Treasure Hunts for Kids on the French Riviera

What child doesn’t love a treasure hunt?

I’m not talking about just geocaching either where you find the ‘cache’ by using GPS coordinates, but good old-fashioned treasure hunts using maps, clues and riddles to find answers to questions or a secret code word (perhaps in exchange for a prize).

Treasure hunts are a fun way to allow history to filter into a learning experience and they are great motivators to get kids outside and exploring.   I love treasure hunts because they are very educational supporting development of a child’s imagination and problem-solving skills and fostering team work – adults can join in  too and sometimes are more competitive than the kids!

TREASURE HUNTS ON THE FRENCH RIVIERA

I’ve done some research into treasure hunts for kids on the French Riviera (and a handful reaching into the Var) and there are quite a few which I had never heard of before.  There are a few companies that offer paid experiences for birthdays or groups, however I’ve tried to include free or low-cost options as much as possible:

Antibes

Treasure hunts (rallyes pédestres) are run by the Tourist Office in Vieil Antibes, 32 boulevard d’Aiguillon (not the main Tourist Office on ave Robert Soleau) every day at 3pm with advance reservation to follow clues around Old Town and fill in the answer form for the chance to earn a prize.  The cost is €5 for kids / adults are free when accompanying their children.

Cannes

Available in French and English, Les Trésors de Cannes is a treasure hunt facilitated using a comic book to find clues in Cannes.  You can purchase the comic book with clues for €10 from the Tourist Office at the Palais.

Les Trésors de Cannes - treasure hunt in Cannes incorporating a comic book to find the clues

Les Trésors de Cannes – treasure hunt in Cannes incorporating a comic book to find the clues

Dracénois towns – Bargemon, Callas, Claviers, Figanières, Les Arcs

Super fun free treasure hunts taking in historical places of interest in each town themed around La Route des Chevaliers.  Available in French, there are 5 different towns to explore; download is here:  http://w3.tourisme-dracenie.com/modules/mydownloads/viewcat.php?cid=16

Route des Chevaliers treasure hunts in Bargemon, Callas, Clavier, Figanières and Les Arcs

Route des Chevaliers treasure hunts in Bargemon, Callas, Clavier, Figanières and Les Arcs

Fréjus

Mysteres dans Frejus is a free 11-clue treasure hunt in Fréjus centre (French language only) and when you have completed the code you can give your form to the Tourist Office in Fréjus to enter quarterly draws for gift vouchers to redeem on workshops.   The download is here: http://www.ville-frejus.fr/images/pages/upload/fichiers/pdf/pdf_temporaires/mysteres_dans_frejus.pdf

Mysteres dans Fréjus - free treasure hunt for kids in Fréjus

Mysteres dans Fréjus – free treasure hunt for kids in Fréjus

Nice

Aventures sur la Côte  offer treasure hunts by request so it’s a good option for groups of friends, family or corporates.  The hunts leave from the Apollo Fountain (Fontaine du Soleil) at Place Massena and cover the history of Nice as well as the pirate Black Morgan with disguised characters along the way handing out scrolled clues to participants.  I’m yet to test this one but it sounds like fun!  Price is by request dependent on group size.

Pays de Fayence

Available in French, Trésors du Pays de Fayence comprises a free separate treasure hunt for the 4 towns of Fayence, Callian, Seillans, Mons and at the end the codes from each town combine to form one overall answer. The download is here: http://www.paysdefayence.com/documents/tresorsenpaysdefayence.pdf

Year round free treasure hunts in Callian, Fayence, Mons and Seillans to win prizes including weekend getaways

Year round free treasure hunts in Callian, Fayence, Mons and Seillans to win prizes including weekend getaways

Roquebrune sur Argens

The Tourist Office of Roquebrune-sur-Argens organises a variety of fun treasure hunts :

  1.  Rocabrunae 1249 is a geolocalised treasure hunt aimed at kids from 8 years old.  It incorporates using a GPS Pocket to follow clues in the village related to the Templiers knights and when you reach each ‘stage’ a question pops up onscreen to answer. Once the treasure hunt is complete (approximately 2 hours duration), pass your form to the Tourist Office to earn a prize.  Hireage of the GPS is €10 from the Tourist Office, 12 avenue Gabriel Péri, 83520 Roquebrune-sur-Argens.
  2. For something a bit different, try a treasure hunt by canoe! Hosted every Wednesday in July and August, the hunt takes around 3 hours tracing clues by foot in the medieval village and canoe along the Argens river.  Reservations necessary via the Tourist Office of Roquebrune – Adults €20 / Kids aged 8-12 years €10 / Kids under 8 years are free of charge.

