Visiobulle – A family-friendly boat trip

One of the main drawcards for visitors to the French Riviera is the proximity to the sea and beaches.

There are sheltered sandy beaches (Garoupe beach on the Cap d’Antibes), pebble beaches (Nice seafront) and wild, rugged coves for swimming (the Esterel coastline and Sentier Littoral walkways).

If you’re looking for a quick boat excursion and you’re visiting the French Riviera with children, I can recommend Visiobulle in Juan les Pins.

The Visiobulle is a glass-bottomed boat that cruises to the nearby Cap d’Antibes.  The cruise is just one-hour long so it was perfect for a short trip, especially if you have an active toddler (like I did at the time I boarded!).

Visiobulle, Juan les Pins

The Visiobulle berths at the Ponton Courbet on the seafront in Juan les Pins, and has many departures daily throughout warm months (departure times current as at June 2015):

April, May, June, September:  11am, 1.30pm, 3pm, 4.30pm

July and August:  9.25am **, 10.40am, 11.55am, 2.15pm, 3.30pm, 4.45pm, 6pm

Prices:  Adults €14, Children 2-11 years €7

**TIP: There is a reduced price for this 9.25am departure: Adults €12, Kids 2-11 years €6

Look for this ticket office (see photo below), you show up to the ticket office 15 minutes before each departure to purchase your tickets.  The boat operates every day except in bad weather and takes 58 passengers (and 2 crew) but it is very popular in high season especially the first departures each day.

Visiobulle ticket office (on the right-hand side), Ponton Courbet

The boat has shade covering so the seating is mostly covered for hot days.  There is plenty of seating.  There were families with baby strollers, and also a few passengers who were elderly or with restricted mobility and the crew were very helpful assisting them onboard.

The commentary is in French and English, but even though the crewmember had a microphone it was difficult to hear over the sounds of the engines so sit near the front of the boat if you really want to listen to the commentary.

The boat cruises to the nearby Cap d’Antibes past Port Gallice, plage des Ondes, Hotel du Cap Eden Roc and Pointe de l’Illette with the small lighthouse.  You will cruise past private villas unreachable to the public, and see the rocky landscape of the Cap d’Antibes coastal walkway.

DSC03541

The boat spends approximately 20-25 minutes in the Baie des Milliardaires, at which time they allow passengers to head downstairs to the glass-bottomed viewing windows.

The descent is via approximately 10 (steep) stairs with handrails. Wait a few minutes for the sand that is stirred up to settle.  It is not as extensive as a glass-bottom boat excursion in the tropics, but we saw various schools of fish, sea urchins, starfish, sea algaes and rock formations.  There are display posters in the viewing area alluding to what may be seen. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a clear photo of the viewing area as there were too many passengers onboard.

DSC03540

I noticed many families on board and my impressions were that children from toddler age to around 10-12 years were happily entertained, but teenagers were bored!

Access:   Arrive to Juan les Pins by car: The nearest pay carparking is a few minutes walk from the ferry on avenue l’Esterel.

Arrive to Juan les Pins by train:  Exit the train station, turn right and walk along avenue l’Esterel, then turn left onto avenue Amiral Courbet. Follow this road directly ahead to the seafront (about 400 metres), you will see a restaurant ‘La Terrasse’ and a kiosk selling fast food directly across the intersection. Ponton Courbet is located just to the right of these.

Arrive to Juan les Pins by bus:  Bus numbers 1 or 30 (Envibus) from Antibes, alight at stop ‘Ruban Bleu’ in Juan les Pins, cross the road and Ponton Courbet is 50 metres past the restaurant ‘La Jetee′.  Bus number 200, alight at stop ‘Regence’ and walk down avenue Amiral Courbet to the seafront.  Ponton Courbet is the jetty opposite the small roundabout.

Other Tips:

  • Don’t forget sunscreen, and also a warm top. We were on the boat on a hot sunny day, but once it was moving there was a strong breeze which was quite chilly.
  • For best viewing opportunities, sit on the left-hand side of the boat (as the boat is facing forward) to see the Juan les Pins coastline, then when the glass-bottom viewing area opens downstairs stay on the right-hand side of the boat as this is the side closest to the rocks that they cruise beside.
  • There is a toilet on board, but I would recommend using the automated accessible public toilet at the entrance of the Ponton Courbet prior to boarding.  The pay toilet is located in the silver cubicle by the motorbike stand, cost 50 centimes.
  • There are no refreshments sold on board so take your own food/drinks especially water.

