For active families wanting space: Villas La Clairière aux Chevreuils / Villas La Prade –
Situated between stylish Biarritz and beautiful Bordeaux, Moliets is a town and coastal resort forming part of the extensive Atlantic Coast. Think large sandy beaches, ample surfing and golfing opportunities and internationally renowned gastronomy, including vin de sable (wine produced from vineyards grown in the sand). Summer France offers five self-catered villas complexes and a selection of holiday apartments in Moliets, with Villas La Prade and Villas La Clairière aux Chevreuils most suited for active families. Both complexes offer beautiful, individually decorated villas sleeping up to 12 people. Each home-from-home has ample parking for cars, plus a private garden and pool; parents can relax in the sun whilst keeping an eye on the children splashing in the water. Leave the villas – if you can – and try some of the outdoor pursuits, including paddle boarding, skateboarding, horse riding and Basque Pelota.
For the budget-conscious traveller: Résidence La Marquisié –
Combining magnificent bridges, seductive landscapes and historic monuments, the Tarn Valley in Midi-Pyrénées, has an abundance of treasures to discover. Located in the Tarn Valley, in a small village called Trebas-les-Bains, Résidence La Marquisié is the perfect place to stay to take in all the wonders of this spectacular area. Each self-catered apartment (sleeping two to six guests) features stylish décor, large windows and a balcony. There is also a fully equipped kitchen, cosy living room and comfy bedroom, plus guests can use the swimming pool and sun terrace on site too. Live like a local and visit the weekly market, hire a bike and explore the region on two wheels or even jump into a canoe and paddle down the reflective waters of the Tarn. Alternatively, the Viaduct in Milau and the windmill in Lautrec are not to be missed, and the town of Albi, with its golf courses and inspiring cathedral is well worth a look. The Résidence La Marquisié apartments are in a large gated complex and each has its own front door; no awkward moments of trying to navigate around any other guests staying there.
For those who fancy a bit of glitz and glam, away from the crowds: Les Restanques du Carré Beauchêne –
Compared to its neighbours, Nice and Cannes, Sainte-Maxime is a relatively small town offering more of a peaceful holiday retreat. The old town, located in the Golfe de Saint-Tropez, has everything guests could possibly need: a sandy beach, picturesque golf course, idyllic marina and a wide range of shops and restaurants. Combining Provençale architecture, panoramic views and a peaceful setting, the Restanques du Carré Beauchêne villas (sleeping up to eight people) blend beautifully into the spectacular southern landscape and are a gateway to the glittering Côte d’Azur, which is renowned for its sweeping Mediterranean coastline of south-eastern France. The self-catered villas each feature a private garden (with sun loungers) and an inviting outdoor swimming pool. Inside, visitors can chill in the living room, which has stunning views over the Golf de Saint Maxime and a flat-screen television. Cook with local produce in the American-style kitchen and sit down for a sociable meal in the welcoming dining room or outside terrace, making the most of the warm climate. There are plenty of water sports available including snorkelling, paddle boarding, water skiing and parasailing. Plus, those eager for an adventure, can explore the famous Route du Mimosa. Named after the large number of acacias in Bormes-les-Mimosas, such as Clair de Lune, Mirandole and Chenille, the 130 km route, split into eight stages, offers a perfumed, golden getaway. Overall, the opportunities (and space) are endless…
For those looking for pure mountain air: Les Chalets du Berger Premium –
Located in the Savoie Grand Revard area, which is sometimes referred to as ‘little Canada’ due to the similarities in landscape, the resort of La Féclaz is known for its tranquillity, beautiful scenery, range of activities and value for money. Nestled just over an hour (by car) from Lyon or Geneva airport, guests can access more than 7,000 kilometres of signposted walking trails and explore the many mountain biking routes, plus play a round of golf, try horse riding and even find out what it is like to fly, with a paragliding instructor. Leave everything, and everyone, behind and hike from the Sire in La Féclaz to the Croix du Nivolet or jump on the l’Orionde chairlift – in the centre of the Alpine village – and ascend to the top of the mountain where the views are incredible. Keep an eye out for the wide range of flora and fauna, including Chamois, Marmot and (the very rare) Lynx. Families might like to watch the local farmer milk his dozen cows and afterwards, taste the creamy milk and delicious cheeses. After each exhilarating day, enjoying all the great outdoors has to offer, retire to Les Chalets du Berger Premium. Located in the heart of La Féclaz, the self-catered lodges (sleeping up to eight people) are built in a classic-wooden style, with either balconies or terraces offering wonderful places to sunbathe or play while enjoying the stunning vistas. An indoor pool is on site for those who fancy a swim, alternatively, each chalet comes with a spacious living area where a big-screen TV and a selection of board games can be found. Order a takeaway from one of the local restaurants, or just enjoy some peace and quiet in your secluded accommodation.
For foodie, romantic couples: Château de Candie –
Just over three miles from the centre of Chambéry, the Château de Candie is a luxury four-star castle that blends past and present seamlessly to create a memorable stay. Guests can admire the beautiful architecture, enjoy the exceptional views and make the most of the outdoor pool. As well as the large rooms (25 in total, accommodating up to four people) with soft sofas, walk-in showers, claw-footed baths and tall windows, the castle also has an opulent tower suite, ideal for couples after a romantic retreat. Take a stroll around the beautiful landscaped gardens, home to brand-new beehives, and into the chateau’s own vineyard, which yields circa 3,000 bottles of white, Viognier wine, each year. Although the castle dates back to the Dark Ages (14th century) it is anything but dingy. Instead, think of wide-open corridors, grand-sweeping staircases and bright and spacious restaurants; even though it’s not self-catered, keeping the recommended distance from other guests is easily accomplished. Jump onto an electric bike and explore the nearby area, including the Alpine town of Chambéry and the thermal spa town of Aix-les-Bains, next to the sparkling Lac du Bourget. Or, stay at the castle and enjoy a delectable picnic (made by the chef) with a glass, or two, or wine (recommended by the sommelier) in the verdant grounds.
For more information, check out Summer France