Off-Track Activities – French Grand Prix

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Your guide to off-track activities in Le Castellet, Marseille and further afield. The French Grand Prix takes place on June 22-24, 2018.

Circuit Paul Ricard is situated in the south of France, with Marseille to the west and Toulon to the east. While the track was built in 1969, there hasn’t been a Formula 1 race held there since 1990. But, after a 28-year break, the pinnacle of motorsport will return to the French circuit in June. If you’re headed to the French Grand Prix in a couple of months’ time, then make sure you set some time aside to explore the local area and beyond. Arriving in the region on the Thursday would be a good idea; that way you get to immerse yourself in some French culture.

ATTRACTIONS NEAR CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD

  • OK Corral is a family-friendly wild west themed amusement park, nestled in the countryside just a short drive from the track. The park features stunt shows, roller coasters and a water park. The park caters for all and has a mixture of tame amusements and rides that would satisfy the biggest thrill seekers. OK Corral is open from 10:00 until 18:00 and offers free parking. There is also the option to stay on-site, so that’s always an option is you’re still searching for accommodation for the French Grand Prix.
  • Kingdom of Trees is another attraction that is also close to Circuit Paul Ricard. One of the biggest adventure parks in Europe, there is plenty to explore. Here, you can become the king of the trees as you climb high above the ground and experience high-adrenaline zip wires. In fact, there is a course made up of just them, the total length being over a kilometre long. For the true daredevils, there’s the Forest Jump, a free-fall plunge from a height of 10m. If you don’t have a head for heights, then there are plenty of hikes you can do around the forest which differ in length and difficulty.
  • Sainte-Baume is another area abundant with culture and history. While the area’s name comes from the mountain ridge that runs through it, the small villages in the area offer plenty of cafes and independent shops to explore. One of the main features of the area is the grotto, which is also labelled ‘The Rock of Mercy’. It’s renowned for being one of the most holy places in France, for it was believed to be home to Mary Magdalene, and has been the place of worship for centuries. The only way to reach it is by foot, and it is a 45-minute hike from the nearest parking lot.

NEARBY CITIES

  • Marseille is the biggest city in the Cote d’Azur region of France with a population of over 850,000. Unsurprisingly, there’s plenty to do, especially if you are staying nearby. The town is rich in heritage and features an old port that was founded in the 6th Century BC by Greek settlers, a castle (which was previously a prison), a cathedral and many museums to visit. Museum highlights include Fort Saint-Jean and Musee d’Histoire de Marseille, where you can find out all about Marseille’s colorful past for an admission fee of just €6. Marseille has a diverse nightlife, so if you are looking for somewhere to celebrate after the race, this is the place to do it! Marseille has an endless number of bars, restaurants and cafes, many of which overlook the Mediterranean sea or the harbor filled with luxury yachts.
  • Toulon is often considered less touristy than the rest of the towns along the French Riviera, which can make it more appealing if you want to escape the hustle and bustle. The town is popular with locals for its shopping and restaurant culture. So if you are looking to eat like a local, here is the place to come. Les Tables de la Fontaine is considered one of the best restaurant for French cuisine in the area. Prices in Toulon are also considerably cheaper than in neighboring Marseille, which makes it even more attractive to visit.

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About the Author ()

My name is Helena and I am a motorsports enthusiast. Alongside this, I have a passion for travel and exploring new destinations. I study Journalism at City, University of London and hope to continue with writing after completing my degree.

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