Home to beautiful landscapes, delicious cuisine and cultural towns and villages, France is the perfect destination for families with a lust for the great outdoors. Our family holidays in France are designed for all ages with itineraries packed with exciting activities. Its culture, history and scenery are diverse and seductive, offering endless possibilities for adventure. And because France is just a short flight away from the UK, it’s a convenient destination for travelling to with children.
The Dordogne is one of the most picturesque regions of south-west France and can be explored on foot, by bike or by boat. Canoeing along the Dordogne River is a great experience as you paddle at a relaxing pace between limestone cliffs, medieval villages and lush woodlands. As well as being rich in wildlife, its historic sites and laid-back culture will leave you captivated. Along the way you can stop off at the famous Grottes de Lacave and explore this magnificent limestone cavern by boat or take a trip into the Gouffre de Padirac, one of the largest chasms in Europe.
Our self-guided activity trip to Dordogne is ideal for family adventure holidays in France as you can travel at your own pace, with a combination of walking, cycling and canoeing. The Perigord Noir is known for its chestnut and oak forests and ancient chateaux that peer over the valley, making it one of the prettiest areas in the Dordogne. You’ll also have plenty of time during family activity holidays in France to stop off at ancient sites such as the Benedictine Abbey Sainte-Marie in Souillac.
France Family Holidays
9 DaysfromCAD 3,745
Self-Guided Holidays (Incl. Taxes)
Experience the ultimate triple activity holiday in the Dordogne
5 of the Best Places to Visit on Family Holidays in France
Rocamadour: Clinging precariously to the cliffside, Rocamadour is a fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to the Chapelle Notre Dame and the Romanesque Gothic Basilica of St Sauveur. To access the site, the Grand Escalier (Great Staircase) passes up 216 steps to each of the three levels. Towering above the Alzou Canyon stand crumbling houses, towers and a castle keep where you can learn about the legend and history of Rocamadour. The area has been an important pilgrimage site on the ‘Way of Saint James’ for many centuries and you can walk in the footsteps of ancient kings.
Meyronne: The pretty village of Meyronne lies in the Midi-Pyrenees region of France and resembles a scene from a fairy tale with its cobbled streets and distinctive buildings that teeter on the riverbank. There’s plenty to explore on foot or by bike around the village itself or you can simply soak up the views down by the river as you snack on delicious French cheeses. It’s also a great place for mingling with the locals at one of the pavement cafes.
Souillac: Throughout the town of Souillac you’ll see ancient sites, stone houses with shuttered windows and strewn in wisteria, and vibrant squares where the locals gather for their morning coffee. The town is most famous for its 12th-century, Byzantine/Romanesque Abbey of Saint Marie which was designed in the shape of a Latin cross. You can also visit the ruins of Souillac belfry which was damaged during the Wars of Religion, see the collection of dolls and mechanical toys at the Musee de l’Automate, or cycle to the beautiful Jardins de Cadiot.
Saint-Vincent-de-Cosse: Standing above the Dordogne River between La Roque-Gageac and Saint Cyprien, Saint-Vincent-de-Cosse is a handsome village with ancient churches, Perigord-style houses, two small castles, and a stone fountain at its centre. Many of the buildings have round towers and painted shutters and a great way to see them on family activity holidays in France is by canoeing along the river, where you’ll also spy various chateaux on the hilltops. There are some wonderful walks around the village that lead you to vantage points looking out over the Dordogne countryside.
Carennac: The village of Carennac is one of the most beautiful destinations on our family adventure holidays in France. Dusty stone cottages and 16th-century manor houses line the streets and lush countryside fringes the Dordogne River. Discover the medieval history which dates back to the 11th century at the Romanesque church of Saint Pierre and admire the ornate carvings, cloister and mise au tombeau sculpture. The Renaissance Chateau des Doyens, once home to the dean of the priory, is another magnificent site to explore and tells tales of fascinating Carennac’s past.
We went on this trip as a family of four with children aged 12 and 14, over Christmas 2022. We had an absolutely brilliant time and the memories will stay with us forever. Costa Rica just has everything- amazing wildlife, great weather, beautiful scenery, beaches, friendly people, felt very safe and just a wonderful and easy place to be. Without exception the activities were all brilliant especially the hot springs and rafting. Johnny and Victor looked after us incredibly well and really went the extra mile to make sure we had a great time. Johnny clearly has a genuine love for his country and is exceptionally knowledgeable regarding the wildlife. The travelling was all very pleasant and the only bad thing was that the trip had to end! Cannot recommend this trip highly enough if you want a great experience with loads of amazing wildlife, fun and adventure.
Before we went on this amazing trip whenever we were asked where we were going it invariably provoked a “Really…why?” type of response. We’re now much more qualified to answer that question. Firstly, let’s address the 4/5 rating. Don’t get us wrong, this trip was amazing but it’s up against our first Exodus holiday to Costa Rica in Christmas 2019 and that’s a very hard act to follow. Being more cultural, historical and less about animals and adrenaline, this is a far harder holiday to make work with our particular family. Despite this, our time in Jordan was virtually non-stop and we’ve come home with memories that will last our lifetimes. No more comparisons.