Your interactive family guide to France as recommended by local mums | Last updated 2 months ago

Languedoc-Rousillon

Day trips around Montpellier

  • Mare Nostrum Aquarium

    Recommended by Wendy Johnson

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    The Aquarium Mare Nostrum is open September to June: Sunday to Thursday 10am to 7pm and Friday & Saturday from 10am to 8pm. An adult ticket costs 13 Euros and a child´s ticket (3-12) costs 9.50 Euros.
    Aquarium Mare Nostrum, Montpellier, Hérault, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
    Allée Ulysse - Odysseum Montpellier | Tel. +33(0)4 67 13 05 50
    www.aquariummarenostrum.fr

    Comments:
    "Great for children of all ages. Take a trip on a fishing boat (waves cracking against the windscreen, the boat moving up and down). Visit the penguins and touch an iceberg!. Stand right next to a huge tank of sharks (the sharks swim over your head!) There are even shallow tanks you can reach into and touch the starfish. Recommended for too hot days (and rare rainy days) and actually really educational." (WJ, Feb 2010)

  • The Steam Train - Anduze

    Recommended by Wendy Johnson

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    The Steam Train - Anduze opens mid March to mid November. There are 3 or 4 return trains a day depending on season.
    www.trainavapeur.com

    Comments:
    "For those Thomas the Tank Engine lovers: take the steam train from Anduze (1 hour North of Montpellier) via the Bambousaraie to St Jean du Gard. A 40 minute journey that takes you through umpteen tunnels (pick an indoor carriage if you dont want to breathe soot!) and really into the wilds of the Cevennes mountains - take a picnic to enjoy in the banks of the Garden in St Jean du Gard. Special Christmas trains with Santa!" (WJ, Feb 2011)

  • Petit Paradis Petting zoo

    Recommended by Wendy Johnson

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    Petit Paradis Petting zoo is situated approx 20 minutes to the North of Montpellier and is a feeding zoo for children of all ages.
    (+33)  04 67 91 99 33
    www.petitparadis.com

    Comments:
    "Great for even the littliest kids: Paddle boats on the lake, 3 or 4 bouncy castles (incl in the entrance fee) and countless animals to feed yourself (take some 20c coins with you for the grain) - dwarf goats that you can walk amongst. Rabbits and guinea pigs freely roaming. Cute pigs & pony rides. Play hide and seek in the tree houses. Take a picnic or eat at the restaurant next door. Easy parking." (WJ, Feb 2011)

  • Le Vallon du Villaret

    Recommended by Marie and Luc

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    A discovery park with a difference – you walk above, in and around art installations by contemporary artists. It can take up to half a day to walk along the 2km path, as there is so much to discover along the way. Adults pay the same price as children but there are different price bands according to the season. Children under 1m in height go free. Dogs are not allowed in the park and the path is not suitable for pushchairs.
    Le Vallon du Vallaret, 48190 Bagnols les Bains, Languedoc
    www.levillaret.fr

    Comments:
    I thought it was for 7-8 year-olds, but I had so much fun!” (Marie, age 14)

    You don’t have to write a long novel, one word is enough: brilliant!” (Luc, age 12)

  • Parc Zoologique de Montpellier

    Recommended by Wendy Johnson

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    The zoo in Montpellier has free entry and is open everyday from 0900-1700hrs.
    50, avenue Agropolis 34090 Montpellier (+33) 04 67 54 45 23 
    http://zoo.montpellier.fr/1897-le-parc-zoologique.htm

    Comment:
    ”Be prepared for a good walk on paths through garrigue close to the centre of Montpellier. There are lots of picnic places in the shade. Can be pretty hot in the Summer. Get there early parking not always so easy at peak times. Next door to the Amazonian Glasshouse.” (WJ, Mar 2011)

  • Amazon Forest - Parc Zoologique de Montpellier

    Recommended by Wendy Johnson

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    As part of the zoo there is a section for the Amazon forest
    50, avenue Agropolis 34090 Montpellier (+33) 04 67 54 45 23
    http://zoo.montpellier.fr/1904-la-serre-amazonienne.htm

    Comment:
    ”A great visit for hot, cold or rainy days. Fascinating and educational and even fun when they stage their ‘storm’ in the rain forest and you get a bit wet! Lots of fishes, snakes, other animals and plants.” (WJ, Mar 2011)

  • Canoe Roquebrun, Vallée de L´Orb

    Recommended by Lara Gobourne

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    The Vallée de LOrb is situated in the heart of the Natural Park of Haut-Languedoc. It is only suitable for children over 6 years old who can swim. You can hire canoe-kayaks for one or two people, paddles and jackets. There are 12 rivers and 80 routes offering 800 km of adventure.
    Autoroute 49, sortie Beziers Ouest, Direction Maraussan Cazouls / Cessenon Roquebrun, GPS 43 29 54 N (+33) 0467895290
    www.canoeroquebrun.com/en

  • Les Bisons dEurope

    Recommended by Lara Gobourne

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    This European bison reserve in one of the most beautiful parks in France, where they try to preserve the ancestral species of bison. With a weight of up to one ton and a girth of 2 meters, the bison is undoubtedly the largest European land mammal.
    bisons.margeride@wanadoo.fr (+33) 0466314040
    www.bisoneurope.com

    Comments
    ”As well as the beautiful outdoor space there is also an educational museum, reconstructed prehistoric cave, picnic area and playground.”
    (LG, April 2011)

