Stolen kisses, wooden sailing boats, vintage bicyclettes and champagne: our tipsters recall the joie de vivre of their French holidays
Let’s go canoeing, we said, when the teenagers were 14 and 17. And let’s wild camp, it’ll be fun. Everyone agreed. So we packed (very little), rented double kayaks (90€/kayak) from canoeevasion.com at Cosne sur Loire, took two of our own paddleboards, and with a week’s worth of gear on each craft, off we paddled. I say “we” paddled – the kids, in their kayaks, drifted downstream. But what a great trip to Orléans – the city liberated by Joan of Arc after years of English occupation – this was. We glided down the shallow, warm waters of the Loire, with only small pleasure craft, pretty towns like Gien and the occasional castle to break up the view. The 60-mile trip was an amazing, no-frills adventure, and the four teenagers still say it was their best holiday ever.