Side Street Style: A family guide to the South of France

Side Street Style

A family lifestyle, interiors & travel blog

11/06/2017

A family guide to the South of France


France with kids
Enjoying ice-cream in Antibes 


The French Riviera is one of those places that is just perfect for those looking to get away to warmer climates, take in the stylish and laid back Riveria culture, French food and of course stunning beaches. There is also a wonderful combination of countryside and city adventures from small hilltop villages to explore to the designer shops in Cannes, it has it all. It's also a place that makes for a fantastic family break and it's somewhere I keep going back too. I was lucky enough to live and work in Nice for a few months before having children and on my days off I often headed further afield to Antibes, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, St Paul De Vence and Eze Village so it made sense look at a holiday in France with the kids and share this breath-taking coastline with them.





Valbonne Villa

James Villas


For my 30th birthday two years ago I decided that I wanted to spend this milestone birthday on the Riviera and we opted for a stay in a James Villa in Valbonne, a beautiful traditional French village around 25mins from Cannes. It was so wonderful returning to somewhere so special and share it with my friends and family. We are now thinking about taking another trip down south and wanted to share my family friendly guide of fun things to do in the South of France, which doesn't involved loud and brash splash parks or attractions.

1. Consider taking the slow route - The last time we headed down there we decided to take the scenic route heading over the Paris via the Eurostar for a few days before taking the high speed train down to the South. You see so much this way and rolling along the beautiful coastline is a very romantic way to arrive into the Riviera. We did this with a four year old and he found the whole trip there and back fascinating.


France with kids

Eating on the Riviera
Street food in Antibes 


2. Eat street food in Antibes - Antibes is a wonderful seaside French village where you can walk the old city walls while spotting yachts in the harbour as well as locals playing boules. There is also a family friendly beach that is perfect for swimming but what is best is all the street food on offer. From traditional French to North African, falafels and gelato you won't be short on choice for picking up some quick food on the go while walking through this pretty old town.

3. Explore the medieval hillside village of Eze - did you know Walt Disney spent a lot of time in Eze and there is a good reason for that. The famous sea views from the village and old winding cobblestone streets make this place truly magical. Make sure to take the kids to the Jardin exotique d'Eze which has an array of Cacti and succulents. The drive along the coastline to Eze is also pretty special although a bit hairy in parts due to the high cliffs.


Smelling flowers

Nice South of France



4. Get lost in Nice Old Town - first stop by the colourful Flower market which is open all year round and sells flowers, fresh fruit and veg as well as local produce, soaps and trinkets. Then head into the old town which is a bit of a maze and you never know what your going to stumble upon. My son loved exploring this area and it's so visually interesting. There is a large fountain near the centre with plenty of places to eat, we stood and watched them making fresh pizza tossing it high up into the air.

5. Walk to the top of Castle Hill - heading up to the top of Castle hill offers you the best view over nice and the promenade. It's also a fantastic thing to do for free and as a family, plus you feel pretty fit afterwards as it's a fair few steps up. My son loved the challenge and the hill is often referred too as "the cradle of the sun" after the spectacular sunsets that can be viewed from here.



French Riviera

France with kids


6. Go swimming in Cannes - besides all the designer stores that line the Croisette in Cannes there are also some fantastic public beaches that are spotlessly clean and offer white sands and clear blue seas. The coastline is also breath taking and you can spot many cruise ships waiting in the bay. There are also plenty of play parks within walking distance of the beaches.

7. Enjoy the good life - a holiday in the South of France, even with kids should be all about slowing down and enjoying the good things in life like eating al fresco in the sunshine next to a pool and not moving for the whole day. I would highly recommend looking at staying somewhere self catering with it's own pool and place to eat outdoors. The last time we were down south we spent a few simple days just enjoying swimming, sunshine and good food.


Villa france

James Villa



8. Get Arty - If either you or your children love art than the South of France is the perfect place as it's home to some fantastic Art museums, which are also perfect on a rainy day. I would recommend Musee Matisse in Nice as well as the Musee Picasso but there are plenty more to see and explore.

9. Visit Monaco and the Oceanography Museum - You can take a half an hour train along the coast from Nice to the small but very rich principality of Monaco, it's a lovely ride and a great day out for the whole family especially if you decided to visit the Museum of Oceanography. Adults and children will both find this clifftop aquarium fansinating and it's well worth the money.

10. Get on your bike - The South of France is the perfect place to explore by bike and is one of the preferred option of travel among locals. There are plenty of places to hire bikes, including ones suitable for children. Wether you want to cycle down the Promenade in Nice or head more inland to some of the quieter villages such as Vallbonne you will find it a fun and safe way to explore the area and with lots of cafes and bakeries dotted around you cal always stop for an impromptu picnic.



French Riviera

France with kids


The South of France is somewhere that has a really special place in my heart and it's the type of place you go to getaway from all the madness, away from busy play parks and soft play and back to nature and the simple pleasures in life. These are just a few tips and ideas on what you can do on the French Rivera but in reality you won't be short on things to keep the children entertained even if it's just spending day after day building sandcastles at the beach, either way it's a wonderful region of France to explore and take a break.


South of France


11 comments:

  1. This looks so idyllic Laura, I just love the South of France.

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    1. Me too! Thats why we keep going back :) :)

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  2. South of France has so much beauty to offer. Thank you for sharing your family guide :)

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    1. My pleasure and I agree the South of France is beautiful

      Laura x

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  3. I've actually never been to the South of France, my mum always used to go when she was younger with her family - have heard it's amazing for family holidays.

    The street food looks so good and I adore your photographs, looks like an amazing holiday!

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    1. You should really try and go, it's not that far from the UK and a real mix of style, beach, history and art

      Laura x

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  4. Gosh, what a pretty spot. It looks great for family holidays.

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    Replies
    1. It's such a fantastic place for families

      Laura x

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  5. It looks amazing. I've never been to the South Of France

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    Replies
    1. You should go if you get the chance, lovely part of the world :)

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  6. You had an amazing trip. France is a very suitable country for family trips. There are so many things to do for kids, adults, and even teens. I really like your post!

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Lovely comments

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