Travel

The Best Family Friendly Villas in the South of France

by Lily Heise
A table set for lunch on the terrace at St. Saturnin with stone floors and walls. An old door and window of the Bonnieux villa with colourful plants and a cypress tree.
Top: The villa at St. Saturnin / Above: The shaded terrace at Guardian Hill / The rustic exterior of Bonnieux Villa

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The South of France is one of the country’s most popular holiday destinations. Its charming villages, awe-inspiring scenery, and delicious Provençal cuisine entice visitors from the world over. We feel that the best way to make the most of a trip to the south of France, especially a family holiday, is to have a local base to call home.

The long blue pool of St Remy Zen reflects the surrounding cypress trees . A shaded terrace has a table set for lunch with baguettes and condiments.
The pool and terrace at St Rémy Zen

This selection of the best family friendly villas in Provence and la Cote d’Azur allows you to take in the many wonders of the region while also having a haven to return to at the end of the day, space for your kids to play, and the opportunity to experience authentic local life.

Bonnieux Villa

A large table under an old tree at Bonnieux villa has an antique candelabra hanging above it.
The idyllic garden at Bonnieux Villa

This 18th-century villa is found near Bonnieux, a tiny hilltop village in the idyllic Luberon, an area made famous through the writings of Peter Mayle. With its ochre walls, pale green shutters and terracotta roof, the villa is the perfect incarnation of what you would imagine as a Provençal home. This is carried through the interiors thanks to massive wooden beams and abundance of exposed stone. The villa is also surrounded by lavender fields, orchards, farmland, and vantage points for admiring soaring views over the beguiling countryside.

Fontvieille Family Retreat

The exterior of Fontvieille Family Retreat is lit up at night showing the terrace and still pool.
Night falls at Fontvieille Family Retreat

Within walking distance of the pretty village of Fontvieille and near bustling Arles, this four-bedroom stone house is a great choice for families. The 19th-century building was entirely renovated by its French interior designer owner who added modern flare and amenities like large walk-in showers and a sleek kitchen. After a day of sightseeing, let the kids unwind in the spacious garden with a large heated pool.

Here Comes the Sun

A light and airy dining room at Here Comes the Sun has a large table and beams with a vintage candelabra above. The shaded terrace has a table ready for lunch with bread and fruit.
The spacious dining room and pretty terrace of Here Comes the Sun

Found a short distance from the famous Pont du Gard, this chic three-bedroom villa has an attractive rustic chic decor. Historic details like wooden beams and large open fireplaces are paired with funky mirrors, chandeliers, and carefully chosen design items.

The light kitchen at Here Comes the Sun has baguettes and croissants on the sideboard. Plant pots and hanging foliage on the pretty terrace.
Practice your French cuisine in the well-equipped kitchen at Here Comes the Sun

Its spacious open kitchen is perfect for making summer meals using ingredients acquired from the area’s many local markets. The pool is very welcome on hot summer days and additional family fun can be had around the foosball table.

St Rémy Zen

Iron table and chairs in the garden at St Remy Zen has pastries laid out. Rosé wine and olives and bread in colorful bowls.
Al fresco dining at St Rémy Zen

This seven-bedroom villa is nestled within an olive grove three-kilometers from picturesque Saint-Rémy de Provence. Wonderfully renovated by its American owner, the villa blends Provençal charm with modern style amenities. The airy interiors are decorated with stylish furniture and colorful art. Its convenient location means you can easily pop into Saint-Rémy, visit the other lovely villages in the area, then retreat to your villa to relax next to the pool and in the garden dotted with olive trees. 

Rose Bloom

The livng room of Rose Bloom has dark wooden beams across the ceiling and a large window letting light in. The turquoise pool in the garden with views of the Cannes coastline on the horizon.
The comfortable interior and stunning views of the Côte d’Azur at the villa Rose Bloom

Found in the splendid Cote d’Azur city of Antibes, this lovely villa is nestled within umbrella pines and a botanical garden, with views towards the shimmering sea. The refurbished interiors have a classic modern decor as well as an open fireplace and solid wooden beams. There is a piano and a cozy living room for a night of games with the kids as well as a large lawn for playing outdoors and a great pool. Once the children are in bed, parents can relax in the Jacuzzi with a glass of bubbly or local rosé.

