Couple (51 & 49) - looking for a bit of peace, but with a few mod cons, and something to do. Particularly flat, easy, cycling. Close by!).
Arrived Sun 7/9, departed Fri 19/9 = 12 nights
After making our French camping début (Dordogne) 12 months previous, which went superbly well, we decided 'to risk' trying somewhere different. This site is massive by our usual (UK) standards, but not compared to many in this area.
We arrived unannounced (i. E. Didn't book) around 11am on the Sunday morning, with the plan of bagging one of the exposed (to the sun) massive pitches to the west side of the site. Unfortunately, as we were now in to the last two weeks of their season, we were informed this half was now closed, and we were shown on the site plan where was available. We strolled off to take a look. And were far from disappointed! We chose a pitch (107) which offered morning and early pm sun (In the shade by 4pm-ish) that 'measured' (paced out) at least 15m wide x 12m deep. And all covered in grass! We have 7m x 4m tent, 4m x 3m tarp, and a 7 seater car. And could have fitted two of everything on the pitch!
Having subsequently toured the site, I'd say this was average. Smaller, and shadier, by the lakes, more open, roomier and less shade on the west side, when it's open.
The welcome was friendly, helpful, and the Dutch staff spoke perfect English. First impressions were somewhere between excellent and superb. And they never wained throughout our stay!
Small but useful shop (With small chest freezer for campers' cool blocks). Nice little bar with outside tables. The restaurant looked very nice, (but in all honesty, despite planning on taking advantage of it, we just seemed to be so busy out and about, we failed to find time!) The pool was beautifully clean, (and heated!) and clearly quiet at this time of year. Large unisex facilities block was well laid out, always clean, always accessible, and never without hot water. Most of our neighbours were Dutch, and most were in caravans and awnings. And most seemed to be returning customers. Which speaks volumes!
There was little to no evidence of evening entertainment. Or many children, to be honest. September is a GREAT time to camp!
Location-wise, the site is rural, down it's own country lane, but the local village, Coex, is about 3mins by car, 10 mins max by cycle (quiet roads or off road tracks). Bank, Supermarket, a couple each of Bars and Boulangeries/Patisseries, and a takeaway sandwich/burger bar.
We spent a day cycling around the nearby Lac du Jaunay, and had a nosey at the other, some might say, ' more popular' local holiday parks! They all looked great for families, but we are convinced we chose the right site for us!
Further afield, the coast can be reached in less than 30 mins by car (Saint Gilles Croix de Vie), from where, you can cycle North or South, along the coast, as far as your legs can take you. And mainly away from the traffic. Perfect! We ended up cycling every day, and covered a total of 135 miles. With uncountable stops for refreshments, of course! Visited every resort from St Jean de Mont to just south of the wonderful Les Sables-d'Olonne. And loved every inch covered!
One tip. Grab some picnic snacks from the boulangerie in Coex, and cycle out to the lesser known Lac du Gué Gorand for lunch by your own private lake! Heaven!
Oh, and certainly wait for the tide to go out and cross the Passage du Gois from Normoutier back to the mainland (We cycled both ways on the dried out road. Then went back two days later, and drove across, waiting for the tide to ebb away, as we headed the queue across! Highlight of the holiday for Mrs M!
Weather-wise, we certainly struck lucky. Sunny and 28 degrees every day, 13 degrees every night. And 3 showers totalling about 18 minutes. 7 in the early hours (still in bed), 8 late one evening (Sat reading under tarp), and 3 whilst we were out on our bikes!
This was not a perfect holiday by any means. We didn't find time to cycle along as much of the coast as we'd hoped, and still need to reach La Rochelle and the Ile de Ré amongst others, and didn't even get close to seeing the wetlands of the Venice-Vert, in The Marais Poitevin.
Due to those disappointments, and the desire to return to many already now visited, I think we'll be back pdq. And I see no reason not to join those other returning visitors, to this wonderful camp site. See you all Sept 2015!
We stayed at this delightful campsite for 2 weeks in a touring caravan. The setting is lovely, very rural and quiet, but easily accessible, and within a short drive of some superb beaches and larger towns for supermarkets, banks etc. The fantastic Puy du Fou theme park is about an hour's drive.
When we booked we were a bit restricted on choice of pitch as we were travelling with friends so we needed 2 neighbouring pitches. As a result the pitches we had weren't the best. They were in a muddy, waterlogged field very close to the main playground and weren't particularly attractive, but that was not the norm. We had a good look round the site, and most of the pitches are fantastic. Very spacious and either set round the lake or in small fields with their own little play areas. There are a few shower and toilet blocks dotted around, some newer and better maintained than others, but all clean and with toilet seats and toilet roll (a bonus in France).
