Medieval villages to explore, lavender fields, vineyards and plenty of scope for cycling and kayaking – the Vaucluse region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur is a fabulous spot for a family holiday away from the crowds of the Mediterranean coast itself.
Some of our favourites here were the Roman amphitheatre at Orange, and Nougat Silvain at St-Didier – a small family business where you can watch artisans produce nougat by hand, as well as taste the many different varieties.
But the most exciting part of the trip was inevitably our day out at Splashworld, France’s biggest waterpark. I’m not generally a huge fan of waterparks – they can be crowded, noisy and stressful, and lacking in decent places to sit when you’ve had enough of hurling yourself down slides. This one was a little different.
For a start it has a private beach with a drinks service. Even better, there are cabanas – Balinese-style huts big enough for six, with cushioned loungers, a mini-fridge with free bottled water, coffee and ice cream, and waiter service.
Water-wise, there’s a lazy river you can drift around on giant rubber rings, Adventure Island (Europe’s biggest waterslide structure for kids), and an eight-lane slide you descend on mats, racing against others who start at the same time.
There are also several slides of varying degrees of scariness, which you come down on giant rings or inflatable dinghy-type objects in pairs. Some are very steep, some are partly in the dark, some include sections that shoot you upwards, and one even turns you round halfway so you do part of the slide backwards. There’s also one utterly terrifying-looking slide that launches you by pulling away the floor from an enclosed cabin, and one of the tallest freefall slides in Europe – 14 storeys high, with speeds of up to 80 km/h. I think I'll stick to the cabana…
Read more about family holidays in the South of France or see Provence Guide.
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