Camping in France’s Aquitaine region, on Newstalk July 31st 2019
This week we are looking at Aquitaine in France. This region encompasses the Atlantic coast from Bordeaux to Biarritz and stretches inland to the Dordogne, Perigord and Atlantic Pyrennes.
I’ve picked out a couple of self catering campsites in this region that are great for families and have a personal touch.
How to get there?
Ireland is well connected to this region.
Ryanair offer daily flights to Bordeaux and Biarritz. These cities are lovely for a weekend break year round. This year sees the start of new route to Lourdes opening up the Pyrenes as a summer destination. They also fly via Stansted or Southhampton to Bergerac airport in Dordogne? Which means less than a half hour drive to the campsites we are discussing
Aer Lingus has also daily flights to Bordeux
Ferry is an option and it saves the added expense of car hire. Travel from Rosslare to Cherbourg from €149 for single car + 1 one -way with Stena Line and kids go free!
Irish Ferries have their new ship the WB Yeats going from Dublin to Cherbourg daily.
* * * * * * * * * * *
If you are going to France his summer check out the French Tourist Office website for all that you need to know about the region you are visiting http://www.france.fr/
If you are visiting Aquitaine region for first time, there are huge number of things to do and see, don’t miss out on exploring the Perigord Region. http://www.enjoydordogne.com/
* * * * * * * * * * *
If you are thinking of exploring the Vézere Valley, La Nouvelle Croze a 4 star campsite in Rouffignac, is a great base.
This stunning Family run campsite was set up by the Great grandparents of the current owners, father still works there now the son Quentin runs it.
Lots of French families holiday here, and you can see why people return here again and again.
This is the smallest 4 star campsite, not only in Perigord, but in the entire Aquitaine province which brings advantages and makes it unique for families. A campsite holiday is a great chance to enjoy family time – back to board games, playgrounds and nature trails. Each mobile site has lots of space allowing for ball games, BBQs and traditional fun. The family that went reported back lots of do for all ages..never short of fun in this campsite!
The mobile homes are of an exceptionally high standard, more like a hotel. The doors open out fully onto the deck. Although it is small there is a recent addition of indoor pool with hydro massage jets, spa and sauna room just open this season .
A large outdoor pool and kids pool are also on site. Spa treatments are also on offer, great for mums who want an hour break away.
La Nouvelle Croze in Rouffignac
Prices are starting from 185€ the week in a Standard Cottage until 588€ in very high season.
And for the Premium Cottage (3 bedroom 2 bathrooms) from 440€ until 1290€. Finally, for pitches for tent, caravan or motor home the rate starts at 15 euro.
For more info: www.lanouvellecroze.com
Top things to see:
- The area is stunning, it’s situated in a gorgeous little French town of Rouffignac, which is so pretty and has amazing history. The town was levelled by the Nazis in 1944, and rebuilt. It offers great choice when it comes to food. One gem was Auberge Du Coq, tiny restaurant in Fleurac and only a two minute drive from the campsite, with incredible French cuisine, all locally sourced at a reasonable price. Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.
- Chateaus/Castles : The campsite is central, and seems within a half hour drive away from most of the main attractions in the Vezere and Dordogne valley. This region is called the place of 1001 Castles, every corner you turn there are more stunning chateaus. There are actually 1600 chateaus in total. One stunning town is St Leon De Vezere with cobbled streets, homemade ice-cream shops and flower filled windows.
- Two caves within short driving distance of the campsite Lascaux and Rouffignac, offer incredible history. Seen as some of the world’s oldest caves with prehistoric drawings dating back 16 million years. We felt that despite heavy history lesson, the 7 year old was fascinated by the drawings and had a huge appreciation. A little train takes you through one of the caves so even the 3 year old loved that. €7.50 adult €4.50 for 6*12 yr olds
- Twenty minutes away there is a park called Le Conquil which is fantastic for families for a full day out. It’s based in a beautiful forest. There’s tree climbing for kids and adults, then there’s a 1.6km trek through the forest with realistic dinosaurs dotted throughout. You can learn about them as you go. There is stunning caves hand carved into a cliff face 2500 years ago, with secret caves that you can explore. Really worthwhile and educational in a fun way. All ages would love this. The 7 year old, 3 year old loved climbing, dinosaurs and caves, even 1 year old loved the adventure! The park is €16 per adult . family tickets can be purchased on line as well as activities
Another great option to stay in the Dordogne Valley is at Le Montant 4 star site in Sarlat. It’s a stunning site run by 3 sisters, with all sorts of accommodation ranging from huge gites style 3 bedroom log cabins to mobile homes, to even a stunning cottage that houses 12.
