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Children's activities in Languedoc, south France
Home > Explore The Region > Sightseeing > Kids Activities

The top 20 most fun things to do for kids in Languedoc!

 

Activities for children in Languedoc, south France Waterpark The Languedoc Roussillon has a terrific diversity of places to see, explore and experience for children en famille. From water parks to shady bamboo, from castles to vultures, from Art to tree climbing…whatever your budget and your children’s desires there should be something to suit you and your kids.

 

Here’s the Top 20 of favourite activities for children in the Languedoc Roussillon, chosen by families who actually live in the area. They know better than anyone what’s hot and what’s not in this part of the world.

 

No doubt you and your kids will find your own favourites in Languedoc Roussillon, but this list should help you get started. If these aren’t enough suggestions then arm yourself with a copy of 150 idées pour les enfants, published by La Gazette (local weekly paper) from a newsagent for €5. It’s full of many more activities for kids in Languedoc, South France - such as military museums, theatres and parks… and much, much more. Have fun!

 

- Helen Bevis

 

(Just click the blue 'open/close' buttons to read more about each item...)

 

1 Waterparks

Waterparks, Languedoc
Introduction
""Guaranteed entertainment on a hot day and a big favourite with children in Languedoc. La Bouscarasse is the favourite of families in the area, especially if you have small children. It is on a smaller scale and makes for a very pleasant day out. Aqualand in cap d’Agde is large and has everything you’d expect from a huge place.
Which one?
La BouscarasseLa Bouscarasse, www.bouscarasse.fr, Languedoc's La Bouscarasse has one large swimming pool, small cascades and fountains and a shallow waterpath for tiny children. Older children will be entertained by the descending river of inflatable rings. It’s a relaxing environment for the whole family.
Where & When?

Located at the white spotLa Bouscarasse, 30700 Serviers - 5 minutes from Uzés on the D981 direction Alès.

From May 26 2007 until the final ‘beaux jours’ in September open every day 10h-19h. Weekends and Jour Féries 10h - 20h

 

Free shady parking, picnic area and restaurant inside. No dogs allowed.

How much?

Various prices, check website for details:

  • 1 Adult and 1 child over €12 – €12,50 during the week and €13,80 the weekend and jour feriés.
  • Children aged 5-11 €10 in the week €11 weekend/holidays.
  • Adult companion or pregnant women rate at €10 week rate and €11 weekend/holidays
    child under 5 - Free
  • Family day ticket 2 adults 2 children €41,50 week and €45 weekend
For whom?
All ages, but might be limited for older children
Other options:

AqualandAqualand - huge waterparks with some great slides that will be a big hit with slightly older children. Aqualand have three parks in Languedoc - with those at St Cyprien and Cap d'Agde being the two biggest.

 

Located at the white spotAqualand: www.aqualand.fr
Espace Grand Bleu, La Grande Motte. www.ot-lagrandemotte.fr (search under Loisirs)

2 Nature Parks

Bamboo park, Languedoc
Which one?
BambouseraieThe Bambouseraie – the great classic of this part of Languedoc for a gentle half-day out. A park of giant bamboos with artist’s installations, a Vietnamese village, Dragon Valley and a maze to loose yourself and your children in. It’s shady, curious and entertaining for young children and adults. Older children might be less amused, unless you combine the trip with a ride on the Train a Vapeur. There’s a shop with everything (and more) you could possibly imagine made from Bamboo.
Where & When?

BambouseraieLa Bambouseraie, Domaine de Prafrance, 30140 - Générargues Anduze, Languedoc (signposted north of Anduze.)

 

tél. : 04 66 61 70 47 . www.bambouseraie.com

Located at the white spot2007 open from March 1 to November 15, every day from 9h30. Closing time according to the season.

Free parking, handicapped access, garden centre, gift shop plus a café in summer but no food allowed inside the park. Dogs allowed on a lead.

How much?
  • Adult entry €7,5.
  • Under 12s €4,5.
For whom?
The guide says from 6 but even very small children enjoy this park – parents too.
Combine this with...

A trip to see the Pont du Gard - an enormous roman aqueduct just north of Nimes.

""  Read our in-depth report on the Bambouseraie by clicking here

3 Steam Trains

Steam trains, Languedoc, south France
Introduction

These can be an entertaining way of seeing the Languedoc countryside, especially when you combine it with a visit. I like the Cevenol Steam train from Anduze to St Jean du Gard but you have to watch the timetable if you want to combine the journey with a longer visit at the La Bambousaerie.

