We all love an independent family holiday where can explore local attractions and plan our own days hopping from beach to ice cream shop. But sometimes, especially with younger children, staying in a resort that is a one stop shop for keeping the family entertained is needed. If you’re a fan of Haven holidays, Center Parcs or similar holiday resorts that conjure images of Dirty Dancing, then this new collaborative concept in France could be right up your street.
20 miles East of Paris lies Villages Nature a new resort developed by the purveyors of British middle-class staycations, Center Parcs and Disneyland Paris. On the doorstep of, you guessed it, Disneyland Paris, this is a step up from the mini golf and wave machines of the usual holiday parks. So, what does this supercharged place of organised fun have to offer?
The sprawling resort is set in attractive woodland and is segregated into five ‘worlds’. The ‘Forest of Legends’ is a wooded adventure playground and ‘Extraordinary Gardens’ a themed planted area where insects and tadpoles are labelled with multi-lingual labels. The ‘Lakeside Promenade’ is a metropolis of restaurants, shops and the location for the kids creche. Whilst ‘BelleVie Farm’ is home to the resort’s wildlife and the place to go horse riding, to pet animals and to learn about bread-making and bee keeping.
The piece de resistance of Villages Nature, however, is by far the vast dome under which all the aquatic activities take place; The Aqualagon houses the indoor swimming pool and the white-knuckle water slide, which is not for the faint-hearted. You could be happily lolloping around in the swimming pool area of the ride when the lifeguard presses a big green button, at which point the floor of the pool opens beneath you and you are plunged through a tube into the abyss below.
The Aqualagon pool complex
If you’re not so keen on pool activities there’s plenty of other things on offer too and they’re not your run of the mill tennis and cycling, how about some butter churning?
The holiday park is classified as eco-friendly, which we love. The rainwater from the Aqualagon is collected and used in the site’s toilets and the in the aqua park showers, and you can learn about sustainable living whilst you stay too. Accommodation comprises of 868 cottages and apartments in the woods around the lake that were built in the first phase, which opened in 2017. The standard of accommodation is slightly below the standard of those Center Parc’s resorts in the UK with easy-clean surfaces and utilitarian kitchens. Eventually there will be 1083 cottages and apartments that visitors can even invest in by way of a profit-sharing scheme if you can spare 250,000 euros (!).
Eco Lodges, Villages Nature
All in all, this is an exciting addition to the selection of family holidays on offer just a stone’s throw from the UK. Given its so close to our rainy climes you should pick you month depending on what you enjoy. There’s plenty to do inside and out, so if you don’t mind the cooler weather head to Villages Nature in Autumn and Winter to bag yourself a cheaper holiday. And for all your holiday insurance needs, make sure you get a quote here to stay safe whilst you and your family are away.