Wondering which are the best places to go with kids on holiday? The Côte d’Azur, is the perfect place for you. Why? Because there’s no such thing as boredom here! Sunbathe on the sandy beaches of the Mediterranean, seek thrills at an amusement park, take a meandering bike trip through lavender fields and pine forests and wander the shady streets of the area’s many atmospheric towns. It’s time to plan a holiday with children on the French Riviera! Here are the best suggestions for family attractions.
Côte d’Azur holidays – France’s best beaches
Do you associate the French Riviera with picture-postcard images of Mediterranean beaches? If so, then the Côte d’Azur, the coastal area of Provence, will fulfill your needs with its wonderful beaches. In every coastal town you will find private, paid admission beaches with activities such as bikes and jet skis, diving, playgrounds and bars, along with free municipal and wild beaches. So, which are better for families? In Nice and the surrounding area, we recommend the beach along Promenade des Anglais, the Plage de Passable with its palm trees and pink bougainvillea, the peaceful Plage de la Mala with its amazing cliffs rising straight from the water and the Plage de la Garoupe with a shallow shoreline that is ideal for children to paddle. Paloma Beach also has an amazing atmosphere.
In Cannes, the Plage La Croisette and Plage Midi both have golden sand and numerous parking spaces are worth recommending, as well as St Margaret’s – a beautiful beach with delicate pebbles. Long associated with the stars of stage and screen, stunning Saint-Tropez offers great relaxation and family fun on Plage de Pampelonne. From here, you can observe not only the gorgeous panorama with its crystal-clear waters, but also the many luxury yachts that are moored along the shore. Other popular beaches include Plage La Gravette, right next to the walls of the Old Port in Antibes; Plage La Garoupe with its completely new infrastructure and the Plage La Petite Afrique with its pretty white cliffs, golden sand, shady palm trees and amazing views. Do you prefer quieter spots? The whole Côte d’Azur is dotted with wild beaches, among which the hard-to-reach Aiguille Beach reigns supreme.
The French Riviera for children – the best amusement parks
Even on the Côte d’Azur, your holiday can’t just be spent on the beach! If you want to visit some of the most unforgettable attractions for children, go to one of the many excellent amusement parks. Antibes’ Marineland is famous for its dolphin and killer whale shows, along with sharks and sea lionsAs the largest water zoological park in Europe, it is an all-day attraction and one that is suitable for all the family. Once on site, you can also have fun at the Aquasplash Park, which is filled with pools including one with an artificial wave and water slides, as well as Kid’s Island with its mini zoo, playgrounds and roller coasters. The complex is also home to the Adventure Golf mini-golf zone.
Next to the town of Fréjus, a lovely destination known for its wine culture, you will find another extremely popular water theme park – Aqualand. Known as the best slides in the whole of Europe, it covers a huge area of swimming pools and slides that are ideal for families as they have large pontoons. Those travelling with small children can be assured that there are safe water playgrounds, catering and relaxation zones for everyone. Do your children love trampolines, rope parks and mazes? Head to Les Village des Fous, a huge playground in Villeneuve-Loubet, or to the forest adventure park Les Bois des Lutins. There are also plenty of family playgrounds and campgrounds in the shaded, cooling gorges in the area.
Rent a car and buy tickets for attractions before you go!
Active holidays with children? See the Provence coast by bike
There are also plenty of active options for your holiday on the Côte d’Azur. The area is rich in hiking trails, including bicycle trails of varying difficulty and incline. There are plenty of child-friendly routes that wind along scenic paths through lavender and jasmine fields and pine forests. Many roads run along the coast, so you can combine a bike trip with a stop at the beach. After all that exercise, there is nothing more beautiful than immersing yourself in the warm Mediterranean sea.
The routes leading from the coast inland are also interesting. Head towards Grasse, a town famous for its perfume factory. The whole inland area is full of atmospheric little towns with shady, cobbled streets. Many of them, such as Mougins or Le Colle-sur-Loup, are located on hills, from which you can enjoy truly amazing views of the Mediterranean Sea. Be sure to plan a visit in the late afternoon or evening as the local squares really come to life at dusk, offering plenty of opportunities for your children to make friends with local kids until well into the night.
So which are the most family-friendly cycling routes on the Côte d’Azur? We recommend the coastal road from Nice to Cannes via Cagnes-sur-Mer, Villeneuve-Loubet, Antibes and Juan-les-Pins. It not only guarantees plenty of opportunities to take a break, including pit-stops for a swim in the sea, but is also well prepared in terms of infrastructure, which is extremely important when travelling with children. A wide, asphalt road offers a wonderful panorama and a gentle breeze that is perfect for amateurs and younger cyclists. There is a railway line next to the route, so if little legs get tired then you can hop aboard a train. If you’re flying to France, it’s easy to rent standard, children’s and electric bikes at almost any tourist town, while the larger cities offer pay-per-minute city bikes for a small fee.