STAY-AT-HOME holidaymakers in Paris can get their toes into the sand from tomorrow with the Paris Plage opening on the Voie Georges-Pompidou with holiday events stretching along as far as the Pont de l’Alma – and a second site at the Bassin de la Villette.
Open from July 20 until August 18, the Paris Plage across from Ile de la Cité and Ile Saint-Louis is 5,000 tonnes of sand plus hundreds of different activities for all ages – including plenty of deckchairs for relaxing.
This is the 12th year the Seine-side beach has opened in the capital and it has been joined by Lille Plage, Toulouse Plages and others in Rouen “Rouen-sur-Mer” and Amiens “Amiens-les-Bains”.
Bordeaux has been open since June 8 but its beach is real enough, as it uses the banks of the Lac de Bordeaux, but others in Amiens, Clermont-Ferrand, Dijon, Lille, Metz, Reims, Rouen and Toulouse are mostly artificial.
Paris still leads the way with activities ranging from mist gardens to pétanque and taï-chi but also takes in the forecourt of the Hôtel de Ville where there are four beach volleyball courts. This weekend also sees the Festival Fnac Live, with stars such as Olivia Ruiz, Féfé, and Jacques Higelin.
The Parc de la Villette goes a bit further with a kart track for ages 6-12 and a Tyrolienne zip line from one side of the basin to the other.
However, all the activities for Paris Plage means that the road along the Seine has been closed and, along with the closure outside the Gare d’Orsay, means difficulties for the 40,000 vehicles that drive along the banks each day.