Which one?

The train à Vapeur, www.trainavapeur.com

Into the heart of Languedoc's Cevennes on a steam train from Anduze to St Jean du Gard, through tunnels and over viaducts. Sit back and enjoy the scenery in this beautiful corner of the Languedoc. For real buffs the drivers will show you around the engine.

Where & When?

Located at the white spotCITEV, Place de la gare, BP 50 - 30140 ANDUZE, Gard, Languedoc

2007 timetable runs every day from April 1 to September 17 and every day except Mondays from September 17 to November 1 with limited service.

Check website for timings of trains to plan your trip. Free parking, Accessible to wheelchairs.

How much?
  • Single ticket: Adult 9€, Children 4-12 €6
  • Return ticket: Adult 12€, children 4-12 €7
  • Dogs and bikes €3
For whom?
All – but keep an eye on roaming little ones
Combine this with...
Lunch in nearby Uzès - Languedoc's most beautiful town.
Other options:

Petit Train JauneThe 'Petit Train Jaune' : A charming single-gauge train that weaves its way up Languedoc's Pyrénées mountains from Villefranche to Latour-de-Carol. The scenery is stunning, and in summer, there are open-air carriages.

 

Tel: 04 68 96 56 62. Tickets about €15. Click here to visit their website.

4 Adventure Parks

Adventure parks, Languedoc
Adventure parks
Introduction
Adventure parks are a great way to exhaust the kids - and stimulate their minds and bodies. They combine a number of obstacle-like courses - with netting and and ropes to climb up, as well as swings and climbing walls. They also tend to try to incorporate an educational element - teaching kids about nature and the forest.
Which one?

""Le Vallon Du Villaret. This is a fantastic discovery park with a difference – you walk above, in and around art installations by some of the best current contemporary artists. Andy Goldsworthy, Ben and Keith Haring are just a few who have participated.

There’s half a day of astonishing discovery along a 2km path; games and art in a verdant green valley.

Where & When?

Located at the white spotLe Vallon du Vallaret, 48190 Bagnols les Bains, Languedoc (www.levillaret.fr)

2007 – every day from April 1 until September 2, the weekends only until November half term when it’s open all week.

Open -

  • April 1 – June 30 : 10h30 until 18h 45 (last entry 16h30)
  • July – August: 10h until 18h 45 (last entry 16h30)
  • September – October: 11h until 18h (last entry 16h)

Tel: 04 66 47 63 73.

How much?

Here adults are just big children so they pay just as much so everyone can have the same amount of fun. Various tariff bands according to season:

  • July – August 10,5€ before 13h and 11€ after.
  • Outside these months 9€ before 13h and 9,5€ after.
For whom?
All children, big and small
Combine this with...
A trip to Mende, the capital of Lozere department of Languedoc.
Other options:

Les Rochers de Maguelone, Chemin de la Diligence, 34750 Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone

Located at the white spotEquipped with a harness and attached with a system of ropes and karabiners (mousequetons) you walk on ropes and planks through the trees. Not for those without a head for heights. The circuits for small children are usually within reach of a helping parental hand. Great fun

  • July-August open every day 10h-19h
  • Rest of year, open from mid-February to mid-November during school holidays, weekends and bank holidays.
  • Check website for details. Free parking.

Various prices – check website for details:

  • Children from 3 up to 1.25m €14
  • Children from 1.25m to 14 years €17
  • Adults €22
  • Giant Tyrolienne €3,50 extra

Reservation is strongly recommended on 06.60.60.02.01

5 Childrens' Farms

Childrens' Farms
Introduction

Young children relish being able to touch little creatures. There are many of these mini-farms in Languedoc all with roughly the same sort of animal and set-up. They can be a bit pongy in the height of summer, but this doesn’t seem to bother the children!

Which one?

""La Ferme du Dolmen.
www.laferme-dudolmen.com
Of all the farms for children in the Languedoc with small creatures in smallish spaces I like the wide open setting of this farm and the possibility of exploring the Dolmen. Freely walking peacocks (especially the pure one beauty) tickled my daughter!

Where & When?

Located at the white spotLa Ferme du Dolmen, 34230 Le Pouget, Herault, Languedoc.

 

20 minutes from Lac du Salagou and not far from Gignac.

