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summer holidays in france this august on the coast

I was recently asked to look for a holiday for a family of four - 2 adults & 2 kids for the peak summer school holidays. I know why I was asked, the dates - the first 2 weeks in August! The worst 2 weeks of the entire summer for availability and cost but I came up with loads of options/ideas still so thought I would share them with you on my holiday blog. Their budget was £1,000 to £2,000 for 2 weeks including travel so it was pretty tight and they wanted to be close to the beach so their kids could go surfing and body boarding not to mention play in the sand whilst their parents relaxed I suspect - who can blame them. It made the search areas much easier, southern Brittany or the Vendee on the west coast, basically where the Loire region runs into the Atlantic beaches. So here goes, here was my reply:

Travelling to France this Summer - Eurotunnel, Ferry or Flights?

OK, so travel first – do you happen to shop in Tesco and have any Clubcard vouchers? If you do, you can pay for a Eurotunnel crossing in full with those – we normally spend around £30-£40 when we cross in Tesco vouchers in the winter but the peak summer fares are around £100 each way so will be around £50-60 Clubcard vouchers – it's a bit of a bind organising it and you have to book 2 weeks at least in advance but definitely worth the saving and is only 35 mins to cross. Then you can drive down from Calais. Driving in France is not like the UK, the French don't really use their toll roads so traffic is almost never an issue unless you go anywhere near Paris of course and then good luck, it's a nightmare! But if you were going to either southern Brittany or the Vendee (western Loire) you wouldn't go anywhere near Paris. I know from experience the drive from Calais to say La Rochelle area in Poitou Charentes would be just over 5 hours though so could be too far, but all of the accommodation I have suggested below is north of this in the Vendee or southern Brittany regions on the Atlantic coast (great for surfing & body boarding), so I would suggest is around 4 hours max easy drive from Calais.
Alternatively to cut the car journey you can get the ferry to Caen or St Malo from Portsmouth (Brittany Ferries around £250-300 each way!) and drive down from there which would cut around 2 hours off your driving time or you could fly into say La Rochelle or Poitiers and hire a car – all the cheap airlines go there but whether or not you would get a cheap flight in the school holidays, then that's a different matter but it would be a whole lot cheaper than going to some of the more traditional holiday destinations in Spain or Portugal for example.

beach holidays in france this summer - brittany & the vendee

So all in all, the cheapest way, by far would be to drive if you can manage it and then that way you will have more to spend on the accommodation, but again for 2 weeks then we might struggle but let's see what sort of options are out there:
cheap family holiday accommodation abroad Eurocamp Holidays - family friendly holiday parks & apartment resorts across France & Europe. Apartments & luxury mobile home accommodation. They had very little availability left in southern Brittany or the Vendee that was within your price range for 2 weeks as I am sure you want to stay in a 2 bed mobile home as opposed to a tent, however luxurious! The reason I thought of Eurocamp is because they have all the facilities onsite including a bar, restaurant, kids clubs, water parks, slides etc but they are also normally in brilliant locations rights on the beach too – so basically once you get there, you don't need too go far to get what you want. I only found a 2 bedroom mobile home in Brittany at Des Menhirs near Carnac (park code BS018) from Monday 3 August for 13 nights at £1,973.70 (but hurry if you want it, there's only one left), in the Vendee the price was even higher at £2,359 for 2 weeks so presumably that's out (park code VS013)– go via the red link above and have a look around if your budget is different
cheap family holiday accommodation Al Fresco Holidays- 54 holiday parks across France, Corsica, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Austria and Holland. Accommodation in luxury mobile homes. They had availability at La Grande Metairie 5 star rated park in southern Brittany near the coast (Carnac) with water park in a 2 bed Rossini home, discounted for those 2 weeks starting Saturday by 30% and now £1,539 - I know people who have been there and they loved it, but what's more the kids had a ball! And I can assure you this is a great price so hurry if you want it - please book online via the red link above if possible.
family holiday accommodation Madame Vacances offer villas with private pools, shared pools or apartments with shared pools all over France, Spain & ski holidays all with a lowest price guarantee. they do holiday homes, apartments etc at superb value for money again many right on the coast. Whilst they didn't have anything I would recommend in Brittany they had loads of options in the Vendee within the price range and on the coast. If it was me, I would always go for something that sleeps up to 6 so that you get 2 bedrooms rather than just 1 and a sofa bed but that's up to you. So they had apartments for 2 weeks from £1,159 or cottages from £1,259 at Saint Gilles Croix de Vie or cottages at Les Mas de Saint Hilaire from £1,659. I love these guys as they have a lowest price guarantee too. Please book online via this red link if possible - thank you.
cheap family holiday Pierre et Vacances Center Parcs are an exceptionally good value family friendly holiday accommodation provider, both for winter skiing holidays & relaxing summer breaks in France & Spain offering both apartments & holiday village style resorts. With kids clubs, flexibility on dates, BEST PRICE GUARANTEE & various catering options, you won't find a better choice. Not to mention the comfort of being part of the Center Parcs group. My family and I always book our skiing holidays in France with them so again, from experience book something for up to 6 people to get the space if you can afford it, but we love them and the fact they are such a trusted brand. These guys have loads of places within your budget both in Brittany and the Vendee region – bear in mind the Vendee is much cheaper, probably because people don't want to drive that far but for the price difference it is definitely worth it, plus in the Vendee, if you go, you must go to Puy du Fou, the kids will love it, not cheap but also think you can get entrance via Tesco Clubcard vouchers. We spent a day there and wanted another one!! Anyway, go via the blue links above and search on both Brittany and Vendee – they have places on the coast in the Vendee at Château-d'Olonne for 2 weeks in a 2 bed apartment for under 1,500 euros for 2 weeks and with the exchange rate that's great value in L'Estran Apartments right on the beach with a pool of course or at Resort Port-Bourgenay holiday village for those 2 weeks at around 1,600 euros for a 2 bed apartment or 1,900 euros for a 2 bed house – definitely worth a look! Please book online via the red link if possible.
holiday cottage accommodation Cottages.com, France - family friendly holiday cottages all over France & the UK. If you want something a bit more on your own, then the only real option is to trawl through Cottages.com collection. The problem with these are they won't be right on the coast like the others, but they will be quieter. I did a quick search on the 2 regions I have suggested for you – Brittany – and there is availability with prices from £800 for 2 weeks from that date but these are mostly in northern Brittany and southern Brittany is nearer your top end budget and – the Vendee – prices are generally cheaper here and much nearer to the coast with 2 weeks for a good place at around £1,000. Please book online via this red link if possible - thank you.

Now, I hope I have given you a few ideas for getting abroad this year. I can honestly say, Cornwall or Pembrokeshire – the traditional UK surfing/body boarding destinations are way more expensive than France and that's including travel. I do hope all this information helps, and if you do like anything it would be great if you could book online via my blue links (either from my website or direct above), as I receive a small commission that helps keep Recommended Family Holiday's going – many thanks. And please ask if you need any more advice.
Article By Lucilla Paull.

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