Newstalk goes to France on Travel Thursday

newstalk, france, camping

This week I’ll be chatting with Ivan about our neighbours in la belle France and some novel ideas for what you can do when you get there.

Listen here to podcast if you missed the show 

Everybody loves Nice and the Cote D’Azur with pretty french towns such as Villefranche skimming the coast. Azur blue is the perfect shade of blue to describe the clear sky and during the summer months you will see lots of it but it can get very hot in July and August. Popular with the English aristocracy since the eighteenth century the Promenade des Anglais is named in their honour. The sand on the beach is pebbly so do hire a sun lounger if you plan to sunbathe. Nice gets crowded too so it is a great destination for a spring or autumn break. Both Ryanair and Aer Lingus fly direct and transfer from Nice airport to the town centre is about €25


The principality of Monaco is only an hour by train away and of course Cannes and the home to the Film Festival is only forty minutes away in the opposite direction.

Looking for things to do in Nice? – My favourite place to visit is Musee Matisse and there is a special exhibition running this summer showing his work with Picasso’s and opens on June 23rd 2018. The Chagall museum is free the first Sunday of every month and for anyone under 26 years of age Nice Jazz festival runs from 16th to 21st July and it isn’t only Jazz performers that come to this festival which started seventy years ago. this year Rag n’Bone man and Massive Attack will play at the festival for more info click here A two day pass is €50 with lots of concession rates on offer too. The Galeries LaFayette shopping Mall is in Massena in the centre of Nice set in a beautiful Turin style arcade painted warm orange – you may be glad of the cool inside during the hot summer months.

The old town is full of character and beautiful restaurants with the usual high standard of french cuisine are dotted in the side streets. Look out for Chez Juliettes a lovely local restaurant with a good priced menu – about €20 pp

The Hôtel Negresco  at 37 Promenade des Anglais (00 33 4 93 16 64 00; hotel- is regarded as the city’s finest five-star, with views over the Mediterranean. Doubles start at €195, room only. Pop in for a look at the stunning chandeliers and old world charm where the European monarchy have stayed over the last century.


Cannes & Cote d’Azur with The Travel Department click here for more details


7 nights prices start from €699June to October 2018


  • Arrival to Nice airport with transfer to hotel in Cannes.
  • Full day guided tour taking in the harbour of Monaco & the monte carlo casino before a visit to the Rothschild Villa.
  • Leisure days to explore Cannes and see the full charm of the Cote d’Azur.
  • Experience the artist inspirational hilltop village of St.Paul de Vence, with the opportunity to visit the contemporary art museums and galleries such as Fondation Maeght and the Musee de Saint Paul.
  • Excursion to Grasse known as the perfume capital of the world, home to several perfumeries such as Galimard, Molinard and Fragnard.
  • Explore the Antibes, famous for its Old Town and the Famous Millionaires Quay, continuing on towards Nice where you will see some famous attractions such as the colourful flower market and the promenade des Anglais.  

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Short Break to Nice From €329 per person for the 4 star Ellington Hotel. Price is per person based on 2 adults sharing for travel in October 2018. With Click and Go

Price includes:

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Wine is another good reason to visit France and I’ve found a river cruise that will satisfy any coniseur of wine.

G Adventures

Burgundy River Cruise Adventure – Northbound

8 days Dijon to Dijon 


was €2379
Valid on Jul 6, 2018

This trip allows travellers the opportunity to spend eight days meandering along the canals and waters around Burgundy, aboard a classic canal barge. Surrounded by some of the most picturesque countryside in Europe, passing vineyards, sleepy villages and beautiful towns. Those wanting to explore on land can spend the day cycling along the Cote de Beaune, stopping in local villages and vineyards along the way,  or take a stroll through the lush gardens of Château de Longecourt. Wine tastings in local cellars and visits to wine Châteaus will satisfy any oenophiles on board before returning to the barge in the evening, to enjoy the scenery and the sunset, with a glass of wine in hand.

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Camping in France

It’s the quintessential family holiday and everyone should try it at least once. Along the way get to see the French countryside and explore small towns and seaside villages.


I have a special fondness for Biarritz as it is the setting for my first novel that was published in 2008. Two Days in Biarritz was written after a weekend away with my best friend from my school days and it’s the perfect destination for a short break that has an exotic feel. With direct flights from Dublin it is good also for connecting with camp sites in the south west of France.

Aquitaine is the region which takes in all the coast from Bordeaux to Biarritz so there is much to explore. I’ve stayed at La Reserve in the Landes region which is in the south western corner of France and close to Biarrtiz. Many people go back to the campsite and invest in a mobile home for the summer months – it was very much a celtic tiger thing but maybe instead of buying your own mobile renting is  a better option.

The Grand Dune du Pilat is worth exploring in the bay of Arcachon up the coast. It is the largest sand dune in Europe 500m in with and 2.7 km in length. All along the coast are lovely little towns to be explored and sandy beaches.

