France is a big place, it’s twice the size of the UK and is Europe’s second largest country. While the French capital of Paris is popular with families, it’s also very commercialized, not to mention expensive. If you want to take the kids to France, but aren’t keen on Paris, the South of France could be the perfect place.
When you think of the South of France, you most probably picture the busy beaches of St Tropez and Cannes, the fancy wine bars, and posh hotels. Don’t let this image put you off, as there is so much more to the south of this country than meets the eye. With white sandy beaches, two mountain ranges, and medieval villages, the South of France is the ideal place for a family holiday.
If the idea of taking a trip to the South of France with your little ones appeals to you, you are in the right place. To help ensure that you have the most fantastic trip, I have put together a guide with all the best South of France holiday information:
Don’t stay in a hotel
When it comes to traveling with kids, staying in a hotel isn’t always the best option. This is especially true if you are going to be away for longer than a couple of days.
I often find that staying in self-catered accommodation, like holiday cottages and villas works out better. Not only is it cheaper, but it also gives up the room that we need as a family. Plus, staying somewhere with a kitchen is ideal, as it means we can cook our own food if we want to.
Be choosy about food
French food is delicious. However, it’s important to realize that they put sugar is everything. Unless you want your children on a day-long sugar rush, make sure to monitor what they are eating. For instance, even sliced bread is packed full of sugar.
You will find that the food in the South of France has many Mediterranean influences. Things like peppers, spicy sausage – chorizo and salami, dried meats, and olives are popular foods. The region’s most famed dish is Cassoulet – a soup of haricot beans, tomatoes, and duck or pork.
You can also try different Sausages dishes from the region as well.
While most restaurants have children’s menus, don’t let the kids eat off of them all the time. Traveling to new places is about trying new things, and kids menus are often limited. Instead of getting your children meals off the kid’s menu, get a dish off of the adults one, and split it.
Hire a car
While the South of France has a great public transport service – buses, and trains, if you want to be able to get around quickly, hiring a car is a must. During peak times, cars get booked out incredibly quickly. So if you want to hire a car, it’s worth booking in advance.
If you are traveling via plane, consider hiring your car from an airport hire car company. That way, you won’t have to pay for transfers as you can pick up the vehicle as soon as you arrive.
Don’t forget to hire car seats for the kids with your car. In France, all children up to the age of 10 must have a car seat by law.
Fill your time with fun activities
As well as spending time exploring the local towns and villages, not to mention the mountain ranges nearby. There are also lots of other activities on offer that the kids will love.
If your children love adventures, take them for a day out at Accrobranche. From tree climbing to abseiling, if your kids love trying new things, this is the perfect place for a family day out.
Pack up a picnic, hire some bikes and cycle along the Canal du Midi. The Canal du Midi is one of France’s most famous sites, so it’s the perfect place to take the kids.
If your kids are animal lovers, Montpellier Zoo makes a great day out. Filled with all sorts of animals and insects – from bears and tigers to giraffes and antelope.
There is so much to see and do in the South of France that it would be impossible to pack it all in. Hopefully however, these ideas will get your vacation planning off to a good start.