When you need a break, but the kids come too... Choose somewhere with something for everyone.
Life had been pretty hectic
With me in full-time work and Lois at school, it usually is. But with holidays fast approaching we decided some quality mother and daughter time was due. The demands of the 10-year-old were simple: somewhere warm that we had to fly to, but not too far as we only had a week and we didn’t want to spend all our time travelling; but living with a six-year old brother, even the flight sounded relaxing to Lois! We did some research and found the perfect place, Moliets, on the Atlantic South West coast of France, it was settled.
A short flight from Gatwick to Bordeaux and a two hour transfer and we were at Madame Vacances, our home for the next few nights. Although, little did I know it at the time, we wouldn’t see too much of our villa or its own private pool as Lois had signed us up to all sorts of activities. I think we may have had our wires crossed with this whole ‘relaxing’ thing. Where I’d had visions of the two of us floating around on lilos in our private pool reading books and sipping mocktails all day, Lois’s vision was a much more strenuous affair, and would involve me getting up early, wearing sensible footwear and waterproof mascara!
Madame Vacances Moliets villa complex is nestled between a forest, a 27-hole golf course and Moliets beach on the wild Atlantic Ocean. Madame Vacances has been catering for hassle-free holidays in France since 1991. Often associated with skiing resorts in the Alps, their prestigious portfolio also offers holiday cottages and villas with pools – like ours. The villas are secluded and luxurious with every whim catered for. The wifi connection is instant – if you’ve ever tried to log onto wifi on holidays before, this will really mean something to you! Each villa has its own router and best of all, no password requirement – oh joy of joys! We were able to Skype home with no bother at all.
Relax in style
Things to do
The very first thing we did, naturally, was to dive into our private pool. Each villa boasts one, which was one of the reasons we chose here, my vision floated into my head and floated out again with so many activities planned, we hardly spent any time in the villa at all, lovely though it was, there was fun to be had! The following is a list of activities, all tried and tested by Lois (age 10) and me (old enough to know better!)
- Adrenalin zip wire and tree top activities
- Surf lessons
- Golf lessons
- Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Other activities, such as horse riding and scuba diving, are available but we simply didn’t have time to fit them in! Suffice to say the bonding part of the plan was taken care of, with Lois laughing at my attempts at surfing! She, of course, was a natural. Stand up paddle boarding was a little easier, hard on muscles I’d forgotten about, but slightly less chance of falling in, and such a peaceful way to view the local lake and stunning scenery up close.
What we ate
Each day was kick-started with a delivery from our friends at Madame Vacances of delicious pastries and fresh bread for which the French are famous. We also visited several establishments in the area; we had fab pizzas at the family-friendly Le Transat which is adjacent to Moliets’ gorgeous sandy and duney beach. We were there just in time for sunset awesomeness too; this is the stuff that memories are made of!
Lunch at Auberge Du Soliel was delightful. Fresh local ingredients and a relaxed atmosphere, but the Grille de l’Ocean at Moilets beach was such a fab setting and the food was divine. Seafood and fresh oysters, we couldn’t get enough. Lois even tried a mussel, and described it as a garlicky gummy bear! The sun set as the children played a light-hearted game of football in the square while all the adults chatted easily over a glass of local wine, it was such a relaxed atmosphere that I wanted to take a mental snapshot and store it away for the cold English winter.
Bonding at the beach
You may already be familiar with Madame Vacances from your annual skiing trips, but they’re not just for snow. Madame Vacances offers five complexes across the Moliets seaside resort, with its comfortable range of apartments, cottages and villas with pools ensuring couples, families and groups can all enjoy their ideal sunshine break whatever their budget from as little as £219 per apartment per week in a studio that sleeps two people in May.
They’re not a package holiday company. You can arrange your own travel, there’s no changeover day – so you can stay as long as you wish. You can do as little or as much as you like and Madame Vacances will handle all arrangements including airport transfers.
We stayed at Villas La Clairière aux Chevreuils. Prices start from £102 pp (£819 total) for a seven-night stay in a villa sleeping eight, on a self-catering basis. To book call Madame Vacances on 01273 358 071, or visit www.madamevacances.co.uk.
Return flights from London Gatwick to Bordeaux cost from £108 pp with EasyJet
- Adrenalin Park The zip wire - tree top activity centre
- Surfing lesson Ecole de Surf du Golf
- Golf lesson Moliets Golf Course
- Skateboard lesson Skatelandes 0033 6 88 67 32 19, Julien Polisset
- Cycling Loca-Velo
- Pizza Dinner at Le Transat: +33 (0)558 48 57 17
- Golf Club House: +33 (0)558 48 54 65
- Auberge du Soleil: +33 (0)558 77 45 39
- Hotel Grille l’Ocean: +33 (0)558 48 51 19