The South of France. Blissful beaches, the warm waters of the Mediterranean, peaceful villages, medieval towns and breathtaking countryside. Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it.
Before I had children I worked in the South of France as a holiday rep. And it really was every bit as stunning as it sounds. It’s somewhere I’ve longed to return to. To meet up with old friends, visit old haunts and discover more of its beauty. But this time I want to take the kids.
We’ve been busy looking for family-friendly villas in France for next summer while planning what to get up to while we’re there. Here’s our shortlist:
DinoPark Cap d’Agde
If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll be well aware of the 5 year old’s obsession with dinosaurs. So of course when I discovered there was infact a place right near where I once lived and worked dedicated to dinosaurs it had to go on the list. And it sounds amazing. It’s not just one park, but three. DinoLand, which features a dinosaur themed waterpark, playground and adventure park. DinoPark, which is home to huge dinosaur models and Giant Mini Golf.
Meze Dinosaur Museum
Another one for the dino crazy among us, this is the biggest museum in the South of France dedicated solely to dinosaurs. On the site of a dinosaur egg and fossil discovery, the museum features lots of hands-on activities for little ones to get involved with. Along with the ever popular life-size dinosaur models that can be found throughout the grounds.
Just north of Montpellier is the fabulous Montpellier Zoo. This is a real gem of a place, with a huge array of animals and best of all it’s free. The only thing you do have to pay for is the new Amazonian adventure, but even then the littles go free if they’re under 6.
Not for everyone, but canoeing is big in the South of France. With the beautiful Canal du Midi meandering its way through the countryside from Toulouse to Étang de Thau near the coast. It really is a wonderful way to enjoy the area and see parts of it you might not otherwise get to see. So why not rent a canoe, or a canal boat, pack a picnic and head off for an afternoon on the water.
Hit the Beach
When you think of the South of France, your mind might often go straight to Nice or St Tropez. And while they have beautiful beaches, I much prefer the less busy Carnon and La Grande Motte, with their sand dunes and futuristic pyramid-style buildings, backed by the Étang de l’Or. This huge lake, home to flamingos in the summer, turns pink as the sun hits it, creating the most wonderful place to explore.
Do you have any suggestions of places we should visit in the South of France?