Open every day from June 1 until August 31 from 10h until 19h. From September 1 until June 31 (rest of year) open from 10h -12h and 14h -18h on Wednesdays, weekends and bank holidays.

Free parking, picnic area.

How much?

2007 prices:

  • Adults €6
  • Children over 2 - €5
  • Free to under 2s
For whom?
All ages
Combine this with...
A swim in Lake Salagou (see Lakes & Rivers section below) or lunch at St Guilhem le Desert.
Other options:
In the Gard (Saint Chaptes) try La Ferme enchantee www.ferme-enchantee.neuf.fr Or try Le Vieux Mas in Beaucaire, www.vieux-mas.com which comes recommended as a Fabulous farm set in the 1900s with lots of farm animals and events.

6 Cathar Castles

Cathar Castles
Introduction
Cathar Castles. The Roussillon part of Languedoc-Roussillon has some of the world’s greatest castles - from the grandeur of Carcassonne (see below) to the haunted beauty of Peyreperteuse and the ranks of smaller castles, full of history, dotted amongst the mountains. Check out www.payscathare.org for more information on the castles.
Which one?

Chateau de Peyreperteuse: www.chateau-peyrepertuse.com - perhaps the most impressive of the so-called sons of Carcassonne. The other four are the Château d'Aguilar, Château de Puilaurens, Château de Quéribus (small but worth the entrance fee) and Château de Termes.

Where & When?

Located at the white spotChateau de Peyreperteuse, 11350 Duilhac, Languedoc

E-mail: chateau.peyrepertuse@wanadoo.fr

Open every day, all year round except for 3 weeks in January. Opening times:

  • April, May, October 10h-18h30
  • June-September 9h – 19h
  • July-August 9h – 20h30
How much?

Unguided visit :

  • Adults €5
  • Enfants (6 à 15 ans) : €3
For whom?
All, BUT unsuitable for prams and those unsteady on their feet.
Combine this with...
CATHA-RAMA a film experience of the Cathar castles at Limoux (good for a wet day)
CATHA-RAMA Mémoire de l'Aude
47, avenue Fabre d'Eglantine, 11300 Limoux, Languedoc: Tél. : 04 68 31 48 42

7 Dinosaur Parks

Dinosaur Parks, south France
Introduction
Dinosaurs always seem to be a hit with kids - and Dinosaur parks allow them to walk right up to life-size models of their favourites - from T-Rex to the mighty Brontosaurus...
Which one?

Located at the white spotMeze Dinosaur Park – great if you like T-Rex and his chums. It’s not a big site but terrific for dinosaur fans (most kids).

 

There’s a sandpit where you can pretend to be an archaeologist and unearth some bones.

It’s shady for summer and has water sprays if you get too hot at the sight of all those old bones. Visit their website.

Where & When?

Located at the white spotMusée-Parc des Dinosaures, 34140 Mèze, Languedoc

D613 towards Montagnac from Mèze
(just north of the A9 between Agde and Sete)

Open all year round except Christmas and the first week of January. July – August 10h-19h, rest of year 14h – 17h/18h

How much?
  • Adults €7
  • Children 5-12 - €5,50
For whom?
Aimed at children from 5 upwards but younger ones can join in.
Combine this with...
A picnic at the Base de Bessille afterwards. It’s just up the road and has a (paying) swimming pool plus lots of wooded space to relax in. www.decouverte34.com  Base-de-Loisirs-de-Bessilles

8 The Haribo Museum

Haribo sweets
Introduction
Haribo Museum What can I say other than this is a must for bonbon lovers and good for a wet day....along with all the other people of course! In the carpark there are bouncy castles and go karts that you pay extra for but it’ll help work off all that sugar your children will have eaten!
Which one?

The Haribo MuseumHaribo Museum or Le Musée du Bonbon: www.haribo.com

 

Discover a century of bonbon making in Uzés and watch the sweets being made. There are games to play with, of course, bonbons as prizes.

Where & When?

Located at the white spotLe Musée du Bonbon, Pont des Charrettes, 30700 Uzès, Languedoc

Open from July to August every day, 10h – 19h. (last entry at 18h15)

Rest of year open 10h- 13h and 14h – 18h and shut Monday. Closed for the first 3 weeks of January.

The bonbon shop is open the same time as the museum.