 

Advertisements

School holiday ideas on the French Riviera

School holidays begin this Friday, and if your child/children is not enrolled in the local centre (holiday activity programme) it can be tricky to think of ideas to entertain them for two weeks.

There are big events happening during these school holidays (Nice Carnival, Fête du Citron and Fête du Mimosa), but if you are looking for something low cost or close to home here are some suggestions for any school holiday break during the year.  Note:  It is still considered to be low season here at the moment, so please check opening hours of each attraction before you go.

1.  For a list of ‘Playgrounds on the French Riviera’ read my blog post here

2.  For suggestions for ‘Rainy Day activities’ if the weather turns to custard, read here

2.  For some suggestions for ‘Outdoor activities and theme parks’, read below:

ANTIBES

– Marineland, located just off the RN7 main road, is the largest marine themepark in Europe with aquariums, killer whales, dolphins, sharks, penguins, sea lions and more. ‘Meet the animal’ experiences on offer for additional cost.  Lots of restaurants onsite.  Wheelchair accessible park.  Their website often has discount specials for entrance, and combinations with the other adjoining theme parks www.marineland.fr

Kids Island, located just off the RN7 main road, has farm animals, pony rides, inflatable play equipment, a lazy river ride, sheriff’s saloon, mini Wild West train ride and more.  Snack kiosks onsite.  Wheelchair accessible park.  Entry is free for children under 3 years, however it is more suitable for children 4 years and older due to the age restriction on some of the attractions.  www.marineland.fr

Aquasplash, another one of the parks adjoining the Marineland complex, is self-explanatory – a water-filled funpark perfect for those hot days!  Slides, pools, Pirate Island, whirlpools. Snack kiosks onsite. www.marineland.fr

– Adventure Golf, the remaining park at the Marineland complex, has 3 mini-golf courses for varying levels. www.marineland.fr

Antibesland, just across from Marineland is open during summer, with funfair stalls, fairground rides, a big ferris wheel and snack kiosks.

CAILLE

Arbre et Aventure – Experience an adventure course set in the forest, 7 different levels with one child course suitable for ages 5 years and older. Suspended bridges, rope ladders and a 470-metre zip-line.  Arbre et Aventure, Télésèige de La Moulière, 06750 Caille. Hours and tariffs can be found at www.arbreetaventure.fr

Arbre et Aventure, Caille (image: CATourism)

Arbre et Aventure, Caille (image: CATourism)

CAGNES SUR MER

– The waterfront promenade is wide and flat.  Hire rollerblades at the Hippodrome end of the promenade or a family cycle and burn off some energy, then sit in a restaurant eating lunch and enjoying the view.

CANNES

– Make a daytrip out to the Lérins Islands

– Camp Trappeur is an adventure park with climbing nets in the trees, a rockclimbing wall, buggy cross hire, pony rides (during school holidays), chill-out lounge and tipis for private events.  Minimum age for climbing nets is 5 years of age. www.okwide.fr

Lounge (image: Camp Trappeur)

Lounge (image: Camp Trappeur)

JUAN LES PINS

– Visiobulle is a glass-bottomed boat that travels to the nearby Cap d’Antibes and the ‘Bay of Millionaires’ past the mansions, Eden Roc hotel and rocky outcrops of the Cap.  Departs from the pontoon Courbet on the waterfront in Juan les Pins. Read more here

Cap d'Antibes scenery on the Visiobulle boat trip

Cap d’Antibes scenery on the Visiobulle boat trip

Karting Juan les Pins is located underground on the Promenade du Soleil (just next to Sun7 Caféteria), it’s open late in summer and children from 5 years upwards can drive mini-karts around a track manned by safety supervisors.

