If you think a visit to the South of France is better suited to the older and more genteel traveller, then it’s time to think again. Sure, there are a lot of vineyards, golf courses and tiny gourmet cheese shops in the region, but the delights of the area go well beyond these “mature” attractions. There is plenty of things to do with kids in the south of France; you just need to know what you’re looking for.

So, if you are planning on taking the kids to the South of France, prepare to get much more than you expected from the Mediterranean climate and the fantastic French countryside. Your whole family will be able to have fantastic adventures together, and potentially have your best family holiday to date. To help make that happen, we’ve had a look around and found some great family activities and a whole lot of things to do with kids in the South of France – and there’s bound to be one that everyone can agree on!

1. Let Provence Gourmet get the kids into cooking

A family foodie experience might not the most adrenaline-pumped activity, but it makes for a delightful day. Plus, it might even get the kids to give you a hand with dinner. Provence Gourmet offers a day-long cooking class which begins with a trip to the food market in old town Aix en Provence where you’ll get to select your ingredients. You’ll then learn how to cook a fabulous lunch at Chef Gilles’ private property and enjoy the meal together while it’s still fresh. This excursion is great for encouraging the little ones into the kitchen.

Location: Meet at Aix en Provence Tourist Office (300 Av. Giuseppe Verdi, 13100 Aix-en-Provence, France)

Book: Online here!

2. Discover a new world at Monaco’s Oceanographic Museum

The Oceanographic Museum makes for a great day trip where you can experience the shark lagoon, take in tropical and Mediterranean species of ocean dwellers and even get up close and personal with baby sharks in the touch tank. The museum is also home to the world’s largest collection of marine world curiosities, such as fossils, diving equipment and precious books, creatively nicknamed ‘Oceanomania’. Plus, the museum is located right on the water so you can go for a scenic stroll after your visit.

Location: Avenue Saint-Martin, 98000 Monaco

Book: Online here!

3. Go underground with Walking Dordogne

If you fancy something a bit subterranean, the ‘Going Underground’ walk in Dordogne will appeal. Lasting between five and seven hours, the walk weaves above and below ground and takes in caves that have been used by our Neanderthal ancestors and as recently as World War II by the French resistance. It’s a truly eye-opening day out, and a bit of a sneaky history lesson to boot. This exciting adventure is best recommended for the non-claustrophobes in your family.

Location: All around the area!

Book: Using the online contact form here!

4. Get around the region with Bike Hire Direct

Exploring the beautiful landscapes of the south of France with a bike can provide you with a whole new perspective on your surroundings. Bikes are great for exploring far, wide, and even just down to the nearest croissant shop. If you’re bringing the car on holiday, you might be able to bring your own bikes with the help of a roof rack, but if you’re flying, you should check out Bike Hire Direct. They can deliver bikes direct to your villa!

Location: Your South of France Villa – Bike Hire Direct will deliver bikes to your door!

Book: Online here!

5. Make some fluffy friends at Le Petit Paradis

This one-of-a-kind petting zoo lets kids (and adults) get up close and personal with over thirty species of animals, including guinea pigs, bunnies, pigs, pygmy goats and loads more. We all know that being around animals help kids thrive, and there are loads of opportunities to interact with the animals and learn more about them. Built with your youngest kids in mind, there is also a series of playground and adventure courses in the park, not to mention mini-golf and pony-rides!

6. Visit the Meze Dinosaur Museum

If there’s one thing all kids love, it’s dinosaurs, and the South of France has a great little day trip for kids of all ages who are fascinated by prehistoric beasts. The Meze Dinosaur Museum near Montagnac boasts exhibits, museums and scale dinosaur replicas. Connected to (but separate from) the dino park is a museum entirely dedicated to the evolution of man, which is also well worth a look – even though it might not be quite as thrilling for the nippers.

Location: Route de Pézenas, 34140 Mèze, France

Book: No need to book, get tickets on site!

7. Take cycling to the next level with Sun-e-Bike

If your bog-standard pedal cycle isn’t doing it for you any more, or maybe you’ve got kids that aren’t quite up for that 20-mile uphill route, you can make things a bit easier with an e-bike. Available to rent from Sun-e-Bike, these effort-saving battery-powered bikes are the easy way to see the countryside. You can even get trailers and seats for younger kids, and if you’d like a guide to show the way, there is always the option of booking a tour.

Location: Various Locations (Bonnieux, St-Rémy-de-Provence, Vaison la Romaine, Châteauneuf du Pape & Uzès)

Book: Online here!

8. Get soaked in the Gorges du Loup with Canyons Experience

It’s time to get physical! Just west of the beautiful city of Nice, you’ll find the Gorges du Loup. Canyoning is the practice of exploring and navigating gorges and canyons, and this is a fantastic introduction to canyoning no matter your age. The great thing about the Gorges du Loup is that it’s more of an adventure playground than a course, and it’s so easy going kids as young as six are welcome. Canyons Experience offers great beginner excursions that are perfect for families.

Location: Rue Gorges du Loup, 06620 Gourdon, France

Book: Online here!

9. Float among the clouds with France Balloons

If you want to experience the ultimate way to see everything the South of France has to offer, this one is for you. Enjoy a totally unique viewpoint with a hot air balloon ride across the region! France Balloons offer tickets for kids as well as adults, so as long as your little ones are good with heights, you’re good to go. There are a number of locations throughout the South of France where you can take off from, so just choose the one closest to your villa. After that, the sky’s the limit!

Location: Find a list of take-off sites here

Book: Online here!

10. Visit the beautiful beaches

The South of France has a fantastic range of beaches to enjoy with pristine white sands, beautiful blue water and plenty of sunshine. Building sandcastles is an international language, so grab the bucket and spade, get everyone covered in sunblock. There is no better way to enjoy a proper family day than at the beach with paddling, rock pools and plenty of ice cream. It’s seriously one of the best things to do with kids in the south of France.

Location: All over the region!

Book: No need to book; just show up!

We hope you’re starting to feel inspired to book a family holiday to the South of France with Oliver’s Travels, but in the meantime – check out our in-depth travel guides to all of its beautiful sub-regions, including the DordogneAquitaineCote d’AzurMidi-Pyrenees and Provence. Once you’ve found your dream destination, get in touch with our concierge team to get the ball rolling on finding your accommodation! 

Looking for a full list of villas to rent this year? Check out our villa holidays page here.

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