How much?
  • Adults €5
  • Children 3€ (from 5 to 15)
For whom?
Anyone who likes bonbons…
Combine this with...
A healthy lunch in Uzès - Languedoc's most beautiful town.
Other options:
La Cure Gourmande. All over the region, but started in Balurac-les-Bains. Also a bonbon maker but more of a shop than an entertainment centre. But any port in a storm as they say. The chocolate-olives are local favourites. http://www.cure-gourmande.com

9 Zoos

Languedoc zoos
Introduction
Zoo du Lunaret (Montpellier Zoo) and (opening 30th June 2007) the impressive Serre Amazonienne (Amazonian Greenhouse). It’s a colossal home to over 500 animals and 3500 plants, a tropical storm every 30 minutes and 7 different climate zones. It’s the first of its kind in France - let alone Languedoc - and well worth visiting. Outside, the zoo has long shady avenues to stroll along while you track down the animals - there are real lions, rhinos and bears – but the children often prefer clambering on the life-size wooden models.
Which one?

Le Zoo de Lunaret" (www.zoo-montpellier.fr ) is a regular favourite with locals and tourists alike.

Entrance to the Amazonian Greenhouse

It can take a few hours to get around the whole place so take plenty of food and drink with you. There are regular maps and signs to stop you getting lost in the maze of paths.

Where & When?

Located at the white spotLe Zoo de Lunaret, 50 Avenue Agropolis, 34090 Montpellier, Languedoc

 

9h-19h every day. Last entry 18h30 (5pm in winter) or 18h for la Serre Amazonienne. Visit takes about 45 minutes to La Serre Amazonienne. It has a maximum capacity of 450 – so be prepared for queues at peak times. No dogs allowed. Free parking.

How much?

Zoo - FREE

La Serre Amazonienne :

  • Adults €5
  • Children 12-18 €3
  • Children 6 - €12 2,5
  • Famille Nombreuses (with 3 or more children) €2,5
  • Children under 6 - Free
For whom?

All ages

Slightly rough paths make it hard work pushing a pram. The Serre is fully accessible to wheelchairs.

Combine this with...
Montpellier's Diagonal Capitole conema (www.cinediagonal.com) which sometimes shows interesting children's films. Or, just down the road, is the Agropolis Museum (www.museum.agropolis.fr) which has exhibitions based on food and food production, plus a small café.

10 Caves

Caves
Introduction
Guaranteed cool even in the height of a Languedoc summer. Limestone has been worn away by water to form delightful caves, with a myriad of shapes and colours. There are several grottes (caves) to explore; and if you’re lucky the lights will be left on while you’re down there…
Which one?

GrottesLa Grotte des Demoiselles: www.demoiselles.com

 

I like the Grottes des Demoiselles with its novel ascending funicular train ride to get into the cave and the terrific view from the café. The cave has a constant year round temperature of 14° - perfect for a hot day but you might need a jumper for the children.

Where & When?

Located at the white spotLa Grotte des Demoiselles, St Bauzille de Putois, 34190 Ganges, Languedoc

Follow signposts up the hill from the main road through St Bauzille de Putois.

 

Open all year round. July – August 10h-18h, April, May, June, September 10h – 17.30h
Rest of year closes for lunch (see website for details).

Free parking, unusually there is a baby changing table and miniature toilets for small children.

How much?
  • Adults €8,30
  • Under 17 - €6
  • Children 6-11 - €5
  • Children 3-5 - €1
  • Children under 3 FREE
For whom?
Very small children need to be carried as there are some tricky steps. Not suitable for prams or those unsteady on their feet
Combine this with...
Swimming and lunch at Cirque de Navacelles - just to the west.
Other options:

Grotte de Clamouse near Languedoc superb 'Guilhem le Desert' (also a beautiful village place to explore) www.clamouse.com

Grotte de Labeil (near the Larzac plateau) allows ‘off-piste’ exploration with torch and a map for older children www.grotte-de-labeil.com

11 Carcassonne

La Cite, Carcassonne, Languedoc
Introduction

La Cite from the air'La Cite' is the medieval castle perched on a hill on the outskirts of the (small) city of Carcassonne in the west of Languedoc. It's a world heritage site, and is the best-kept and largest example of a medieval castle in the world. It's said that the castle's shape inspired that of Cinderella's castle in Disneyland.

 

As well as being hugely impressive from a distance (make sure to view the castle from a distance first, before you enter the heart of it - either from the town of Carcassone or from the A61 motorway) - the insides of this 'city' are also very impressive and lots of fun. There are lots of interesting shops and restaurants - and a good toy shop full of great wooden toys.

