France is an exotic country in many ways, with its huge cultural history, its position in modern Europe and its fashion industry, but actually visiting France can be a different thing. There are countless holiday destinations located all around for everyone, but France has a certain romantic allure to it that frequently attracts couples as a country of love. A moonlit walk along the Seine or a couples ice cream under the Eiffel tower, are images commonly associated with romance. However the south of France can be a great place to take the whole family. Because of its many villas and high quality hotels, France is a great place to take anyone on holiday, but you’ll need to know the best places to go and what to do in France once you get there.
One of the largest attraction points for the south of France is the critically acclaimed Marineland; a huge animal exhibition park located near Antibes in the south of France. Founded in 1970, it started out small and has since grown to become one of the largest animal exhibition parks in the world. As well as a huge collection of marine animals, you can also view a number of large and exotic birds at Marineland. We have compiled a list of some of the most interesting sights to see in Marineland.
Why not get closer to these majestic, ferocious animals, using the shark tunnel? It is 30m long and spans across a giant aquarium which is filled with over 2 million litres of water. You can view sharks right up close as they pass by and over the reinforced glass. It is a great experience for the kids as they get closer than ever before to the big toothed monsters they have only ever seen before in storybooks and on TV.
There are a number of animal performances that occur throughout the day. The killer whale show is housed in the biggest tank in the world, which carries 11 million gallons of water, with a panoramic glass that is 210ft long. Marineland has recently welcomed a new calf in November 2013 into their pod of orcas, bringing their total number up to seven. Marineland also has shows involving dolphins and sea lions, where the animals laugh, dance and perform tricks.
Marineland gives patrons the opportunity to meet with dolphins in a number of open sessions. Each session lasts around 1 hour, with a brief background into the history and biology of dolphins. The last 20 minutes of the session focuses on approaching the dolphins on a sunken deck, under careful supervision of professional trainers. Not an experience to miss!
Marineland is also home to two polar bears, which are not commonly seen in Europe. You can have a bite to eat in the various cafes located around the park, and don’t forget to stop by the gift shop on your way out for dolphin and sea lion memorabilia, to immortalise your trip.
About the author
Claire Cowley is a self confessed Francophile who writes for a number of online travel blogs about her European travels. She has contributed this post on behalf of SFHV, the leading providers of luxury holiday villas across the South of France.