Camping in France: 4 great places & lots of great activities

Zwei Wochen Camping in Frankreich mit unserer Tochter (7): Alle Plätze, alle Aktivitäten, viele tolle (Geheim-) Tipps für Genießer*innen. Jetzt entdecken! People, hurray! The Kleine Prints stories are back from the summer break! And what topic could be more suitable than a detailed holiday review of ours Founder Eva on your wonderful camping in France ?! Exactly, none! Because the corresponding articles about the Camping road trip 2018 and all campsites on the 2018 route You liked last year incredibly well and there have already been some inquiries whether something like this will happen again this year. Eva's answer: Of course! And that's why we're letting you get started right now, as usual with lots of information about the campsites as well as your favorite activities, restaurants & Co .:

Camping in France 2019: the 3 of us on a long journey again!

We started our dream trip 2.0 at the end of June 2019 from Hamburg (from where else). The first stage took us to Düsseldorf for a short family visit. From there, after one night, we drove on to France, to a relatively unspectacular campsite on the Loire, which I do not mention separately here. It was now the beginning of July and just mega hot, a total of 41 degrees in the shade! So we were happy when we could continue our journey the next day and jet into a more pleasant climate: After Le Gurp in the Médoc Atlantique. Le Gurp is a campsite surrounded by wonderful pine forests, recommended to me by dear friends who, as children and adolescents, always spent their holidays there with their families.

First stop: Camping Le Gurp in the Médoc Atlantique (7 nights)

The campsite probably still looks exactly like it did in their memories - nothing seems to have changed there in decades. What I noticed immediately, apart from the beautiful pine trees, was that there were a lot of Germans at the campsite - I personally don't think that's always that great on vacation. But for our daughter Lotta It was of course terrific because there were so many German-speaking children there. All in all, there were many families there on the square in Le Gurp, which we thought was great. We stayed a day or two longer than originally planned because we met such nice people. There were also some young people on the campsite, so there was often a bit of party beating, but everything was within the framework and bearable. As already indicated, the area around the campsite is simply beautiful, with a pine forest on one side (I love pine forests!) And dunes on the other, through which you could walk straight to the beach. Zwei Wochen Camping in Frankreich mit unserer Tochter (7): Alle Plätze, alle Aktivitäten, viele tolle (Geheim-) Tipps für Genießer*innen. Jetzt entdecken!Zwei Wochen Camping in Frankreich mit unserer Tochter (7): Alle Plätze, alle Aktivitäten, viele tolle (Geheim-) Tipps für Genießer*innen. Jetzt entdecken! On the beach in Le Gurp there are old bunkers that are sprayed with graffiti. They make a visually cool backdrop, you can climb on them, and when the tide comes, it looks like the waves wash around the bunkers! It is of course a great playground for the children - one day even one of the bunkers was completely painted over and older children were allowed to spray it again. You can make lovely trips from the Le Gurp campsite. We had our bikes with us (a lesson from our 2018 trips!) and cycled to the market in Montalivet, for example. The route leads straight through the beautiful pine forests for a very, very long time. I thought it was wonderful, Lotta's father found it dead boring ... and we had to push Lotta most of the time because the route was quite long for her (7 years) and the weather was way too hot. But as I said, I thought the tour was fantastic. The market in Montalivet was definitely worth the little trip. There you can buy delicious groceries, stroll around and easily spend half a day. Incidentally, there is a pizzeria right at the Le Gurp campsite that makes delicious pizza, which is also highly recommended! Another great excursion destination from Le Gurp is Soulac-sur-Mer. This is a small place that at first glance looks a bit "deserted". But in a very charming way; and I feel it is on the rise again, there is a lot of construction and investment going on there. I can understand why - Soulac-sur-Mer is just so cute and you can easily spend a whole day there!

Second stop: Le Porge, Camping Municipal La Grigne (4 nights)

From Le Gurp it went a little further south to Le Porge. The campsite there is quite similar to the one in Le Gurp, but offers noticeably more comfort! The sanitary facilities in Le Porge were cleaner, the campsite supermarket had a much better selection (e.g. oat milk & Co.). These are small things, but it is well known that in case of doubt they can make a lot of difference. Zwei Wochen Camping in Frankreich mit unserer Tochter (7): Alle Plätze, alle Aktivitäten, viele tolle (Geheim-) Tipps für Genießer*innen. Jetzt entdecken!Zwei Wochen Camping in Frankreich mit unserer Tochter (7): Alle Plätze, alle Aktivitäten, viele tolle (Geheim-) Tipps für Genießer*innen. Jetzt entdecken! I found the beach in Le Porge even more beautiful than the one in Le Gurp, it is much wider and simply a beautiful natural beach without any buildings. In Le Porge, too, we met great people again - that was the norm for this holiday anyway, and the people around you are so amazing! Lotta quickly made friends everywhere, it was just nice, relaxed, we all enjoyed it. There are also many beautiful things to do and places to discover in / around Le Porge. I was particularly taken with Lacanau Océan, a picturesque town with a beautiful beach, cozy pedestrian zone, great cafes - and absolutely WITHOUT any building sins! I would move there immediately. Lacanau is 13 kilometers north of Le Porge. In Lacanau I can do that especially Banana Surf Café recommend - it's delicious there! From Le Porge we also made a trip to the Dune du Pilat - the largest sand dune in Europe. That was amazing. We climbed up and didn't use the official stairs, which I can only recommend. The parking lot at the stairs was meeega full and the line was very long. We just drove a little further, parked our car on the side of the road, and from there we just hiked onto the dune. Zwei Wochen Camping in Frankreich mit unserer Tochter (7): Alle Plätze, alle Aktivitäten, viele tolle (Geheim-) Tipps für Genießer*innen. Jetzt entdecken! (This is definitely not recommended in the midday heat. We were there around 4:30 pm and I thought that was perfect. The less heat you like, the earlier / later in the day you should logically come there.) On the way to Dune du We ate Pilat in a really great restaurant: La petite maree. There were only French people besides us, so obviously a local insider tip. The menu is very fish-heavy, which makes sense by the sea. The restaurant is nicely decorated, packed and felt like the epitome of the good French life. Savoir vivre, right ?! Another nice excursion destination from Le Porge is the huge Lac Hourtin with the small town of Maubuisson. The lake has a beautiful beach and you can SUP or swim on it, if you like that. The lake is very clean and has lively little fish in it. Maubuisson is very touristy, but it was ok for an ice cream on the promenade. Zwei Wochen Camping in Frankreich mit unserer Tochter (7): Alle Plätze, alle Aktivitäten, viele tolle (Geheim-) Tipps für Genießer*innen. Jetzt entdecken!