LE BAR SUR LOUP

Refer to ‘PLAYGROUNDS‘ blog post for Ludiparc details.  Also, Funkart (located at Plateau de la Sarrée, route de Gourdon, 06620 Le Bar sur Loup) is the only go-kart track in the region equipped with adult and children’s tracks. Restaurant onsite.  www.fun-karting.com

MENTON

Koaland is a theme park for children with carousel, mini-golf, amusement rides, inflatable castles, located at 5 avenue de la Madone, 06500 Menton www.parckoaland.fr

MOUGINS

Buggy Cross de Mougins (909 chemin du Fond de Currault, 06250 Mougins) has mini motorbikes and quad bikes for children 4 years and older to hire. Snack kiosks with tables and swing playset onsite.  www.buggycross.fr

Kids quad and motorbike hire at Buggy Cross Mougins (image: buggycross.fr)

Kids quad and motorbike hire at Buggy Cross Mougins (image: buggycross.fr)

Centre Hippique de Mougins (next to Ecoparc) has pony rides for kids.  From 2 years of age, kids can have a 30-minute pony ride (no reservation needed).  Older kids can have pony lessons or stages during holidays that include horse riding plus tuition about horse care and grooming.

NICE

– Departing from Nice and chugging through the villages set high above Nice towards Dignes-les-Bains, the Train des Pignes covers 151 kilometres with great scenery of valleys, mountains and villages and lots of tunnels to thrill the kids!   Recommended to stop off at one of the villages (my pick is Entreveux), enjoy lunch then take a later train back www.trainprovence.com

Parc Phoenix is excellent value with bird lagoon, greenhouse with plants and animals, small aquarium, playground, snack kiosk. Entrance also includes entry to the adjoining Museum of Asiatic Arts.  Car parking is free for visits of under 2 hours.

Parc Phoenix, Nice (map courtesy of Parc Phoenix)

Parc Phoenix, Nice (map courtesy of Parc Phoenix)

SAINT CÉZAIRE SUR SIAGNE

– Grotto caves 15 kilometres from Grasse with stalactites. There is snack shop and souvenir shop onsite.  Not wheelchair accessible.  Recommended to telephone and check it is definitely open as we have shown up during opening hours previously and it has been closed with no explanation online or onsite. For hours, entry prices and more information visit www.lesgrottesdesaintcezaire.com

SAINT JEANNET

– A small farm 7 kilometres from Vence that arranges on-demand farm visits where you can sample homemade preserves, meet the animals (donkeys, ducks, rabbits and more) and pick vegetables in the organic garden. Graine and Ficelle, 670 chemin des Collets, 06640 Saint-Jeannet. Bookings via http://www.french-riviera-mag.com/outings/website-graine-ficelle_1096.htm

SAINT MARTIN VÉSUBIE

– Located in the Mercantour mountains, Parc Alpha Loup lets you discover about wolves in their natural habitat.  Parking, accessible toilets, picnic tables, snack kiosk, educational theatre onsite.  There are many rocky and uneven pathways so it is not particulary suited to pushchairs or wheelchairs if you choose to do a forest walk.  Chalet d’Accueil du Boréon, RD89, 06450 St Martin Vesubie  www.alpha-loup.com

Parc Alpha Loup in the Mercantour

Parc Alpha Loup in the Mercantour

SOSPEL

– Walking trails on the farm, and occasional pony rides. 2€ per person entry fee. Wheelchair and buggy/stroller accessible.  Reservation necessary. At Association MIR – Ferme Pedagogique, Quartier Sainte-Marie. Telephone +33 (0)4 93 04 20 89

VALBERG

– Take the family on an adventure course set in the forest, 3 different levels from ages 3 years and older.  Suspended bridges, zip-lines, rope ladders, nets and more.  At Espace Valberg Adventure and Télésiège pieton.  More information, hours and tariffs at www.valberg.com

VALDEBLORE

– Situated just over an hour’s drive from Nice, Valdeblore is a ski resort that offers many summer activities also.  Enjoy mini-golf, a luge and 5 different courses of forest adventure set in the trees, from ages 3 years and older.  Open June-September.  At Colmiane Forest, Sem des Cimes du Mercantour, La Colmiane, 06420 Valdeblore.  Hours and all prices at www.colmiane.com

La Ferme du Mercantour – Spend a day with the kids partaking in horse and cart rides, meeting farm animals (see donkeys, cows, goats, sheep, pigs, rabbits, geese and more), pony rides, and sample the fresh farm produce.  La ferme du Mercantour, La Roche, Quartier de Collet, 06420 Valdeblore www.lafermedumercantour.com