Where & When?

Located at the white spotThe castle is open year-round - from 10am to 5:30pm.

It is closed on public holidays.

How much?

Fun fairYou will need to pay for parking.

Activities: The chateau in the middle of the ramparts cost €6 to get in to.

The rest of the castle is FREE - but don't forget lunch and souvenir money!

For whom?
All the family.
Combine this with...
A bike ride along the Canal du Midi - from Carcassonne or Trebes.

12 Canoeing

Canoeing for kids
Introduction

Canoeing down a river. The Languedoc Roussillon is full of deep valleys and gently flowing rivers. There is no better way to flee the beaten track than to take yourself off in a canoe and find a secluded spot for your picnic. It’s a brief moment of Robinson Crusoe, far from the madding crowds. Although in the height of summer even the rivers can get crowded.

 

There are many canoe centres in the region - all of which as listed in our Canoeing section at this link. We can recommend Canoe Le Moulin, in St Bauzille de Putois. www.canoe-france.com - as well as the Canoe centre at Roquebrun - a gorgeous village on the Orb river.

Which one?

I love the deep green valley of the Herault. Try Canoe Le Moulin, in St Bauzille de Putois. www.canoe-france.com

Don’t forget to protect yourself from the sun, wear some lightweight shoes and to bring a picnic.

Where & When?

Located at the white spotCanoe le Moulin, 34190 St Bauzille de Putois, Languedoc Tél : 33 (0)4 67 73 30 73

Easily found just north of St Bauzille de Putois on the D986.

Open from April until the end of September.


9h - last descent starts 15h.

 

Free parking.

How much?

Reservations recommended in high season. Various trip lengths; start early and take your time to complete your journey. Times in brackets are for non-stop paddling – but why hurry!

  • 3km (1h) €15 depart from Laroque, includes rapids, under 12s not allowed
  • 9km (2hr) €20
  • 12km (3 hour) €22
  • 14km (3h30) €24
  • 17km (4h) €28
  • Under 10s half price
For whom?

You must be able to swim and reason ably fit. Children no younger than 6 is the usual rule.

Combine this with...
If at St Bauzille - then why not lunch at Cirque de Navacelles to the west.
If at Roquebrun - lunch at Cessenon-sur-Orb 10mins away - or a walk up the magnificent Gorges d'Heric to the north.
Other options:
The canoe centre at Roquebrun on the Orb river is also excellent. Click here to visit our section on canoeing in Languedoc to see all the canoe centres in the region.

13 Animal Reserves

Sigean wild animal reserve
Introduction
What better way to introduce children to wildlife than for them to see animals in their natural (well, sort of...) habitat. The Camargue is a great place to see Flamingos, and the mountains of Languedoc have lots of interesting birds (vultures, eagles) but the best place to see animals is at Sigean - in one of Europe's largest wild animal parks.
Which one?

ElephantsAt Réserve Africaine de Sigean, freely roaming lions, bears, giraffes and their friends are entertained as you drive past them shut inside your car. Elsewhere in the park you leave the car to see Elephants, an African Savannah and a whole array of birds and beasts.

 

Réserve Africaine de Sigean: www.reserveafricainesigean.fr
You’ll need air conditioning in the car and a full wallet, but it’s cheaper than going to Africa for the day as one mother pointed out.

Where & When?

Located at the white spotLa Réserve Africaine de Sigean, RN 9 - 11130 SIGEAN, Languedoc.

 

La Réserve Africaine de Sigean is 15 km south of Narbonne and 8 km north of Sigean. From Perpignan, leave the Motorway at Sigean (exit n° 39).

 

From Montpellier or Toulouse : leave the Motorway at Narbonne Sud (exit n° 38) and take the RN 9 in the direction of Sigean/Perpignan

Open 365 days a year from 9h.

How much?
  • Adults €23
  • Children from 4 to 14 €18
For whom?
The whole family.
Combine this with...
Lunch in Gruissan - or a swim at the beautiful beach at Leucate Plage.
Other options:

VulturesLe Belvédère des vautours (48) - A chance to see truly wild vultures in their own habitat, circling about the natural wonders of the Jonte gorge.

