Whenever we go on holiday, we try to see as much of the area as possible, and it’s rare that we visit the same place twice. However, when we booked a Eurocamp parc in the Frejus area of France for the second time in two years, I knew there was one place we needed to go back to … Port Grimaud.
It’s the most beautiful little town, known as the Little Venice of the Var because of its canals and pretty coloured houses. I could wander around there for hours, picking out which house I’d like to move into, and which boat I’d like to own.
Our first stop was before we even got into the town, when the boys spotted schools of fish in the water. They sat on the wall to watch them, overlooking the entrance arch to the town. They kept asking if they could catch one, ever though the water was a long way down!
Port Grimaud violet ice cream
We had our next stop planned, as I’d promised the boys a purple ice cream when we got there. I’ll be honest, I’d been waiting two years to have one again, so this was just as much for me as them.
There are a few ice cream shops in Port Grimaud, but we’ve only found one that sells violet ice cream. It’s just inside the town, at the foot of a little bridge before the town square.
I’d never seen violet ice cream before our first visit, and discovered that it’s AMAZING. It tastes like Parma Violet sweets, but better! Every time we go for ice cream somewhere new, our eldest son asks if they’ll have purple ice cream.
The shop has such a huge selection that we ended up debating our flavours for what felt like forever before finally deciding. Me and the boys had violet (of course), with an extra scoop of cotton candy for the eldest and a scoop of pink bubblegum for me, while Stew had mint.
Normal eating patterns go out the window when we’re on holiday, and we make the most of the sunny weather to go all out on ice cream and lollies!
We wandered over to the town square to eat our ice creams, and watched some locals play petanque. I think it’s the same as boules, but they play in the streets instead of on grass. It’s a lovely way to pass half an hour, but don’t get too close as they’re really competitive and don’t appreciate obstacles!
It was so warm that we all ended up with ice cream running down our arms … and with sticky hand prints on our clothes!
What to do in Port Grimaud with children
Being built on canals means that there is plenty to explore in Port Grimaud – from the town square, to the little waterside streets. We ended up on a little shingle beach throwing stones in the water, with pretty coloured houses around us.
From experience, we’ve worked out that we can’t expect the boys to be interested in the same things as us. Old buildings and monuments don’t mean much to them, so we always make sure they have fun doing simple things like trying to skim stones or looking for fish.
Port Grimaud is touristy in the sense that there are ice cream shops, restaurants and a couple of souvenir shops, but it’s not at all commercialised. On the two occasions we’ve visited Port Grimaud, it’s been fairly quiet – even on market day – and we’ve been able to keep an eye on the boys without worrying they’ll get lost in a crowd.
The first time we visited, we wandered around on foot, but the second time we went on a boat trip around the port. It was a chance to sit down and relax, and the boys love being on the water.
We hopped on one of the boats just off the square, and had a guided tour. It was nice to see the town from a different perspective. The boys waved at people as we left the harbour, and pointed out huge yachts as we sailed past.
The boat trip took about an hour, which was just the right amount of time for the boys to enjoy without getting bored. It was getting very hot by the time we got off, so some shade was welcome!
As Port Grimaud is a small town, we didn’t plan to spend any more than a few hours there. There are some restaurants around the square, which are family-friendly, so if we’d hung around for longer we would have popped in one for a pizza.
This time, we chose to head back to the car to spend the late afternoon in the hillside town of Grimaud.
How to get to Port Grimaud
The two times we’ve visited, we were staying with Eurocamp in the Provence and Var regions. We flew from Bristol to Nice with Easyjet, and hired a car at Nice Airport.
The first time, we stayed at the Domaine des Naiades campsite, which is close enough to Port Grimaud to walk. We put our eldest son in his buggy, and carried the youngest in a baby carrier. By the time we got there, both were asleep, and we enjoyed a quiet ice cream!
The second time, we were further away at Holiday Green campsite in Frejus, which is about a 45 minute drive along the coast. The car park we used is just next to the Tourist Information Centre, and was huge and reasonably priced.
To get to Port Grimaud by bus, check out the timetables here.
For more travel and days out, click here