One of our favourite spaces on the French Riviera for families is Parc Phoenix in Nice. Even in the height of summer it is seldom as busy as the region’s theme parks or beaches.
Parc Phoenix is a 17-acre park located on the edge of Nice city complete with huge tropical greenhouse with fern, orchids, tropical plants and animals. The park is 99% flat paved paths (there are some stairs inside the greenhouse), and there are accessible toilets.
There is a small aquarium onsite, a musical fountain display and various animal enclosures with birds, reptiles, prairie dogs, and turtles. Parc Phoenix has a snack shop onsite selling sandwiches, drinks and ice-creams, and there is a fenced children’s playground with picnic area.
They often have exhibitions included as part of the entrance fee (which is just 2 Euros – a bargain for what you get – plus the entrance fee also includes entry to The Museum of Asiatic Arts next door; the modern looking building overlooking the lake at the park entrance).
One such current exhibition is by Nicolas Cegalerba, displaying photos of his travels to Madagascar and the biodiversity of the flora and fauna. It runs until 29 September 2013 in the Salle Cassini at Parc Phoenix.
There is also another exhibition on bats that runs until 05 December 2013 in the room under the ‘Pyramid’ hill just before the snack kiosk. We sometimes see bats fly over our house at dusk here in Juan les Pins, and it was interesting to learn that of the 35 species in France, 31 of those have been identified as being present here in this region.
Recommended as a place to visit for families, anyone interested in plants and animals, travellers with reduced mobility.
Parc Phoenix, 405 Promenade des Anglais, NICE (Telephone: 04 92 29 77 00)
For opening hours go to http://www.parc-phoenix.org/