tennis courts, multi-sports courts, a mountain bike path, sauna and Jacuzzi. Offered nearby is canoeing, canyonning, paragliding, quad biking and go karting. Kid’s clubs are available.
Find out more about family activities to try in the Ardèche region here.