Le Belvédère des vautours, (The Vulture Lookout), Saint Pierre des Tripiers, Languedoc

Located at the white spotOpen: 15 March - 15 November, 10h - 18h (last entry 17h), 15 June ) 31 August, 10h - 19h (last entry 18h). Adults 6€, Children 5-12 3€, Children under 5 - Free, Family ticket (2 adults and children under 12) 16€

14 Mare Nostrum Aquarium, Montpellier

Aquariums, Languedoc
Introduction

Montpellier's new 'Mare Nostrum' aquarium featuring 3,500 exhibits and 300 species of marine life. There are lots of interactive exhibits for kids - all very educational, covering everything from reefs to currents to ice bergs to waves to penguins. Experience stormy seas on a fishing trawler. Watch brightly coloured fish in a tropical reef. See sharks and jellyfish.

Which one?

Mare Nostrum, MontpellierAquarium Mare Nostrum
Allée Ulysse Quartier Odysseum 34000 Montpellier
Tel: + 33 (0)4 67 13 05 50  
Click here for their website

 

SeaquariumAlso check out Seaquarium: www.seaquarium.fr at the Grau du Roi further up the coast.

 

Try and time your visit with feeding time (le gouter) for the seals for extra entertainment value!

Where & When?

Mare Nostrum

 

  Oct - April September May & June July & August
Mondays Closed Closed 10am - 8pm 10am - 10pm
Tue, Wed, Thu, Sun 10am - 7pm 10am - 8pm 10am - 8pm 10am - 10pm
Fri & Sat 10am - 8pm 10am - 10pm 10am - 10pm 10am - 10pm

 

Seaquarium

Open every day of the year:

  • July -August 10h-24h
  • May, June, September 10h - 20h
  • 10h - 19h rest of year
  • last entry one hour before closing time)
  • Free parking
How much?

Mare Nostrum

  • €12.50 for adults
  • €9 children 3-12 years
  • Free for the under-3s
  • Family pack: (2 adults, 2 children) €36

Seaquarium

  • Adults €9,90
  • children up to 15 - €6,90
  • Children under 5 - Free
  • Famille Nombreuses (3 or more children, 10% reduction)
Combine this with...

Mare Nostrum: The Planetarium (right next door to Mare Nostrum - but all shows are in French.)

Seaquarium: A visit to the beach at Espiguette - or lunch at Aigues Mortes (see below).

Other options:

Also recommended is the Aquarium at Banyuls www.aquarium.obs-banyuls.fr

15 Art

Soulages
Introduction

French museums are generally slow to provide specific children’s trails but the musée Fabre in Montpellier reopened in February 2007 with a promise to do better. There is a programme of kid’s workshops throughout the year and the multimedia stations offer art-based games.

Which one?

Musee FabreMusée Fabre, Montpellier.

My 4 year old daughter loved hunting for paintings of princesses and couldn’t quite believe the Soulages gallery – see for yourself.

Where & When?

Located at the white spot39 Boulevard Bonne-Nouvelle (next to Place de la Comedie), 34000, Montpellier, Languedoc

Open all week, all year.

  • 10h-18h
  • Wednesday: 13h-21h
  • Saturday: 11h-18h
  • Shut Monday
  • Last entry 1 hour before closing time

No free parking. The museum is 100% accessible to wheelchairs and prams, even sometimes with a lift for a short few steps.

How much?
  • Adults €6 or €7 including temporary exhibition
  • Children 6 -16 €4 or €5
  • Children under 6 FREE
For whom?
AL the family.
Combine this with...
A film in Montpellier. Or a trip to the Montpellier zoo (see above.)
Other options:
Le Musée des Art Modestes, Sete. A curious museum full of everyday objects reworked and re-explored – Fun! www.miam.org Further afield try the art museums in Ceret and Lodeve for art-spotting.

16 Roman Amphitheatre, Nîmes

Nimes' amphitheatre
Introduction

NimesExplore this fantastically preserved amphitheatre with all the atmosphere of the golden age of Gladiators – especially popular with older children who like fighting…

Nimes is one of the best preserved Roman cities in France and the Arena is an exciting place to visit.

www.nimes-romaine.com

 

Where & When?

Located at the white spotArènes de Nimes, 41 rue fresque, 30000 Nimes, Languedoc

E-mail: reservation@nimes-romaine.com

The Arena is easily found in the centre of Nimes.
Opening times may vary depending on events being held in the Arena - check locally for details:

  • November-February 9h30 - 17h
  • March- October 9h-18h
  • April, May, September 9h-18h30
  • June, July, August 9h-19h

No free parking.

