An enormous park a short bus or metro ride from Central Marseille, the Campagne Pastré has something for children of all ages, from a tree-top adventure park and riding school to hiking trails.
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There are both cultivated and wild areas and you can ramble through its 112 hectares / 277 acres as far as the massif of Marseilleveyre or to the calanques (rocky creeks) on the coast. You'll also find a snack bar and plenty of green spots for a picnic; lakes, duck ponds and a water garden; and play areas with roundabouts.
Marseille is not a city famed for its squares, parks and leafy spaces, but the Campagne Pastré is one of its "green lungs", alongside the gardens of the Palais Longchamp and the Parc Borély. On a warm weekend these parks are packed with locals out for a picnic or a stroll.
A tree-top adventure playground has four circuits of ascending levels of difficulty for children aged five-plus (adults can play too on the higher levels).
Note that a short safety briefing is required, so make sure it's offered in English on the day you visit.
It's open all year round, though not every day in winter. The hours vary depending on the time of year: click here for the treetop playground opening schedule and here for its tariffs. Light rain won't stop play, but the park may be closed in a Mistral (high wind) or heavy rain.
Payment by cash or (French) cheque; credit cards are not accepted. Website for Pastré Aventure (in French only).
For children aged four and older, horse and pony riding lessons are available at the nearby Equestrian Centre, which has over a hundred animals for you to choose from (riding hats are provided but bring boots). The paddock and clubhouse have both recently been renovated.
At 33 traverse de Carthage, 13008 Marseille. Website for the Club Equestre Pastré (in French only).
The 19th century Château Pastré formerly housed the Museum of Earthenware (Le Musée de la Faïence), but this has since relocated to the Château Borély.
Where: Avenue de Montredon 13008 Marseille.
The opening times (which vary depending on the time of year) are at the bottom of the page.
How to get there: Metro (line 2, stop Prado) or bus (no. 19, stop Montredon Pastré).