The atmosphere on the site is great. Very relaxed and the staff are welcoming and helpful. In particular, Yolande helped us out with making bookings for our dog to visit the vet (just routine) and with booking him into a suitable local kennels so that we could visit Puy du Fou (the on site kennels were full).
For dog owners there are some lovely walks on the doorstep of the campsite, with a path that runs all the way round the outside through woods and fields. The area is also very good for cycling and you can rent bikes on site. The beach at Brem sur Mer is dog-friendly, and great for surfing or for kids to play in the rock pools when the tide goes out.
Unfortunately the weather wasn't great during our stay. With several rainy days, it did become a bit of a problem that the entertainment on the site was primarily based outdoors. Maybe we were unlucky and it's usually much warmer and sunnier, but it would be nice to have a couple of indoor options to keep the kids amused! In particular, the table tennis tables were difficult to use as they were in the very exposed sports field, so the wind made it pretty much impossible to play! They really need to be moved somewhere more sheltered, or a shelter built over them to be practical.
The swimming pool however was a big hit, with 3 waterslides, lots of comfortable sun loungers and lovely warm water that meant the kids could continue swimming even when it was quite cold outside!
We ate twice in the restaurant. The food wasn't gourmet cuisine but enjoyable and plenty of choice to suit all. The best thing is that kids get to eat free from the kids menu! There is also a takeaway offering pizzas and various fried foods which was useful for times when you don't feel like cooking. The bar and outside terrace were also delightful when the sun shone and reasonably priced.
The campers seemed to be predominantly Dutch and British. The site is owned by a Dutch company so the kids club staff were all Dutch and had limited English. It didn't stop our kids joining in though, and they particularly enjoyed the waterslide races and the nightly mini disco. There was a good mix of activities on offer, with stuff for older children and teenagers as well.
Despite the weather we very much enjoyed our stay on this site and would definitely recommend it. Next year we plan on going further south in search of the sun, but if we do come back to this region we wouldn't hesitate to book this site again.
We stayed a week during August in our tent on this beautiful site with our 2 kids aged 6 and 3. Pitches are mostly enormous, there is a choice of sun or shade, many play areas dotted around, good toilet facilities, a good but small shop, clean everywhere, a great pool and slide, nice staff, nice people camping, a lake and pond, a huge playing field to also camp in, although this is also where the circus came one night. Mostly Dutch, then Brits. Activities for kids. All low key. Campsite is tucked away but a 5 min drive to the superU in Coex.
Best things are;
- the space of the site. Pitches are incredible, over 150 square metres (mostly), It felt open, calm. Likewise with La Guyonniere nearby, which we stayed at after and the kids loved because of all of the activities and commerciality of it.
- the calmness and safety of the site, the kids went off and played and loved it. There was no loud bar/music/bad entertainment at night, all low-key and relaxing.
- the facilities are very good and very clean, even in the daily, pouring rain we experienced.
Would recommend this site to families with young children and would return, definitely. The Dutch know how to camp without scrimping!
Went with our 13 & 12 yr olds, who loved this site. It had everything we wanted without being loud and cramped as you get from some campsites closer to the coast. Pitches are massive. Variety of sun and shade as most are divided with mature shrubby.
Good mix of families around 3 dutch to every 2 english and can say that we met some lovely people during our stay, we were all very sad to leave & are looking to book again next year. Our main reason would be the overall feel of the site, RELAXED. Despite going in mid August, we found that the site felt empty despite being quite full because of how spacious it is. The staff are all lovely and very helpful. Nothing is a bother and they speak english and dutch very well indeed and made you feel at ease from the minute we arrived despite arriving a 11pm after getting lost just 10km from the site. Beware the signs are not that brilliant to the site once you leave the A87. Within minutes of arriving, a lovely dutch lady appeared with a gas lamp to assist us in pitching our tent in the dark.
Our children really enjoyed the pool with slides and sat & ate chips from the takeaway in their swimwear in the sunshine for just over 2euros, made MY holiday anyway. With most days being around 26-28degrees, we enjoyed staying around the pool during the day, and then a little light fishing on site in the evening saved money for days we ventured out. We tried the takeaway pizza, chips and cappucinos (lush). Did not try restaurant, but many did.
Brilliant on site entertainment for early years upto teens, every night there was a FUN2DANCE at 7pm and craft etc during the day, but some activities including archery for 10 yrs plus for older kids for a fee (7euros). Some activities were off site and slightly more cost, but lots were on site and free such as evening swim.
