14 Things to do with Children on a French Riviera Yacht Charter
14 Things to do with Children on a French Riviera Yacht Charter
On your next French Riviera Yacht Charter, take the children with you as we have selected 14 activities to enjoy with them.
The French Riviera is the most glamorous stretch of coastline in the world, and as such, is probably not the first place that comes to mind when planning a family yacht charter. Yet there’s actually so much great stuff to do with kids on the Cote d’Azur that you’ll struggle to fit it all in a 7-day charter! From tropical beach treasure hunts and underwater villages to zip-lining, firework shows and rollercoasters, the French Riviera is a children’s playground.
We’ve written before about why yacht charters are so great for the whole family, and how to make sure they’re a brilliant success. Here are some fantastic children’s activities for your French Riviera yacht charter.
1. Explore the Man in the Iron Mask Fort on Ile Sainte-Marguerite
The Cannes islands are a superb family day out, with pretty coves for snorkelling and luxury picnics, a bird reserve at the lagoon, and forest paths with iron sculptures hiding in the trees. Kids will be thrilled by the fort where the real Man in the Iron Mask was imprisoned, and which now operates as a maritime museum where you can tour the old prison cells and look at ancient artefacts from Roman and Saracen shipwrecks.
2. Enjoy a spectacular night of fireworks
There’s nothing quite gathering the family together on the yacht’s sundeck to watch the fireworks shows that explode across French Riviera skies throughout the summer. If your yacht has a Jacuzzi the whole family can pile in and enjoy the warm summer night under a dazzling cacophony of colour and sound. Talk to your broker to ensure that your charter itinerary will coincide with one of these displays.
3. Visit the underwater village
This super cool dive site between the Cap d’Antibes and Cannes is at 15m below the surface, so will only be an option for older teens with dive licenses. This miniature underwater village was created as a film set in the 1960’s, and it’s almost eerie as you float above the buildings, which include a church, amphitheatre, and shops- and even a hairdressing salon for the fish! Left to decay for decades, the Golfe-Juan council has recently restored the sunken village so it’s well worth a look. Other interesting dive sites nearby are the underwater pinnacles at Dante’s Inferno and the sunken statue at Grotto de Miro.
4. Zip-lining in the forest
There are two great options for kids who want to get up in the forest canopy and zip-line from tree to tree. The Pitchoun Forest is a child-friendly ropes course that’ best for younger children between 3 and 9 years old, and it’s very safe as the kids are attached to the harness at all times. Canyon Forest, meanwhile, is a hit with the bigger kids and adults, with a four-level course ranging from beginner to advanced. (And the advanced is pretty hair-raising!) On the Canyon Forest course you zip-line across river gorges, walk on tight ropes, and climb across cliff faces, and it’s definitely for kids who are confident with heights as you have to detach your harness to reattach it to the next sequence.
5. Have a mother and daughter spa day
The French Riviera has some mind-blowing spas, and it can be a really lovely bonding experience for girls to head to the spa with their mum for a day of pampering- maybe after morning tea at the Hotel Carlton Intercontinental in Cannes, or the Hotel de Paris in Monaco. A spa day is a lovely chance for mum and daughter to reconnect and chat (and Dad and son might like it too!).
6. Organise Treasure Hunts and Picnics on Porquerolles
The island of Porquerolles feels oddly, wonderfully Caribbean, with its soft white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and lush exotic plants. This is a perfect place to anchor off and have a glamorous picnic ashore, while the kids run around and make all the noise and mayhem they like. Given the Caribbean vibe, this is also the best place on the Riviera for the crew to stage a treasure hunt for the young kids, while the tranquil waters make it a fabulous spot for a session on the watertoys.