VENCE

– Refer to ‘Saint Jeannet’ above.  Also, there is La Ferme du Col de Vence (La Cavetière, route de Coursegoules, 06140 Vence), an educational farm situated at the Col de Vence only 10 kilometres from Vence, where kids can go horse riding, take a horse-and-cart ride, meet farm animals, collect honey and eggs, and walk on bush trails (note: there are rocky paths so leave the pushchair behind if you go trail walking).  More information and prices are at http://www.lacavetiere.com/home.htm

VILLENEUVE LOUBET

– Canyon Forest is an adventure playground set in the trees with rope bridges, zip-lines, climbing equipment.  Picnic tables onsite, snack kiosk, river frontage, it is a wheelchair accessible site however there is a 2.5km path to get to the park site from the carpark, and please note the adventure courses aren’t wheelchair accessible as they are elevated in the trees. Located at Canyon Forest, 26, route de Grasse, Parc de Rives de Loup, 06270 Villeneuve-Loubet. Open February-November.  Reservations necessary; see hours and prices at www.canyonforest.com

LabyFolies for ages 4 years and older (at 2559, RD 2085 – 06270 Villeneuve-Loubet) has a labyrinth maze, pedal karts, luge in the trees, water catapults, inflatable slides and trampolines.  Picnic tables onsite, snack kiosk. Wheelchair accessible park.  www.lelabyrinthedelaventure.com

Pitchoun Forest is a great site with a climbing adventure course for smaller children, ages 3 years and older (same address as LabyFolies above).  Snack kiosk onsite. Wheelchair accessible park.  For more information visit the park’s website at www.azur-labyrinthe.com/pitchoun_forest.htm

Les Bois du Lutins, (same address as LabyFolies and Pitchoun Forest) is suited for younger children from 2 years and older.  You will find inflatable play equipment, climbing nets, luge, tunnels, snack kiosk and picnic tables onsite, baby changing facilities, wheelchair accessible park.  www.leboisdeslutins.com

Sightseeing – JUAN LES PINS (Visiobulle)

One of the main drawcards for visitors to the Côte d’Azur is the proximity to the sea and beaches.

There are sheltered sandy beaches (Garoupe beach on the Cap d’Antibes), pebble beaches (Nice seafront) and wild, rugged coves for swimming (the Esterel coastline and Sentier Littoral walkways).

Juan les Pins beachfront

Juan les Pins beachfront

Recently, it was a beautiful sunny day and we decided to spend the morning on a boat excursion, and with an active toddler I didn’t want a trip with a long duration.

The boat excursion that offered us a good option is the Visiobulle in Juan les Pins – a glass-bottomed boat that cruises to the nearby Cap d’Antibes.  The cruise is just one-hour long so it was perfect for a short trip.

Visiobulle, Juan les Pins

Visiobulle, Juan les Pins

The Visiobulle berths at the Ponton Courbet in Juan les Pins, and has many departures daily (departure times current as at April 2014):

April, May, June, September:  11am, 1.30pm, 3pm, 4.30pm

July and August:  9.25am **, 10.40am, 11.55am, 2.15pm, 3.30pm, 4.45pm, 6pm

Prices:  Adults €14, Children 2-11 years €7

**There is a reduced price for this 9.25am departure: Adults €12, Kids 2-11 years €6

Look for this ticket office (see photo below), you show up to the ticket office 15 minutes before each departure to purchase your tickets.  The boat operates every day except in bad weather and takes 58 passengers (and 2 crew) but it is very popular in high season.

Visiobulle ticket office (on the right-hand side), Ponton Courbet

Visiobulle ticket office (on the right-hand side), Ponton Courbet

The boat has shade covering so the seating is mostly covered for hot days. Plenty of seating.  There were families with baby strollers, and also a few passengers who were elderly or with restricted mobility and the crew were very helpful assisting them onboard.

The commentary is in French and English, but even though the crewmember had a microphone it was difficult to hear over the sounds of the engines so sit near the front of the boat if you really want to listen to the commentary.

