Spending time on the French Riviera means endless fun in the sun. It’s no secret that the South of France is blessed with a stunning climate and glorious scenery. As a result, it’s the perfect recipe for those who love the outdoors. If you’re looking for a peaceful day out, enjoy a pedalo trip with the family or sail the azure blue Mediterranean. However, for something more adventurous, why not try kayaking or even canyoning. Whatever you decide, the Côte d’Azur has some of the best ways to enjoy the water.
Best for a fun day trip: Sailing
For an exhilarating day out, there’s no greater joy than chartering a boat and setting sail for the day. The South of France has been synonymous with yachting for years; Cannes hosts a Yachting Festival each year. The region is awash with miles of beautiful coastline and remote islands and coves. Certainly, some of the best spots can only be reached by sea.
If you’d like to charter a small motorboat to explore the seas yourself, we recommend SamBoat. This leading company offers peer-to-peer boat rentals and professional yacht charters. If you’d prefer a larger vessel with a skipper to be your local guide, speak to Click&Boat. Whatever the choice, you’ll spend the day cruising through crystal-clear waters, with frequent dips in the sea to cool off. Those will be the moments you’ll treasure forever.
Best for the very active: Canyoning
If you’re feeling energetic, canyoning is just the activity for you. It involves walking, scrambling and jumping through rocky canyons – of which the Riviera has plenty. After that, enjoy cooling off with a dip in one of the many natural pools and waterfalls along the way. Moreover, canyoning can be as easy or as challenging as you want to make it. So, you can adapt depending on your mood and company. The only requirement to go canyoning in the South of France is being able to swim. Other than that, all you’ll need is determination and enthusiasm for a rewarding day out.
In this part of the world, one of the best routes for canyoning is the Gorges du Loup. This 49km river is just a 30-minute drive from Parc du Cap. Soak up the mountain air and thrilling canyoning routes which run through the gorge. For a guided experience, Azur Canyoning or Les Geckos do regular day trips. With the rocky slides, refreshing swimming holes and impressive granite rock of the Gorges, canyoning doesn’t get more magical than this.
Best for the whole family: Pedalo fun
If you’re in the Côte d’Azur with family members of all ages, there’s no better option than a pedalo trip. According to some sources, pedalos were actually designed by Leonardo da Vinci hundreds of years ago. Today, they’re the perfect way to pedal around a calm bay and help the kids to let off steam. Further, add-ons like slides and paddle boards will keep the family entertained for hours.
Some of the prettiest bays in the French Riviera for pedalo trips can be found from St Jean Cap Ferrat. You could try the Promenade Maurice Rouvier and Baie des Fourmis. However, closer to Parc du Cap you can hire a pedalo from Stand-up Paddle Evasion in Pointe Croisette beach, Cannes.
Best for a relaxing morning: Paddle boarding
Originating in Hawaii, stand-up paddle boarding is extremely popular all over the Riviera. Another fun activity for the whole family, stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) simply requires a good sense of balance. Consequently, it can be as easy or as energetic as you’d like it to be. Usually, it’s fairly relaxing. Gently glide through the water watching the world go by. You could even try a yoga lesson on your paddle board! Being on the water will leave you feeling refreshingly zen.
For SUP excursions and paddle boarding tours, visit See Antibes for a range of fun group options. If you’d prefer some quality time, hire a board from aqua pros Paddle Evasion. Nothing beats paddling solo in the sunshine at your own pace.
Best for getting close to nature: Snorkelling
As one of the best ways to explore underwater life and get close to nature, snorkelling in the Mediterranean is unbeatable. Marine life here is full of colourful shoals of fish and rich seabeds. With so much to see, it’s worthwhile investing in your own mask and snorkel to make the most of your experience. Flippers help too when it comes to swimming for hours on end. Wherever you go, remember to re-surface every now and again to take in the view onshore!
A beautiful spot for snorkelling is Villefranche-sur-Mer. A 45-minute drive from Parc du Cap, the pretty bay is well worth the trip. Enjoy a morning’s dip exploring the coastline underwater, before wandering the streets and quays of the old town. Here, there are plenty of great places for a bite to eat, such as the well-known restaurant, La Mère Germaine.
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