There is lots to do onsite ranging from 3 beautiful pools, including one infinity outdoor pool, water slides, playgrounds, trampling jumping towers, soccer /basketball pitch. Based in forested valley, every accommodation has an amazing and private view. Peak season it has kids club and shows and is very popular with French tourists. It has a really authentic feel and highly recommended.
The family that I sent said that the 7 year and 3 year old loved this site so much and would never have left it if they had anything to do with it.
From here there are lots of great things to do- the must sees are:https://youtu.be/3FJfgRsjFsM
- La Roque Gageac…only 10 min drive from campsite. This amazing town set into the side of a stunning over hanging cliff that dates back to prehistoric times. The best way to see this masterpiece is by boat. The Gabard Norbert offer trips several times a day. Lots of people choose to canoe down the Dordogne River, but if you choose the boat you can sit back and savour the view and the history lesson.
- For something different to do with the kids, there’s a beautiful donkey sanctuary called La Combe aux Anes. Husband and wife Florence and Philippe Bens run a little farm about 20 mins from Sarlat. They do everything from Personalised family treks through the forest, group activities, and even nighttime adventures where kids get to wear torches in their head while they do treasure hunts with donkeys in tow. They also do plays for kids, always with donkey key to the story. For this memorable experience prices start at €12.
- Medieval town of Sarlat, is a 2 minute drive from the campsite. Visually stunning French town with beautiful big square and stunning architecture, chateaus, churches and colourful houses offers beautiful shops and restaurants.
Prices start from: For 5 people prices start in Low Season at 340 per week and go up to 970 in high season.
For luxury chalet that sleeps 6, In low season prices start at 575 per week and go up to 1350 in very high season.
However there’s lots of different accommodation to suit families needs.
Landes and Atlantic Coast.
Moving down the coast a good base to explore this region is at La Reserve Campsite, part of the Siblu chain of campsites and luxury mobile homes. http://www.siblu.ie/
Being in the middle of Aquitaine makes it easy to access the entire region from Landes and this campsite.
- A day trip to Biarritz is an excellent option. This town is steeped in Basque culture and only a short drive from Bayonne the capital of the French Basque region. Biarritz is also a surfers paradise and gets very busy in summer. The public pool is cheap and worth a visit off season.Of course Biarritz played a big part in the inspiration for my first novel Two Days in Biarritz published back in 2008 and available on Amazon for only €2.99 clickheretobuy
- Definitely take a beach day at Mimizan. Close by is the Grand Dune du Pilat – the biggest sand dune in Europe nestled in the Arcachon Bay. To climb this with the family is a must do and great achievement. Taking in the setting sun is a bonus and at the height of summer it is a better option than trying to tackle in the middle of the day. Pay only for parking and this is only €4 for a car for up to four hours
- Food will surprise you across France – expect to find Michelin star quality at pub prices.
Some offers from Eurocamp and features the Landes region in Gascony and the Dordogne;
- Le Soleil des Landes, Gascony- £583 per family in a 2 bedroom Classic for 7 nights, arriving 25th August OR £620 per family in a 2 bedroom Classic Compact for 7 nights, arriving 16th August
- Sylvamar, Gascony– £1,089 per family in a 3 bedroom Classic for 7 nights, arriving 25th August
- Le Val d’Ussel, Dordgone– £636 per family in a 2 bedroom Esprit for 7 nights, arriving 24th August
- St. Avit Loisirs, Dordogne- £851 per family in a 2 bedroom Esprit for 7 nights, arriving 24th August
A full package from Grogan Travel for August is coming in at this great price below
INTRODUCING LE SOLEIL DES LANDES
Le Soleil des Landes is spread across 24 acres of century-old trees yet handily close to a Landaise village. With one of the most stunning beaches on the Côte d’Argent just 5 miles away too, here you can enjoy both the ocean and the back country which makes the area so special.
20 Aug-27th Aug flying Dublin to Biarritz
2 bedroom mobile home
EUR1800 – total cost inc flights, car hire & 7 nights mobile home
Price is based on a family of 2 Adults + 2 Children