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Family holidays in france

Updated on June 24, 2013
Princessa profile image

Wendy moved to France in 2005. She planned to stay there for only 5 years but fell in love with everything French and still living in France

Royan: The French Atlantic Coast with Children

This year for the third year in a row I have taken a couple of weeks in Royan with my little ones. They just love it, and always look forwards to going back to this picturesque seaside town in the French Atlantic coast.

Royan is a very good place to be with your children. The beaches are clean and child safe, there are plenty of things to do and see, even on a rainy day. To top it off, the seafood there is fantastic and now even my little ones prefer to go out eating seafood than to go to a McDonalds!

Although we have been three years in a row, we always find something new. The first year when the children were younger they enjoyed the “beach crèches”, now that they are older they just enjoy swimming in the sea or trying their first efforts at surfing.

Royan has a long history as a seaside resort


Royan has a very long past as a seaside resort. It was one of the very first resorts in France to arise through the newly discovered trend for sea-bathing at the start of the 20th century. It became incredibly fashionable, and prosperous visitors from Paris set up home for the summer in here.  At the time, the view of a family group dining on the seashore with maids waiting around the table was quite common and several very attractive Belle Epoque houses were constructed during this period. Unfortunately much of this was destroyed during the Second War.  Still nowadays Royan is still a very charming seaside resort. 

Royan, France

A markerRoyan -
17200 Royan, France
get directions

On the Atlantic Coast between La Rochelle and Bordeaux you will find Royan.

Jardins du monde, Royan

A markerJardins du monde, Royan -
Les Jardins du Monde, 5 Avenue des Fleurs de la Paix, 17200 Royan, France
get directions

Fun things to do with Children at Royan

  1. Visit the Jardins du Monde

The Jardins du Monde is a beautiful park in Royan. You can read more about it here

Jardins du Monde

5 av des Fleurs de la Paix

17204 Royan

Open from 10am to 6pm everyday.

Telephone 0546380099

Jardins du Monde, Royan

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Zoo La Palmyre

17570 Les Mathes

One of the best zoos in France and Europe, the Palmyre zoo is easily accessible from Royan by car or by bus.

Fun places in les Mathes

show route and directions
A markerQuad adventure -
1570 Route de la Fouasse, 17570 Les Mathes, France
get directions

B markerZoo La Palmyre -
La Palmyre Zoo, 6 Ancien chemin de Royan, 17570 Les Mathes, France
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3. Quad adventure

1570 Route de la Fouasse

17570 Les Mathes

Enjoy a hike in a quad bike with no need for a driving permit.  Children from 10 years onwards can have their own quad bike to ride in sand tracks or through the forest.

4. The Aeroclub the Royan

Aerodrome de Royan-Medis

Voie Joseph de Lelée

17600 Médis

Telephone: 0546068600

This is one of my favourite places in Royan, the place where I started my parachuting adventures.  Even though children are not allowed to go parachuting, (minimum age is 15 years old) my little ones just enjoy spending the day here watching the colourful parachutes in the air, wandering around the aeroplanes and enjoying a sandwich and ice cream in the little bar. 

If you are adventurous enough you and your children can see Royan and the Cote de Beaute (the beauty coast) from the air.  Prices start at 90 euros for two people.

Cycling in Royan

5. Bike Rentals

One of the best ways to go around Royan is by bike. If you cannot travel with your bikes you can always rent a bicycle in several places. Rental prices are very affordable and you can get all sort of bikes, from very small ones with helping wheels, to racing bikes and family bikes.

My little ones enjoyed going along the seafront in their bikes. There are bicycle tracks in most of Royan which makes it easy and safe to go around cycling.

Cordouan lighthouse

6. Cruises

Embarquement Quai de Gosport

70 Front de Mer

17200 Royan

On the port of Royan you will find several cruises all adapted to different needs.  For example, there is a cruise to the Cordouan lighthouse  (the last inhabited lighthouse in France) and there is a tour of the estuary.  There are also fishing tours, night tours, etc.

If you are planning to go on a cruise, expect to spend at least 12euros for each person. 

 7.  Mini Golf

Square de la Tremuille


If your little ones are already passionate about golfing, the mini golf the Pontaillac is the perfect place to end up a busy day.  Open until midnight, the mini golf has 18 holes especially adapted for young children.  Prices range from €6 for adults and €4 for children until 12 years old. 

8.  Beach Clubs

There are several beach clubs along the coast.  Designed for children as young as 3 years old these beach clubs are a mom’s saver!  You can leave your children here a couple of hours or the whole day.  The prices vary according to the length of time that you book in.  You can buy a couple of hours, a day pass, a week or even a month.

The beach clubs are registered under the beach club French federation and they are open July and August.  It is the perfect place to leave your children (open from 9:15am to 7pm) to play, learn to swim and entertain themselves while at the beach supervised by professionals. 

Outside the Louvre, Paris


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    • revervoyages profile image

      revervoyages 5 years ago

      Thank you for these tips - it's not always easy to decide what to do with kids on holiday - this article sure helped! :)

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 6 years ago from France

      Mari: Sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy very much the Jardin du Monde. We found it a very good place for a day out. My little ones are older than yours (7 and 9) maybe that is why they found it that much more interesting and fun. They had a great time at the water spring esplanade, I could hardly take them away from there. They also found very interesting the Butterfly area where we spent ages discovering the beautiful butterflies and everything about them. Just coming out of the butterfly area they also enjoyed playing with the scents, guessing aromas and wondering what were they and where they came from.