Third stop: Demeter winery Chateau d‘Esther (1 night)

From Le Porge we went on to our next stop in the vineyards. We wanted to move towards Switzerland and so we went to the small winery Chateau d'Esther driven, which is about an hour northeast of Bordeaux. We became aware of the winery while we were at the campsite in Le Porge. One day a man drove up there in a small car and unpacked his wine boxes from the trunk to sell wines at the campsite. I went straight over and started talking to him. It turned out that the man is a German who is married to a French woman named Eva. The two took over a winery almost 20 years ago and practically led this winery "back to the roots". That means: The two of them produce wine there, just as they did in the 1970s. Today it is called Demeter;) So: Everything without pesticides, without sulfites and other additives - and the grapes are actually still traditionally stamped with their feet there. Demeter Weingut Chateau d‘EstherDemeter Weingut Chateau d‘Esther The winery is very small, around 23,000 bottles are produced a year, which is really very little. The wine tastes so incredibly delicious. I have seldom enjoyed a wine like this! And, great "side effect" of the natural production: I had no headache at all the next day, which is very unusual for me. The Chateau d'Esther (Esther was Eva's grandmother by the way!) Has a great offer: You can stand there for 20 euros for a night with your camper, shower included, of course, and book a wine tasting and get an insight into the Backdrops of this really ecological and inclusive winery. It is very idyllic there and there are many interesting things to learn about the estate and its economy - so really a great stopover if you are near Bordeaux. Absolute heart recommendation!

Fourth stop: Domaine Les Géorennes campsite in the Jura Mountains (1 night)

Our last stop this year in France took us to the young Jura mountains. There we had the campsite Domaine Les Géorennes peeked out. In retrospect, we were a bit annoyed that we didn't stay there two or three nights longer. Because: This campsite was soooo super quiet, idyllic, the people were super nice and there was a yummy yummy delicious pizzeria on the campsite! Totally beautiful and relaxed everything there. Zwei Wochen Camping in Frankreich mit unserer Tochter (7): Alle Plätze, alle Aktivitäten, viele tolle (Geheim-) Tipps für Genießer*innen. Jetzt entdecken!Zwei Wochen Camping in Frankreich mit unserer Tochter (7): Alle Plätze, alle Aktivitäten, viele tolle (Geheim-) Tipps für Genießer*innen. Jetzt entdecken! By the way, we experienced a very special "highlight" there: suddenly a woman was standing in front of us with a camel. In the middle of the mountains. I thought I had hallus! But no, it was a real camel that stood in front of us in the middle of the young Jura mountains. Unfortunately it was a bit emaciated. that caught my eye immediately. The camel was accompanied by a young woman, a French woman in her early twenties, who was just about to pitch her tent in front of the campsite. We started talking and the woman told me about her blatant plan: She wants to walk from France to Mongolia with the camel she bought from a circus - to bring the camel back to where it belongs. Accordingly, she had very little luggage with her, which I found remarkable. Your goal is to come to Poland in three months, to spend the winter there and finally to walk to Mongolia in the spring. The woman then also explained to me why the camel was so emaciated: The switch from the circus to the trip with the woman was probably a bit stressful for the animal and therefore it did not really want to feed. She also explained to me that camels can lose and gain weight very quickly and therefore recover quickly from such exertions. The next morning we went back to the camel and the mistress and the fact: the camel looked much fresher and fitter! (It must have been grazing all night.) Okay, the anecdote doesn't have anything to do with a camping holiday, hehe. But it's always impressive what different people and wacky (life) stories you come across on such a camping trip! I just love it. Two more tips for the region: There is a great cheese dairy nearby, where you can watch the traditional "Bleu de Gex" cheese being made. That was exciting, especially for Lotta; for them it was like the broadcast with the mouse in live! We also discovered a small soap factory. A slightly older woman, an artist, runs this factory in a small studio in her home. The manufactory is called Savonnerie Ferrone and is definitely worth a visit, of course for soap fans like me. (I did some good shopping there too.)

On to Switzerland

All in all, our camping in France was again a complete success this year, a little adventure and definitely a great break from everyday life in Hamburg. After two wonderful weeks we went on to Switzerland. In the next article I will report everything about the places and experiences there as well as general camping tips and experiences that we gathered on this year's tour.

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Picture credits: All pictures Eva Malawska / Nils Elsner private, except the picture from the photo book, source: Team Kleine Prints using a CC00 picture from unsplash.com

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