Saint-Raphaêl / Grasse

Piste et Trésor is a free iPhone app with loads of treasure hunts in locations including Saint-Raphael (Enigmes et Secrets), Pays de Fayence,  and Pays de Grasse.

Enigmes et Secrets - Saint Raphael free treasure hunt

Enigmes et Secrets – Saint Raphael free treasure hunt

Available in both French and English, it covers many other French destinations such as Paris, Château de Versailles, Lyon, Brest and the Alsace region – plus more – so it’s a brilliant one to take on family holidays.

Download it on the App Store here: https://itunes.apple.com/fr/app/piste-et-tresor/id371295938?mt=8

Piste et Trésor offer lots of free treasure hunts throughout France including towns in the Var and on the French Riviera

Piste et Trésor offer lots of free treasure hunts throughout France including towns in the Var and on the French Riviera

Villeneuve Loubet

Jeu Mission Melba is a free interactive treasure hunt using smartphone and compass coordinates to follow the trail to find Melba (the little frog who is the town mascot) in the village, Rives de Loup, Parc Vaugrenier and Baie des Anges marina.

The target age is suited to kids 6-10 years; duration is from 1.5 – 2 hours.

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Weekend Wanderlust: Bargemon

Bargemon, located in the hinterland of the Var department was a pleasant weekend getaway for myself and my partner and a town that we will definitely return to as the area allowed a nice change of scenery away from the coast.

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Fortified in AD 950, Bargemon is a lovely village to discover with 11th-century ramparts and a tower from the middle of the 16th-century.   We sat at the restaurant area on the corner of Rue Gabriel Peri and the main road shaded by plane trees which was a fantastic place to stop for a drink and watch the world go by.

view of Bargemon driving from Callas

view of Bargemon driving from Callas

Things to see and do in Bargemon and nearby towns

Bargemon

Bargemon has interesting ramparts and medieval gates with some brilliant views over the valley and forests.

Bargemon town walls and ramparts

Bargemon town walls and ramparts

Église St-Etienne, was originally built for the monks from the Abbeye on Île-Saint Honorat off the coast of Cannes, it was rebuilt in the 15th-century and notable features include angel’s heads attributed to Pierre Puget and the icon of Bargemon, a ram (belier) on the bell tower.  The Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Montaigu has a wood carving of the Virgin brought to the village from Montaigu in Belgium in the 17th-century.

Bargemon town

Bargemon town

You can see the old community bread oven that served the town until the 1960’s – the baker used to stoke the fire with pine branches and it took 2 hours to reach the right temperature to cook the bread.

Like most French cities and towns, Bargemon has a number of fountains including Fontaine de la Poissonerie; I assumed it had some connection to fish (poisson) but it turns out the name is a misrepresentation of ‘peausserie’ which was a basin for bathing and cleaning the skin.

The old Bargemon bread oven / Fontaine de la Poissonerie

The old Bargemon bread oven / Fontaine de la Poissonerie

 

The town had a constant stream of motorbikes and cyclists which is understandable as the town itself and surrounding countryside is very scenic.

Bargemon town

Bargemon town

Col de Bel Homme & Camp Canjuers

The Col du Bel Homme (915 m) to the north of Bargemon offers great views of the Mediterranean, the valleys and villages set in the hills and on the coast. There is a small path to the west that leads to the orientation table at the Blaque Meyanne peak (1033 m) where the view is even more spectacular.

The Canjuers plateau is used as a military training ground so it’s possible you can see the odd tank, it’s advisable not to stray from marked roads.

If you want to do some sightseeing, there are plenty of attractions in towns located under an hours drive from Bargemon.

Callas

Callas is just 6km from Bargemon, we drove through and stopped for a drink. It was dead quiet when we visited in summer and it seemed like a sleepy town to stay in. You can see the old lavoir and an old olive oil mill.

