Camping in France

Pools with waterslides, fresh baguettes and pain au chocolat each morning, quaint countryside locations, lending libraries, and fully equipped domiciles. This is camping, yes camping, in France! We are a family that has done a lot of camping, but only in the US and Canada. We never knew camping could be so cushy (and yet still really affordable). We have stayed at three different campgrounds that are part of a chain of campgrounds called Les Castels. Many of these properties were once large estates, often including a castle. Check out the website for yourself! We have stayed in one tent-cabin and two little mobile home trailers -which doesn’t really count as camping in our book -but we’re not complaining. We’ve stayed in Provence, the Dordogne region -often called Pèrigord, and the Alps. What a great way for us to see some ancient sites and for me to get some writing done.

We had five nights in a small tent-cabin down in the balmy south of France. We were within 30 minutes of Nimes, 45 minutes to Pont du Gard and an hour to Orange. We were only 2 km from the little town of Sommières. We walked the bike/walk path into town one day. Beautiful. We thoroughly enjoyed the pool with deluxe waterslides and the beautiful oak forest around us -reminded us a little of California. We were the first Americans to ever visit this campground! We crammed in visits to several ancient sites and logged some good pool time.

We spent 14 nights in a deluxe little mobile home next to cow pastures and dense, lush forest at Le Moulin du Roch, our second Les Castels campground. This was to be a big block of time to write and work on curriculum. The time was productive and we were still able see the beautiful countryside and the rich historic sites all around us. Wherever we went, either on a walk or a drive, we came across old chateaus, beautiful old stone homes and caves, caves, caves. What a perfect location for us to visit many important sites of pre-history. Several caves with stone-age art were only a five-minute drive from our campsite. Many of the small towns in the area were established in the middle ages and still look like you’re walking back into medieval times. We also happened to be right in the middle of the land of Foie Gras -famous French goose liver! Our campground had a great playground, pool and library. And even though it rained the majority of our time there, we still had a great time.

The Alps
Our final campround, Le Chateau, in the French Alps is beautiful!! We will have eight nights here. We are just 10 km down the road from the Alpe d’Huez of Tour de France fame. There is no shortage of amazing Alpine views. As soon as we arrived, Sam said, “Hey, they have the right kind of trees here!” Our first time among pines in a long time. More time to work on curriculum and take in some beautiful hikes.

We are so glad that our friends in Milan, the Gils, tipped us off about these campgrounds. I don’t think we could have afforded traveling in France any other way. And the way these campgrounds are, we were able to show up with no camping supplies at all and still get by just fine! We still look forward to camping the good ol’ fashioned way back home, but we will nevertheless never look at camping the same way again.

Camping in France

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