Family Travel: France

Are you interested in learning more about exciting family friendly towns in France? We want to share with you why France is one of the world’s most visited countries. The French exude a bohemian lifestyle which encourages everyone to enjoy natural beauty, wine, great food, architecture, outdoor adventures, art, and fashion.  Spend time and explore the history of Paris, scenic views of the Cote d’Azure, and the storybook setting of the French Alps.  We thoroughly enjoyed our time in France and are excited to share our favorite areas to visit!  After a quick read, check out our Travel Questionnaire if you are interested in some great travel advice.

 

Paris France Family Travel Arc de Triumph
The views you get from the top of the Arc de Triumph are easily worth the climb up the stairs and the admission price. Remember no pocket knives, I forgot that little tidbit and had to stash my trusty knife in a garbage can after getting yelled at in French by three different people. I asked them, “Did you know Texas is bigger than France?” They weren’t amused.

 

Paris

 

Paris is a great place to visit with your family.  There are great museums, outdoor spaces, art, shopping, and restaurants.  Exploring the city’s parks with a picnic is a must when traveling in Paris.  Our favorite spot for a picnic is Champ De Mar where you can see the Eiffel Tower during the day and lights sparkle at night. There is a grassy area to run around and play, but it is also a perfect place to drink some wine and relax. Paris parks are beautiful sites to see while supplying a lot of fun for families. Tuileries Jardin was our favorite, there is an old fashioned merry go round, trampolines, and carousel.  Two other parks worth visiting are Luxembourg and Acclimation Jardins.    Paris has a wealth of historical sites and museums of all kinds, when approached the right way they are fun for all ages.  Make sure you use Fat Tire Tours to see the Eiffel Tower or any other sites where you are looking to upgrade your overall experience.  The sites and experiences of a Paris trip will create lifetime of family memories!

 

France Family Travel Vacation Paris
Enjoying a picnic after some shopping at Bon Marche’s La Grande Epicerie de Paris. They have amazing food, wine, and home goods selections. We HIGHLY recommend making this a pre-picnic stop while in Paris.

 

France Family Travel Vacation Laduree Paris
This is the store front of Laduree on the Chaps Elysees. They make amazing macaroons that you can take to go or have in their luxurious cafe. Either way, it is worth a stop while visiting Paris.




France Family Travel Paris Parks
We had a lot of gray skies while in Paris, but on one of our last evenings we were treated to this beautiful sunset at Bois de Boulogne. The park is over 2,000 acres and served as royal hunting grounds in the past. Today it is a wonderful outdoor escape and also home to Jardin d’Acclimation which is a great place for families.

 

Bordeaux

 

Bordeaux is a beautiful city with museums, wine tours, art galleries, great food, shopping, and it is family friendly.  Take a self guided walking tour through this historic city that has been dubbed as a Unesco Heritage Site.  There are beautiful carousels and big open squares to let your kids run around and play. You can have wonderful day around the city by visiting the Jardin Public, Plage du lac, the mirror pool, or the Cap Sciences museum.  A must see is the Parc de Majolan, set about a fifteen minute drive out of town and is a great place to explore grottos, bridges, and ruins.  You will feel like you stepped into a true fairy tale setting.  If your up for a bigger adventure, Dune du Pilat is an hour drive from Bordeaux and is one of the largest sand dunes in Europe, you can slide down the dunes and see amazing views!

France Family Vacation Bordeaux
Playing at one of the river side parks in Bordeaux. There is an amazing activity walking/biking area that follows the Garonne River. You could easily spend a day along the river, taking in the outdoors and stopping to eat or shop along the way.

 

France Family Travel Bordeaux Cathedral
The Bordeaux Cathedral is beautifully set near the city center. I loved the way the golden statues adorning the the spires stand out. There are many cathedrals throughout France, this is one was a favorite and at the very least is worth strolling by.

 

France Family Travel Bordeaux Grand Theatre
The Grand Theatre of Bordeaux is another example of the beautiful architecture found throughout the city. It looks very elegant lit up at night time, a perfect example of why Bordeaux is a great place to just wander. Embrace you inner-Bohemian with an aimless stroll to simply enjoy the wonders of this city!




