ParcdesLabyrinthesBouncyCastleA 40-minute drive north-west of Aix, the Park of Giant Labyrinths (Le Parc des Labyrinthes Géants) claims to be the biggest planted maze in Europe.

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Located just to the north-west of the attractive old village of La Roque d'Anthéron, the Park of Giant Labyrinths extends over 4 hectares / 10 acres and has 6 km / 3.7 miles of paths planted with photinea ("red robin") and other large shrubs.

Le Parc des Labyrinthes GeantsAmusingly, it's set out in the shape of a cicada, the emblemtic insect of Provence, though this is only obvious when viewed from the air.

Open all year round, the maze is organised around themes which change regularly: recent ones have included an ecological trail inspired by the fable of the grasshopper and the ant, a treasure hunt for "precious stones" and, in 2016, Alice through the Looking Glass.

Children are given a colourful worksheet to guide them along these trails.

The park isn't just about the labyrinths, though. It has a number of other attractions - greatly expanded in the last couple of years - designed to appeal to a good range of age-groups.

These include a bouncy castle, a trampoline, a go-cart racetrack, a tree house, ziplines, a boules court and a "splash water" zone to cool off. A nursery sells shrubs and plants and kids get a small gift on departure.

A family would find more than enough here for a full day out at a very reasonable admission charge. In the unlikely case that you still have time to fill, there's also (for older children) a separate paintball park nearby,

A kiosk sells water and soft drinks at fair prices, but no food (though a microwave is available for you to reheat your own snacks) and there's a shaded picnic area and a large car-park. 

Be warned, too, that this region is open and lacking in shade; it's exposed to the Mistral (the strong north-west wind) and can also get very hot, although misting systems are provided in certain spots.

One atmospheric solution, if you have older children, might be to try the mazes in the middle of summer, when the park opens late on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Where: The Park of Giant Labyrinths, Grand' Rue, 13640 La Roque d'Anthéron. Tel: (+33) 4 42 22 19 15. Website for the Park of Giant Labyrinths.

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