France is our closest neighbour and the largest country in western Europe with five mountain ranges, Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines and a rich history, which makes it the perfect destination to visit with the family as there are plenty of areas to explore.
We have been to France several times in the last few years and travelled via various means including Eurostar, ferry, plane and even cruise ship.
The real beauty of a holiday to France is that you can drive it, with options to take your car on both Eurostar and the ferry, which means you have no baggage restrictions and can explore at your own pace.
We actually prefer driving in France as the roads are so much quieter, unless you are driving around Paris, but it is important to brush up on the rules of the road before you go.
If you prefer to fly, there are direct flights from the UK to 17 French airports and with flight times as little as 60 minutes, you will be there before you know it.
Here are some of our top tips for visiting France:
For history lovers
France as a whole has a total of 42 World Heritage sites, including Mont Saint-Michel and the medieval walled city Carcassonne.
This year, it is the historic Normandy beaches that have taken centre stage for the 75th Anniversary of D-Day and the five beaches codenamed Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword are well worth a visit.
There are museums and monuments at each beach which document what happened during the war, but despite the sombre subject, the sound of the kids running along the beach, finding treasure, makes you grateful for the freedom that was fought for. Our favourite beach was Gold beach, where you can fully appreciate the scale of the Mulberry Harbour as you stand by the giant caissons.
Normandy is also home to the infamous Bayeux Tapestry, which documents the Battle of Hastings and is on display in the picturesque town of Bayeux.
For culture vultures
Paris is probably one of the most famous cities in the world and is home to a whole host of historical monuments.
We explored much of Paris on foot, although we did take advantage of the hop on, hop off river cruise to enable us to see as many sights as possible on our visit.
For spectacular views of the city, it is not just the Eiffel Tower you can climb – the Arc de Triomphe also offers some stunning views.
Just outside the city is the Palace of Versailles and it is well worth a visit to discover the history of France.
Inside, don’t miss the Hall of Mirrors, King’s Grand Apartments, Museum of the History of France and outside you can explore its gardens, the Grand Trianon, the Royal Stables and the dozens of impressive fountains.
For theme park lovers
France isn’t well known for its theme parks, well apart from Disneyland Paris, but it has some brilliant ones to choose from.
Puy du Fou
The second most popular theme park in France, Puy du Fou is a park filled with pure entertainment in the form of spectacular, historically themed, daytime and evening shows and four period villages, that is not to be missed.
It is like nothing you have ever seen in the UK and features mesmerising sets, spectacular stunts, fire, animals and much much more.
The polar opposite of Puy du Fou, Futuroscope is a theme park based upon multimedia, cinematographic and audio-visual techniques, with several 3D and 4D cinemas along with other attractions, shows and buildings, not seen anywhere else in the world.
The park itself is very relaxed and well laid out and we found that queue times were much more manageable than UK theme parks and kids over 120cm could go every ride in the park.
There is also a dedicated area for kids called Futuropolis, with small rides, play parks and a splash park, which we struggled to get them out of.
Set just outside Paris, Parc Asterix is set around one of the most beloved characters in French popular culture – Asterix, a diminutive but fearless Gaulish warrior living in the time of Julius Caesar’s Gallic Wars.
Although the park does feel quite dated in places, it is a fun day out with over 40 rides to try from gentle roundabouts and water rides, to exhilarating rollercoasters to rival those at Alton Towers and Thorpe Park.
There are also interactive shows on throughout the day, at various locations in the park, including a Gauls v Roman’s battle in the amphitheatre, magic shows, the house of fear and the kids favourite – helping the Gauls Approchethéorix hunt a goblin in the village area.
For sun worshippers
Marseille is the second-largest city of France located on the Mediterranean coast.
Dominating the harbour is the infamous Chateau d’If, the rocky prison from which Dumas’ Count of Monte Cristo escaped.
It is also the gateway to the Côte d’Azur, or French Riviera, home to some of the most glamorous beach resorts in Europe, including Cannes, Saint-Tropez and Monaco.
Where to stay
Siblu is a leading provider of family holiday villages in France.
All 19 Siblu villages have life-guarded pool complexes, kids’ clubs, sports and evening entertainment included in the holiday price.
There are currently some brilliant savings available of up to 50% are available at Les Charmettes for the first week of the school holidays (from 27th July).
Or save up to 45% at other Siblu villages for the same week!!
Join @tots100 and @sibluholidays on Twitter at 8pm on Tuesday 9th July for a #SibluSummer Twitter chat about your perfect family summer holiday in France. They’ll be sharing lots of tips and deals, and there are 5 x £25 Amazon vouchers to be won.
Disclaimer: Post written in collaboration with Siblu Holidays and Tots100. All thoughts and opinions are my own