France Family Travel Bordeaux Eglise Saint Paul AirBnB
This is the bell tower of Eglise Saint Paul from one of our bedroom windows. We found probably the best AirBnB ever in the heart of Bordeaux’s walking streets. The place was lovely, in the perfect location, and the host provided better service than a 5 star hotel…give us a shout if your want to find out more!

 

France Family Travel Bordeaux Walking
Piggy back rides are must when you are taking a city on by foot with the kids. Even with an old man back and a fake hip, I cherish the times I can give the little man a lift.

 

France Family Travel Bordeaux Parc de Majolan
Parc de Majolan is a short drive from Bordeaux, depending on your style and age of your kids you could even get there on bikes. It is a magical place to spend an afternoon or even a day. There is a beautiful lake, manmade grottos, castle ruins, a great playground, everything you need to have a great outdoor family adventure.

 

Carcassonne

 

Carcassonne is in the Languedoc region of Southern France and is famous for the medieval walled town known as La Cite.  Sitting on top of a hill, La Cite provides breathtaking views of the Pyrenees mountains on a clear day.  The medieval walled town boasts over fifty towers that over look the Aude River.  The city was built on Roman remains an hour from the Mediterranean and serves as a great overnight stop while traveling the south of France.  As you stroll through the narrow cobbled stone paths you will get lost in a magical city where you can easily see how it inspired Kate Moss to write the Labrynth, Walt Disney to design sleeping beauty’s castle, and was chosen to film parts of the new Robin Hood movie. Fun ideas to do with kids while in the area; watch or participate in jousting tournaments, swim at Carcassone Plage, or zip line through the trees at Q2adventure.

 

France Family Travel Carcassonne Castles
Some of the towers of La Cite and the bridge leading to the main entrance of the walled city. The medieval walled city sits above the modern town, providing beautiful views across the French Countryside.

 

France Family Travel Carcassonne Medieval City
La Cite is amazing to explore anytime of day, but at night time it is extra magical. They did a great job with the lighting so you can see the city while maintaining the medieval ambiance.




France Family Travel Carcassonne Medieval City La Cite
This is a view from the City of Carcassonne looking up at the medieval walls of La Cite. The modern city that sits along the Aude River is worth exploring as well. We enjoyed a great casual lunch at one of the many cafes.

France Family Travel Carcassonne Medieval City La Cite
One last night time shot from the main gate. The kids had a blast running through the narrow cobble stoned streets, this is really a one of kind place. It should be on everyone’s list if you head to Southern France.

 

Nimes

 

Nimes a hidden gem located between the coast and the Alps in Southern France. It is known as the “French Rome” or “Roman France” because it was built over a Roman Empire city with some of the most well preserved Roman remains in the world. Take a tour of the Arena of Nime’s or Maisson Carree.  You will feel like you have stepped back into the Roman Empire. The coliseum is a miniature version of the one in Rome.  It too was used for Roman games, now spectators attend concerts or watch bull fights.  After exploring the city, we enjoyed lunch and gelato in the main square. The town was filled with families enjoying the day along with one of the best enclosed farmer’s market,  what a wonderful place to spend the day. Nimes makes a great day or overnight trip while traveling through Southern France.

 

France Family Travel Nimes Coliseum
The kids had a blast learning about the extent of the Roman Empire while exploring the landmarks throughout the city. We got lucky with sunny, blue skies while Vaughn enjoyed some photo posing in front of the coliseum.

 

France Family Travel Nimes Market
The enclosed farmer’s market had a ton of fresh seafood since Nimes is just about 35 miles from the coast. The kids loved the full fish displays at the markets. They even found some sea urchins that were still alive and moving…you definitely knew those were fresh if you’re into urchin.

 

France Family Travel Nimes Roman Temple Maison Curree
This is the view from the front entrance of the Roman Temple or Maison Curree in Nimes. I am always blown away by Roman Architecture no matter how many different structures we have seen across Europe. Seeing these structures away from Rome really force you to understand the vastness and how advanced the Empire was for its time.




