February half-term is just around the corner for families looking for a last-minute holiday, and the Easter break is not too far away either, so why not book one of our luxury family friendly villas? Normandy
is the ideal location too and requires very little travel time from the UK.
If you choose Normandy as your holiday location, then take a look at our top 9 ideas for making your family holiday an amazing experience everyone will love.
1. Mont Saint Michel
One of the most popular tourist destinations in France, Mont Saint Michel is a village and monastery built on a rocky island a short way off the coast of Normandy, joined to the mainland via a causeway. The impressive Benedictine Abbey dates to the 11th century, sitting at the highest point of the island. The narrow streets you will find in the village, sprawling down the hillside, are filled with shops, restaurants, and museums to visit. At the Abbey, you can climb the ramparts and see the stunning views over the bay, and children can pretend to be kings, knights and princesses as you explore the ancient buildings. If you visit in the evening, you can take an enchanting guided walk with lighting effects and music, providing a truly magical experience. Be aware when visiting Mont Saint Michel, the tide turns very fast so coastal walks in the area should be done with an experienced guide and make note of the areas which are submerged at high tide.
2. Bayeux Tapestry
The Bayeux Tapestry is a must-see for visitors to Normandy. The historic tapestry is over 900 years old, and the 70-metre-long hand-embroidered artwork depicts the Battle of Hastings. While this might not be an obvious choice for a family activity, children will love the chance to find the interesting and gruesome! parts of the tapestry. Today, the tapestry is on display at the Museum of Queen Matilda in the city of Bayeux. The city itself is a popular tourist attraction, and you can also take the time to visit the gothic cathedral and botanical garden.
France is famous for its food, and the whole family will surely love the chance to try a variety of fantastic food available around Normandy. Try the cheeses, particularly the creamy Camembert which originated in Normandy. There is also a tour of the farm factory to see the traditional methods used to make the cheese, and also gives you a chance to try some. There is also the Route de Fromage through the countryside, which includes visits to local cheese producers its like a cheese treasure hunt!
4. La Cite de la Mer
Arrive on board the La Redoubtable, the largest submarine which is open to the public and discover what life would be like on board a submarine. There is a guided tour providing insight into the lives of submariners and learn the history of underwater exploration. The Cite de la Mer is also home to the deepest aquarium in Europe, with a huge collection of sea creatures on display.
Go back in time to the museum and archaeological site of Vieux-la-Romaine. There are restored Roman buildings to explore and even more excavations are underway, carefully revealing the Roman city underneath the ground. The museum houses many of the discoveries made at the site over the last 300 years, which include statues, murals and mosaics. You can explore the ruins, play in the Romanesque garden with a beautiful fountain at its centre. During peak holiday times, there are also children activities to take part in such as mural painting or Roman cookery.
6. Zoos and theme parks
For a fun-filled day full of animals and thrilling rides, head to one of the Zoos or theme park located near our family villas in Normandy. Festyland, outside of Caen is a historically-themed amusement park, perfect for younger children. There are roller coasters, water slides, a medieval castle and more, all based on the areas pirate and Viking history. For any animal lovers, there are the zoos at Jurques and Champrepus. Zoo de Champrepus is a little unusual, focusing on plant life from around the world with its botanical gardens. There are lots of exotic animals there too, like lions, tigers, lemurs, gibbons, macaws and flamingos. At Zoo de Jurques, there is a Wild West theme, where children can get up close to donkeys and goats, try their hand at being a farmer and much more for kids who want to get their hands a bit dirty!
7. Monets Garden
Even if your children have not heard of Monet, Monets Garden in Giverny is a beautiful place for them to explore. This is the place where Claude Monet painted some of his most famous painting, including the Water Lilies series. In early spring, this garden is mesmerising to wander through, as the flowers are blooming and you can easily see how the garden inspired one of the greatest impressionist painters.
8. World War II Museum and the Normandy Beaches
Normandy is closely linked to World War II and it is an opportunity not to miss a visit to the beaches and imagine the dramatic scenes of D-Day. The beaches are still scattered with bunkers and the scars of the bombing are visible on the cliff faces. There is also the Memorial de Caen museum, exploring the whole history of World War II. There are replicas of weaponry and bunkers in the memorial gardens and children can learn more about a vital piece of Europes history.
9. Underground caves
For a miniature adventure when holidaying at our luxury villas, visit Le Souterroscope des Ardoisieres at Caument. This cave system was previously part of a slate quarry and you can venture underground through 400m of caves. For children, there are treasure hunts and educational tours about the geology of the land and rock formation. The caves maintain a cool 15 degrees Celsius so it is best to bring a jumper, even if its hot outside.
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