The gourmet guide to the Dordogne

Regularly described as France’s gastronomical heart, the Dordogne region is a natural larder for some of the finest ingredients you can hope to sample in Europe.

Whether you are looking to indulge in gourmet specialities like black truffle or foie gras or prefer the simplicity of in-season strawberries or locally grown walnuts, your tastebuds will be exposed to an exciting range of flavours exclusive to the Dordogne.

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Camping holidays for empty-nesters

Children grown up and flown the nest? Been a few years since you’ve thought about a camping holiday?

You might be surprised to discover many of our campsites offer activities just for grown-ups. From luxury spas and golf courses to wine tasting and city breaks, camping really does offer something for everyone.

Of course not being constrained by school holiday dates means you can take advantage of the low prices available in May, June and September, when you’ll also find resorts are much quieter (but the weather often just as good).

Here’s our pick of the best camping breaks for empty nesters.

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Castelnaud

Spotlight on the Dordogne

Imagine all that’s fantastic about France condensed into one area. With stunning natural scenery, dramatic castles, gourmet food to enjoy and medieval villages to explore, it’s easy to see why the Dordogne is a favourite holiday destination.

Dordogne  RiverLocated in the south-west of the country and known to the French as the Périgord, the region is divided into four areas, each named after its diverse landscape. Périgord Blanc (white) for the limestone hills around the capital Perigueux; Périgord Pourpre (purple) or the wine growing regions around Bergerac; Périgord Vert (green) for the forests of the northwest; and Périgord Noir (black) for the dark oak forests around the Vézère Valley.

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Top 5 holidays for toddlers – NEW!

Way back in May 2013, I wrote this blog post rounding up our top 10 sites for toddlers. I thought I’d add to the list, with my pick of the top 5 sites for toddler holidays out of our exciting new sites for 2015.

As a mum of toddler twins, I know how daunting the idea of travelling with a baby or toddler can be. The great thing about taking them on a camping holiday with Canvas is it’s (relatively) stress-free. While we can’t promise to do anything about teething and tantrums, we can make your holiday as relaxing as possible with some fantastic, child-friendly campsites.

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Grand Canal

3 things to experience in Venice

If only we had unlimited time on holiday to experience absolutely everything that our destination had to offer. To help narrow down decisions on what to do with precious holiday time, we’ve put together our three favourite experiences in the Venice region.

Sit back and relax in a Gondola

Possibly one of the most iconic things about Venice, the sleek black gondolas transport tourists up and down the city’s waterways to enjoy all of the sights. During the 17th and 18th century there were between 8,000 and 10,000 gondolas in active service, nowadays there are around 400 and the vast majority are used for tourists. Not just anyone can be a gondolier though – in order to gain their license they must undertake a lot of training and then a comprehensive exam covering topics such as foreign languages, history and landmarks of the city as well as of course, the essential handling of the gondola. Such an iconic tourist attraction will make your wallet a little lighter, but for a tour with a knowledgeable guide on such famous waterways, it really is a unique experience.

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Venice

Getting to know Venice and the Adriatic

Venice is one of Italy’s top tourist destinations and after a few moments in this enchanting city it’s easy to see why. A city largely submerged under water, with around 118 islands left to explore, this really is a city like no other. With its unique waterways filled with gondoliers showing happy tourists the sights of the city from the water, to its stunning piazzas and incredible architecture, Venice is a feast for all the senses!

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Marennes

Things to experience in the Royan & SW France

As well as being a fantastic haven for water-babies who love nothing more than spending hours out on the water, the South West and Royan regions of France offer a lot to experience on dry land too.

We’ve put together a few things to experience:

La Rochelle

The Towers of La Rochelle

The three towers that stand over La Rochelle’s harbour are an iconic sight as they stand tall protecting the entrance from unwanted visitors…well they did back in unsettled times gone by when the city was at war. Visitors can now climb up the towers that date back to the 13th and 14th century to enjoy fantastic views over the water including the nearby islands of Aix, Ré and Oléron as well as over the city.  The towers are open all year round, with varying opening hours. Guided tours are also available.

The Aquarium de la Rochelle

There’s something so wonderfully relaxing and fascinating about aquariums and La Rochelle’s stands out as being amongst the best. You could easily spend a day learning about the sealife around the French Atlantic Coast.

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Deckchairs

Our favourite holiday reads for World Book Day!

Books and holidays go hand in hand. Whether it be emerging yourself in a book on the plane or sneaking a few moments to read once the kids are in bed, escaping into a different world in a book is one of life’s little pleasures. With life being so busy at home, sometimes a holiday is the only chance that you get to really indulge in some reading. Hands up if one of your favourite things to do on holiday is grab a sun lounger in the sunniest spot you can find, ensure you have an ice-cold beverage to hand and then simply stretch out with a fantastic book and while away the afternoon.

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Spotlight on Royan & South-West France

On the Atlantic coast of France, Royan and the South-West boast stunning beaches which are great for swimming, water sports or simply relaxing. With its own micro-climate, lovely warm weather is almost guaranteed (although of course we can’t actually guarantee this, oh if only we held that power!) During the summer months the temperatures sit around a very pleasant 24°c making it perfect conditions for taking to the water or for exploring. These regions are a haven for water-babies with so many different activities to enjoy along the 286 mile stretch of coastline.

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