Multigenerational Trip Through France

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Advisor - Karen Morales
Curated By

Karen Morales

  • France

  • South of France

  • Luxury Travel

  • City Travel

  • Arts & Culture

  • Family Travel

  • Beaches

  • Active Travel

  • Architecture

  • Entertainment

  • Fashion

  • History

  • High-end

  • Local Food

  • Nightlife

  • Shopping

Arial view of city having a canal passing through
Curator’s statement

Is it possible to design a first-time trip through France for two teens, grandma and a wheelchair? Of course it is! The trick of the trade when developing European itineraries is to fully understand pacing, interests and how often the family wants to pack and unpack. For this custom trip, we had multiple interests: a foodie, a WW2 history buff, a budding artist and surfer and a repeat traveler, who wanted to ensure hotels were five-star and experiences were a blend of luxurious and local, with great coffee, luxurious bedding and wheelchair accessibility.

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Day 1-5: Paris

Eiffel tower in sunset

The perfect itinerary comes from understanding the desires of the group. Most flights arrive early morning, and we recommend an activity on arrival day so everyone is busy and stays awake. Imagine your first day in Paris finding a hidden gem lunch in St. Germain, wandering to the best macarons in the city and finally being greeted by a TukTuk to experience a full view of the city.

In Paris, the group saw the classic sites: Eiffel Tower at night, the Louvre with an art historian, the Seine and a behind-the-scenes visit to St. Chapelle. But it was always the special experiences that the family loved most: a bespoke tour in an off-the-beaten-path residential neighborhood, a WW2 tour of the Latin Quarter, a painting class in Luxembourg Garden and time to shop and experience small cafés and Michelin-Starred restaurants.

Day 6-8: Normandy

The coastline of Normandy.

After a quick train to Normandy, you arrive at a country château on gated grounds. With a farm-to-table restaurant, swimming pool serving Aperol Spritz’s and bikes on demand, the relaxation sets in.

Every visitor to Normandy should experience the sites of WW2, guided by a certified historian. Stopping along for a fresh-from-the-oven roadside lunch (or sampling the vending machine oysters), families can get out on the beaches, battlegrounds and bunkers to bring the history to life. After a long day of touring, you can enjoy the casual or fine dining destination restaurant at the château.

Day 9-12: Brittany & Mont St. Michel

Water making its way to a huge building through green land

For families with children, I always recommend adding a beach stay to every European city tour. It gives time to get off the "wake up and go" schedule so the family can sleep in and have a bit more downtime. The journey from Normandy to Brittany is a few-hour transfer, enabling a stop and a hike through a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mont St. Michel, an eighth-century abbey built on a rock in a tidal bay that changes at low and high tide.

The stay in Saint Malo included a spa hotel on the beach boardwalk, with easy access to sailing, windsurfing, aqua walking and surfing lessons. The hotel is a true French destination spa, with more than 30 treatment rooms, spa menus, a circuit of various water features and hot tubs that was accessible via lift and accessible for the teens and adults.

Saint Malo offers a walled city, seaside restaurants and shopping. The various local beaches also include a public swimming pool built into the ocean’s edge, complete with lifeguards and a low and high dive — a unique thrill for teens to join in the local fun.

Outside the city is access to animal parks, amusement centers as well as opportunities to take cooking classes, ride horses and tour the countryside by sidecar.

Day 13: Versailles

Gray and golden stones building with a statue in front of it

The palace of Versailles is a wonderful stop on the way back from the coast. The palace grounds are best viewed by foot or bike or via golf cart to accommodate little legs or mobility challenges. A private guided tour enables a VIP entrance and the ability to go at your own pace in the palace. A pre-arranged elevator entrance enables all visitors to access upper floors and see the personal chambers, including the Hall of Mirrors.

The town of Versailles has some wonderful restaurants and is a quick transfer to either Paris port for the return journey home.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Artemis Koutsogiorgas’s guide, Foodie's Guide to Paris, France.

Advisor - Karen Morales

Travel Advisor

Karen Morales

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on Travel to France.