Gorges de Pennafort

I was searching online for maps for short hikes in the area before our trip and discovered the Gorges de Pennafort (enroute to Bargemon) and it was an ideal place to stop and swim in the cool waterholes surrounded by cliffs and forest.  Further down from where we stopped to swim there are canyoning spots with rock slides.

gorg

You park your car opposite the Hostellerie des Gorges de Pennafort and walk under the bridge following the dirt track; there are a few sections where you need to cross the river but the river crossings are knee high at the deepest with no strong current (take aqua shoes or trainers as the surface under water is rocks).

There were some pools that were shallow so it was an excellent place for families to swim and then picnic on the flat rocks.

The Gorges de Pennafort are a lovely area especially on hot days as the forest offers shade and there are swimming holes to cool off in

The Gorges de Pennafort are a lovely area especially on hot days as the forest offers shade and there are swimming holes to cool off in

Fayence

Coming from an easterly direction, you can travel to Bargemon via Fayence which is a popular town for pottery and antiques. The town has some remnants of its 14th-century defences.

The Fayence airfield is a big gliding base and right next to it is a restaurant ‘Vol a Voile’ that’s good for families as you can have a meal and watch the airfield action.

Claviers

Just 5km from Bargemon, the village of Claviers is reached by turning off from the road from Callas (if you are coming from Le Muy direction). It is built overlooking the Riou valley, is largely untouched by tourist traffic and a pleasant village surrounded by pines and olive trees.

Claviers (image@ Villages de France)

Claviers (image@ Villages de France)

Callian

Perched at an altitude of 325 metres above sea level, Callian has great medieval history with an impressive 12th-century château and a pretty church with glazed tiles on the steeple. The views are excellent from the top of the village of the Tanneron and Esterels.

Villecroze

Villecroze is best known for the Grottes Troglodytes, a system of caves which were originally used by Benedictine monks from Marseille to hide in when the Saracens stormed through and then a local lord claimed them in the 16th-century due to their prime defensive position.

Villecroze park and caves

Villecroze park and caves

The caves are listed as National Monuments in 2 categories – geology and history – and you can visit them between April and November.

The Château Thuerry vineyard at Villecroze is a good choice for wine tastings and they host music events occasionally.

Chateau Thuerry, Villecroze

Chateau Thuerry, Villecroze

Tourtour

Tourtour is popular with tourists; indeed it seems many visit due to its inclusion in Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (‘The Most Beautiful Villages of France’).

Due to it’s altitude it is nicknamed ‘the village in the sky of Provence’ and has excellent views of one of Cézanne’s favourite subjects, Mont Sainte-Victoire as well as the Massif Maures from the esplanade of Church Saint-Denis.

There is a 12th-century castle, an oil mill and also a fossil museum that is open April to October but check the hours first with the Tourist Office as they vary by day (November to March is by appointment only).

The oil mill at Tourtour (Moulin a huile)

The oil mill at Tourtour (Moulin a huile)

Abbaye du Thoronet

Founded in 1146, Abbaye du Thoronet sits beside a monastery home to some Cistercian nuns who sell handicrafts and is known as one of the 3 ‘Cistercian sisters’ of Provence, along with the abbeys of Silvacane and Séhanque.

Abbaye du Thoronet is one of the Var's top attractions

Abbaye du Thoronet is one of the Var’s top attractions

Cotignac

Cotignac is an idyllic place set at the bottom of cliffs overlooked by defensive towers and a waterfall. It was the first parish in France to be supplied electricity generated by its own waterfall.

Cotignac

Cotignac

You can visit the cliffs by following the paved path behind the mairie – the path passes in front of the large oil presses, and leads up to the old hospice de la Charité. From there, you can continue on the narrow paths carved into the cliff face, protected by iron handrails and enjoy views over the village. More spectacular views are found at the top of the cliffs if you follow the road out of town that circles around.

Close to Cotignac, is the 17th-century Château Entrecasteaux with a pretty garden by Le Nôtre, and the Cascade de Sillans, a 42 metre high waterfall reached via a short walk (unfortunately you can no longer swim at the falls due to danger of rock falls).

