The rolling countryside and relaxed atmosphere of the Dordogne continues to attract British tourists in their droves. With its multitude of castles, caves, gardens and rivers – this region is a true gem of a holiday destination. It’s perfect for families because it’s easy and quick to reach, it’s quiet and it’s extremely friendly.
If you’re looking for a child friendly holiday destination – try the Dordogne. Your only regret will be that you didn’t try it sooner. Whilst you take in the surroundings, your little ones will be safe and entertained with water parks, horse riding classes, canoeing, museums and much more. Here is a guide to some of the best child friendly attractions in the Dordogne.
Aqua Park, Bergerac
This aqua park in Bergerac is quite a large complex with more of an emphasis on sports than scary rides. If your kids aren’t quite big enough or tough enough yet for water slides – let them splash around in one of four huge swimming pools, say the experts at holiday website ChildFriendly.co.uk. Older children can take canoe lessons on an adjacent river, or even try their hand at mountain biking, quad biking or beach volleyball. The park contains many different restaurants and bars and provides nightly entertainment. It’s just a short walk from the town of Bergerac.
Prèhisto Park, Tursac
Did you know that the Dordogne has some of the earliest cave paintings known to man? It’s true and they’re a spectacular sight to behold. Why not visit the Vézère valley and check out the 12,000 year old cave paintings, then take the kids down to Préhisto Park in the nearby town of Tursac. This park is a life size recreation of prehistoric France – complete with cavemen, extinct animals and even dinosaurs! Children can safely play at being cavemen in beautiful, relaxing surroundings.
Jacquou Park, Le Bugue
Situated very close to Le Bugue, Jacqou Park is made up of three separate sites – a water park, an animal farm and an amusement park. It’s fair to say that once your kids lay eyes on this attraction, they’ll want to be here all day. The animal farm contains domestic mammals such as llamas, highland cattle and angora goats, says the DordogneTravelGuide.com. The aqua park has several big water slides but is split into sections for older and younger children. The amusement park has its own bouncy castle and mini theme park rides. There’s a mini golf area for parents and several restaurants and bars.
Parc Aquarium Du Pèrigord Noir, Le Bugue
Also in Le Bugue is the Parc Aquarium Du Pèrigord Noir, a huge aquarium that plays home to more than 6000 fish and 80,000 bees. Don’t worry – they’re in a glass hive! The aquarium also has its own reptile zone with iguanas and snakes. At certain points throughout the day, children can help feed the fish.
L’Appel de la Forêt, Thenon
Roughly translated as the ‘call of the wild forest,’ this adventure park in Thenon is perfect for older kids looking for a thrill. It’s mostly made up of a tree top obstacle course, with the biggest attraction being a high speed zip wire through the forest. Take your children down to Thenon and let them run all of their energy out. They’re guaranteed to fall asleep in the car on the way back.
If you fancy spending some quality time with your kids and doesn’t want to be distracted – renting traditional cottages in Dordogne is a great idea. They’re cheap, comfortable and almost always include a private pool or garden, say the experts at MumAbroad.com. This is a great idea for families with babies and toddlers who perhaps can’t get involved with more intense activities. Plus, it’ll allow you and your partner to sit back with a glass of wine, whilst the kids play in the sunshine.
Finding a child friendly holiday destination isn’t difficult, especially in France. The Dordogne well knows for its friendly nature and its excellent facilities, so don’t feel hesitant about taking young children along with you – they’ll have a superb time.