How much?
  • Adults €7,70 (and all children over 7)
  • Children under 7 - Free
  • Families - one child free for every 3 paying visitors in the same family.

N.B if you want to visit all 3 of Nimes roman monuments (Tour Magne, Maison Carré plus the card costs Adults €9,80

For whom?
All, but not easy for pushchairs or anyone unsteady on their feet.
Combine this with...
After the excitement of the Arena why not make a full Roman day out and visit the Tour Magne and the Maison Carré on the same day. You’ll have earned a good Roman bath by the end of the day!

17 Horse Riding

Horse riding in Languedoc
Introduction
PonyHorse riding: Carmargue horses are famous for their temperament and beautiful white coats, however, no one recommends hiring one of those hot horses down in the Carmargue. Instead why not try a more civilised farm near the cool Cevennes.
Which one?
Centre Equestre d'Anduze, Gard: centre-equestre-anduze One mum highly recommends it as a ‘Lovely farm and they don't mind if you take a picnic to have on their grounds. Really nice’
Where & When?

Located at the white spotCentre équestre d'Anduze 'Les Cevennes', Mas de Montaigu Haut, 1300 Chemin de Montaigu, 30140 Anduze, Languedoc.

 

Detailed directions available on the website. For times and details contact them direct. Reservations recommended.

 

Courses for children aged 5 -17 throughout the year. For adults they offer a range of lessons and programmes including 'randonnée a la journee' or randonnée 'balades gourmandes'.

How much?

Various prices according to what you do but for example a walk (balade) with your child (aged 2-10) on a pony for 1 hour along a marked course is €10, (carnet of 6 balades €40) or €12 per 30mins with a member of the Centre Equestre.

For whom?
All ages from 2 upwards
Combine this with...
Lunch at beautiful Uzès.
Other options:

Oh if you really must ride a carmargue horse in the carmargue why not try www.camargue.fr

 

Donkeys are also famous in the Cevennes thanks to Robert Louis-Stevenson. Follow his trail with your children on the back of a donkey – Just who will be the more stubborn?! www.cevennes.com/ane.htm

18 Aigues-Mortes

Aigues Mortes
Introduction

Aigues Mortes This is a 13th century fortified castle that once stood on the seafront, but as the waters silted up it is now rather far from the water. Still, it’s a pretty little town and the tour of the dramatic castle ramparts entertains younger children.

 

Aigues Mortes ramparts tour: www.monum.fr (national site)

 

I must admit I cheated and sat drinking a rather lovely coffee while the grandparents battled with imaginary knights along the ramparts. They returned having had more fun than they expected.

Where & When?

Located at the white spotAigues Mortes is easily found to the east of La Grande Motte on the shore of Mediterranean. It is in the Gard department of Languedoc.

 

The tour of the castle is open every day:

  • May 2 - August 31 - 10h - 19h
  • September 1 - April 30: 10h- 17h30 last entry one hour before closing time
  • Closed January 1, May 1, November 11 and December 25

No free parking.

How much?

Adult 6,50€
18-25 4,50€
Children up to 17 - Free

Children's trail planned for autumn 2007

For whom?
All – young children need to be carried as this is not suitable for prams. No Wheelchair access
Combine this with...

Visitors to Aigues Mortes also recommend the tour of the salt works as surprisingly good fun. Train departs from porte de La Gardette at Aigues Mortes, details and tickets from the Tourist Office or www.salins.com under Le Salin de Aigues Mortes.

19 Rivers & Lakes

Languedoc's lake and river beaches
Introduction

Located at the white spotIf you get tired of the incessant heat, sand and crowding of Languedoc's beaches in summer - why not head for the relative cool offered by the region's many rivers and lakes. There are lots of places for families to swim - and with plenty of trees around - you can escape the sun and sticky salt!

 

"" Read our in-depth report on the top 33 lake and river beaches in Languedoc

Which ones?

Lake SalagouLake Salagou: Languedoc's top lake is about 30 minutes drive west of Montpellier. It's like a Martian landscape - all red earth and strange plants. On the south side (near Clermont) and the north side (near Lodeve) are beaches where you can also hire windsurfers, canoes and paddle boats. The water is clean and not as cold as the sea - and very pleasant to swim in. There's also no current or waves - and the angle of the shore is very gradual.

