Summer in Paris is an interesting one. Sure, I love it as it’s quieter (Sicily appears to be the hot spot this year), I can ride my Vélib partout and there’s more room along the Seine for picnics. On the other hand it can be quite unbearable. I like the heat and normally 30 degrees is nothing to fuss about but here in the capital city I struggle. No air conditioning on the trains, systems break down due to heat, pollution and apartment living. I’m a lucky one who works in an air conditioned building ! Luckily you can escape the heat not too far from the city.
For the last few years we’ve been exploring the Base des Loisirs in Île de France and surrounding regions. These are areas designated to swimming (either in a lake or a pool), bike riding and sometimes activities such as treetop obstacles, wave pools and kayaking.
The website to check out for all of the details check out the website here. We are lucky to have a car but even if you don’t you can find public transport information on the website, many are very easy to get to!
Some of our favourites have been :
Vaires-Torcy – lovely lake for swimming.
Étampes – wave pool and waterside!
Le Port aux Cerises – another wave pool and waterside.
Cergy-Pontoise – an all round great place for many activities. Lake area for swimming and water slides, kayaking, rafting etc.
There are a couple of rules to remember when swimming in France. Most often for the pool (even outside ones) you are required to wear a swimming cap and no boardshorts. Yes that does mean speedos for men. You will most likely find a vending machine handy and most locations should you need to buy these. There are many men in France sporting the same swimming trunks thanks to these vending machines (my husband included!).