A family trip to France is usually associated with a visit to Disneyland Paris or a trip to the south for the heat, however, there is another region of France that is more than worthy of your next family vacation.
The Dordogne is arguably the most beautiful region of France with its winding rivers and lush countryside. Dotted with castles and filled with culture, the Dordogne is the perfect escape from city life where the whole family can relax and have fun together, away from the stresses of home. Indeed, after hearing these five reasons for visiting the Dordogne, you’ll be desperate to get your family holiday booked:
It’s Close to the UK
It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling with a baby or with teenagers, flights with your children can be incredibly stressful. Of course, when it comes to teenagers you can plug them into technology to keep them entertained on a long flight, but younger kids aren’t so easily distracted. A fact that puts many parents off the idea of going abroad, but a yearly trip to a local caravan park can become tedious easily – especially when you’re faced with unpredictable British weather. (Not to mention the caravan toilet situation which is something you definitely don’t want to deal with when on holiday!)
Which is why a family trip to the Dordogne can be such a promising idea, as you get to take the family on an exciting trip abroad, yet the flights from the UK can be as little as 2 hours in duration. With less time for the kids to be bored, you’ll be far less stressed and can focus on being excited about your holiday ahead.
Lots of Fun Activities for the Kids
Of course, a short flight time is only good if your end destination has enough fun, family activities to keep the whole family entertained. Otherwise, you’ll soon be wishing you were back home! Luckily, the Dordogne is an incredibly family orientated area, with lots for everyone to do. Some holiday highlights include the Aquapark water park in Bergerac, which is not only filled with fun pools and slides, but also has volleyball, table tennis and steam rooms available.
Another wonderful way to spend the day is by renting or joining a canoe tour down the beautiful rivers of the Dordogne. Not only will the kids adore the physical exhilaration of canoeing, but you’ll get to enjoy the stunning views too.
Immerse Yourself in Culture
Known as the valley of the castles, the Dordogne is home to over 1001 beautiful castles and chateaus that were once lived in by the rich and powerful of France. Many of these spectacular castles can be visited on your holiday, where you’ll be able to learn about the history associated with them and be amazed at the indulgent interiors.
Dordogne also has a rich ancient history as seen in the many prehistoric caves filled with interesting cave paintings. There are plenty of these caves that you can visit all over the Dordogne, particularly in the north. Some of the highlights include the Font de Gaume and Lascaux Caves.
France is known for its impeccable cuisine, however, with its more unusual ingredients such as snails and seafood coupled with a reputation for being more particular when it comes to food, you may be wary about how family-friendly restaurants might be.
However, there shouldn’t be any worries at all! French culture sees their children actively visiting restaurants and indulging in French classics from a small age, so nearly all restaurants in the Dordogne will welcome children. Even better, most carry a children’s menu with more tourist-friendly dishes for the kids. You may find they want to try some of the local specialties too!
Fabulous Countryside Accommodations
One of the main worries when it comes to a family holiday is deciding where you’re going to stay for the vacation. Hotels are usually everyone’s first choice, but these are often poor choices for families, as you find yourself either squashed into one tiny room trying to work in sofa beds or for the older kids you’ve got to try to arrange adjoining rooms.
The Dordogne holds an incredibly easy alternative for visiting families though, as it has numerous family-friendly and traditional gites (small furnished vacation homes in a rural district in France) available to rent. Not only will these rentals give you that home-away-from-home feeling with lots of spare space, but many come with luxury extras such as pools, which the kids will simply adore.