However, it still did not take away from the fact that Paris is nowhere near the coast and a lot of people like the idea of relaxing on the beach or playing different sports they would not normally do, and so on the initiative of the Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe, that the Paris Plage idea started to become a reality.
The very first Paris Plage or Paris Beach was created in 2002 in the heart of the city, when the banks along the River Seine became traffic free, closing roads such as the Georges Pompidou Expressway and was only accessible to pedestrians.
Spanning three kilometres from the famous museum in Paris called Musee du Louvre through to the Pont de Sully bridge and incorporating parts of the existing River Seine quays on the Right Bank, the first stage was to import tonnes of sand, then a stage was set up for open air concerts and deckchairs were laid out for people to relax. It also included a swimming pool and other tourist attractions such as French boules courts, a climbing wall, areas for roller balding and more, along with refreshment areas and kiosks.
After the very first successful year of the Paris Plage, the Parisians and tourists were demanding the same thing happen the following year, and as the years have gone on it became known as the Paris Plages or Paris Beaches.
This is due to the fact that another area was also set up on the Left Bank of the River Seine by the Port de la Gare and the Biblotheque Francois Mitterrand, and this is also close to the Piscine Josephine Baker floating swimming pool along with the Dame de Canton, which is an authentic Chinese Junk boat that has a restaurant and is one of the unusual music venues in Paris.
The Paris Plages Beaches in Paris continued to expand and in 2007 another area was transformed for this summer spectacular. It is located at the Bassin de la Villette, which is the largest artificial lake in Paris that links the Canal de l’Ourcq to the Canal Saint-Martin. Located in the 19th Arrondissement this is set up close to the Parc de la Villette and by the historical building and monument in Paris called La Rotonde de Ledoux, which is now a brasserie, bar and restaurant in Paris right by the Bassin de la Villette.
And this particular area features a true water sports complex with rowing boats, kayaks, pedalos and dinghies, not forgetting the quaint quayside restaurants and the boules courts that are in the area, and again tonnes of sand along with deckchairs are laid out.
People who are on holiday in Paris during the Paris Plages event can also take advantage of lots of other activities that are organised in the different areas such as taking an aqua-gym class, playing beach volleyball, taking a tai-chi lesson or even borrowing books for free at the Bassin de la Villette event.
But lazing in the sun is another major factor, where you can relax while your children build sandcastles, or perhaps in the shade of palm trees or under an umbrella is more to your liking, while you let the older children enjoy activities such as trampolines, beach games, the water jets for cooling down, etc.
The city also lays on a free WiFi service in these areas and there are numerous outlets for ice creams, snack and drinks, not forgetting that live music events and concerts are held on the temporary stage as well.
Access to the Paris Plages Beaches in Paris
Every year the Paris Plages event takes place from around the 20th July for four weeks and it runs from 20th July through to the 18th August in 2013, and all of these temporary beaches in Paris are open from 8am through to midnight, so you can even enjoy relaxing under the stars.
There is something here for everyone to enjoy while you are on holiday in Paris and even families with young children are not forgotten, as there are dedicated spots that have special childrens play areas, along with baby feeding and changing facilities. So if you wish to do something different on a really hot day, then get along to the Paris Plages for an unusual day out that has become one of the major tourist attraction in Paris every summer.
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Paris Plages Beaches in Paris
Considering Paris is nowhere near the coast, the idea of creating beaches in Paris was rather unusual, yet started in 2002 the concept has expanded and now attracts even more people every year.
About the Paris Plages Beaches in Paris
Although many places close during August and lots of people escape the hustle and bustle of the city, not everyone is so lucky to be able to venture off to the coast and have a relaxing holiday, although getting there used to cause major traffic problems, just trying to get out of Paris.
But the city has always tried to consider its residents as well as the millions of tourists that come to the city of lights for a holiday, which is why there are some fabulous parks and gardens in Paris to experience, along with many other tourist attractions you can find around the city.