About Family Activities in Provence
Whatever you choose to do on your family holiday, you are sure to find a huge range of activities across Provence. There is something for everyone, every ability and every age. Check out the selection of things to do below for some holiday inspiration!
Many of the sport centres around Provence have facilities to play basketball.
You can jump from Europe's highest bridge on your trip to Provence, if you've got a good head for heights that is.. At over 180m vertical drop it's definitely a test for the nerves! Anyone from 15 years plus can take part although if you're over 55 you may need to provide a medical certificate.
Canoeing / Kayaking
You can take to the water in the Gorge du Verdon, or one of the several inland lakes.
Kayaking is a fun watersport that can be enjoyed as a team or on your own. Unlike canoeing, paddlers face forward and have a double bladed paddle. It is a versatile sport that you can enjoy on rivers, lakes and the sea. You can take your inflatable or plastic kayak and make your way down the water. Using the double bladed paddle you can control the speed, direction and enjoy the experience and wonderful views in your own time. There are some watersports centres and adventure companies who can take you out for your kayaking experience.
Canoe rafts are an unsinkable, stable type of inflatable canoe that allow you, without too much technique to profit fully from the joys and fun of white water river descent. The descents are taken on by groups of 4 to 5 boats, accompanied by a fully qualified guide. You are equipped with neoprene suits and shoes, a safety jacket and a helmet. The course which you take is chosen according to the water levels and experience of the participants.
A not-so-gentle but extremely refreshing summer activity is one way to describe canyoning! Plunge yourself into the mountain streams via a series of abseil descents, jumps and natural water slides – just make sure you choose a warm day!
You will make your way along rivers and rapids, using the river bed as a natural obstacle course. Not suitable for very young children, but anyone over the age of about 8 can take the (very cold) plunge and try canyoning. With the safety of a guide everyone can abseil down cascades, splash into pools and ride the river rapids. You can choose from short beginners’ routes or longer ones for the more adventurous.
Different companies will have their own policies on age limits but usually, unless they are booked onto a children's activity course, anyone under the age of about 14 years old will have to be accompanied by an adult. A basic level of swimming ability is required for safety reasons. There are a number of adventure companies that offer guided descents down the local waterways.
Depending on the age of your child there are a number of childcare options available in Provence. There are also numerous babysitting and nursery facilities available in the area - have a look at our childcare listings page for more information or you can contact the local Tourist Offices for a list of available babysitters.
Enjoy a number of cycling trails and routes in Provence and what better way to explore Provence than on a bike when you can enjoy the beautiful scenery. Have a look at our cycling guide for more information and explore the cycling routes that are in the area. If you are in Provence without your biking gear there are a number of cycle hire shops in who rent and sell bikes, gear and more.
Also see: Cycling in Provence
You can dangle a fishing rod in most places and it's often something you can do by yourself, or with friends, from a harbour wall, from the beach or from a boat. There are literally hundreds of places you can go. Why not speak to some of the specialist companies who offer guided trips and excursions or yacht charters for coastal or deep sea fishing, for a bit more of an adventure.
There are indoor football courts in many of the sport centres around Provence for you to organise a friendly match.
There are over 2.5 million people doing geocaching around the world and some of them (perhaps surprisingly) are right here in SeeProvence.com! It’s a relatively new craze that started taking the world by storm in May 2000 after a computer geek decided that GPS could be “really exciting”. He hid some treasure at his home in Portland, America, for people to find, broadcast the GPS coordinates and said, “Come and get it”. His only rule: “Take some stuff, leave some stuff”. And that’s exactly what Geocaching is…you go in search of treasure by using the GPS system on your mobile device – once you’ve found it, you write your name in a logbook and replace the treasure you decide to take. It’s pretty simple really and means, as a family, you can be adventurers together. You won’t usually find anything quite as precious as gold, silver and diamonds but nevertheless it’s quite exciting!
Horse ride through beautiful landscapes. Provence is an attractive destination for horse treks & lessons.
Race around the tracks in go-karts or try something more powerful! With a number of karting tracks in Provence it will be great fun for everyone.
Nature Reserves & Parks
There are several nature reserves in Provence. Some have marked walking trails, visitor centres and childrens activities.
Paddleboarding is a great way to explore the stunning coastline of Provence. No previous experience is needed, just hop on the board and start paddling.
Segway tours are available in Arles, with a number of different tours on offer during the daytime and one at night.
One of the most popular things to do in summer for families is to pop to the local swimming pool. Many of the villages in Provence have outdoor swimming pools that opens only for the summer months of July & August (sometimes they open mid June and early September). These municipal swimming pools cost a couple of euros entry, and represent good value for a family. They generally form part of the local sports centre and so you could try some other sports whilst you are there.
If you'd like to take a dip outdoors in a more natural environment, there are some lakes which have beaches, playgrounds & picnic areas, and offer non-motorised watersports like kayaking and paddle boats. There are also a good selection of lakes and wild swimming areas as well as waterparks which the whole family can enjoy.
So don't forget your towel and your swimming costume or shorts (note, males should wear speedo's in municipal pools, no board shorts allowed).
With its warm climate and mainly dry days, tennis is very popular in Provence. Significant investment in the sport means that there many tennis clubs and courts available for the enthusiast or the amateur.
Provence has plenty of varied theme parks, ranging from tree-top adventure parks and adventure playgrounds to petting zoos, mazes and indoor amusement parks. Great fun for all the family! The greatest concentration of parks can be found in the Aix/Avignon area.
Tours & excursions
Explore the best that Provence's has to offer with an expert local guide. From natural tracks to traditional buildings and crafts, food and drink... there's lots to be discovered in Provence.
If climbing up sheer rock on the end of a piece of rope sounds a bit scary then Via Ferrata climbing offers an element of security that still allows beginners to enjoy the achievement of having scaled a mountain! This form of climbing was invented by Italian soldiers in the Dolomites who used it to enable them to scale vertiginous faces easily and quickly. These days it is a popular sport that makes the thrill of mountain climbing more accessible to children, beginners and those who want a bit more security when they climb. Following marked routes through the mountains you are helped along by steps, bridges and ladders whilst being roped up for extra safety.
Walking & Hiking
Hikes in Provence region can generally be split into two categories: coastal and mountain. The coastal routes are all very accessible and mostly very easy, more like strolls than hikes, but still worth doing for the unbeatable views of the coastline and access to fabulous beaches along the way. The mountain trails take a little more effort to get to, but many can be reached by bus or train. They are a great way to explore the terrain behind Provence and the many traditional villages that are dotted around the countryside.
Also see: Walking Routes in Provence
Splash around on a water slide & enjoy hours of fun, waterparks are hugely popular with both adults and children in Provence! There are several down on the coast by Frejus, and one to the east of Avignon - tackle some of the fun rides and slides and stay cool!
Provence is perfect for water sports with its warm summers. There are several watersports centres on inland lakes where you can learn to sail or enjoy thrilling rides in speedboats, and everything in between.