10 nature activities to impress your teenagers in France

Dreaming of a rejuvenating holiday with your tribe? You still need to find activities to keep teenagers occupied and off their phones. In France, the regions are teeming with ideas to help them disconnect from the world, with wide open spaces and heritage. Innovative board sports, XXL zip lines, canoeing/kayaking down gorges or stargazing... Here are 10 activities to dazzle your teenagers!

Play adventurers in the forest in Oise, Hauts-de-France

A treasure map, an old notebook and a mission: to find treasure hidden in a forest where you sometimes hear voices at night... Brrrr, there are a few scares and the chance for lots of family memories on this day and night treasure hunt. A special digital detox (only a walkie-talkie is allowed), this escape game is spread out over two days with a night in a tent or refuge and meals cooked over a campfire (including marshmallows!). This will whet your appetite for new adventures in the Valois region: canoe/kayak trips on the Ourcq canal or birdwatching in the Grand Voyeux nature reserve.

Bois de Rosoy escape game (External link)
The Grand Voyeux nature reserve (External link)
Visit Hauts-de-France (External link)

Get a thrill on an XXL zipline on the Côte d'Azur

With the Mediterranean at your feet and your head in the sky of the Pre-Alps, head for the ziplines of the Côte d'Azur to fill up on adrenaline! In Lucéram (1,400m), the Peira Cava Adventure park brings together the three highest in the region: at nearly 200m above ground, thrills are guaranteed as you fly over the forests! For even more thrills, acrobats can also try a sky/ground combo at the Moulière park, alternating between a tree-climbing course with sublime views of the Mediterranean and an underground expedition. The 350-metre-long Via Souterrata winds its way between monkey bars, footbridges and 45-metre-deep caves bristling with stalactites and stalagmites.

Parc aventures Peira Cava (External link)
Via Souterrata (External link)
Visit Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (External link)

Reach for the stars in Occitanie

Did you know? With two territories labelled RICE (International Dark Sky Reserve), Occitanie is a paradise for astronomers. A godsend for getting stars to shine in the eyes of teenagers! At the Pic du Midi, Europe's highest planetarium (2,876m), the celestial vault is revealed from every angle during galactic evenings designed for budding scientists. Still want to explore the cosmos? In the hamlet of Esperelles, in the Cévennes star reserve, two gîtes have been set up by an astronomy enthusiast for stays with sky observation, using state-of-the-art equipment. And to take advantage of the starry sky at night, the family can go for a paddle in the Tarn gorges and meet the beavers.

Visit Occitanie (External link)
The Pic du Midi (External link)
Domaine des Esperelles (External link)
Au Moulin de la Malène (External link)

Kayak down the Ardèche gorges in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

In the gorges of the Ardèche, teens will love paddling a canoe/kayak! Especially if you plan a 30km descent with a night in a bivouac thrown in. Between rapids and breaks to admire the strange formations of this canyon dug in the rock, there's no time to get bored. The most impressive: the Pont d'Arc arch (59m wide and 54m high) sculpted by time. While you're here in the kingdom of palaeontology, head for the city of Prehistory at Aven d'Orgnac: learn how to light a fire or learn about cave art in the manner of the neighbouring Chauvet cave, and spend a second night in a bivouac.

Visit Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (External link)

Try marine canyoning in Brittany

Ready for a challenge on the Crozon peninsula? A mix of swimming, jumping into the sea, abseiling and climbing, coasteering is the marine version of canyoning and suitable for teenagers over 14 years old who aren't afraid of the cold! Equipped with wetsuits, helmets and sports shoes, you'll take an intense three-hour walk along the rocks between cliffs, caves and secret creeks where a dip rewards your efforts. If you have any energy left by evening, take a gentle hike along the cliffs of Camaret and see the lighthouses of the Iroise Sea sparkle. On the megalithic site of Lagadjar, the menhirs stand guard at night - have fun counting them before going to sleep.

Visit Brittany (External link)

Try watersports in the Atlantic Médoc, Nouvelle Aquitaine

Are your teenagers fans of board sports? They'll have a blast on the Atlantic coast. In Lacanau, with surf foiling and wing foiling (which combines kitesurfing, surfing and windsurfing), they'll never tire of flying over the waves. Only the wind and the water come into play! On Hourtin lake, young and old alike can also try kitesurfing and experiment with electric water karting. Younger kids from age nine can drive their silent, eco-friendly kart themselves!

Visit Nouvelle Aquitaine (External link)
Visit the Atlantic Médoc (External link)

Meet wolves in Lorraine

You don't have to wait for a full moon to hear the howling of wolves in the woods! At the Sainte-Croix animal park in Lorraine, where 1,500 animals live on 120 hectares, we take you to meet three subspecies of wolves for an evening (from 10 years old). And emotions run high when the whole pack starts to howl in unison! To extend the experience, dinner is provided in a cabin facing the Arctic white wolves. You can also play the little chaperone for a night... by staying quietly in your comfortable den in the 'Wolf's Hamlet' and watch for yellow eyes shining like in fairytales.

Visit Lorraine and the Sainte-Croix Animal Park (External link)

Cycle past the majestic châteaux of the Loire Valley

Watching the turrets, dormer windows and chimneys of the Château de Chambord gradually come into view, perched on a bicycle... This view will remain etched in your kids' memories for a long time. With a minimal difference in altitude and 500km of cycle routes, the Loire land of châteaux is a paradise for amateur cyclists. You can start with a short half-day loop to get your legs in shape before letting yourself be won over by the exhilaration of travelling by bike. Whether it's the Château de Beauregard and its dazzling portrait gallery or the Château de Chaumont and its enchanted gardens, you'll need to plan well for breaks in between!

Visit the Loire Valley (External link)
Visit Chambord and other Loire chateaux by bike (External link)

Go sandyachting on the Normandy beaches

Omaha Beach, Utah Beach or Gold Beach... The bad winds of history have blown on these D-Day beaches, but it's a favourable breeze that will make your champions roll on the foreshore! With its kilometres of sandy beaches at low tide, Normandy is a real paradise for sand yachts. Aboard these funny mini sailboats on wheels, you'll be intoxicated by speed, but don't forget to plan other activities: fishing on the beach at Jullouville, diving into the world of young people at the Franciscan cultural centre in Deauville, or exploring the Paleospace at Villers-sur-Mer to go back to the time of the Jurassic...

Visit Normandy (External link)

Ride in the footsteps of the Gauls in Burgundy

How about riding the route taken by Vercingetorix to confront Julius Caesar's army in 52 BC? With the 'Bibracte-Alésia' equestrian itinerary (120km of marked trails), you can go back in time to the Gallo-Roman era as if it were yesterday! From one ride to the next, you can explore the Celtic world at two major sites: the oppidum of Bibracte-Mont Beuvray (classified as a 'Grand Site de France') and its mega-excavation site, and the Alesia Museopark. Between workshops and immersive exhibitions, don't be surprised if your teenagers suggest picking magic herbs in the thousand-year-old beech forest of Mont Beuvray.

Visit Burgundy (External link)