Surrounding area is beautiful and less commercial than seaside resorts, such as St Jean d Mont (although it has a beautiful beach). Local beaches such as Brem sur Mer are very good for bodyboarding. Local market in Bretignolles sur Mer was particularly good.
Puy du Fou was spectacular and within easy reach from the site (1hr drive away). Apremont just up the road is very french and a trip in a canoe won't take an hour and half, as advertised, but is still worth 25euros (for family) for the lovely views and the experience.
Most of all, we enjoyed that there was no late night noise stopping you from sleeping as you can often get from large sites when booking in August, peaceful enough to get a good nights sleep, but enough on during the day to keep us all happy & entertained.
All in all, a lovely site, very clean and well kept, most of all very friendly, relaxing and fun. Can't wait to rebook, which we have never done before.
Amazing, I don't know what else to say. This camp site is the best we have ever stayed at, and only the second campsite for which I have been moved to leave a review.
The pitches are quite literally huge. Our tent is huge (Vango Kura 800)and it would have fitted three times on our pitch. Facilities are plentiful and incredibly clean and modern. The pool was great, never to busy despite the campsite being full when we visited. Staff were welcoming and spoke excellent English. Other campers were predominantly Dutch, with some English families thrown in, and in spite of language barriers the kids quickly made new Dutch friends and found innovative ways of communicating.
I loved the family atmosphere here and the ban on all food and drink around the pool means that this site will never attract those undesirables who want to spend all day drinking and ignoring their kids.
The food in the restaurant left something to be desired - a bit too 'fried' for my liking, but as kids ate free it was relatively cheap and makes for a reasonable meal on those evening you just cant be bothered to either go out or cook. Fresh bread and croissants etc are delivered at 8am each morning which meant breakfast was never a dilemma
Our kids really got back to nature, catching toads and crickets, fishing in the lakes - they didn't seem to mind that they didn't actually catch anything.
We thought we would use some of the kids club activities but we didn't in the end, we were just too busy having fun. But the kids loved getting their kids club card and getting it stamped for free drinks and donuts. Each Friday evening the brochure for the following week's activities is delivered to your tent. We were lucky enough to be there when the circus came to the site. A proper small family travelling circus
The region has great attractions. Our kids loved the underwater road to noirmoutier and if you don't visit the Puy du Fou you're mad.
Needless to say we have already decided to go back to this site next year - we have never gone back to the same place twice, but this site is really just too good to miss.
If this is typical of a Dutch campsite then the Dutch definitely do it right! This was our first camping holiday to France and it has been a fantastic experience.
RCN is a Dutch company who have campsites in Holland and France. This campsite is owned by a Dutch family. As such, it attracts lots of Dutch families - we never actually met any French families during out 12 night stay!
The staff on reception on our early arrival were so welcoming and friendly, and spoke brilliant English. They gave us about eight pitches we could take our pick from. The pitch we chose was huge, separated by tall hedges with hook up point and drinking water tap inbetween us and our neighbours. Our pitch was very sunny with little shade. Other pitches were very shady, some with views of the lake.
The unisex toilet blocks were never closed for cleaning but were cleaned about ever two hours! I've never known toilet blocks be so consistently clean! Loads of showers, loads of loos with toilet seats and which never ran out of loo paper, lots of pot washing sinks, private wash basins. I never had to queue for the toilet or a shower.
There is shop on site with basic provisions and toys, fishing rods and swimming pool accessories. Fresh baguettes, pains, croissant, pain au chocolats were delivered every morning. There is a good sized supermarket in the town of Coex which was about a 20 minute, flat cycle ride away. Mainly on trails with the last bit riding through the town. You can buy a map of the local cycle paths from reception. My husband used these quite a lot and enjoyed them.
Throughout the summer the 'Animation' team put on daily events which usually started with a handicraft session in the morning and ended with a story (in Dutch) and hilarious dancing at 7pm. My six and three year old loved these. Throughout the day there were bike rides to village markets, events in the pool, table tennis, football tournaments. The events programme (in English) was delivered to our tent on a Friday night showing the following weeks events.
One of the reasons I chose this site was that it only had one pool which didn't look huge. It was perfect. My six year old had the freedom to play with his new found friends (both Dutch and English) but I could always see him when with his little sister. At it's busiest you couldn't really swim 'lengths' but this was so infrequent it was quiet more than it was busy. At around 35 degrees for our first week the pool was a god send!
From the campsite you can cycle down to Lac du Jaunay where you can hire pedalos, canoes etc or just eat ice cream and take in the view!
There is also a donkey sanctuary on the way to the lake where you can hire a donkey for the children to ride on.
We never went to the beach but it's about 10km away.
This site really is a hidden gem and we will definitely go back at some point.
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