Top tips for taking a family holiday to France this summer

Nantes

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.

P&O Ferry

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.

Disney Halloween

Puy du Fou

Castle 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.

Puy du Fou Owl

It is like nothing you have ever seen in the UK and features mesmerising sets, spectacular stunts, fire, animals and much much more.

Roman's Puy Du Fou

Futuroscope

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.

Futuroscope Entrance

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.

Aerial view Futuroscope

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.

Futuropolis

Parc Asterix

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

26 thoughts on “Top tips for taking a family holiday to France this summer

  1. We plan to visit Paris this holiday. I hope it all goes as planned.
    fashionandstylepolice recently posted…Why I am contemplating having artificial grassMy Profile

  2. This post is perfect for us. We are spending time in France this summer visiting Nantes and Puy Du Fou. I had not thought about going up the Arc De Triomphe to see the Eiffel Tower. That’s a great tip
    Zena’s Suitcase recently posted…Things to do in Genoa, Italy My Profile

  3. Polly says:

    It looks like you had a lot of fun! I would love to return to France and visit the French Riviera. I missed the chance last time because I only stayed in Nice and Lourdes. Thank you for the helpful tips. I’ll be sure to check some of this when I go back there.
    Polly recently posted…16 Side Hustles to Help Boost Your Travel FundMy Profile

  4. I haven’t been to France for years and I would love to take the girls over.

  5. Becky says:

    My little boy would love to go on the Eurostar! We get nagged about it on a regular basis. Glad to hear that driving in France is nice and quiet

  6. Wow! What a trip you guys had. I’m jealous of the Puy du Fou park visit you guys had. I’d love to see that some day.

  7. Kalyan Panja says:

    France has some charming places to visit. The photos and the landscapes are giving me real travel goals to plan a trip soon to these paradises.
    Kalyan Panja recently posted…Historical and Heritage Walking Tour Through SantiagoMy Profile

  8. Joanna says:

    I do hope to explore more of France sometimes soon. I do love Normandy as that is the area which I have most explored, but I’d like to go to the South of France as well.

  9. Alexandra Cook says:

    France is such a great place to visit. Is it a truly a bucket list materials and I’ve always wanted to go there.

  10. Catherine says:

    What an incredible trip! I would love to see France one day…so much history and such a beautiful country.

  11. I went to France so much as a kid, so i would love to take my little boy there when he’s a bit older. Paris is a must visit!

  12. ScoutMyTrip says:

    cool I would love to road trip to France

  13. Catherine Santiago Jose says:

    I have never been there but France is one of my dream place to visit. I’ve heard a lot of good and beautiful places that can be visit there and I am just hoping to be in France someday!

  14. kumamonjeng says:

    Your post has reminded me of my trip to France a few years back. I love the Paris vibes, the architecture, the cruise along the Seine river, the Notre Dame Cathedral and yes the Versatile Palace which is a little outskirt of Paris. Too bad I didn’t have a chance to visit Disneyland. Your itinerary is such a comprehensive one.

  15. Louise says:

    I’d love to visit France again one day. It looks like there’s so much more to do than I remember from being younger!

    Louise x

  16. What a comprehensive post on travel in France. I definitely want to explore the country some more as I’ve only been once, years ago and it was to Disneyland! xxx

  17. Chad says:

    I love France and try to visit it often especially the southern parts. Amazing country. Great article, thank you.

  18. Olivia says:

    I love that swimming pool with all the cute towels decoring it in bright colurs x x x n

  19. Awesome tips to take the family to France. I would love to visit all these places with my family.

  20. Anosa says:

    I love France and try to visit it at least once a year but not thought about driving there before.
    Anosa recently posted…Care For Your Tyres | Tips & AdviceMy Profile

  21. Claire says:

    What a great review, I’ve only ever done Disneyland and travelled through.

    I hear so many wonderful things about France and I’m very keen to visit Normandy.

    Thank you for sharing some of the highlights

  22. Claire says:

    I have only been to Disneyland but I’ve heard so many wonderful things.

    Normandy in particular.

    Thank you for such a great post x

  23. stephany says:

    France is such a nice place! I love the picture of the clouds!

  24. I’ve not heard of Siblu before. Sounds like a great place for a family holiday.
    MELANIE EDJOURIAN recently posted…Preparing for a Family Road TripMy Profile

  25. Erica Hughes says:

    You’re right about the driving as I found it a lot easier once I’d got used to driving on the right, although we did avoid city areas and the most we did was a large town. The problem is I have to drive quite a way to the English coast first though.
    Erica Hughes recently posted…Fiesta del Asado New Summer MenuMy Profile

  26. Rhian Westbury says:

    Wow 42 heritage sites, that’s amazing, I had no idea it was so many. Despite how close it is I’ve never driven myself as driving on the other side of the road worries me x

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