Great fishing in Pays de la Loire
For the optimal holiday in Pays de la Loire, the best idea is to follow the Loire. With their beautiful chateaux, Saumur, Angers and Nantes can be explored on two wheels via the Loire à Vélo - but also by toue. This typical small flat-bottomed fishing boat can even be 'cabane', i.e. habitable, for comfortable cruises. After a visit to the large liners of Escal'Atlantic and the Espadon submarine in the impressive naval base in Saint-Nazaire, head for the beach! Choose between the beaches of the Côte d'Amour and the Côte de Jade, the sweeping bay of La Baule and the creeks around Pornic. For a fishing trip or a night like no other, on stilts overlooking the sea, a fishing hut can accommodate the whole family. Here, they are part of the landscape just like the salt marshes in Guérande and on the island of Noirmoutier. It's not easy to harvest fleur de sel... but fortunately, the salt workers will be happy to guide little hands.
A tide of delicacies in Normandy
"But, Mum, where did the sea go?" In Normandy, you learn to read the tide calendar: it's the calendar that decides the day. When the shore reveals its miles of sand at low tide, it's time for a sandyacht race or a great fishing trip with the family! You can go kitesurfing or sailing on the D-Day beaches near Caen, or paddle around the cliffs of Etretat. And at any time of day, you can find a snack on a farm in the bocage: crêpes and apple juice, or Camembert sandwiches with a glass of cider. In Deauville you can munch on 'parasols', a delicacy made of apples, caramel and salted butter.
An ocean of green in Alsace, Lorraine and Champagne
Ready for some nature bathing? Head for Grand Est (Eastern France), its mountainous massifs and its natural parks. In Alsace, between visits to chateaux and wine cellars, you can take on the new Chemin des Cimes (suitable for pushchairs) which winds its way through the canopy for a kilometre, between 5m and 23m high. From the top of the observation tower (29m), the whole family can take in the 360° view encompassing the Rhine plain, the Black Forest and the Northern Vosges. It's enough to make you want to spend the night in a hut at an altitude of 750m! But since you have to come back down one day, we'll take a look at the region's great lakes. Sail in a solar-powered boat on Lake Gérardmer in the Vosges or kayak along the pine forests of Lake Pierre-Percée in Lorraine... then push on to the banks of Lake Der in Champagne. There's so much water in the land of the king of wines! With its 4,800km² and six beaches, it's a real 'inland sea' to explore by bike and on foot, as well as on the water itself.
A whole world in Occitanie
Do you prefer the sea, the mountains or the countryside? In Occitanie there's no need to choose: the region is a world of its own! In the Pyrenees, you can get close to the summits and enjoy the emotions: observe the galaxy from the Planetarium of the Pic du Midi (2,877m) or spend a night with wolves, bears and marmots in a lodge of the Pyrenees animal park. Still in the mood for fresh air? Get out your hiking boots and try out some sections of the new GR736, linking the sources of the Tarn in Lozère with Albi: 300km running through the natural parks of the Grandes Causses and the Cévennes, with some remarkable villages along the way, such as Sainte-Eminie. And the stages can be adapted to all ages: you can mix hiking with donkey rides, paddling, canoeing and mountain biking. Then, all that remains is to glide along the Canal du Midi, either by bike along the towpaths or on a barge from Toulouse to Sète.
Tour of the senses in Provence
What scents from Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur will forever embalm your children's memories? The fruity scents of freshly pressed olive oil enjoyed as tapenade under an olive tree in the Baronnies? The sweet scent of jasmine in Grasse, the world capital of perfume? Or the sweetness of a calisson with a hint of almond, to be eaten in a century-old confectionery? It will also undoubtedly be the scent of adventure! Cycling around the Esterel massif, hurtling down the slopes of Mont Ventoux on an electric scooter, galloping among the pink flamingos in the Camargue and in the blazing ochre of Roussillon and the Provençal Colorado, or plying the Verdon gorges in an electric boat... We smell holidays in France!
A wave of great happiness in Brittany
All aboard! In Brittany, 2700km of coastline are available to little pirates: from one port to another, old boats can take you on unforgettable sea outings in the wake of pirates of old. In Saint-Malo, you can play buccaneer on board the Renard, a replica of one of Surcouf's ships; in the harbour of Brest, you can take a sailing course on La Recouvrance, a wooden schooner; and in Camaret-sur-Mer, you can put down your bag in the saloon of the 'Grand Bleu', a neo-lagooner, for a night lulled by the rattling of the stays. But you must also set foot on land in Brittany! And run across the moors in search of the incredible collection of megaliths: 6,000 menhirs, a thousand dolmens and as many questions for your budding palaeontologists. The answers will be found at each of the sites: at Carnac, young and old alike will learn how to make fire, at the Cairn de Barnenez, they will hunt with assegais and at Monteneuf, they will learn to lift stones better than Obelix! And if they don't succeed, the forest of Broceliande and its magic fountain are just around the corner...
