Archive for the ‘Children’ Category

Martigues is a small historic town, on the Etang de Berre and dissected by canals which lead out to sea.  It was painted by local artists then ‘discovered’ by the Fauves who arrived with bright paints to capture the light of this pretty Mediterranean port.  We have very much enjoyed walks here as well as visits to the Musee Ziem which displays many of these local pictures and is free to visit.

The town has an active tourist office who are offering the following specials…

Sunset Cruises

From 1st August, these Monday evening cruises take visitors around the canals, informed and entertained by the captain, a native of the town.

Details: 44 passengers max and dependent on suitably good weather.

From 19:30 on 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 Aug,

12 euros pp, 3 and under free.

Camping Paradis

The popular TF1 show is filmed on a beach close to La Couronne, beautifully empty for most of the year except when the film crews arrive to recreate a typical French campsite with bustling reception chalet, beach bar and superette.  A tourist office guide leads the one-hour tour and divulges anecdotes and set secrets to delight fans of this warm-hearted show.


At 09:30, Tuesdays, 2 – 30th Aug.

4 euros for adults, 3 euros for children

Full details and reservations: https://www.martigues-tourisme.com/evenements/culture

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is coming soon to the place Villon at the Allees Provencales. (more…)

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Here’s an idea for a splendid day out in Provence right now – the tourists have in the main gone home and there are still sunny days to enjoy.

Boating on the lower gorges du Verdon isn’t as well known as Lac St Croix but all the better for that in terms of easy parking and access to boats.  And it’s very beautiful.


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Model villages have long fascinated children: les petits-enfants Aixcentric all love a trip to Bekonscot, the world’s first ever miniature village, which preserves views of English life in the thirties.

Now lucky French families can see the entire Cote d’Azur laid out before them, from Marseille to Nice, taking in the calanques and Saint Tropez en route, at Mini World Cote d’Azur.

The scenarios include tiny people as well as cars and trains that whizz around.  And state-of-the-art technology is used to involve sound, lighting effects, even smell.

The attraction is 10 mins drive from Toulon centre-ville, off the A57.  Open daily during school holidays; other opening times are at:  https://miniworldcotedazur.com/la-cote-dazur-en-miniature/#

Thanks to Julia for the heads-up on this attraction.

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Wise communities are shifting their emphasis on to the outdoors this summer – here are two current shows you might enjoy. (more…)

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Bowling along on a bike by the Med sounds like heaven to me, especially when there’s no traffic!

That’s the offer tomorrow, 10h -18h, when 4 kilomètres of the Corniche, from Malmousque to David, plus l’Estaque Plage, will be open to walkers, skaters, and cyclists.  Lots of free sporting activities – things to try – and of course, food.

Food-trucks and ‘terrasses éphémères’

The trucks will be dishing up icecream, Breton and Mexican specialities, now there’s a choice, as well as burgers and bagels.

The pop-up terraces have been provided by ‘la Ville de Marseille’ as a free service to local restaurateurs and cafetiers.  What a good idea, especially right now.

Renting a bike

Click here for details; 1000 nouveaux vélos électriques en libre-service

Sorry for late notification but only just stumbled across this nice event.




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Here’s a idea for a family walk in the fresh air this weekend.  Dinosaur’Istres is an educational site with around 40 life-size species represented along a route following their chronological appearance on earth, accompanied by information panels on each species and on general themes.

Kids will probably recognise the spinosaurus, identified as the greatest predator of all time, the diplodocus, the tyrannosaurus rex and the velociraptors.

As it all started in the water, the Dinosaur’Istres informative route begins on the edge of the etang de l’Olivier, where there are 4 aquatic specimens, dating back 250 million years.  Further along is an area dedicated to the 11 dinosaurs who lived in Provence.

It’s open daily and is free. Click for details and downloadable trails: https://en.istres-tourisme.com/dinosaur-istres-le-monde-des-dinosaures-renait-a-istres.html.  Good walking shoes advised and baby-carriers rather than pushchairs.  The walk takes 1.5hrs.

L’Etang de l’Olivier a peaceful spot for a walk anyway.  Easy parking and there was a coffee stall by the water when we visited but who knows if that is still there?  At least the dinosaurs will be…

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Here’s a useful new downloadable flyer celebrating the biodiversity of Montagne Sainte-Victoire – perfect if you are planning family walks this holiday.

The area has been part of the Natura 2000 programme since 2005, and this leaflet follows a review of progress made: the aim of the organisation is to conserve flora and fauna, and the physical environment, while encouraging human enjoyment of the terrain.

Their website below has a link to the pdf……leaflet in French but lots of photos help.



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Aix Town Trail for Children

The trail starts here…

The tourist office has come up with a delightful town trail for children which starts outside at the statue of Cézanne and leads them round town, pausing at 14 locations to encourage them to look for clues to answer the questions.  It’s aimed at 4-5 year olds but I think up to 10 year olds could learn quite a lot from this.

The brochure is available from the OT, in French but also in English.  Or download here:


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The oldest chateau in Provence, the Chateau de la Barben, is set to re-open in June after a 30m euro overhaul by its new owner, Vianney d’Alencon. 


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