France Family Travel Nimes
A zen moment at the Fontaine Pradier which sits in the Charles-de-Gaulle square in Nimes. The layout and architecture throughout the city really makes it fun to explore. Like many French and European cities, wandering through the streets by foot or bike is the best way to enjoy them.

 

France Family Travel Nimes Roman Temple
The Maison Curree, not to be repetitive but it really is cool to see a Roman Temple sitting in the middle of a French City. By modern standards, Nimes is pretty close to Italy and Rome but when you think about what those distances meant over 2,000 years ago, it really puts things in perspective.

 

Annecy

 

Imagine a town set on a picturesque alpine lake nestled in the French Alps that you can visit and enjoy throughout the year.  If this sounds appealing, then Annecy known as the Venice of the Alps, is waiting with an enchanting medieval village, cobbled stone walking streets, canals weaving through pastel colored houses, markets everyday, and wonderful restaurants.  It has outdoor activities that are family friendly for every season.  You can bike, swim, or choose your favorite water sport from kayaking to sailing to kite or wake boarding.  During the winter you can snowboard, ski, ice skate, toboggan, or enjoy other adventure sports within 25 minutes of Annecy.  To make things even better, you can pay to ski or board by the hour (for like 5 Euros even cheaper when you do a full or half day ticket) which makes the US ski resorts’ pricing laughable at best.  Once you visit this storybook town you may never want to leave, we sure wanted to stay!!

 

France Family Travel Annecy Alps
A beautiful night time view of the Annecy Canals. The mixture of French and Swiss influences really make this town special. It is only 45 minutes from Geneva Switzerland and only a few hours from Cote de Azure along the French Coast. There are numerous ski resorts nearby with nearest one being only a 25 minute drive!!

 

France Family Travel Annecy Alps
Posing by Lake Annecy, what a scenic spot with Alps showing off in the background. Checkout the name of the little boat floating in that crystal clear lake water. We definitely want to go back and enjoy Annecy during the warmer months.




France Family Travel Annecy Markets
Sausage, cheese, fruit, vegetables, roasted chickens, coffee, or even clothes? The Annecy Markets were definitely the most extensive markets that we visited throughout Europe. It was awesome to wake up and walk right out our door to the market that sprawls throughout the old town portion of the village.

 

France Family Travel Annecy Chateau d'Annecy Castle
A view through a stained glass window at Chateau d’Annecy which was built on a high point during the 12th and 16th centuries. Now, the restored castle serves as a great art museum with historic and modern art exhibits. The views alone are definitely worth the entrance price of the museum.

 

France Family Travel Annecy Canals
This canal view in Annecy really brings out the vibrant colors of the buildings in the city. I cannot think of another place that even comes close to Annecy when you consider the full package. Mountains, lake, history, restaurants, outdoor opportunities, people, markets, canals…we really fell in love with this town and cannot wait to get back.

 

France Family Travel Annecy Lake Mountain Sun
This photo was taken from the graveyard next to Eglise Saint-Blaise on the western shore of Lake Annecy. We got lucky with the lighting as it was hitting the mountains just right on the other side of the lake. The trip around the lake is definitely worth it, there is even a bike path that you can follow for a good part of the way.

 

Cassis

 

Cassis is a hidden gem nestled between calanques which are naturally formed inlets along the coastal cliffs on the Cote D’ Azure.  The fishing village is in a cove shaped harbour surrounded by pastel buildings and boats called “pointus,” fishing boats that have been around for two thousand years.  Enjoy the day at the beach, cafes, swimming, and exploring the calanques. There are three calanques easily accessible from the town.  You can hike them, but parts are a steep climb.  If you are not up for hiking the calanques, then you can jump on one of the boat tours that leaves from the harbor.

 

France Family Travel Cassis Cotes d'Azur French Riveria
For some reason when I see this photo I think of our friend Martin Kilbane and one of his Marty-isms, “BOOM!” Just a beautiful shot looking out of the Cassis harbor towards a classic lighthouse at the end of the jetty. I would argue it is worth a visit just for the views.