Château Entrecasteaux with gardens by Le Nôtre

Château Entrecasteaux with gardens by Le Nôtre

Draguignan

With streets laid out by Baron Haussmann, the planner of modern Paris, Draguignan has some good local museums including the Musée des Arts et Traditions Populaires de Moyenne Provence with displays of country life, tools and economic history.

The Musée Municipal has collections of everything from furniture to ceramics and art by Renoir and Rembrandt.  I’ve heard rumours that the adjacent library holds ‘Roman de la Rose’, a medieval manuscript considered France’s most important book of courtly love though I couldn’t find anything in my research to support this claim…in saying that, it doesn’t surprise me that a significant literary document is not promoted here…

Fans of Ancient Provence can see the ‘Fairy Stone (Pierre de la Fée) northwest of Draguignan which is the only true prehistoric dolmen in Provence.

Vintage photo and modern photo of the Fairy Stone (Pierre de la Fée) in the Var

Vintage photo and modern photo of the Fairy Stone (Pierre de la Fée) in the Var

Route des Vins

This region is true wine terroir and a nice side trip for wine enthusiasts as it has lots of vineyards where you can stop in for some wine tasting and buy wine from the producers.

We found some great wineries on the road from La Motte to Callas, and also a bit further in the zone from Brignoles to Barjols. You can get more guidance on some of the cellars to visit here: http://w3.tourisme-dracenie.com/modules/news5/article.php?storyid=63

vins_provence

For kids

Many of the towns in the region have great family-friendly activities including short hikes under 1 hour suitable for toddlers and baby strollers/prams, large town squares for playing while waiting for meals, and treasure hunts.

The towns of Bargemon, Claviers, Callas, Figanières and Les Arcs have treasure hunts based on the adventures of the Villeneuve Knights (Routes des Chevaliers) where kids can solve riddles and find clues. The link to the hunts is here; note: It is in French only. http://w3.tourisme-dracenie.com/modules/mydownloads/viewcat.php?cid=16

Route des Chevaliers is a series of treasure hunts for kids in Varois towns including Callas and Bargemon

Route des Chevaliers is a series of treasure hunts for kids in Varois towns including Callas and Bargemon

Places to eat

I highly recommend Pescalune in Bargemon, the food was exceptional and ambiance was superb with outdoor seating beside a trickling fountain and fairy lights in the trees. Virginie, the chef/owner is a supreme ‘people person’ and so passionate about her food; she even popped out from the kitchen to talk to diners during the evening.

la-pescalune

Hostellerie des Gorges de Pennafort on the road from La Motte to Callas is an unexpected find in a lovely location. The restaurant received a Michelin star in 2015 and has 3 toques from Gault & Milleu. The restaurant is closed from mid-January to mid-March and the outside terrace is open only from mid-May to September but it is an excellent choice (they also have kids menus) and right next to the beautiful Gorges.

Places to stay

Bargemon

We stayed in a lovely traditional village house run as a Bed and Breakfast by an expat couple who were very hospitable. The house is conveniently located 2 minutes’ walk from restaurants and the main street but it is located on the edge of the village ramparts in a quiet peaceful location with no street or traffic noise – it was bliss to wake up to the sound of birds and frogs in the valley!

Our B&B accommodation in Bargemon on the edge of the village with views across the valley

Our B&B accommodation in Bargemon on the edge of the village with views across the valley

Our Master Room was spotlessly clean and had a beautiful panorama from the terrace (with a mini fridge to store wine and water) and was decorated with antique furniture, lots of guide books about the region and most importantly, a lovely comfortable bed.

