In honour of all our mums – and the approaching cards’n’flowers fest of Mother’s Day – we’ve a bunch of brilliant suggestions that go the extra mile, and show our appreciation for all the brilliant mums out there. So, if you’re off on a family holiday, save a day to show her how much you care, and try one of these…
- Lunch on the Canal du Midi
Treat your mum to a scenic day cruise on a canal boat down the Canal du Midi in Béziers. The beautiful waterway is a UNESCO World Heritage site, boasting enchanting views along its meandering course. Coffee and croissants are provided for breakfast, and a Languedoc larder of deliciousness – mussels, cheese and chocolate – for dinner. And wine, of course. This is France after all.
14, Rue de ecluses de Fonserane
Nearest parc: With fantastic access to the beach, the Les Sablines parc is sure to please mum and the family. The beach is a 900m walk from the parc, great for relaxing afternoon strolls. After a day of exploring the local city simply wind down and treat mum to some delicious French food at the on-site restaurant.
- Enjoy a day of shopping in Murano
Take a trip to this historic Venetian island to browse, and buy, its world-class glass. Indulge mum with beautiful pieces – from dainty earrings to delicate vases. For a dash of culture pop into one of the many glass galleries, watch a demonstration of how glass is made, or visit the smaller (cooler) independent workshops. Shop with caution though – give the touts, the free water taxis to the factories, and the ‘made in China’ imports a wide berth. But do some price comparisons, and you’re sure to find the perfect gift for mum.
Isola di Murano, Venezia
Nearest parc: Mum can enjoy a stunning slice of Italy in the Marina de Venezia parc, only a short boat ride to Venice for sightseeing days out and with direct beach access for more chilled days. With a heated pool on site and a forest you can explore by bike, this parc will let mums decide whether they want to relax or be adventurous.
- Dinner in Paris
Spoil mum with dinner in the gastronomic cauldron of Europe – Paris. If ever a city celebrates the best ingredients, cooked with love and served with style, it’s the French capital. But where to choose, in a city of 100,000 restaurants? Our current favourite is an intimate little gem, Le Timbre (‘the postage stamp’) close to Le Jardin Du Luxembourg, on the south side of the river. The restaurant serves inventive, modern French cooking with a few home-spun twists, and the welcome is warm and genuine. There’s a lovely sense that you’re eating with friends in this cosy space, too. Mum will love it.
Le Timbre, 3 rue Sainte-Beuve
Nearest parc: Set in woodlands on the beautiful River Marne, the Paris est-Champigny campsite is the perfect relaxing spot for mums to stay. The capital city is just 12km away, and accessible by bus just outside the campsite. And for mums that are young at heart, Disneyland Paris is just 30 minutes away!
- Explore the fairytale castles of Sintra
Explore the beautiful cultural heritage of the Lisbon Riviera with a day tour of the fairytale palaces and gardens of Sintra (main pic, above). Mum can explore the stunning old streets of Sintra and visit the extravagant and colourful Pena Palace, perched on a 500m high rock – Disneyland’s got nothing on this fantastic creation. Follow with a hearty dinner in Restaurante Refugio da Roca, a charmingly authentic spot on the way to Cabo da Roca, the most westerly point of the European mainland. Time it right and you’ll be in for a real treat – a stunning after-dinner sunset, the very last you’ll see in Europe!
Nearest parc: Explore the beautiful nature of the Portuguese coast with a stay at the Guincho campsite in Cascais, Portugal. With the seaside and the bustling resort of Cascais close by, mum can enjoy the best of both worlds. For days that aren’t spent relaxing on the beach, captivating Lisbon is only a short drive away for a day of art galleries and serious shopping.
- Create your own perfume
Yes, you could grab a bottle of Chanel, but why not let your mum create her own perfume at Le Studios Des Fragrances and leave with her new signature scent? Galimard – France’s oldest perfume house – only recently opened its doors to the public, and you can enjoy a fantastic two hour ‘make your own perfume’ experience – available in English and French. Mum will be guided through the perfume making experience and be able to bottle and name her perfume at the end.
Le Studios Des Fragrances, Grasse
Nearest parc: For fantastic relaxation on the French Riviera coastline, Green Park campsite in the South of France is the perfect parc for mums. Green Park not only has a heated lagoon pool but panoramic views of the hills, and is near to the beach for a spot of sunbathing.
- Visit the Lauterbrunnen waterfalls
For mums who love to soak up breathtaking views, a day trip to see Switzerland’s stunning Lauterbrunnen waterfalls won’t fail to delight. A day hike offers jaw-dropping views of the village of Lauterbrunnen and the surrounding countryside, with the waterfall the real highlight. You can even head inside the mountain to see it up close! With awe-inspiring photo opportunities and beautiful scenery, this is a great trip for mums who love nature in all its glory.
Nearest parc: Mums can enjoy an authentic Alpine atmosphere at the Jungfrau campsite in Switzerland, surrounded by beautiful mountains and waterfalls. With a restaurant and terrace bar on site for lazy days, and the village of Lauterbrunnen just a short stroll away for fun days out swimming and hiking.
- Wander the tulip fields of Holland
Blooming just in time for Mother’s Day, the Keukenhof park is home to over 800 varieties of tulips. Over seven million colourful flowers splash the ruler-flat fields of The Netherlands with a bewildering variety of colours. Imagine a garden coloured in by your kids, with their new bumper set of felt tips. That. Take mum on a stroll through 32 hectares of stunning landscapes, with spectacular flower shows, themed gardens and a special ‘Tulipomania’ exhibition that looks at the curious history of this most joyous spring flower.
Keukenhof, Stationsweg, The Netherlands
Nearest parc: Mum can enjoy true Dutch hospitality at the friendly Koningshof campsite, just outside Amsterdam. Hire bikes and enjoy leisurely rides through the area on well kept bike trails, and enjoy a lake and a beach just a short ride away. And for mums that enjoy culture, a day trip to Amsterdam is on a short journey from the campsite.
- Marvel at the Chateau de Chambord
Enjoy the seductive allure of France’s Loire region by taking mum on a day trip to the iconic Chateau de Chambord, a sumptuous renaissance castle (and its equally enchanting gardens). Take a tour of the castle to see how the other half once lived – there are tours available in English. After a tour of the chateau, head to the neighbouring Chambord village – its central square is lined with really good restaurants, and opportunities to sample local specialities like cheese, biscuits and locally produced wine.
Chateau de Chambord, Loire-et-Cher
Nearest parc: Feel like royalty with a stay at the Le Château des Marais campsite in the Loire region. Situated in the grounds of an old manor, this beautiful parc has excellent facilities with an onsite restaurant and supermarket. And for a relaxing treat – there’s a mini spa, Turkish bath and masseuse service too!