This was the last part of our Europe with baby trip. We stayed for a few weeks along the atlantic coast of France (Biarritz and Lacanau) and traveled back along the loire area and Versailles.
Biarritz is a mix of an old-established lordly town and several hipster & surfer spots. It was especially visited by the European aristocrats in the late 19th century, as well as by writers and artists. In the 60/70ies it became a surfer hotspot in France. I think it is especially family friendly for young families. You can jogg along the promenade, go surfing, enjoy the surfer vibes and get a glas of vine while watching beautiful sunsets. This is where we met by coincidence one of the big players startup investors. My husband of course was super-excited. I guess this is where traveling with kids gets more interesting. They are easily connecting you with strangers.
My favorite place was the Beach House. It had a pool, cozy beds (perfect with baby!) and an awesome design.
Our apartment cost per night (incl. fees): 74 €
Lacanau & „THE dune“
Lacanau somehow does not get crowded at all. Therefore, we had the 62 miles / 100 km beach almost for ourselves 🙂 A walk to the northern part of the beach even brings you to a wreck. Similar to Biarritz it is also known for surfing. However, I got caught in a current! And – this is not a joke – a lifeguard immediately drove by with a beach buggy and jumped baywatch-like in the water! Well, he did not really saved my life as I already could stand at that point. But I guess I could contribute to the public entertainment.
Besides getting rescued by lifeguards, I went with a baby carrier for a long walk every morning. During the day we stayed in our garden or balcony working or researching. And the evenings we spent at the beach again.
One „must-see“ is the incredible dune, which is simply called „the dune“ – Europe’s biggest and surreal sand dune.
At this point we reached our maximum level of loneliness. We did not have anyone visiting us for a couple of weeks and did not talk to a lot of people. The downside of traveling in coastal Europe is that you meet the average 1- or 2-week traveler. They mostly don’t share our interests and just want to spend quality time with their loved ones. So this is where Asia or South America gets more interesting.
Our beach apartment cost per night (incl. fees): 54 €
Bordeaux & Saint Emilion
They couldn’t be more different. Bordeaux is big, vibrant city that really improved over the last decade and (now) worth visiting. Saint Emilion was recommended to us by the investor and it really is a super romantic little vine town with amazing gourmet restaurants.
Bordeaux: take your stroller
Saint Emilion: baby carrier highly recommended
The Loire area
Along the Loire river there are so many chateaus that you might need several months to visit them all. We only visited chateau Chenonceaux. It is the only water castle I know and incredibly gorgeous.
Our apartment cost per night (incl. fees): 78 €
Why not Paris? We have seen it for 7-8 times; it is overcrowded & stressful with baby. The better alternative is definitely Versailles! It is Paris’ beautiful little sister. Throughout the day we were walking through the endless gardens of the castle with our pram. I especially fell in love with those little romantic houses where Marie Antoinette used to live. The castle itself you may only enter with a baby carrier. In the evening we enjoyed the charming bar corner around the market area (Rue de la Paroisse / Rue du Marechal Foch).
Our apartment cost per night (incl. fees): 66 €