After having organised many birthday parties to indoor playgrounds (hell on earth…), laser games, and paintball games, our kids have a new favourite activity: treetop adventure parks. And I must admit it looks rather cool to climb into the trees and follow different courses. Therefore, I wanted to try it for myself and packed up the brood to visit Les Rochers de Maguelone. This park in Montpellier’s shadow has everything you need to spend an active couple of hours.
Les Rochers de Maguelone offers multiple activities, including laser games, paintball, playgrounds and outdoor escape games. And of course, ‘accrobranche’, the French name for a treetop adventure park. You can buy individual tickets for each activity, but the kids and I wanted the full experience and bought the ‘pass 100% accro’. This gives you unlimited access to the treetop park, plus you can go on the giant zip line (tyrolienne géante) and zipline slide (tobo’tyro). As we were four (Chéri has vertigo) and Oldest is 16 years old, I got us the family package for 109.50 euros. Otherwise, the pass 100% accro tickets are 32.40 euros for teenagers and adults or 27.40 euros for children between 7 and 13 years old. This option is the most extensive one and, therefore, the most expensive. You will find other- cheaper- packages on the website. And all of them include a cicada concert!
All set to go, we were directed to the park entrance, where two instructors gave us our equipment. After watching a safety instruction video and a practice run on the beginner’s course, we could start with the serious stuff. There are courses in different difficulty levels in the middle of a beautiful hundred-year-old holm-oaks forest. Like skiing, the green courses are the easiest, followed by blue, red and the most difficult black ones. As our gear also had a so-called lifeline (the ‘zaza’), I had no stress about kids falling from trees. This indispensable piece of equipment became our new friend and secured so we could climb safely. You cannot remove the lifeline as you have to manoeuvre it past iron obstacles along a cable to keep you attached all along the course. Also, instructors are walking around in case you’re in trouble.
The kids were quick as the wind and hopped from tree to tree. I fell twice (leaving me bruised for a week), and the children encouraged me from below as there was no going back. In the end, we all conquered some challenging obstacles, which was a great lesson in confidence and not giving up! After a couple of runs, it was time for the giant zip line included in our entrance fee. We got a short explanation before we climbed the tower and crossed the valley to the other side. Great fun indeed! And so was the giant slide, which I forgot to take pictures of. Back with our feet on the ground, we had lunch I bought on the spot (choice between paninis and instant noodles). We all had red faces and were sweaty with the effort, but it certainly was a day with a golden touch.