 

Roquebrun - on the Orb: The Orb is a really lovely river - it's stone-bottomed, so stays very clear. Roquebrun is one of Languedoc's (and France's) prettiest villages - sitting just above the river and a weir. The weir here provides a lovely shallow space to swim in - where there's hardly any current at all. Beyond the weir, older children can dive deeper and enjoy the current. There's also a great canoe centre here.

 

RoquebrunSt Guilhem le Desert: Just before you get to the lovely and popular tourist village of St Guilhem le Desert, you'll see a huge beach on the Herault river. Again - it's shallow and the current is slow - so it's a very popular place for families to swim. Combine a trip here with the caves of Clamouze (5 mins away) and St Guilhem itself for lunch.

 

There are plenty of other spots along the region's many rivers - so ask your hosts where they like to escape to.

For whom?
All the family
Combine this with:
Lake Salagou: Lunch at Clermont l'Herault or a walk through the Cirque de Moureze.
Roquebrun: Lunch in Cessenon-sur-Orb
St Guilhem le Desert: The caves at the Grottes de Clamouze.

20 Beaches

Fun on Languedoc's beaches
Introduction

Fun fairs The beaches of Languedoc are great for kids - they huge and deep, so there's no real risk of over-crowding. And many of them have lots of shops and restaurants and fun-fair amusements to keep kids occupied once they've had enough of swimming.

 

In general, keep to the big Languedoc town beaches if you're with kids. These will offer a lot more amusements, ice cream stands and toilets - and are less likely to have nude hairy adults parading around!

 

"" Read our in-depth reviews of Languedoc's 44 beaches

Which one?

Located at the white spotWe'd recommend Valras Plage just beyond Beziers. It has lots of cheap and cheerful restaurants, ice cream stalls, fun shops and amusements - such as slides, bouncy castles and trampolines.

 

Other big town beaches that would be good for kids include Narbonne Plage, Argeles Plage (near Perpignan - and rates one of the best beaches in France) and St Cyprien Plage (just north of Perpignan).

Unfortunately, the big town beaches near Montpellier (Carnon and Palavas) are a little dismal  - better to go north to La Grande Motte.

Combine this with:
Valras Plage: A trip to Gruissan village.
Narbonne Plage: The morning indoor market in Narbonne.
Argeles Plage: Lunch in gorgeous Collioure to the south.
St Cyprien: Aqualand in St Cyprien

And lastly...

 

How about organising a 'jewellery party' for children?

 

Jewellery Parties for Children in Languedoc

 

For your daughter's birthday or even a get-together, 'Perles Fantasie' - a Languedoc-based company - will come to your house or chosen venue with their vast selection of beautiful sparkly beads and charms. The girls sit and make lovely necklaces, earrings and bracelets. After 1 to 1 1/2hrs they will have made a jewellery set they can then take home in a pretty party box.

 

For further details contact Julie at : www.perlesfantaisie.com

 

10 things to do for free…

  1. Explore a garden. Try the Jardin Des Plantes in Montpellier which was one of the earliest botanic gardens in France and a lovely place to unwind after a tour around the town. www.jardindesplantes.univ-montp1.fr. Check out www.jardinslanguedoc.com for more venues.
  2. Zoo du Lunaret – it’s in the top 20 but it’s worth repeating that this great zoo really is free www.zoo-montpellier.fr
  3. The first Sunday of every month many museums have free entry. Check locally for details.
  4. Curious walks around curious sites : check out the Cirque de Mourèze or Les Orgues d’Ille
  5. Explore the old city of Carcassonne www.carcassonne.org (paying parking and prime tourist rates for everything else)
  6. Visit the geological wonder of Le Cirque de Navacelles www.navacelles.com and explore the gorge, or just paddle in the stream.
  7. Swim in a lake or picnic by a river…. Why not try Lac de la Riviège at La Salvetat-sur-Agout, the Lac du Salagou (paying parking) or Lac de St-Ferréol www.ville-soreze.fr/html/TL/lacs.html for starters.
  8. Hunt for Bambi & Co in the small but delightful Parc de Coulondres in St Gely-du Fesc (just north of Montpellier)
  9. Domaine de Méjean, Lattes, (south of Montpellier) – signposted walks around a bird sanctuary. There is La Maison de la Nature to help you find your way around the fauna and flora. 04.67.22.12.44
  10. Go back to the beach!
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