Avignon Artist Retreat

A modern and chic living/dining area at Avignon Artist Retreat has wooden floors and distressed doors. A room with a coffee table, marble bust and interesting light fixture give a boutique feel to the property.
Chic décor in a perfect location to explore Avignon at the Avignon Artist Retreat

Combine the convenience of being in the center of Avignon with the allure of a 16th-century former artist studio. Hidden down a peaceful cul-de-sac, the four-bedroom rental is a short walk from Avignon’s Palais des Papes, restaurants and boutiques, making it a good option for taking in this impressive city as well as for families who’d rather not rent a car. Large windows, historic paintings, marble busts, a grand fireplace and a spiral staircase all add to its uniqueness.

The distressed vintage door opens up to the dinner table beyond. Overhead view of the garden room's table and chairs with ornate light fixture hanging down.
The 16th century building has been beautifully renovated Avignon Artist Retreat

Bastide de Castillon

The terrace and turquoise pool of Bastide de Castillon with a wavy sheltering roof that gives a textured affect to the image. A large lounge with art deco window and stone staircase.
The stunning terrace and large living space at Bastide de Castillon

Located in the village of Vers-Pont-du-Gard, this lovely traditional farmhouse is perfect for families wanting to experience daily life while having their own spacious retreat. The five-bedroom home has been fabulously restored and decorated with elegant furnishings. The walled courtyard offers a shaded dining pergola, pool and lawn for outdoor fun for the kids. Stepping out the door, you’re amidst the village with its restaurants, shops and a thrice weekly farmers’ market within walking distance. Hopping in your car you’re a short drive from the Pont du Gard, wineries and the plentitude of cultural and natural sites of Provence.

Le Jardin Secret

A modern terrace at Le Jardin Secret has white sofas and a white wooden frame surrounding it. The living room's sliding doors open up onto views of the garden and palm trees.
A stylish modern villa by the Cannes coastline Le Jardin Secret

Enjoy the proximity of bustling Cannes within the privacy of your own secret garden. This bright four-bedroom villa is tucked down on a quiet cul-de-sac. Seamless indoor-outdoor living is granted thanks to expansive glass windows and doors. There is a lovely terrace and pool, surrounded by palms and Mediterranean greenery. The barbecue and pizza oven are popular for family meals overlooking the garden.

St Saturnin

A blue shuttered window at St Saturnin with lavender growing underneath. The long blue pool with interesting stone features and a large tree in the background.
Provençal lavender and the unique pool at St Saturnin

This converted 13th-century convent is certainly among the most unique vacation rentals in Provence. Located a fifteen-minute walk from medieval St-Saturnin-les-Apt, the property used to be an important Templar site and some of its history elements survived, such as a traditional basin and fountain which are now the villa’s swimming pool. The special ambiance is augmented fragrant lavender, climbing vines, mature fruit trees and other typical local vegetation. The chic interiors have been wonderfully decorated in refined antiques, vintage prints and vintage porcelain plates.

Guardian Hill

Turquoise pool and views of the sprawling countryside at Guardian Hill. The white modern living room with a stargazing telescope pointing out of the window.
The stunning pool and terrace and stargazing at Guardian Hill

Enjoy the sunny climate in this tranquil villa in the hills of La Garde-Freinet and yet only half an hour away from Saint-Tropez and the golden sands of Pampelonne Beach. There is a beautful pool and garden to while away the day with views over the scenic countryside and a shaded terrace to stop for a long lunch. Inside, the villa has been comfortably furnished whilst retaining a lot of original features and beamwork to keep that authentic rustic feel. With a well-stocked library, board games and a stargazing telescope there is plenty to keep everyone entertained.

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The terrace of St Remy Zen has a table laid out for lunch with a canopy of plants and ivy giving shade,
The charming terrace at St Rémy Zen

Written by Lily Heise for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Plum Guide,  Haven In and our Marketplace for fabulous vacation rentals in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates or click here. Looking to bring France home to you or to learn online or in person? Check out marketplace shop and experiences.

Written By

Lily Heise

Lily Heise has been living in Paris for more than 10 years. When she's not getting into romantic mischief, she writes on dating, travel, and culture. Her writing has been featured in Frommer’s Guides, the Huffington Post, Conde Nast Traveler, City Secrets, DK Eyewitness Guides, and other local and international publications. She is the author of Je T'Aime, Me Neither, and Je T'Aime... Maybe? lively novelized memoirs on her romantic misadventures, and continues to share dating tips, stories and travel features on her blog www.jetaimemeneither.com. View Lily Heise's Website

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