Breakfast was tasty the next morning and consisted of boiled egg, cheeses, ham, fruit salad, juice, bread, croissant and conserves.  My one comment is that the Master Room is accessed on the second floor therefore you need to consider this if you have heavy luggage (This means it’s not accessible for people in wheelchairs). You can book the B&B here:  https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/1186248

Our room had a gorgeous sunny terrace with a mini fridge perfect for chilling the rosé! The views were lovely

Our room had a gorgeous sunny terrace with a mini fridge perfect for chilling the rosé! The views were lovely

Seillans

If you’re looking for a family-friendly villa, Villa Olea near Seillans has a heated pool, 3 bathrooms and enough rooms for a large family – from September to May it has good rates (the villa is also wheelchair accessible) https://www.affinity-holidays-france.com/property/olea/

How to get to Bargemon

Public transport

The nearest train station to Bargemon is Les Arcs-Draguignan. From there, Bargemon is serviced by bus on demand with Ted Bus, you can book 24 hours in advance http://www.tedbus.com/fr/node/772

Driving

From Nice direction, on the A8 autoroute head to Le Muy, get off at Exit 36, then head in the direction of La Motte, then Callas on the D25 road and Bargemon.

The journey from Antibes to Bargemon took around 1 hour 15 minutes with moving traffic (no traffic jams!); tolls cost €6,30 each way from Antibes to Le Muy.

For tolls from other points, check here: http://www.vinci-autoroutes.com/fr/system/files/pdf/2016/01/tarifs_escota_2016_v_web.pdf

Thanks for reading my Weekend Wanderlust post about Bargemon!  If you liked it, please share on Facebook or Twitter.

Easter for Families on the French Riviera

Easter school holidays are getting closer so here’s Access Riviera’s round up of things to do at Easter (Pâques) including free community Easter Egg hunts, chocolate workshops and themed brunches on the French Riviera:

Easter Activities

ANTIBES

Saturday 26, Sunday 27 & Monday 28 March at 10.30am: Egg hunt at Kids Island (the ex-La Ferme du Far West) – entry fee applies.

Saturday 26 March at Fort Carré: Different egg hunts by age (reservation necessary Tél. : 04 93 34 65 6504 93 34 65 65; Email : marine.lesptitsconfettis@gmail.com : For 3-5 years, egg hunt is 1pm and for 6-12 years egg hunt is from 3pm.

easter-320206_960_720

AURON

Sunday 27 March: Easter Egg Hunt at 9am, egg decorating at 10.30am at the Mediatheque, Easter Concert at place centrale at 2pm and chocolate fondue at 5pm

BEAULIEU SUR MER

Monday 28 March at 3pm: Free Easter Egg hunt and games at Jardin de l’Olivaie

BIOT

To be advised

CAGNES SUR MER

To be advised

CANNES LA BOCCA

Monday 28 March at 10.30am: Egg hunt at Fun City (entry fee applies)

CAP D’AIL

Sunday 27 March at 11.30am: Easter egg hunt at Jardin des Douaniers

CASTAGNIERS

Saturday 26 & Monday 28 March at 10am, 11am, 2pm, 3pm: Easter Egg Hunt at Ferme Brin de Laine à Castagniers (290 chemin de la Garde, Castagniers). Reservation necessary; : 06.51.09.07.2606.51.09.07.26 ou info@grainesdefermiers.org   Kids €10 ; adults are free.

EZE

Saturday 19 March at 10.30am – Easter Egg Hunt at Parc de la Revère

FREJUS

http://www.closdesroses.com/fr/manifestations-clos-des-roses-frejus/chasse-aux-z-oeufs-paques

GRASSE

Sunday 27 March at 10.30am: Treasure Hunt at Musée International de la Parfumérie and the Jardins de Musée in Mouans-Sartoux. Kids are free; adults entry fee as per normal.

ISOLA 2000

Monday 28 March: Easter Egg Hunt at 9am, egg decorating at 10.30am, chocolate fondue with marshmellows and fruit at 4pm

LA COLLE-SUR-LOUP

Sunday 20 March from 10am-6pm:   Easter festival with an Easter Egg hunt, animal petting farm, Easter crafts workshops, chocolate stalls and free chocolate fountain.

All animations are free except the kids workshops are €3 a session, or €5 including one session and the Egg hunt.

For further information, visit the La Colle tourism site:  http://www.lacollesurloup.fr/fr/actualites/gourmandises-de-p%C3%A2ques

LA TURBIE

Monday 28 March at 2pm: Easter Egg hunt

LEVENS

Monday 28 March at 3pm: Easter Egg Hunt at la Colline

MONACO

Sunday 05 April and Monday 06 April at the Monaco Oceanarium: Easter Egg Hunt from 10am-midday and 3.15pm-4.15pm (entry fee applies)

NICE

Wednesday 23 March at Parc Carol de Roumanie from 2.30pm: Free afternoon with Easter Egg Hunt for 5-10 years at 2.30pm and Easter Egg Hunt for 3-4 years at 3pm. Face painting, bouncy castle and peche aux canards.

