Want to make unforgettable memories with your clan? Between thrills and spills, check out these top family activities in Provence!
Explore the Microcosm
At The Naturoptère and the Salins of Hyères
Why do the cicadas of Provence sing? To find the answer, take your family to the Naturoptère of Sérignan-du-Comtat. Activities change with the seasons – this cultural centre always has an experience in store for you. In summer, solve the Naturoptère puzzles with your family and try to escape from the garden. Learn about the nightlife of insects in October and build them a four-star shelter in December. Go to the Salins d’Hyères to observe a rich and colourful fauna and flora. From purple passion flowers and pink flamingos to russet squirrels, this salt marsh is a feast for your eyes.
Grow into a Giant
The Jarditrain and the Vélorail
A short walk from the 1912 metres of Mont Ventoux, the village of Saint-Didier houses an amusement park …in miniature! Thanks to the Jarditrain, go from being Lilliputians to Gulliver in the blink of an eye and dive into the magical world of scale models. If railroads are your passion, your family will love the Musée du Train (Train Museum) in Carnoules. Feel like a kid besides the 200 metres of rails and stamp your ticket to Marseille, Toulon or Nice. Then get your trainers on to climb aboard the vélorail (rail-bike system) of Sainte-Baume. You’re off for a two-hour trip on this old SNCF railway track. Forest, aqueduct and tunnel, pedal at your own pace and enjoy the diverse landscapes of Provence Verte.
Visit Farm Animals
On the Farms of Provence
In Provence, a band of friends is waiting just for you. Head to La Petite Ferme (The Little Farm) in Villes-sur-Auzon to meet Baya the cow, Elios the horse and Dolly the sow. From feathers and fur to fluffy wool, kids will discover a whole world of emotions. Then take the road to Auriol for a tour of La Ferme Animalière (Animal Farm), a paradise for animal lovers. Reach out and touch the gentle animals at the Petting Park. What could be better than a camping holiday in the countryside to get as close as possible to nature? Put up your tent at La Ferme Velauxienne in Velaux to live the dream!
Play Knight for a Day
At Mornas and the Château des Baux-de-Provence
In Provence, go back in time thanks to a lively tour of La Forteresse de Mornas. You have to climb to reach this jewel that sits on a rocky outcrop. Your courage will be rewarded by the inhabitants of the fort who will invite you to plunge you into their daily life. Knights and princesses and villagers and soldiers make the castle come alive for an afternoon. A real fairytale to experience with your family! Continue to astound your cubs with the Carrières de Lumières at Les-Baux-de-Provence. Thanks to a unique multimedia device, the stone transforms into a canvas and reveals the great masters of painting in a series of exhibitions. A beautiful way to introduce kids to art.
Come Out of your Shell
At the Tortoise Village and the Zoa Parc
Want to take a break? Choose a low-speed escape with the Village des Tortues (Tortoise Village) in Carnoules. Learn about the 50 species from all over the world which live in this unusual educational centre. All year long, enjoy an open-air trail, a greenhouse, and an aquarium with your family. In winter, go for the guided tour of the veterinary hub to find out about these timid reptiles in a shell. Come back to the village in March when the tortoises awake with the first rays of the sun! In Sanary, the animal and exotic park of Zoa teems with diverse species, each one more adorable than the next. From meerkats to lemurs and the Asian dwarf otter, the young and old are invited to cross continents here.
Climb the Trees
At Parc Pastré, the Bois des Lutins or the Indian Forest
Explore the huge treetop trail of the Parc Pastré with your family. In Marseille, enjoy the calm of the forest while your kids yomp in the air. At their disposal, more than 110 creative and original workshops are spread out over 4 different routes. With swings, barrels, nets and zip wires, they won’t want for challenges! Do your leprechauns need space? Le Bois des Lutins in Peypin offers a fun and magical break right in the heart of Provence. The little extra: many shady spots for taking five. Looking for thrills? The two zip wires of the Indian Forest of Figuerolles, in Martigues, will set your pulse racing!
Dive into the Deep End
In the Water Parks of Provence
In Monteux in Provence, explore Wave Island Water Park and find the pearl in one of the 17 attractions on offer. The bigger kids will fill up on adrenaline with the psychedelic chutes of Rainbow Rage, while young kids will prefer the calm of the Tropical River. If the temperature is rising, opt for the inflatable water park of Aquavillage in Hyères. Fun and freshness is guaranteed for all the family. Your little seahorses need action? Let them dive, bounce and climb the numerous water features at the AquaPark in Aix-en-Provence. Finally, relax on the banks of the Lac de Peyrolles while the children are swimming under proper supervision.
Make Like a Little Chef
In Forcalquier and Avignon
A family is like cooking: it’s all about passing it on. Get your aprons on, pop on your toques and find out the secrets of Provençal gastronomy with professionals. Knead dough together in the sweet workshops of the Biscuiterie de Forcalquier and make yourself some delicious delights. Your little chefs will have something to be proud of! For chocolate lovers, head to the Chocolaterie d’Aline Géhant. Children will play the part of apprentice pastry chef in a fun session and make their own confectionery in 2½ hours. From colour to taste, this is a gourmet introduction that everyone can try.
Marvel at the Stars
At the Observatory of Marseille
Do your children often have their head in the clouds? A visit to the Observatory of Marseille is a must! Accessible even to toddlers, this centre in Provence offers many activities which vary depending on the season. A special guided tour will help them take their first steps in astronomy. Meet up under the magnificent starry cupola of the planetarium and watch those faces light up in front of the virtual projection of the sky. Learn the order of the planets, look for the Great Dipper, and share a unique moment of togetherness. Weather permitting, you can even observe the sun safely! You’ll have stars in your eyes when you leave.
Head off on an Adventure
On the Imposing Massif of the Esterel.
In Provence, nature means adventure. Choose your family activity at the Esterel Aventures Club in Saint-Raphaël and share a unique escape together. Are you a cycling ace? Tame the red reliefs of the Massif of the Esterel with a mountain bike ride. The more contemplative will choose electric bikes, ideal so you can take in all the magnificent landscapes. Are your kids super sleuths? Various investigations and treasure hunts in the great outdoors require the family to pool their collective intuition. Stick together! Finally, treat yourself to a buggy ride along the Corniche d’Or.