A treasure trove of activities in Hauts de France
In the north of France, the Hauts de France region has some wonderful surprises in store. And not only because you can climb the black coal mountains on the trails. The former slag heaps of the mining basin, a stone's throw from the magnificent Louvre-Lens museum, are an amazing attraction. But you should also go and get some fresh air on the Opal Coast, explore Boulogne-sur-Mer and Nausicaa, the largest aquarium in Europe, as well as Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, for an invigorating sand yacht ride, or Berck-sur-Mer with its multicoloured kites. We recommend ending the trip in style surrounded by nature in the beautiful Baie de Somme. Between the sand dunes and salt marshes, you can watch seals taking a dip just a few metres from the shore as well as thousands of birds. On foot, by donkey, on a bike or even in a canoe, it's a sight to behold.
Beautiful nature in Auvergne-Rhône Alpes
Marmots playing hide-and-seek with chamois, a sea of ice accessible by small train from Chamonix, ziplines which have you flying from one valley to another... And then high-altitude lakes, hikes in the mountain pastures and snacks on the farm with good blueberry tarts. All this, with the great Mont Blanc as a neighbour. In the Alps, family holidays reach new heights! Further east, almost in the centre of France, it's like a journey to the centre of the earth for little explorers. Welcome to the Auvergne regional nature park of the volcanoes. Just a stone's throw from Clermont-Ferrand and its lava stone cathedral, you can descend into the Pariou crater, visit the bowels of the Lemptégy volcano, climb the Sancy or cycle on the Vélorail des Volcans. Save energy for an exciting visit to Vulcania, before a night in a buron in the wilderness.
A treasure hunt in Nouvelle Aquitaine
I might as well warn you right away: Nouvelle Aquitaine, with Bordeaux and its vineyards at its head, is the largest region in France! From the Lascaux cave in the Dordogne Valley to the invigorating surf spots of the Basque Country, the Marais Poitevin, the lighthouses of Ile de Ré and Futuroscope in Poitiers, not forgetting the beautiful Landes forest and the great Dune du Pilat in the Arcachon Basin, the treasure chest is overflowing! The best way to see all the sights and have an adventure with your family? A lifesize treasure hunt called Terra Aventura, which follows the concept of geocaching. Over 500 routes are on the programme throughout Nouvelle Aquitaine. Clues, QR codes hidden in nature, enigmas to solve, treasure to find... Each walk lasts between one and two hours and is between two and four km long. Via the website (in five languages) or by downloading the free app, it's off to the races for little champions and may the best one win!
Pleasure bathing in Corsica
By sea or by air, an arrival in Corsica always leaves you speechless. Because this island of beauty is incredible, with its mountains plunging into the Mediterranean, its paradise beaches with turquoise waters ideal for swimming, diving, jumping... Coves of the Agriates desert and the Scandola peninsula nature reserve in the north, Palombaggia and Rondinara coves in the south.... Between the two, nothing is more fun than travelling by Trinichellu, the little local train. Wild pigs along the tracks, herds of cows or donkeys on the go provide the entertainment while the numerous stops reveal panoramic views and breathtaking vistas. This is an opportunity to take a dip in the crystal-clear pools of the torrents of the Restonica valley or the Vizzavona forest. And to try canyoning, via ferrata or accrobranche in the heady scents of the maquis.
Amazing history in Burgundy
With its famous vineyards and world-renowned grands crus, Burgundy is said to be the land of wine. It is true! But here you will also find... water. So, if you can sleep with your family in a barrel in the middle of the vineyards, you can also travel by barge on the rivers and canals that flow gently between green hills, nautical stops and flowery locks. And your little ones will love it! To set off on a journey through history in Burgundy, bikes will be part of the programme. And what a programme: put yourself in the shoes of a Gaul at Bibracte, relive the battle of Alesia with Julius Caesar at the MuséoParc, or take part in the construction of a medieval fortress in the Guédelon forest. Not forgetting to play the great lord of Burgundy at the flamboyant Hospices de Beaune before tracking the owl in Dijon... you won't want to leave.
Chateaux, troglodyte caves and fairytales in the Loire Valley
We'd like to list the chateaux like the pebbles in Tom Thumb's book, but there are 23 major chateaux in the Loire Valley all along the royal river and its tributaries! Not to mention the smaller chateaux, such as in Sologne, where they are almost as numerous as the deer in the forest. Château de Cheverny, the Moulinsart of Captain Haddock in the adventures of Tintin; Château du Troussay, the smallest of the Renaissance jewels; or Château de Chambord, the most grandiose with its coiffure of turrets, dormer windows and fireplaces... In a loop of a few days, with donkeys to spare little legs if needed, your princes and princesses will quickly get a taste for chateau life. To bring them back down to earth, take them... underground, to the troglodyte cellars of Saumur and Anjou. There are hundreds of them, former quarries of tuffeau, the beautiful stone of castles, used either as dwellings or mushroom beds. In Bourré, caveman Stef shows off the 35km of galleries with a treasure hunt and wine tasting.