7. Climb a giant whale and see crocodiles in Nice
Nice has really put on a show for the kids, with a huge square of run-through fountain jets adjoining a wooden ocean-themed playground, with a giant climbing whale, an octopus swing, and a fishing boat- all carved from wood. Children love this place (and as adults, we were pretty impressed ourselves.) But Nice’s attractions for children don’t end there. On the outskirts of Nice is Parc Phoenix, a rainforest biodome and mini-zoo, with crocodiles, kangaroos, and monkeys just few of the animals on display.
8. Make a splash at Aquasplash or ride on the rollercoasters at Antibes Land
Aquasplash delivers waterslides, fountains, pirate playzones, and screaming kids aplenty, meaning this is a great opportunity for your children to meet some kids their age. Aquasplash is also part of Marineland, a park with live orca and dolphin shows, while next door is the rollercoaster mayhem of Antibes Land, a Kids’ Island, and an Adventure Golf park. That will keep them busy for a while.
9. Snorkel and walk around the dreamy coves of Cap d’Antibes
Snorkelling around the crystal clear, rocky coast of the Cap d’Antibes is a great family activity. The Cap d’Antibes also has a fabulous higgledy-piggledly coastal path cut into the cliff-face, and this is a fun one for kids as they follow the path around the beaches to the grotto at Millionaire’s Bay. Be aware, it’s quite a long walk for young kids though, and children should always be supervised, particularly if the sea is rough.
10. Create your own perfume in the flowery birthplace of Chanel No5
If you’ve got children in the family who like perfumes and colognes, head to Grasse, the perfume capital of France. The surrounding hills are carpeted in the flowers used to make iconic fragrances such as Chanel No5, and the village has several world-class perfumeries where you can take a tour. The Molinard and Galimard parfumeries offer workshops by appointment where you can design your own fragrance to take home with you as a memento of your French Riviera yacht charter.
11. Have lunch at a family-friendly beach club
The French Riviera has some fantastically good beach clubs, including some where the family will feel totally welcome. Hi Beach in Nice and Plage des Jumeaux in Saint Tropez are standout for kids, with play equipment and a very family-friendly atmosphere, while the fashion-conscious teenagers will still feel like they’re doing something pretty glamorous as they loll about on a sun-bed. Lots of the beach clubs along the coast also have floating pontoons with waterslides, paddleboats, and a great range of watersports.
12. The Culture Hit: Museums & Art Galleries
There are some top-notch attractions for kids on the French Riviera, and the fantastic Oceanographic Museum in Monaco is a standout. Perched right on the cliff at Monaco, the museum has an aquarium, shark lagoon, turtle island, petting pool, a huge whale skeleton, and a fascinating collection of old diving gear and pickled sea creatures.
Other great museums include the Terra Amata cave man museum in Nice which is built on the site of a prehistoric elephant-hunting camp, and the art exhibitions of Fondation Maeght in Vence. If your children are interested in art, then the Matisse museum in Nice or Biot’s Leger Museum are both very impressive, or you could visit the excellent Annonciade Museum in Saint Tropez. While in Saint Tropez, the Butterfly Museum is a hit with the kids too.
13. Burn some energy with organised activities
The Riviera has plenty of organised activities for children, from the fantastic mountain-bike park and trampoline park in Mougins, to Laser Quest and Live Escape Game in Cannes. Inland, there are plenty of adventure activities, including canyoning, white water rafting, and Via Ferrata. There’s even a wolf park in the Mercantour National Park.
14. Public kid-friendly places
Cannes is a great stop for kids on charter, as there’s a small permanent funfair with carousel and rides, shopping for the teenagers, and lots of sandy beach and beach clubs. There’s also beach volleyball on most of the Riviera beaches in the summertime, as well as plenty of sailing and windsurfing clubs.
What your kids will love doing on a French Riviera yacht charter will of course depend on their ages and interests, but there’s so much to do along the coast that there’s something to make every kid happy, from the endlessly energetic 5-year old to the hard-to-please teenager.
To find out more about making your French Riviera yacht charter an incredible family vacation, contact the yacht charter experts at Bespoke Yacht Charter