If like me, you’re a woman (or a bloke) of a certain age, you’ll have experienced the teenage French holiday.
You know the one – a soggy long weekend being dragged around the war memorials of Normandy by enthusiastic parents, museums that seemed to go on FOREVER, a highlight being the visit to buy mega-boxes of croissants from a hypermarket before a nauseating trip home on a ferry.
Or maybe you experienced France on a school holiday, a trip that was identical to the above if you replaced ‘parents’ with ‘teachers’.
Thankfully, France means something a little different to me these days. It’s a country I have a lot of love for, one I feel lucky to have on my doorstep, one I like to visit often. I’ve been lucky enough to go with and without the children at least once a year in the last five, and I’m going to keep returning until my French language skills go from being ‘good after two glasses of red’ to ‘passable at all times of the day’.
I love romantic trips to Paris, enjoying clichéd walks up Rues and down Ruelles. I think Paris is a magical, beautiful city, one with an intriguing history and gorgeous architecture, and I can’t get enough of vin rouge, steak tartare, escargots and Café au lait.
A place just as special but fairly new on our radar is of course, Tignes. A lovely mountaintop town close to the Italian border (so you’ll find AMAZING pizza), with the friendliest inhabitants and it goes without saying, THOSE VIEWS! I loved our trip there and would return in a heartbeat.
And then there’s the South of France: Nice, to be exact. Somewhere we’ve only passed through briefly on our travels but a spot I’m dying to return to… it was everything I expected it would be in terms of beauty, chicness and vibrancy.
VACANCES EN FRANCE AVEC AL FRESCO
From city to beach to mountaintop, France really does have everything you need from a holiday. But today I’m here to talk to you about a different kind of French break.
Al Fresco are a company that offer the ultimate in options all over our gallic neighbour’s fine country. If you’re after a self-catering child-friendly (or rather, very very child-suitable) break, then look no further: Al Fresco is it.
All Al Fresco parks offer the amenities you crave when travelling with kids. Most have swimming pools, kids entertainment, clubs, dining options and more, and are a really affordable way to stay in incredibly special parts of the country. Here’s my top pick for anyone who fancies a French-Mediterranean holiday this year:
MARINA D’ERBA ROSSA, CORSICA
Corsica is very high on my wishlist… have you SEEN that beautiful coastline?!
On this gorgeous French island you’ll find idyllic turquoise waters, beautiful sandy beaches and plenty of villages for exploring. Hire a car and drive the clifftop road for insanely beautiful sunset views, before heading to Bastia for truly authentic French sea food. The park here at Marina D’Erba Rossa has direct beach access: perfect for my sea babies, and the palm-fringed swimming pool will indulge all my perfect Instagram snap fantasies.
If you fancy some culture, the historic town of Aleria is only 13 miles away from the park. This is one of Corsica’s largest cities and was the capital of Corsica during the Roman occupation, best known for its ruins. It was almost completely destroyed in the 5th Century by the Vandals, at which time the population took to the hills and the once great city was left to rack and ruin. The Genoese tried to revive Aleria to is former glory and they cannibalised much of the ruins to create the Romanesque St Marcel church and the Fort of Mantra which guarded the harbour. Today you can glimpse the town’s ancient history and you can see magnificent Greek ceramics, busts, sculptures and pottery.
We’d probably travel here with Grannie and Grandpa: they invested in a VW California last year and have great plans to tour all over Europe in the holidays. While they snooze in their campervan I shall spend my evenings sipping rosé on the veranda of one of Al Fresco‘s fully en-suite luxury mobile homes: sleeping up to six there is more than enough room for my lovely lot to crash after a day swimming, eating and sightseeing (even Grannie and Grandpa, if they get bored of the van…).
Where would you head to in France?