26, 27 and 28 March at Parc Phoenix:   Toddlers can hunt for the eggs in the straw; older kids have an Egg Hunt with numbered eggs that correspond to chocolate prizes. There will also be a petit train, trampoline, bouncy castle, free marionette show at 11am, 2pm, 4.30pm and 5.30pm. Adults €3 entry; kids are free.

Sunday 27 March from 11.30am-4pm:  Easter Brunch at the Negresco Hotel including a brunch buffet, magician, face painting, chocolate workshop, music and a puppet show.  Reservations essential via http://www.hotel-negresco-nice.com/les-restaurants/brunch-de-paques/

negresco

Monday 28 March from 9am-midday at Hard Rock Café: Easter Egg Hunt plus Golden Ticket to win a prize. Kids under 10 years €15; free for under 2 years.

Wednesday 30 March from 1pm at Parc de Cimiez: Bouncy castle, face painting, egg hunt at 2.30pm for 5-10 years and 3pm for 3-4 years.

Wednesday 06 April at Parc Vigier from 1pm-5pm: Free Easter Egg Hunt plus games

Wednesday 06 April at Jardin Comte de Falicon from 1pm-5pm: Free Easter Egg Hunt plus games

SAINT BLAISE

Saturday 26 March at 2.30pm: Easter Egg Hunt at the Château

SAINT CEZAIRE SUR SIAGNE

Monday 28 March from 10am onwards : Easter activities at La Chèvrerie du Bois d’Amon – free Easter egg hunt, free farm animal feeding in the morning, pony rides (fee applies). More info at http://chevrerieduboisdamon.fr/news.html

SAINT-JEAN-CAP-FERRAT

Sunday 03 April from 10am-6pm : Free Easter Day with mini farm and Easter workshops. Free egg hunts by age:

7/12 ans – Terrasses du port from 2pm 4/6 ans – Théâtre sur la Mer from 3pm

0/3 ans – Théâtre sur la Mer from 4pm

eggs

SAINT LAURENT DU VAR

Wednesday 06 April : Lots of activities on this free Easter day at Esplanade des Goélands. Pony rides, face painting, circus performers – lots of different egg hunts to join in on:

  • 3 egg hunts for 4 to 9 years at 11h, 14h30 et 16h30.
  • 4 egg hunts for 1 à 3 years at 10h30, 15h, 16h et 17h.
  • 4 courses d’orientation for kids 6 to 11 years at 14h30, 15h30, 16h30 et 17h30
  • Registrations with the Office de Tourisme due to limited place 04 93 31 31 2104 93 31 31 21, unti 05 avril 2016

SAINT PAUL DE VENCE

Monday 28 March from 10am-3pm : From 10am-1pm, Easter workshops (cost €2 to €5 each with pre-registration required). From 11am-midday, free Egg Hunt for 2-6 years (in the straw) and 7-11 years in the streets – children participating in the Egg Hunts must be registered. Information and registration at the l’Office de Tourisme : 04 93 32 86 9504 93 32 86 95

SAINT MARTIN VÉSUBIE

Monday 28 March from 10am: 2 separate groups – Free egg hunt for under 6 years and free egg hunt for kids 6-11 years at Parc de la Châtaigneraie. Register onsite the hour beforehand.

SAINT VALLIER DE THIEY

Sunday 27 March at 3pm: Easter Egg Hunt at Chapelle Ste Luce. Information: 04 92 60 32 00

THÉOULE

Monday 28 March at 2pm: Free Easter Egg Hunt from the Salle des Fêtes

TOURRETTE LEVENS

Sunday 27 March at 4pm: Free Easter Egg Hunt at the Château

VALDEBLORE – SAINT DALMAS

Monday 28 March : Easter Egg hunt in the village of St Dalmas

VENCE

Saturday 26 to Mon 28 Mar : Various activities including a Battle of the Flowers parade at 2.30pm on Monday

VILLEFRANCHE SUR MER

Wednesday 06 April at 10am: Egg hunt at Jardin Binon

VILLENEUVE LOUBET

Until 03 April: Easter exhibition ‘Villen’Oeuf’ at Pôle Culturel Auguste Escoffier and Musée d’art culinaire with decorated eggs on the theme ‘Pâques patriote’ by local pâtissiers, chocolatiers and glaciers.

