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Things to do in France

A firm favourite for the first-class family camping holiday, 'La belle France' is an absolute haven for fans of the great outdoors. And Al Fresco has the country pretty much covered, north to south, side to side, with luxury parks in no less than eleven different regions. From Biarritz to Béziers, Cannes to Caen, there's a wealth of dazzling treasures to discover, places to explore and fabulous foods to savour for the serious 'Francophile'. Just pick your spot, and pack your beret.

France has some of the world's finest family parks, well geared to the needs and desires of the younger traveller. The pools are ultra-modern, the activities wide and varied, everything cleverly designed to appeal to tiny toddlers and trendy teens alike.

In the country's sizzling South West corner, Aquitaine has the lot, from the film star razzamatazz of Biarritz to the surfing dude's paradise of Hossegor, the sophisticated vineyards of dreamy Bordeaux to the lofty spires of Bayonne. You might want to take your golf clubs too...

From the flourishing fishing port of Sète to the quaint canals of Béziers, the might of Montpellier to the serenity of Sérignan, this sun-baked region is proving more and more popular year on year. And it's not hard to see why.

Not far from the hurly-burly of cosmopolitan Perpignan, the tiny harbour charms of Picasso's Collioure and the snow-capped peaks of the Pyrenées, Canet Plage offers the perfect combination of French majesty and Spanish zest.

The French Riviera is a true 'millionaires' playground, from the pristine port of Monaco, via the hot fashion spots of Nice and film star Cannes down to the scorching sands of St Tropez. Here you don't just see 'how the other half lives', you actually join in the scene.

Way out west, watching over the Bay of Biscay, and just south enough to be bathed in sunshine, this is one region of France that's well worth a closer look. The long, sandy beaches unfold for miles, whilst inland the cooling forest air is thick with refreshing pine fragrance. And nobody leaves without sampling the superb seafood.

From the heady delights of Cognac to the curious charm of prison island Fort Boyard, this undiscovered region has plenty up its sleeve. La Rochelle is a thriving shopping zone steeped in naval tradition, whilst Palmyre is home to the country's biggest zoo.

North and South Brittany, Al Fresco has the finest options in this Celtic corner of France. From the Benedictine beauty of Mont St Michel to the standing stones of Carnac (older than Stonehenge), this is a mystical place with its own distinctive cuisine, customs and rustic 'joie de vivre'.

A region that's naturally played its part in British history and home to many of the aspects of France we learned so much about at school: the Bayeux Tapestry, William the Conqueror, 1066, Joan of Arc, Flanders fields, D-Day landings and more. Not a history buff? No problem: there's always the fiery Calvados, pretty Honfleur harbour and decadent Deauville resort.

You know you'll simply have to take in one of the many sampling tours - Mumm, Moet, Mercier - all the world's top brands of bubbly have them. And who could resist? You're close to the capital too of course, with Disneyland® Paris on your doorstep, plus the Palace of Versailles, and the joys of Reims, where French kings once were crowned, just 50 miles away.

The whispering 'Garden of France', dotted with soaring Chateaux - small wonder the nation's kings and gentry built so many of their 'country retreats' here. Unfathomably deep gorges, babbling brooks, and sprawling hillside vines, whose fruits are transformed into wines of world renown.

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