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