 

8 Boredom Busters for the rest of March

Is it just me or does anyone else feel a slight lull after Festival February that saw some major events here on the French Riviera – Nice Carnival, Fête du Citron, Fête du Mimosa etc??   Personally, I enjoy that each month there is always so much to see and do from food and wine fairs to cultural festivals to family-friendly events.

While February certainly set the bar high in terms of events, there’s still plenty of things to do for the remainder of March:

1. Saturday 19 March in Mougins from 10am-5pm:  A free family day ‘Fête du Jeu’ at Complexe sportif Roger Duhalde with video games, giant wooden games, sports, pedal cars, face painting, bouncy castles and dedicated play areas for babies through to 6 years of age.  There is a free shuttle from parking at the Cabrières school.

2. Sunday 19 March in Eze Village at 10.30am:  Easter Egg Hunt from Parc de la Revère.

3. Saturday 19 March in Antibes from 8.30pm:  The Antibes Sharks basketball team play Strasbourg at AzurArena.

4. Saturday 19 March in Saint Jean Cap Ferrat from 8.30pm:  One for the adults (if you manage to get a babysitter), you can experience ‘Fête Bavaroise’ at the Espace Neptune at the port where German-themed entertainment will have you Oompahing all evening.  Reservations in advance via the Comité des Fêtes (in French) on phone 06 37 06 74 35. Tickets are €25 which includes choucroute (sauerkraut), dessert and a beer or glass of wine.

5. Sunday 20 March in Cagnes-sur-Mer from 10am-2.30pm:  Very popular, the ‘Dimanche Malin’ family days take place on the seafront road and are free of charge.  The road is blocked from 9am-3.30pm but you can park anywhere near the Hippodrome or take the train to Cros-de-Cagnes and it is merely a 5-minute walk to the seafront.

Dimanche Malins, Cagnes-sur-Mer (www.accessriviera.wordpress.com)

Dimanche Malins, Cagnes-sur-Mer (www.accessriviera.wordpress.com)

The days feature lots of fun activities such as pony rides, bouncy castles, baby gym, face painting, trampolines, mini golf.  They also have quad bikes though last year the queues for the quad bikes were extremely busy, and if you have under 4 year old kids they unfortunately had to queue with the older kids so bear in mind patience may be necessary!

The next editions are on 24 April and 22 May so diarise those if you can’t make the 20 March date.

For the map and programme, please download here:  http://www.cagnes-tourisme.com/upload/wysiwyg/plan%20des%20animation%20dimanches%20malins%202016_1.pdf

6. Sunday 20 March in La Colle-sur-Loup from 10am-6pm:   Easter festival with an Easter Egg hunt, animal petting farm, Easter crafts workshops, chocolate stalls and free chocolate fountain.

All animations are free except the kids workshops are €3 a session, or €5 including one session and the Egg hunt.

For further information, visit the La Colle tourism site:  http://www.lacollesurloup.fr/fr/actualites/gourmandises-de-p%C3%A2ques

Marché de Paques, La Colle-sur-Loup

Marché de Paques, La Colle-sur-Loup

7. Until 21 March in Nice:  Head to the Musée des Arts Asiatiques for the last remaining week of the ‘Du No à Mata Hari’ exhibition which showcases around 300 objects from theatre in Asia including kimonos, masks, puppets, paintings, and tapestries.  The exhibition includes work from famous artist Itchiku Kubota and costumes from the Beijing Opera.

It is a beautiful and unique exhibition with pieces that have survived the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Kids may find it too in-depth  (though the masks and puppets are interesting), though entry is free to the Mata Hari displays and then you can visit the adjoining Parc Phoenix too for just €3.

museeasie

8.  Wednesday 30 March in Cannes from 8pm: There is a concert ‘Les Quatres saisons de Vivaldi’ at the Église Notre-Dame des Pins with 10 Cannois Conservatoire students and 5 other students from music Conservatoires in Nice, Toulon and Marseille.

