La Garangeoire, It just gets Better


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My final part of my three part series on French caravan sites covers the La Garangeoire in Pays de la Loire which is located in the in the hart of the Vendée Bocage in a little village called Saint Julien des Landes.

 

This is a superb site features 60 pitches, including 181 equipped with chalet or mobile-home and some tent /caravan pitches with private bathroom and showers. As I have mentioned before shower blocks are important to campers and caravaners. However on this site I booked a private bathroom with shower / wc and dishwashing facilities. Now trust me this is something special.

 

IMG_4489Private Facilities

 

Having private facilities like this at your own site means no long walks in the middle of the night to the loo or to the showers and to add to that the facilities are even heated. This is clearly glamping at its best. It’s hard to explain what a tremendous difference the private bathroom makes to your pitch if it’s a tent or caravan paying that little extra is really going to make a massive difference to your camping experience.

 

Relax

We all know that holidays are special as they are supposed to be the release valve for the years work so it is important that what ever you do and wherever you go you time should be a relaxing as possible. The staff at La Garangeoire will do their utmost to make your holiday as pleasant as possible. Multilingual receptionists and bar staff are always on hand to give you the best information and advice about activities in and around the campsite and other tourists locations.  Need a doctor, a mechanic, a visit to the vet? They will help you making an appointment and point you in the right direction. The “service and maintenance” team ensure that an incident, or a technical problem, is resolved in less than an hour.

 

If it all goes wrong!

It’s fair to say that many companies make amazing claims about their services but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Not that I wanted to but I had a very serious incident that pushed their staff assistance to the limit. During a visit to a pine forest in another part of France, I didn’t realise I had been infected by a Pine processionary moth – (Thaumetopoea pityocampa)

 

This little blighter can cause a very severe reaction and swelling. And after I had arrived at La Garangeoire, my leg started to swell.

 

The reception staff pointed me in the direction of the local Doctor and made an appointment for me. I got some antibiotics and looked forward to my quick recovery. Sadly the leg kept on swelling and it caused such a problem a vein burst.

What was a swollen leg, turned into a life-threatening situation very quickly and I was loosing a large amount of blood. A difficult situation at any time but this was midnight. A kind caravaner called reception staff and it was the owner of the campsite who was with me in minutes. An ambulance was called and the staff and my amazing wife applied a tourniquet and saved my life.

The staff at La Garangeoire could not have been more helpful and they did everything to assist us before my repatriation back to Ireland, and I owe them a lot of thanks.

 

Facilities
IMG_4498La Garangeoire has it all and here you have the opportunity to play your favourite sport or discover new activities such as angling in one of their 4 lakes, tennis, football, basket & volley ball, horse or pony riding, canoeing, crazy-golf, trampolines, pedal karting and so much more…

There is a spa, yoga, relaxation classes, and a fitness centre to burn off all that cheese and wine, beauty care and a heated swimming pool.

 

Not only does La Garangeoire have all those facilities but they also have two bars, supermarket with fresh bread every morning and some amazing entertainment.

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The evenings at La Garangeoire pass by, and none are the same !

Every summer night there is something to do!During the summer season, there is a wide range of entertainment that will deliver music that is sure to please everyone. Covers of famous rock bands, French songs, jazz, rhythm & blues, African drums and if you’re a musician, don’t hesitate to bring your instrument!

There is also a piano where you will be encouraged to participate.

le lacIf that sounds to lively, then you can learn the secrets of wine tasting and discover French wines with a specialist. Every week during the high season La Garangeoire run a family fun evening. A bit like a fair, they offer lots of outdoor games:  giant wooden games, face painting, rodeo or mechanic surf simulator, duck fishing etc

and in July and August they have “night swimming” every Tuesday evening.

From end of May to the beginning of September, a mini disco is also organised every week and of course the very popular quiz where countries genrally pit their wits in family event for our British and Irish guests. Every week we have a quiz about the culture and knowledge… and in English!

