Got kids and in our village or near us? You are not alone. If they aren’t going to summer camp and you are stuck with them, here are some ideas of what to do/where to take them to cool down or just take a break and watch them play.
Cotignac: The river Cassole – there is a river walk that leads to the large waterfall where you can take a swim at your own risk. It’s always fun to tromp around in with your feet but do beware of sudden changes in the weather that could cause flooding in this area. The walk starts at the end of the little bridge that leads into the village. The river here is less polluted and fairly clean compared with other rivers in the region and is considered safe to swim in.
Salernes: Le Plan d’Eau (20 mins from Cotignac)
You can get there by heading to Salernes village and make a right turn at the very first large roundabout (before entering into the village) then another right onto the road that leads to the large gate. The gate is open in summer and anyone can go in and swim/make a picnic on the grassy lawns. The area is called La Muy cartier of Salernes.
Brignoles: Aquavabre Municipal Swimming Pool
A massive public swimming complex with areas for kids to play in Brignoles. You can get there by taking a left at the large roundabout as you enter Brignoles from Cotignac. Go in the direction of Les Arcs then make a right at the next roundabout (Intermarché) and follow to just before the Total gas station. Fork right. You’ll go through another roundabout (stay straight) then take the next right turn. You’ll see signs for the “sports complex” and a big entry and new buildings. This is a 14 million euro complex that opened a couple of years ago so it’s still new. They are however closed during lunch hours. Opening hours:
Le Lac St Croix: (35 – 45 mins from Cotignac)
There are several areas of interest for swimming here. Bauduen is a popular area as is near the village of St Croix itself. There are also pedalos you can rent and go around the lake in.
The Beaches of Pamplonne and Estagnol (1.5 hours from Cotignac)
Pamplonne is the famous one for all the fancy beach restaurants (like Club 55 and Tahiti) – easily accessed via Ramatuelle there are plenty of public areas for bathing also. Susana recommends Key West Beach (mid-way down) where there is a good snack bar for the public beach next to the private ones (private just means you pay for a matelas to lie on). Estagnol beach is accessed by the narrow roads via Pierre Feu and Le Londe, in Bormes Les Mimosas. It costs 8 euros to park near the beaches here but they are safe and fun.
The children’s playground/amusement centre in Lac Carces – there is a pay-to-get-in trampoline-filled amusement park for children here but adults also must pay to get in. Near the north end of the lake (which is not advisable to swim in, by the way). If it’s not too hot you can walk all the way around the lake, however, best done in Spring/Autumn.
Waterworld: In Frejus (1 hr drive from Cotignac), this is a park made of gigantic bouncy-castle type amusement right onto the beach water. It costs to get in, but it looks worth it.
AquaSplash: There is one in Frejus and another in Toulon (both are an hour’s drive, minimum, away). These are private water parks and tend to be crowded and costly but always fun for kids. Check online for opening hours to these types of places
Marineland, Antibes: 1.5 hrs drive from Cotignac this place costs about 35 euros per adult (less for children) to get in and there are shows every hour with killerwhales, dolphins, penguins, seals, etc, as well as aquariums with sharks and all sorts for kids to oogle and oggle at.
INDOOR (and air-conditioned) FUN
If you want a break with a nice coffee and just want to surf the web while your kids play, this is the kind of place to go. They are always well air conditioned so your kids never feel hot. Entry cost is usually 9 euros per child, one euro for an adult (with coffee included) and there are bouncy castles, huge physical activity mazes, trampolines, go carts, etc, for kids to play on for hours. The one in Brignoles (zone industriel) is called Royal Kids and is open every day during the summer holidays (July – August). There is another similar one in Toulon also.
Go to the Movies
There is a movie theatre in Cotignac so check the calendars (available at the Tourist office and most boulangeries) so see if a movie is playing around the time you are going out. The theatre is well air conditioned and very comfortable with new velvety seats!! For programme info go to https://www.facebook.com/cinemacotignac/