DSC03550

The boat cruises to the nearby Cap d’Antibes past Port Gallice, plage des Ondes, Hotel du Cap Eden Roc and Pointe de l’Illette with the small lighthouse.  You will cruise past private villas unreachable to the public, and see the rocky landscape of the coastal walkway.

vintage postcard of Pointe de L'illette showing the mosque of Illette, then known as Villa La Sarrazine (this is where the Illette lighthouse is now)

vintage postcard of Pointe de L’illette showing the mosque of Illette, then known as Villa La Sarrazine (this is where the Illette lighthouse is now). Image copyright patrimoine-de-france

DSC03541

The boat spends approximately 20-25 minutes in the Baie des Milliardaires, at which time they allow passengers to head downstairs to the glass-bottomed viewing windows.  The descent is via approximately 10 (steep) stairs with handrails. Wait a few minutes for the sand that is stirred up to settle.  It is not as extensive as a glass-bottom boat excursion in the tropics, but we saw various schools of fish, sea urchins, starfish, sea algaes and rock formations.  There are display posters in the viewing area alluding to what may be seen. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a clear photo of the viewing area as there were too many passengers onboard.

DSC03558 DSC03540

I noticed many families onboard and my impressions were that children from toddler age to around 10-12 years were happily entertained, but teenagers were bored!

Visiobulle, Ponton Courbet (avenue Amiral Courbet), Juan les Pins

Access:   Arrive to Juan les Pins by car: The nearest pay carparking is on avenue Amiral Courbet, the Ponton Courbet is at the seafront end of this road.

Arrive to Juan les Pins by train:  Exit the train station, turn right and walk along avenue l’Esterel, then turn left onto avenue Amiral Courbet. Follow this road directly ahead to the seafront (about 400 metres), you will see a restaurant ‘La Terrasse’ and a kiosk selling fast food directly across the intersection. Ponton Courbet is located to the right of these.

Arrive to Juan les Pins by bus:  Bus numbers 1 or 30 (Envibus) from Antibes, alight at stop ‘Ruban Bleu’ in Juan les Pins, cross the road and Ponton Courbet is 50 metres past the restaurant ‘Sun 7’.  Bus number 200, alight at stop ‘Regence’ and walk down avenue Amiral Courbet to the seafront.  Ponton Courbet is the jetty opposite the small roundabout.

Toilets:  There is a toilet onboard, but I would recommend using the automated accessible public toilet at the entrance of the Ponton Courbet prior to boarding.  The pay toilet is located in the silver cubicle by the motorbike stand, cost 50 centimes.

Food/drink:  No refreshments sold onboard so take your own food/drinks especially water.

Travel Tips: Don’t forget sunscreen, and also a warm top. We were on the boat on a hot sunny day, but once it was moving there was a strong breeze which was quite chilly. For best viewing opportunities, sit on the left-hand side of the boat (as the boat is facing forward) to see the Juan les Pins coastline, then when the glass-bottom viewing area opens downstairs stay on the right-hand side of the boat as this is the side closest to the rocks that they cruise beside.

 

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES / THEME PARKS on the French Riviera

The great weather on the French Riviera means it is the perfect destination for families, and with it’s proximity to both the sea and the mountains there is never a shortage of outdoor activities to participate in.

See also my ‘PLAYGROUNDS on the French Riviera’  and ‘Sightseeing’ sections.

Here are some suggestions for family activities outdoors (including the must-see theme park attractions):

ANTIBES

– Marineland, located just off the RN7 main road, is the largest marine themepark in Europe with aquariums, killer whales, dolphins, sharks, penguins, sea lions and more. ‘Meet the animal’ experiences on offer for additional cost.  Lots of restaurants onsite.  Wheelchair accessible park.  Their website often has discount specials for entrance, and combinations with the other adjoining theme parks www.marineland.fr

Kids Island, located just off the RN7 main road, has farm animals, pony rides, inflatable play equipment, a lazy river ride, sheriff’s saloon, mini Wild West train ride and more.  Snack kiosks onsite.  Wheelchair accessible park.  Entry is free for children under 3 years, however it is more suitable for children 4 years and older due to the age restriction on some of the attractions.  www.marineland.fr

Aquasplash, another one of the parks adjoining the Marineland complex, is self-explanatory – a water-filled funpark perfect for those hot days!  Slides, pools, Pirate Island, whirlpools. Snack kiosks onsite. www.marineland.fr

– Adventure Golf, the remaining park at the Marineland complex, has 3 mini-golf courses for varying levels. www.marineland.fr

Antibesland, just across from Marineland is open during summer, with funfair stalls, fairground rides, a big ferris wheel and snack kiosks.

