The French Riviera, also known as the Côte d’Azur is a great holiday destination for the family. Despite the glamorous and luxuries image associated with the South of France, such as Cannes Film Festival and the yachting industry, it is an incredibly family-friendly region. The gorgeous Mediterranean weather lends itself to endless outdoor activities and adventures.
The beaches from Nice to Antibes are mostly stone beaches and are great places for a relaxing beach day. In the summer, they are lifeguarded and the warm sea is great for swimming. A walk through the ancient old town right next to the beach is fun to see the old buildings, and a post-beach gelato or ice cream is a welcome treat for all the family. On some days, craft and book stalls are set up along the beachfront, ideal for a souvenir.
Iles des Lérins, Cannes
The islands in the bay are car-free and peaceful. Taking a ferry ride, lasting just 10 minutes, from Cannes port to one of the islands is exciting enough for the kids. The larger island St Marguerite is closer to the shore, while St Honorat has a monastery and old fort the kids can play around in. Both islands have pathways and trails covering them, and if you pack a picnic, you can spend the day leisurely exploring along the coastline and try a bit of rock pooling.
This is a great place to head to if it rains – but be aware most parents will also have the same idea. It is a great place for the kids, where the many tanks, pools and exhibitions allow kids to be hands on with the fish and other creatures at the aquarium.
In the heart of Nice is one of its most beautiful neighbourhoods. There are a couple of museums; the Matisse Museum and Archaeological Museum and there are also Roman ruins and an amazing park. This is a great place to start at if you are planning a day in Nice and is accessible by both foot, car and bus from the Promenade des Anglais.
La Croisette, Cannes
If you want to truly experience Riviera life, head to the famed Croisette. You can spend a few hours here walking down from the Palais du Festival, and for younger kids, there is a mini-carnival with a small playground, carnival rides, a carousel and numerous cafes to sit at and watch the world pass by, sipping on a delicious cappuccino.
Fondation Maeght, St Paul de Vence
Next to the picturesque village of St Paul de Vence, which is a fun place to explore itself, is the contemporary art museum Fondation Maeght. The modern building is set among landscaped gardens which are great to play in, and the museum's peaceful atmosphere is lots of fun for kids and adults alike. Children under 10 will get in for free.
Dining in Valbonne
If you want to have a change of scene from the luxurious designer restaurants located throughout the French Riviera, try Valbonne. Restaurants ring a square, where kids can run about while you finish off your food. The dishes at many of the restaurants here are kid friendly and in the evening, there is entertainment in the form of music and magicians.
Cap d’Antibes is a wonderful place to take a walk, taking around two hours if you have small children. The walk will take you around the peninsula, which houses the lighthouse and plenty of fabulous mansions. It is an easy walking route, with lots of places to stop off at and enjoy the view out towards the Mediterranean.
For those looking to try something new and thrilling, many of the beaches in the French Riviera have water sports available to try. The calm waters are ideal for water skiing, motor boating or sailing and shallow pools provide the perfect conditions for snorkelling or diving.
In addition to having loads of exciting days out exploring the surrounding area in the French Riviera, make the most of your luxury and family friendly villa. The outdoor pool is ideal for a day swimming and splashing about, and the garden will provide ample space for outdoor games, as well as just lying around in the sun.