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Family holiday in the Charente Maritime

The Charente Maritime is a perfect region in France for a family holiday with kids. Located mid-way between northern and southern France, along the west coast, it offers an assortment of activities, from the beautiful beaches and seaside towns to quaint villages and Michelin-star restaurants there is something for everyone. During the summer the fields are alive with beautiful sunflowers and vines in every direction. It’s a hidden gem that boasts wonderful weather, often with its own coastal micro climate, from Easter to October and beyond with lots of charm, history and family-friendly adventures to be had. So, if you’re looking for a family holiday in France with little ones or older kids, read on for why every member of the family will love a holiday in the Charente Maritime. 

If you’re feeling tempted, take a look at the bottom of this article for a selection of family-friendly holiday accommodations in the area for all tastes and budgets.

For Toddlers
There are lots and lots of child-friendly holiday homes dotted around this region of France, all catering for the littler members of the family. From private cottages with fenced swimming pools to small family managed gite complexes with play barns and lots of baby and toddler equipment. You will find that most of the gite complexes are owned by British parents who have moved to this area of France to bring their children up and enjoy a new way of life. They offer home-from-home self-catering holiday accommodation with a few added extras like baby sitting. 

Further afield there are many stunning sandy beaches, safe and shallow, ideal for a spot of paddling, rock pooling and sand castle building. La Marennes Plage is a small shallow lagoon beach perfect for toddlers and lots of river beaches dotted about the region too. The weather in the Charente is pretty good too, usually warm and sunny from Easter to October- great for little ones, generally not too hot and unbearable. The locals here love children, even some of the Michelin star restaurants have high chairs! If your little ones like animals the Charente Maritime is home to arguably one of the best zoos in Europe with more than 1.600 mammals, birds and reptiles from 110 different species. Zoo de La Palmyre plays an important role in the conservation of endangered species too. 

For Kids Under 12
As mentioned above, the Charente is dotted with fabulous holiday cottages and complexes with kid’s clubs and activities for young children on offer. Many have activities such as pizza making, and den building as well as the all-important swimming pool with inflatables. The gites complexes have enclosed gardens too, giving young children the freedom to explore, play and make new friends the old-fashioned way, without the worry of them roaming a little too far. 

Not only is the Charente Maritime home to one of the best zoos in Europe but also one of the best aquariums in Europe too in La Rochelle, Aquarium La Rochelle ranked by TripAdvisor as the #1 aquarium in France. It’s a great place to spend a few hours with kids and offers a 2-hour voyage exploring the sea. For a fun day out kids will love Futurescope, a theme park with rides and family experiences for all ages, new for 2019 they have launched Kids’ Town in the Futuropolis world where children get to be grownups from athletes and pilots to lifeguards and more. There are super heroes, villians and more who inhabit Futuropolis, good always wins the day. 

For Teenagers
It’s not always easy trying to find a holiday that keeps the older kids entertained but we think the Charente Maritime might just have a few gems up its sleeve. Many of the holiday gite complexes in the region not only have play barns for little kids but also activities for older kids too such as table tennis, table football and more. Located just 12 km from Royan are the caves of Regulus at the small fishing port Meschers. The caves are located in the cliffs and offer an interesting family day out. Opens 6thApril – 11thNovember 2019. If your teenagers need something a little more activity based, Coolongalook Adventure Park has climbing aerial adventures and activities for all ages. 

For Adults
The Charente Maritime is home to many beautiful towns and villages, chateaux and waterways. The main town of La Rochelle has lots of fabulous places to eat and visit. Do a little island hopping and visit Les Jardins de la Boirie, the beautiful botanical gardens in Saint-Pierre-d’Oleron or The Lighthouse of L’ile de Re or even take a cycle ride around one of the islands. There are beautiful historical places of interest to discover as well as sandy beaches and waterways and fabulous restaurants from pizzeria’s to Michelin starred.

Whatever you are looking for in your next family holiday, take a little look at the Charente Maritime along the coast in South West France, it has something to offer every family member, boasts wonderful weather most of the year and is easily accessible from the UK. 

By air, nearest airport is La Rochelle and it is under four hours to drive from the port of St Malo to La Rochelle too. If you want to travel via the channel tunnel you can expect a 7 hour drive from Calais to La Rochelle so anything either side of that less or more. Or why not get the train from St-Malo? Go car free!

Family accommodation ideas

There really is every type of child-friendly holiday accommodation in the Charente Maritime to suit all tastes, budgets and needs. All of the holiday options below cater for families with young children as well as older members of the family:

Manor House in Charente Maritime

This lovely private manor house has an enclosed swimming pool within the grounds, it is ideal for two families or space for grandparents in the cosy cottage. Four bedrooms sleeps 8 guests - private holiday cottage


Holiday Village

For a fun filled holiday head to Bonne Anse Plage Village, a fabulous family-friendly campsite with mobile homes, water park, swimming pools, and just 3km from the beach. Kids clubs from 1 yrs onwards and entertainment and activities for all ages including water club for teens.

Private holiday home near Plage Marennes

Lovely private seven bedroomed holiday cottage with swimming pool and annex ideal for multigenerational holiday, walk to village and toddler friendly Plage Marennes is just a mile away.

Gite complex nr. La Rochelle

Located just 12 miles from La Rochelle you will find this family run gite complex ideal for families with young children and enclosed swimming pool and one cottage has wheelchair access too. There are four cottages in total all of which are baby and toddler friendly.

For two families

Two child-friendly holiday cottages sharing a swimming pool, ideal for two families wanting to holiday together yet still have their own space. Each cottage has three bedrooms and can sleep a family of up to six guests, so twelve across the two properties.

Luxury holiday homes

A collection of five luxury holiday homes converted from this former manor house amongst vineyards, enclosed shared swimming pool, 2 acre walled garden boules, badminton pool table tennis etc and 20 minutes from beaches. Largest house has five bedrooms, smallest has three. 

Toddler-friendly cottage complex

Five fabulous toddler-friendly holiday cottages with enclosed swimming pool and 22 acres of gardens to explore, 20 minutes from beautiful beaches and lovely pretty coves. Indoor play barn, climbing frames, trampoline etc. 


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