|Enlarge the picture|
The summer transforms Paris. The cityscape dons greenery and the riverside thoroughfares become car-free resorts. The Paris Plages (Paris Beaches) operation kicks off on or around 20 July and lasts four weeks. It began in 2002.
A Seine-side holiday. That, in a nutshell, is what Paris Plages is all about – complete with sandy beaches, deckchairs, ubiquitous ice cream sellers, and concerts for French and foreign guests. Holidaymakers at the Bassin de la Villette (Paris 19) can also borrow books free of charge, play beach volley, take an aquagym class in a mini pool, or kayak around the lake – or, of course just chill and enjoy. The Seine’s banks become pedestrian and the beaches are spread across three spots (Louvre/Pont de Sully, Port de la Gare and Bassin de la Villette).
From the Louvre to Pont de Sully
This was the first beach that opened in 2002. It spans three kilometres through historical Paris, and features a swimming pool, concert stage, and open-air attractions (rollerblading, tai-chi, wall climbing, boules etc.). Refreshment areas, play areas and deckchairs are available for your time out unwinding by the river.
Bassin de la Villette
This is the latest addition to Paris Plages, and opened in 2007 round Bassin de la Villette (Paris 19). It stretches from Rotonde de Ledoux (nearest Jaurès Metro station) to the former Magasins Généraux (in Rue de Crimée) and features a proper water-sports complex (with rowing boats, kayaks, pedal boats and dinghies) alongside quaint quay-side restaurants and boules courts.
Every year, Paris Plages begins around 20 July and lasts four weeks.
All Paris Plages beaches are open non-stop from 8.00 am to midnight.
2011 : Paris Plages starts July 21 until August 21.