CAILLE

Arbre et Aventure – Experience an adventure course set in the forest, 7 different levels with one child course suitable for ages 5 years and older. Suspended bridges, rope ladders and a 470-metre zip-line.  Arbre et Aventure, Télésèige de La Moulière, 06750 Caille. Hours and tariffs can be found at www.arbreetaventure.fr

CAGNES SUR MER

– The waterfront promenade is wide and flat.  Hire rollerblades at the Hippodrome end of the promenade or a family cycle and burn off some energy, then sit in a restaurant eating lunch and enjoying the view.

CANNES

– Make a daytrip out to the Lérins Islands – refer to Sightseeing section for more information.

– Camp Trappeur is an adventure park with climbing nets in the trees, a rockclimbing wall, buggy cross hire, pony rides (during school holidays), chill-out lounge and tipis for private events.  Minimum age for climbing nets is 5 years of age. www.okwide.fr

Lounge (image: Camp Trappeur)

Lounge (image: Camp Trappeur)

JUAN LES PINS

– Visiobulle is a glass-bottomed boat that travels to the nearby Cap d’Antibes and the ‘Bay of Millionaires’ past the mansions, Eden Roc hotel and rocky outcrops of the Cap.  Quite pricey for what it is but an excursion option none the less. Departs from the pontoon Courbet opposite the Office du Tourisme on the waterfront in Juan les Pins.  www.visiobulle.com

Cap d'Antibes scenery on the Visiobulle boat trip

Cap d’Antibes scenery on the Visiobulle boat trip

Karting Juan les Pins is located underground on the Promenade du Soleil (just next to Sun7 Caféteria), it’s open late in summer and children from 5 years upwards can drive mini-karts around a track manned by safety supervisors.

LE BAR SUR LOUP

Refer to ‘PLAYGROUNDS‘ blog post for Ludiparc details.  Also, Funkart (located at Plateau de la Sarrée, route de Gourdon, 06620 Le Bar sur Loup) is the only go-kart track in the region equipped with adult and children’s tracks. Restaurant onsite.  www.fun-karting.com

MENTON

Koaland is a theme park for children with carousel, mini-golf, amusement rides, inflatable castles, located at 5 avenue de la Madone, 06500 Menton www.parckoaland.fr

MOUGINS

Buggy Cross de Mougins (909 chemin du Fond de Currault, 06250 Mougins) has mini motorbikes and quad bikes for children 4 years and older to hire. Snack kiosks with tables and swing playset onsite.  www.buggycross.fr

NICE

– Departing from Nice and chugging through the villages set high above Nice towards Dignes-les-Bains, the Train des Pignes covers 151 kilometres with great scenery of valleys, mountains and villages and lots of tunnels to thrill the kids!   Recommended to stop off at one of the villages (my pick is Entreveux), enjoy lunch then take a later train back www.trainprovence.com

Parc Phoenix (refer to Sightseeing section).

SAINT CÉZAIRE SUR SIAGNE

– Grotto caves 15 kilometres from Grasse with stalactites. There is snack shop and souvenir shop onsite.  Not wheelchair accessible.  Recommended to telephone and check it is definitely open as we have shown up during opening hours previously and it has been closed with no explanation online or onsite. For hours, entry prices and more information visit www.lesgrottesdesaintcezaire.com

SAINT JEANNET

– A small farm 7 kilometres from Vence that arranges on-demand farm visits where you can sample homemade preserves, meet the animals (donkeys, ducks, rabbits and more) and pick vegetables in the organic garden. Graine and Ficelle, 670 chemin des Collets, 06640 Saint-Jeannet. Bookings via http://www.french-riviera-mag.com/outings/website-graine-ficelle_1096.htm

– Nature Essentielle run kids activities focused on the sea and mountains including trips to the Lérins Islands, whale watching days, mountain adventure camps and teens adventure camps in the Mercantour.  You can find out more info here : Nature Essentielle Kids Outdoor Activities.

