Camping in France with the Kids
Our Top 10 Activities in Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
So you've made it to your campsite in Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur. Now what? You can twiddle your thumbs or you can check out these 10 activities that will make camping in France fun for the whole family.
Summer holidays with the family are the best way to relax and create lasting memories. You can adventure in foreign countrysides and sample unforgettable foods.
That's why camping in France is a wonderful way to embrace that time with your loved ones. The Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur region is full of things to do. It's perfect for nature lovers, foodies, and cultural tourists.But while you may be eyeing the lavender bike trails and the wineries, you have to plan activities for your kids as well.
Don't worry. Families camping in the French Alps will find loads of fun things for children and grown-ups. You can go swimming, cycling, kayaking, and wildlife watching. In the end, you can return to your French campsite, where you can pitch a tent or rent a chalet.
If you're ready to start planning your holiday, then check out our top ten family activities in Cote d'Azur.
General Tips for Camping with Kids
Whether you're "roughing it" or "glamping," adding kids to the mix can be a struggle. That's why it's important for your family to prepare.
While most campsites will have loads of things for the children, it's still best to have some backup games. Card and board games are nice, but other games that include other children on the campsite are better.
If you're pitching a tent, do a trial run at home. That way you and your children know what to expect when you get there. For younger kids, stick to your regular routine as much as possible. Keeping them on normal nap and bedtime schedules will make the trip better for everyone.
Above all, have an open mind. Rain, bugs, and over-crowded campsites might drive you mad. But it might be the best experience of your child's life. See the world through their eyes, and relax a little.
1. Visit the Alpha Wildlife Reserve in Valle de la Vesubie
Children read about wolves all the time in fairy tale books. Why not give them an opportunity to see some for themselves?
When the grey wolf went extinct in 1930, the French thought they'd lost this creature forever. Then in 1992 two odd-looking dogs appeared in the mountains, and the wolf made its comeback.
There's still a small chance you'll see one in the wild (thank goodness). But you can visit the Alpha Wildlife Reserve to see some of the protected packs. Wander the park trails and watch the wolves from safe locations.
Your family can even stay one night in a treehouse in the park. How's that for a holiday?
2. Perform Your Own Play at the Roman Theatre of Orange
The Romans built this historical theatre under Emperor August in the 1st century. Today tourists can visit the theatre and museum across the road.
While the enormous theatre is impressive on its own, why not use it to inspire your kids? Encourage your children to write their own 5-10 minute play to perform on stage. Get the whole family involved, and choose one member to record it from the front row.
Your kids will have a unique memory and a better understanding of the ancient theatre.
3. See Flamingos at Camargue
When you think of where flamingos live, southern France is not your first guess. Yet flamingos have been breeding in the Camargue National Reserve for centuries. In fact, about 20,000 flamingo couples build their nests at these wetlands.
One of the perks of camping in France is the chance to see the wildlife. This Natural Reserve offers your family a rare opportunity to see these exotic birds in the wild. Young children will love how silly the birds are (they're not as graceful as they look).
If bird watching isn't your cup of tea, Camargue also offers horseback riding. This would be a special treat for your child who's asked for a pony every Christmas.
4. Relive the Medieval Era at Les Baux
If you asked an adult if they'd like to visit the Medieval Era, most of them would decline due to disease and lack of Wi-Fi. Ask a child if they'd like to go, and most would jump at the chance.
If that sounds like your kids, then you have to visit Les Baux. This village on top of a mountain is home to a Medieval castle. Your kids can climb the ancient towers, explore dungeons, and enjoy catapult demonstrations.
Like most aspects of camping in France, Les Baux has improved its facilities to be more tourist friendly. But there are still plenty of steep stairs that could be hard on little legs. Make sure to schedule some downtime when you're at this amazing site.
5. Explore Your 5 Senses by Camping in France
Here's another fun activity to help your kids get the most out of their holiday. Create a "Five Senses Diary" for everyone to fill out.
A pack of coloured pencils will help them draw what they see.
Use an Instax camera to create a French food diary.
Make a bullet list of the sounds they hear, like bird calls or French words they're learning.
Tape things like leaves and fish scales to a page for "feeling."
Then top off the journey through the five senses with a visit to the Musee International de la Parfumerie. This museum in Grasse has an extensive collection of scents. There are also interactive stations for children to learn about perfume making.
6. Go Snorkelling at the Domaine du Rayol
If you want your camping in France experience to be extravagant, then you have to visit the Domaine du Rayol. This estate has cultivated a stunning Mediterranean garden since 1910. It's perfect for a relaxed walk with your family.
While the flowers are best in April and May, your children can go snorkelling in the summertime. They'll explore the underwater flora and fauna with an expert guide keeping them safe. Don't forget to invest in waterproof cameras so they can record the experience!
To enjoy this experience you'll need to book ahead. While you're at it, practice snorkelling with your children at home in the bathtub. This way they'll be more relaxed when they get into the water.
7. Hike Through the Luberon
If "camping in France" means "hiking in France" to you, then we recommend a visit to the Luberon.
The Luberon is a region in Provence filled with everything you want on a French holiday. You can hike from village to village with your family. While you're walking, you can enjoy breathtaking sites as well as amazing food and culture.
For an easy hike with the family, take the Saint-Veran trail. It's about a three-hour hike, so make sure you're prepared. The trail takes you through vineyards, past an old church and lavoir (wash-room), and offers amazing views.
8. Watch the Stars at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence
To encourage your little astronomers, then take them to the Observatoire de Haute-Provence. This is where scientists are conducting cutting-edge research. You can take a 30 minute guided tour of the observatory that includes a film.
Buy tickets in the nearby village of Saint Michel l'Observatoire. Then you drive or take a shuttle to the observatory from there.
You won't be able to use the main telescope yourself. But you can go outside after the tour to look through the other telescopes.
To keep the love of the stars alive, download the SkyView app on your iPhone. Your kids can see the constellations highlighted on the phone. They also have great information about the stars and planets in your area.
9. See Colour in a Whole New Way at Chausee des Geants
If you've got a little one who uses all the colours in the box, take them to see the ochre hills at Chausee des Geants.
The hills are about a 45-minute walk from the nearby town of Roussillon. In town you can visit the art galleries and shops, then take the trail to the ochre hills.
Many people recommend you visit in the late afternoon. This is when the hills are at their most stunning. Bring your sketchbook so your family can use the real ochre to draw themselves.
10. See the Whale Skeleton at Musee oceanographique de Monaco
Rainy days threaten to ruin holidays. But when you're camping in France, there are still opportunities for fun experiences.
The Musee Oceanographique de Monaco has 90 tanks filled with 450 different species of tropical fish. Your child can "feel the fish" in the tactile basins, or visit the outdoor turtle tank. And don't miss the Salle de la Baleine where the whale skeleton hangs.
Ready to Go Camping in France?
If you're looking for a wonderful holiday, then come camping in France. Book a campsite in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur Region through our website to get started.
If you're looking for more ideas about camping in France, take a look at our blog. We have plenty of ideas for activities that you and your family can enjoy.