  • Grotte La Cocaliere

    Recommended by Lara Gobourne

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    This was one of the first caves in France to have been given the “Qualite Tourisme” label. It is supposedly one of the 3 most beautiful caves in France and covers 30kms and is 35 million years old. Plenty of stalactites, stalagmites and stretches of water.
    F 30500 Courry (+33) 0466243474 grotte-cocaliere@wanadoo.fr
    www.grotte-cocaliere.com

    Comments:
    ”As the cave was once inhabited there is a really interesting prehistoric gallery (neolithic, bronze age) where you can see prehistoric objects and bones found in the caves. After the guided tour there is a train to bring you back again (the kids loved this!)” (LG, April 2011)

  • Reptilarium de Larzac

    Recommended by Lara Gobourne

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    Home to a large number of lizards, snakes, tortoises, crocodiles and geckos this is a must-to outing for any reptile crazy children. Open all year round but with shorter opening times off season.
    12230 Sainte Eulalie de Cernon reptilariumdularzac@live.fr (+33) 0565613208
    www.reptilarium-larzac.com

    Comments
    ”I have 2 boys who are obsessed with reptiles. They loved it here and spent hours observing their favourite creatures who I under no circumstance would allow in the house! Great opportunity to get close to giant tortoises, pythons (weighing more than 100kgs) as well as various brightly coloured iguanas and chameleons.” (LG, April 2011)

  • Grotte de Labeil

    Recommended by Lara Gobourne

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    Situated in a limestone cirque at 700m above sea level, its natural entrance was once used for making Roquefort cheese. You can pass on foot to the subterranean river where you can see illuminated waters and climb up to the crystal areas.
    SCA des vignerons de Pegairolles de L´Escalette, A75, Sortie 52 (Lodeve Nord) (+33) 0467964947
    www.grotte-de-labeil.com

    Comments:
    “The cave is apparently 7000 years old and they organize a special viewing for families with children which my kids loved. They basically give you helmets and a map of the cave and let you go off by yourself for an hour.” (LG, April 2011)

  • La Bouscarasse Waterpark

    Recommended by Hannah OBrien

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    La Bouscarasse is a large waterpark just outside Uzes near Nimes with everything you would expect from a large waterpark such as slides, wave pools, fountains, picnic area etc
    Départementale 981 F-30700 SERVIERS (+33) 466225025 info@bouscarasse.fr
    www.bouscarasse.fr

    Comments
    “Definitely a day out for kids rather than adults. It was very busy when we were there and we had to queue quite a while for rides but the kids didn’t notice and had a brilliant time. They keep asking to go back!” (HO, April 2011)

  • The Bambouseraie Park

    Recommended by Hannah OBrien

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    Created in 1855, the Bambouseraie Park is an Asian garden of bamboo forests, a bamboo village and bamboo maze. There is also a Bonzai garden and water garden. Open 7 days a week from March 1st to November 15th, entrance costs 8 euros for adults and 4.50 euros for children.
    www.bambouseraie.com

    Comments
    ”La Bambouseraie was created because of the will of one man whose name was Eugène Mazel. He was a passionate lover of botany and started his first plantations at La Bambouseraie in 1856, acclimatizing exotic species from China, Japan, North America and the Himalayas.” (HO, April 2011)

  • Musee Parc de Dinosaures

    Recommended by Hannah OBrien

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    Supposedly the largest dinosaur park in Europe, the Musee Parc de Dinosaures is located on the site where dinosaur eggs and fossils were actually discovered. Open all year round an adult ticket is 8 euros and a child´s ticket is 6.50 euros. From Montpellier you take the A9 motorway and exit at “Sete” following the direction Béziers, Montagnac on the RN 113. Its on this road on the right handside.
    www.musee-parc-dinosaures.com

    Comments
    ”The real life scale reconstructions of dinosaurs are scarily real looking and will impress even the most die hard dinosaur fan i.e my son!” (HO, April 2011)

  • The Haribo Museum

    Recommended by Hannah OBrien

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    The Haribo Museum is a museum dedicated to sweets and explains the history of the company. Opened in May 1996 the Musée du Bonbon explains the history of liquorices, fruit gum and sweet manufacturing.
    Le Musée du Bonbon, Pont des Charrettes, 30700 Uzès
    www.haribo.com/planet/fr/info/main/musee


    Comments

    “I actually really enjoyed this museum – I am a bit of a child myself and who cant be delighted with this sweet paradise. Prepare yourself for a sugar rush though as you are given sweets all the way round – they are pretty generous with the freebies! If you feel a little guilty with the lack of culture you can always do a tour of the beautiful town of Uzes!” (HO, April 2011)

  • Reserve Africaine de Sigean - Safari Park

    Recommended by Mandy Jefferies

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    At Réserve Africaine de Sigean, freely roaming lions, bears, giraffes and their friends are entertained as you drive past them shut inside your car. Elsewhere in the park you leave the car to see elephants, an African Savannah and a whole array of birds and beasts.
    15 km south of Narbonne and 8 km north of Sigean. From Perpignan, leave the Motorway at Sigean (exit n° 39). From Montpellier or Toulouse : leave the Motorway at Narbonne Sud (exit n° 38) and take the RN 9 in the direction of Sigean/Perpignan. 
    Open 365 days a year from 9h.
    Adults 27euros and children under 14 years 15.50euros
    La Réserve Africaine de Sigean, RN 9 - 11130 SIGEAN, Languedoc
    www.reserveafricainesigean.fr