Best for families: Île de Ré
Long regarded as the summer bolthole for well-heeled Parisians—with its sand dunes and pine forests, it’s often likened to the Hamptons—the little Atlantic-coast island is growing in popularity with British buyers. Families like it for its cycle paths and endless beaches, which, even at the height of the season, never get too crowded. It’s much more informal than the Riviera, too—no superyacht marina and no one discusses the merits of Michelin-starred restaurants.
This house in Sainte-marie de Ré offers the best of both worlds: proximity to both the beach and the town centre. It comes with two bedrooms (one in a separate studio). €344,500. Leggett Immobilier (0870 011 5151)