10 European Family-Friendly Campsites for 2012
Seek solace from the rain by planning your summer holiday. Booking now can mean cheaper flights or ferry crossings, more choice of accommodation and some really good deals.
The campsites have been selected for their close proximity to sandy beaches with gently sloping access to the sea or a lake; on-site facilities for young children; nearby family-friendly attractions and can be reached easily by plane, ferry or car. The 10 campsites also offer families the choice to book a pitch for their own tent, a 2 or 3 bedroom mobile home, a ready-erected furnished tent or a wooden lodge/chalet.
Family Holidays Abroad: These are perfect if you have young children -
Le Soleil, Argelès-sur-Mer, Languedoc, France
Le Soleil is a four-star campsite right on the beach so families can walk there without struggling to cross busy roads. The Mediterranean sea is crystal clear and warm for young swimmers in the summer and the views of the Pyrenees are stunning. Luckily you can reach this area of the south of France via a number of airports, including Perpignan, Carcassone, Beziers and Girona (Spain); Ryanair is the airline to try first for flights to these airports.
La Bien Assise, Nord-Pas-de-Calais
La Bien Assise, a 5-star French campsite located in the grounds of a beautiful chateau, is close to Calais and the Tunnel making it one of the easiest of our featured campsites to reach. The park has a stately feel with the shop and bar located in former stables and the restaurant set in a farmstead and boasting a first class gourmet menu to match. The pool is covered when the weather is iffy and there is plenty to do for everyone in and out. Perfect for anyone trying a camping holiday for the first time.
La Croix de Vieux Pont, Berny-Riviere, Paris
La Croix de Vieux Pont in Berny-Riviere, is situated on the outskirts of France’s capital, and is perfect for a day trip to Paris and Disneyland Paris, France’s most popular attraction. The campsite’s own bus service* can take you directly to the centre of Paris or Disneyland, and pick you up in the evening. What makes this site special is its location, it’s just two and a half hours easy drive from Calais, and its on-site facilities that include a sandy beach, indoor pool and a pony trekking centre. * There is an additional charge for the bus service
Les Saules, La Foret-Fouesnant, Brittany
Les Saules, is 3 star campsite situated in popular southern Brittany, near the town of Quimper. The site, like many on our list, boasts direct access to a sandy beach that overlooks one of the many bays that make this region’s coastline famous. Brittany offers families a wealth of interesting attractions to visit, from the Menhirs at Carnac, Oceanopolis, a theme park based on ocean life, Mont St Michel and the town of St Malo to the north of the region. Access to Brittany is possible from international airports at Brest and Dinard and from the port of Roscoff that offers regular ferry crossings from the UK and Ireland.
Les Blancs Chenes, La Tranche sur Mer, Vendée
One for waterbabes, 5-star Les Blancs Chenes has five heated pools, water slides, play stations and a stylish Jacuzzi just for you. There is almost 15kms of golden sandy beaches nearby, so there are plenty of opportunities for the little ones to build sandcastles. This campsite also offers mobile home accommodation in special family-only areas. If you fancy a break from the pool and beach, the Vendee and nearby Charente Maritime offer a number of excellent attractions, including Le Puy du Fou and Futuroscope. Les Blancs Chenes can be reached from La Rochelle or Nantes airports with relative ease.
Union Lido, Cavallino, Near Venice, Italy
Camping Union Lido, our only campsites in Italy to be featured, is an award winning four-star holiday park with its own 1km soft sandy beach on the Adriatic. The water is shallow, clean and warm and there always lifeguards on duty. Once the kids have tired of splashing in the sea they can bounce around a giant play castle. Venice lies across the lagoon and is easily reached by ferry or bus. The campsite is easily accessible from both Venice airports, Treviso and Marco Polo.
La Linotte, Le Bugue, Dordogne
La Linotte is a quiet 5-star campsite situated on woody slopes with great views of the Périgord Noir region of the Dordogne. This is a good option for small children, with lots of wide open space, small pools and trampolines. The region has many picturesque villages including nearby Le Bugue where there is also Europe’s largest private aquarium. There are several pre-historic sites to explore including the amazing Bara-Bahau caves which contain ancient drawings, and the vast limestone cavern Gouffre de Proumeyssac.
La Reserve, Biscarrosse
Siblu’s La Reserve campsite has been featured for a number of reasons, including its own sandy beach by Lake Biscarrosse, head to the resort of Maguide if you fancy a change of beach scene; La Reserve’s kids clubs are well run and available for children aged 1 to 14 yrs old. You also have at Arcachon, Europe’s largest sand dune, which is great fun to climb for everyone, and the view is spectacular. Biarritz and Bordeaux airports are the gateways to the south west of France with Easyjet and Ryanair offering regular flights.
La Garangeoire, Saint-Julien-des-Landes, Vendee
La Garangeoire is set within the magnificent estate of a private chateau - the owners give guided walks of the grounds, the forest and even the restaurant, where visitors can meet the chef and taste dishes as he prepares them. The forest location means there are trails for walking, cycling and horse riding and there is kayaking and fishing on the campsite’s own lake. Adults can try wine tasting and French lessons and the whole family will love the Crepe Party, where they can buy a jug of batter with pots of nutella, jam and sugar to make their own pancakes.
La Capanne, Tuscany, Italy
The second of our campsites in Italy features La Capanne, a 3-star campsite situated in the Tuscan resort of Marina di Bibbona. This splendid campsite, is a little quieter than other campsites that line this part of Tuscany, and therefore may be more to your liking with younger children. Another element of the campsite that may suit families with younger children are the areas of grass around the poolside; we all know how children like to run around, so the grass should provide you some peace of mind. A fine sandy beach is not far away and will provide your little ones with plenty of space to be creative. La Capanne can be reached from both Pisa or Florence airports. Car hire is a must, especially if you want to explore the Tuscan countryside.