SAINT MARTIN VÉSUBIE

– Located in the Mercantour mountains, Parc Alpha Loup lets you discover about wolves in their natural habitat.  Parking, accessible toilets, picnic tables, snack kiosk, educational theatre onsite.  There are many rocky and uneven pathways so it is not particulary suited to pushchairs or wheelchairs if you choose to do a forest walk.  Chalet d’Accueil du Boréon, RD89, 06450 St Martin Vesubie  www.alpha-loup.com

SOSPEL

– Walking trails on the farm, and occasional pony rides. 2€ per person entry fee. Wheelchair and buggy/stroller accessible.  Reservation necessary. At Association MIR – Ferme Pedagogique, Quartier Sainte-Marie. Telephone +33 (0)4 93 04 20 89

THEOULE SUR MER

Exploring the Côte d’Azur coastline is a wonderful experience and there are plenty of companies where you can rent sea kayaks or stand up paddle boards.  One of the nicest locations to explore by sea is looking across to the Esterels, book through Aqua Sport Evasion.

VALBERG

– Take the family on an adventure course set in the forest, 3 different levels from ages 3 years and older.  Suspended bridges, zip-lines, rope ladders, nets and more.  At Espace Valberg Adventure and Télésiège pieton.  More information, hours and tariffs at www.valberg.com

VALDEBLORE

– Situated just over an hour’s drive from Nice, Valdeblore is a ski resort that offers many summer activities also.  Enjoy mini-golf, a luge and 5 different courses of forest adventure set in the trees, from ages 3 years and older.  Open June-September.  At Colmiane Forest, Sem des Cimes du Mercantour, La Colmiane, 06420 Valdeblore.  Hours and all prices at www.colmiane.com

La Ferme du Mercantour – Spend a day with the kids partaking in horse and cart rides, meeting farm animals (see donkeys, cows, goats, sheep, pigs, rabbits, geese and more), pony rides, and sample the fresh farm produce.  La ferme du Mercantour, La Roche, Quartier de Collet, 06420 Valdeblore www.lafermedumercantour.com

VENCE

– Refer to ‘Saint Jeannet’ above.  Also, there is La Ferme du Col de Vence (La Cavetière, route de Coursegoules, 06140 Vence), an educational farm situated at the Col de Vence only 10 kilometres from Vence, where kids can go horse riding, take a horse-and-cart ride, meet farm animals, collect honey and eggs, and walk on bush trails (note: there are rocky paths so leave the pushchair behind if you go trail walking).  More information and prices are at http://www.lacavetiere.com/home.htm

VILLENEUVE LOUBET

– Canyon Forest is an adventure playground set in the trees with rope bridges, zip-lines, climbing equipment.  Picnic tables onsite, snack kiosk, river frontage, it is a wheelchair accessible site however there is a 2.5km path to get to the park site from the carpark, and please note the adventure courses aren’t wheelchair accessible as they are elevated in the trees. Located at Canyon Forest, 26, route de Grasse, Parc de Rives de Loup, 06270 Villeneuve-Loubet. Open February-November.  Reservations necessary; see hours and prices at www.canyonforest.com

Le Village des Fous for ages 4 years and older (at 2559, RD 2085 – 06270 Villeneuve-Loubet) has a labyrinth maze, pedal karts, luge in the trees, water catapults, inflatable slides and trampolines.  Picnic tables onsite, snack kiosk. Wheelchair accessible park.  www.lelabyrinthedelaventure.com

Pitchoun Forest is a great site with a climbing adventure course for smaller children, ages 3 years and older (same address as LabyFolies above).  Snack kiosk onsite. Wheelchair accessible park.  For more information visit the park’s website at www.azur-labyrinthe.com/pitchoun_forest.htm

Les Bois du Lutins, (same address as Le Village des Fous and Pitchoun Forest) is suited for younger children from 18 months and older.  You will find inflatable play equipment, climbing nets, luge, tunnels, snack kiosk and picnic tables onsite, baby changing facilities, wheelchair accessible park.  www.leboisdeslutins.com