As a family destination it’s a great activity holiday – bring your bikes, they are generally very safe and kids clubs are included so they will be kept busy. Close buy you will find not only surfing but horse-riding and Golf. Rugby is popular in Biarritz and traditional Basque ball games such as Pelato similar to hand ball but also played with a bat and of course there is a casino in Biarritz too if gambling is your sport of choice.


Family camping holidays to the Biarritz area in France from €1,132 per family in June 2018

From €1,132 per family for the 5 star Sylvamar Campsite. Price is per family based on 2 adults + 2 children sharing for travel in June 2018.  Going out on 12th June

Price includes:

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Our Celtic neighbours offer a home from home holiday with parts of Brittany resembling West Cork. But there is a very special festival hosted every year in the town of Lorient which is a bucket list event. The Festival Interceltique de Lorient is in its 48th year and will run for ten days and nights from 3rd to 12th August.

I attended many years ago (don’t want to say how long) it has been running 48 years – and great Irish artists played here over the years such as The Cheiftans and moving hearts – and in 2010 Dolores O’Riordan was a guest- this is the biggest gathering of Celtic peoples in the world and held annually for the ten days in August – 40 But you don’t need a music festival or any excuse to visit Brittany – Pipe Bands from Scotland, Ireland, Wales or the Isle of Man, solo pipers, Bandas de Gaitas from Asturias or Galicia, bagadoù and Breton circles, artists and traditional dancers in this year they are wearing the colors of Wales. Games of light, projections of videos on giant screens, the technology agrees with the sound of bagpipes, bombardes and other traditional instruments, illustrating the various tables presented to the public. It truly is a remarkable celebration of all things celtic and one of the most sociable events across Europe.

There are lots of other reasons to visit. It’s close to the ferry ports and of course there is the cider and crepes. Pretty towns dot the coast most especially Quimper which is Brittany’s oldest town and set on the river Odet. The town is criss-crossed with little foot-bridges and pretty shutter clad historic houses brimming with flowerpots. Home also to a Gothic cathedral it’s ideal for a stroll or day out while on holiday in Brittany.

Carnac is a rival to stonehenge and one of the finest examples of megalithic standing stones.  Three fields – Ménec, Kermario and Kerlescan – contain around 3,000 aligned megaliths, which date from 4000BC. The granite stones were erected on the spot where they were dug, hence the differing sizes, although it is not known why they were put up; it is thought they had a religious or cultural significance.


Shandon Travel Worldchoice


France- Camping Ty Nadan (July 2018)

Take the car on the ferry from Rosslare to Cherbourg this July and spend 8 nights at the five-star Ty Nadan campsite in Brittany.

Destination: Brittany, France

Take the ferry from: Rosslare

Nights: 8 nights accommodation

Travel dates: July 9th- 18th 2018

Price: from €625pp based on 2 adults & 2 children sharing


This delightful family campsite in southern Brittany offers the best of both worlds. The peace and quiet of a lush forest, with the bustle of the beach just a short drive away.

The rural backdrop of the village of Locunole shelters an adventurer’s dream, as Camping Le Ty Nadan has plenty of exciting activities to offer!

Travel with Irish Ferries to Cherbourg from Rosslare

Price is based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing and includes:

  • Return Irish Ferries crossing from Rosslare to Cherbourg in a 4-berth inside cabin with a standard car
  • 8 nights accommodation in Camping Ty Nadan, in a two bedroom Fiji mobile home
    Terms & conditions apply. Subject to availability.

    For more information please call us on 021 427 7094 or 01 696 5135, email, request a call back using the red button or submit an enquiry through the form below.


France- Camping Ty Nadan (June 2018)

Destination: Brittany, France

Take the ferry from: Rosslare

Nights: 10 nights accommodation

Travel dates: 19th June- 30th June 2018

Price: from €420pp based on 2 adults & 2 children sharing


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Stena Line to France

9 night holiday to Pierre & Vacances Saint Goustan, Le Croisic, Brittany from €463 per person


€1,850 for a family of 4 (2 adults & 2 children under 16) – €463 per person

Departing 9 August 2018 from Rosslare


  • 7 nights self-catering in a studio loft apartment
  • Outdoor and kids pool and located right next to the sandy beach and within walking distance of the village
  • Just 10km from the bustling seaside resort of La Baule
  • Return Stena Line ferry crossing with your car from Rosslare to Cherbourg
  • 4 berth inside cabin onboard ship each way


9 night holiday to Center Parcs Les Bois Francs, Southern Normandy from €429 per person


€2399 for a family of 4 (2 adults & 2 children under 16) – €600 per person

€2569 for a family of 6 (2 adults & 4 children under 16) – €429 per person

Departing 9 August 2018 from Rosslare


  • 7 nights self-catering in a 2 or 3 bedroom cottage
  • Unlimited use of the Aqua Mundo Pool Complex
  • Fabulous resort with extensive facilities located in the heart of the forest
  • Return Stena Line ferry crossing with your car from Rosslare to Cherbourg
  • 4 berth inside cabin onboard ship each way

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