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Tons of Summer Family Fun on the French Riviera

After a rocky start to the year, the French Riviera beaches and the sparkling Mediterranean are calling your family’s name. The following post first appeared on French Riviera Family Activities with many suggestions for family-friendly fun on and off the coast.

Family Fun Near the Coast

Go Wild: An hour from the coast and a world away. Take the family on a guided safari with the bison in Thorenc, which is in the Pre-Alpes national park area. Monts d’Azur is a 700-hectare natural sanctuary for European wildlife. The European bison roam wild and free over the plains and forests of Thorenc alongside Przewalski horses, deer, chamois, wild boar, foxes, wolves, lynx and many other species.

Head Underground: Just 35 minutes from Cannes, visit one of the caves of the region. At the Grottes de Baumes Obscure in Saint Vallier de Thiey, discover the secrets of a mysterious underground world.

Mercantour Wolves Parc Alpha Top French Riviera en Famille

Wolf Encounters: Visit the wolf park near Saint Martin Vesubie. The Parc Alpha is a beautiful outdoor park in the fresh mountain air. This beautiful area in the Mercantour is the recipe for a super day out away from the coast.

Take a Hike: On this easy hike, you will discover the splendid statue of Notre Dame D’Afrique. This short hike is manageable by most fit and able families, and you can combine it with lunch or a picnic on the beach in the seaside town of Theoule-sur-Mer.

Extra Tip: 3 Family-Friendly French Riviera Hikes

Smell the Flowers: Grasse is the world’s perfume capital, so why not include a day of culture in your holiday schedule, discovering the factories and museums dedicated to scent. The Fragonard Museum and Musee de Parfums in the centre of Grasse are free to enter.

Explore the French Riviera

Cruise the Coast: A relaxing way to start your holiday is to buy a day ticket for the boat shuttle and hop-on, and hop-off (€10 for an adult ticket) as the navette takes you along the coast from Cannes to Mandelieu/La Napoule to Theoule-Sur-Mer and on to La Figuerette.

Paddle Away: Spend a few hours kayaking; the scenery, including Rocher de Roquebrune, are beautiful and peaceful from the water.

Beach Bound: There are plenty of beaches all along the Mediterranean coast, but not all are well-suited for kids. Here are some suggestions for places to set-up your beach towels for the day. Make sure to take sunscreen, water, food, towels and all the toys (snorkels, fins, sand buckets, shovels, umbrellas, towels, etc.)  you need for your day at the beach. Some of the places mentioned above have no services.

Monaco Oceanographic Museum

Look Below the Surface: Standing proudly for well over 100 years upon a clifftop in Monaco is the world-renowned Oceanographic Museum. Founded in 1889, the museum showcases 6,000 animal species. Don’t miss the monumental Shark Lagoon! 

Abbaye de Lerins Cote d'Azur L'ile Saint Honorat

L’ile Saint Honorat @Official Photo

Visit the Islands: The Lerins islands are a haven of calm and tranquillity. They offer a lovely change from the hustle and bustle of the coast. Just 15 minutes by ferry from Cannes, the two Lérins islands, Saint Honorat and Saint-Marguerite, are popular with folks who want to spend a day lounging on the Mediterranean. Do taste the wine made by the monks who live on Saint Honorat.

Bike in Italy: Just over the Italian border, in San Remo, rent bikes and cycle along the old railway path along the coast. The pista ciclable del ponente ligura offers 24km of flat cycling path for a safe family outing.

Here are some additional tips for an affordable holiday on the French Riviera.

Guest Writer: Helen Bates

The Bates family left finance careers in the City of London for the South of France. They run a small property rental business – Chic Gites – in the heart of Cannes, offering affordable, stylish properties that offer everything you need for a holiday on the Riviera. With two active boys, Helen started blogging about family activities in the area. She is also a part-time English teacher and photographer.


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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne has traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and blogging. Her first airplane ride at six months of age was her introduction to the exciting world of travel.

While in Provence, Carolyne can be found hiking with friends, riding the hills around the Alpilles or tackling Mont Ventoux. Her attachment to the region resonates in Perfectly Provence this digital magazine that she launched in 2014. This website is an opportunity to explore the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle (food & wine, places to stay, expat stories, books on the region, travel tips, real estate tips and more), through our contributors' articles.

Carolyne writes a food and travel blog Ginger and Nutmeg. Carolyne’s freelance articles can be found in Global Living Magazine, Avenue Magazine and City Palate (Published Travel Articles).

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