 

France Family Travel Cassis Cotes d'Azur French Riveria
This is the view looking back into the harbor and the town of Cassis. The setting is amazing with beautiful rock outcropping surrounding the sleepy fishing town. Classic French Coast to say the least.




France Family Travel Cassis Cotes d'Azur French Riveria Calanque
If you are up for an adventurous hike, this is your reward. We were super proud of our kids and Julie for making it up and down the mountain cliffs you have to scale to get here. It was a blast and what perfect place for a picnic.

 

France Family Travel Cassis Cotes d'Azur French Riveria Rose Provence
The views and blue skies just kept coming here in Cassis. You have gorgeous limestone cliffs surrounding the harbor. A perfect spot to sit and enjoy a classic product of Provence, a glass of rose wine. The Provence area is well known for producing great rose and no better place to enjoy it than the views from Cassis harbor.

 

France Family Travel Cassis Cotes d'Azur French Riveria Calanque d'En-Vau
The view from the cliff above Calanque d’En-Vau. Crystal clear water, amazing rock formations, beautiful beach, all in all it is just hard to describe. Even the photo does not do this area justice, you have to see it to believe it.




France Family Travel Cassis Cotes d'Azur French Riveria
A final sunset shot from Cassis with all of the fishing boats lined up. I could go back right now, it is a special spot!!

 

Nice

 

Nice is located on the Cote d’ Azure and is a family friendly city with fun activities for kids of all ages.  This is a great city to use as a base while exploring the French Riviera.  Transportation is readily available, making it easy to visit other nearby towns like Eze, Monte Carlo, Marseille, Canne, and Cassis.  In Nice there are great restaurants, sandy kid friendly beaches, playgrounds, biking, and walking along the boardwalk.  It is a big enough city to have plenty of hotels and other amenities to choose from when traveling with a family.

 

France Family Travel Nice Cotes d'Azur French Riveria
Dawson was really digging his sunglasses during our stay in Nice. Here he is striking a pose as we were getting settled in to our hotel in Nice. We stayed at the Gold Star and it had nice sized family rooms, ours even had a kitchenette that was well enough stocked to make a simple pasta dinner.

 

France Family Travel Nice Cotes d'Azur French Riveria
This is a view of the Monte Carlo Harbor, even if you are not a boat person you have to visit this spot. You will see real yachts that will blow your mind. There were a couple that were so big, Dawson would not accept that they were personal yachts and was sure they were cruise ships.




France Family Travel Nice Cotes d'Azur French Riveria
I could not get enough of the sunsets along the French Riviera. This is from the awesome bike and walking path that follows the coast line right in Nice. It is a great spot for a drink, a small bite to eat, the beach, or just people watching. You can literal sit at a table right on the sand at Blue Beach and enjoy another glass of rose!

 

France Family Travel Nice Cotes d'Azur French Riveria Monte Carlo Palace
The view from the palace in Monte Carlo. Sunglasses check, coolness check, now we just need a ride on one of those yachts! It is worth your time to hike up the hill to check out the palace, the palace guards, and of course the views.

 

France Family Travel Nice Cotes d'Azur French Riveria Sunset
Like I said, I could not get enough of the sunsets here. I’m a sucker for a good sunset, so I had to share my favorite shots in this blog. Hopefully, they tantalize you enough to reach out and let us help you plan a wonderful trip to Southern France.

Do not wait or hesitate…take our Travel Questionnaire now to get great advice for your nest trip!!




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Comments (6)

  1. Love the post on France. You really are having quite the adventure.

    1. Riserva Tour & Travel

      Thanks Sol, you are the best. We have being a blast!

  2. Heather Madden

    Wow guys!!!! That all looks amazing!!! Love the pics!!!

    1. Riserva Tour & Travel

      It was a blast, we are looking forward to seeing you soon!

  3. Krystal Bliss

    We love looking at all of your gorgeous pictures! It looks like everyone is having a great time.

    1. Riserva Tour & Travel

      We have had an amazing experience so far!! Thank you for taking the time to check things out. Hope you are doing well!

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