      We liked it so much that we were back a few months ago when we were once again in Royan.

    • profile image

      Mari  6 years ago

      Visited Jardins du monde this week with my son who is 2 and we did not find it that exciting. It was very small park and you also had to pay 9.50 euros per adult to get in there. It was nothing special as I have visited a lot of free parks in London,so quite disappointed in this one to be honest.

    • amy jane profile image

      amy jane 7 years ago from Connecticut

      This looks like a beautiful vacation spot for the family. Thanks for sharing! Maybe I'll get there someday with my kids...I can dream, right?! :)

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 7 years ago from France

      Cheeky Girl: I know how you feel. Before I moved to France I felt the same, I always wanted to come back again and again as I never had enough of France. Now that I am living here I am still finfind it a great place to be.

      H P Roychoudhury: I am happy you enjoyed it. Thanks for commenting.

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 7 years ago from Guwahati, India

      It is beautiful. The appearance of children in the hub has made it more beautiful and enjoyable indeed.

    • Cheeky Girl profile image

      Cassandra Mantis 7 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

      I have been to France so many times, most recently went with my partner to Toulon, and it was magical, in late summer. France is great, and food is the best in the world. Once is not enough for me, there is so much to like. Cheers! Loved reading about Royan here! :)

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 7 years ago from France

      ILoveCycling: You would love to cycle here. My retired neighbours cycled the whole of France during the summer. They started a few years ago, a little stretch at a time and this year they finally did the whole bordering of the French map!

      shygirl2: France should be a place to be seen at least once in your life. I hope you can come and visit us one day.

    • profile image

      shygirl2 7 years ago

      I'd love to see France someday. You make it look so appealing and quite beautiful!! :)

    • ILoveCycling profile image

      ILoveCycling 7 years ago from Australia

      Oh! - I want to go, I'd love to cycle around France - Meet the locals and see the scenery.

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 7 years ago from France

      Alisha2010: How great you learning French, it is a lovely language and it will make your visit to France much more easier and enjoyable as you will be able to talk directly in their language to the locals.

      Tony: What are you waiting to come and visit? I love the Bordeaux area and its wines!

      Eiddwen: you are welcome, I hope you can visit France one day, you would really like it.

      KoffeeKlatch Gals: France is addictive, after a first visit you will want another one and another one... I started just visiting until I finally decided to move here ;-)

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 7 years ago from France

      MPG Narratives: There are so many beautiful places to visit in France that it is very difficult to choose only a couple of places to see. What I do is to concentrate in areas and explore them.

      A Dane in Spain: The French Atlantic coast is an area that has a lot to offer to tourists.

      BrianS: It is a bonus when your children enjoy sea food as it means that you can enjoy the local food and stop having to go to McDonalds only to keep the children happy ;-)

      H P Roychoudhury: Royan is one of my children's favourite holiday areas: they enjoy the sea food, love the beach and have lots of fun visiting places like the zoo, the minigolf, the jardins du monde and many other places. We have also visited during the winter and they stil enjoyed their "beach break"

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      What a beautiful hub. It makes me want to drop everything and go there. I hope someday to be able to visit. Thanks for sharing. Even visiting vicariously is relaxing.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 7 years ago from Wales

      Hi princessa A well written and interewsting hub. I have never been to France but you never know! I have had a taste of it now. Thank you for sharing this. Take care.

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

      I am a total Francophile and so I loved this Hub. I have a nephew living in Bordeaux though I have not visited him since he moved there.

      Love and peace


    • Alisha2010 profile image

      Alisha2010 7 years ago from Irvine, CA

      Princessa, such a beautiful and informative hub! I will have to get myself to Royan someday. I'm learning French now, so hopefully in a couple of years. Thanks for the hub!

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 7 years ago from Guwahati, India

      I had not the opportunity to visit Paris. Your holiday trip to Royan had given the highest enjoyment to your lovely children as I noticed how freely and pleasantly they were cycling.

    • BrianS profile image

      Brian Stephens 7 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

      My daughter holidayed in La Rochelle this year as well and told us how beautiful it is there. Her children also love seafood so I can just imagine them eating out at the restaurants in the region and thoroughly enjoying it. Love the photos and use of the maps in this hub.

    • A Dane in Spain profile image

      Dorte Holm Jensen 7 years ago from Torrox, Malaga. Spain

      Sounds like a great place to visit. I do love France.Very informative.

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      I really do hope to visit France next year, this may be a place I will visit, thanks for the info Princessa.

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 7 years ago from France

      Silvia: so happy to read that you enjoyed your time in Royan...

      triosol: Thank you, I really hope that you get another chance to see France. There is so much to France than Paris...

    • triosol profile image

      triosol 7 years ago

      very beautiful hub. I had visited paris few years before but due to some business commitment neva got a chance to explore any other places. I would love to visit France again. Great Work :)

    • profile image

      Silvia 7 years ago

      I love Royan, our holidays there were wonderful going to the beach, zoo, the world gardens and specially the seafood. Thank you for this hub.

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 7 years ago from France

      ecoggins: I hope you can come to France one day, it is really worth a visit. I would love to visit Cambodia with my little ones, I am sure they would love that.

    • ecoggins profile image

      ecoggins 7 years ago from Corona, California

      Sounds like a wonderful vacation spot. I would love to go to France and Europe some day in the future. When we returned to California from Cambodia for good, I really wanted to fly back through Europe, but unfortunately that didn't happen. Hopefully soon :). Thank you for the beautiful hub.