The concert is organised by the Lions Club of Cannes and the Cannes Appassionata Association who fund international travel for exceptional students who finish their studies at the Conservatoire de Cannes.

It is a great opportunity to support promising young musicians.  Tickets can be purchased 1.5 hours before the concert on the night – Adults are €10 each, €5 for children and under 10 years are free when accompanied by parents.

For more information about the Conservatoire events, you can see here: http://www.cannes.com/fr/culture/conservatoire-de-musique-et-theatre.html

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Pink Ribbon Charity Walk – MONACO Sunday 13 March

There are just a few days to go until the 5th Pink Ribbon Monaco Walk with all proceeds going towards breast cancer support and awareness.

Registrations will be accepted right up to the event start so you can either register online, or in person at the Stade Louis II on Saturday from 1pm-7pm (the actual walk is Sunday though).

Pink Ribbon Monaco Walk, Sunday 13 March from 10.30am

Pink Ribbon Monaco Walk, Sunday 13 March from 10.30am

The entry fee of €30 includes a t-shirt as well as a bib to write a message of support to someone who has inspired you for this walk.   Each year the event is attended by walkers showing support for their mother, sister, wife, friend – it is a worthy cause that touches many lives so skip your Sunday brunch and come along!

The walk circuit is 5 kilometres with the start on the esplanade of Port Hercule in central Monaco – look for the tent beside the podium truck.   The start line is easy to find and only 10 minutes from the Monaco-Monte Carlo train station and car parking is an easy distance at Place des Armes or the port.

Pink Ribbon Monaco Walk circuit

Pink Ribbon Monaco Walk circuit

Everyone is welcome and lots of families take part; kids under 13 years are free.  Dogs also welcome on leads. Everyone is encouraged to dress in pink – the crazier the better I say!

What your €30 contribution goes towards

Throughout the year, your 30€ contribution helps Pink Ribbon Monaco:

  • Work and assist the Centre de Dépistage du CHPG (Hopital Princesse Grace Screening Centre) led by Dr Daniel Rouison, part of the Ministry of Health and Social affairs

  • Organise informative Q&A conferences in Monaco

  • Organise further awareness campaigns and events

  • Illuminate various Monegasque landmarks in October, during international breast cancer awareness month.

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 During the Walk, your 30€ also helps:

  • Contribute to the Federation Monegasque d’Athlètisme and Monaco Run, our hosts for the event. The FMA donates a great deal of material to us, but we still contribute to insurance and other costs attached to the Walk.

  • Our fabric bags, as this year we replaced the plastic bags for reusable, ecological fabric

  • Printing posters and displaying them across Monaco and neighbouring towns.

  • The umbrella is a gift to participants, as it is our 5th anniversary and we had very bad weather last year and did not want to purchase plastic, one use ponchos.

You can also volunteer to help with the event, or simply give a donation of any amount.  Don’t worry if you can’t make this weekend’s event because there are likely to be other fundraisers later in the year – previous events have included ‘Poker nights’ and ‘Paddle for Pink’ stand up paddle boarding at Cap d’Ail.

When:  Sunday 13 March 2016 at 10.30am, Port Hercule in Monaco

For online registration or to donate, please go to www.pinkribbon.mc

Antibes : 10 Facts You Didn’t Know

Antibes is one of the first towns I visited in France and I’ll never forget the journey from the airport along the Bord de Mer coast road and that stunning turquoise sea beside the road all the way to Fort Carré.

Entering the archway to Old Town Antibes and following the road along the ramparts is lovely – the view overlooking plage Gravette with Port Vauban, Baie des Anges and the Alps in the distance is still one of my favourites.

Antibes - Chappelle Saint-Bernardin - Safranier - MAMO Le Michelangelo

Antibes – Chappelle Saint-Bernardin – Safranier – MAMO Le Michelangelo

For a town I visit regularly, it has lots of history and places still to discover – and some surprising facts that may be new for residents!   Read more here :  http://www.bespokeyachtcharter.com/luxury-yacht-charter/antibes-old-town/