 

Like all the Le Castel campsites I visited the attention to detail was superb and you are guaranteed a great camping experience. And for the “Connected Kids” there are 5 free WIFI areas.

All in all La Garangeoire is an amazing site and one, which I will be returning too without a doubt.

Visit http://www.les-castels.com/.

colours for guidelinesHow To Get there.

If you want to go and try some of the exciting places I have visited then get yourself onto www.aferry.co.uk and book yourself a great deal.

With exceptional prices too.

 

 

 

French Camping at it’s Best

Like so many Irish people who visit France, none of us can be immune from the horrific events in Nice last week.

Having spent a month in this wonderful country recently I thought long and hard whether to postpone these next few articles on one of the most popular holidays the Irish take in France. I decided however that the French need our support at this time and that we should support our friends in time of need. 

Camping in France is big business and there are many sites dotted across the country.Accommodation can vary between mobile homes, tents, luxury safari tents, caravans and luxury pitches with their own toilet facilities. The services and facilities offered at sites can vary wildly so it’s important to know what you’re going to get before you set off.    

Les Castles have 39 sites over France and 30 of them are 5 star rated, and if like me you have been a camper or caravanner, the quality of sites varies enormously.

My second campsite on my French Sojourn, was down near Carnac.

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Standing Stones at Carnac

Carnac is famous for their rows of standing megalithic stones. The standing stones of Carnac are one of Brittany’s greatest attractions. Three fields – Ménec, Kermario and Kerlescan – contain around 3,000 aligned megaliths, which date from 4000 BC.

The granite stones were erected on the spot where they were dug, hence the differing sizes, although it is not known why they were put up; it is thought they had a religious or cultural significance. 

Located opposite the renowned Megalithic site is Les Castel Camping’s La Grande Metairie, once a traditional Brittany farm, this wonderful campsite offers you a superb 5-star experience, which extends over 15 hectares of greenery.

Jam packed with things to do this is a wonderful site for children. The Michelin Camping Guide, selected 6 exceptional campsites in France. And this site is one of them, having received the highest award of “5 red tents”.

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It’s all about Children

If the children are having fun then it makes for a much better holiday for the parents and the activities on this site are endless.

Segway tours, zip wire adventures, high-level tree walks, aquatic park, petting zoo are just some of the activities available.

French holidays are nearly all about the water, it may be a lake, water park or villa pool, but it’s what the children generally want and at La Grande Metairie they go all out to make sure the kids have fun. 

This site boasts a truly fantastic pool complex, sliding down the toboggans, swimming the lazy river, passing under the waterfall, relaxing in the jacuzzi, splashing around with the toddlers in the padding pool or doing gentle lengths in the swimming pool. You can just enjoy the waterpark as you wish.

parc_aquatique_24And whatever  Brittany’s weather may throw at you there’s always the heated indoor pool with it’s own Jacuzzi!

Bordering the different pools you will find plenty of space to relax on a sun-lounger and soak in the sun. Blue-Lagoon bar and terrace is just a “splash” away for a refreshing drink or ice-cream.

Many of the visitors to La Grande Metairie stayed in mobile homes, but there are of course other options available such as caravans, wooden camping pods and tree- top cabins. The Squirrel’s and the Birds’ Cabin.

Those in mobile homes have en suite toilet facilities and many caravans do,  but when on a campsite the most important building is the sanitary block. Such buildings can make or break a campsite and I can tell you that in La Grande Metairie, they know this and provide exceptional facilities.  In fact they are hotel class.

Spotlessly clean at any time of the day, there are piping hot showers, family showers, hair driers, laundry and ironing facilities which were all amazingly clean. Over all La Grande Metairie, is an exceptional site it has everything you need and more for a fun packed family holiday and you literally do not need to leave the site if you don’t want to. If you do decide to go sightseeing then there is lots to see and do as Brittany has so much to offer.

IMG_ 1 1078With prices as little as €9-00 per day for a pitch its great value too.  

Situated about 4 meters above ground, (children must be over 2 yrs. old ) each cabin is built with two bedrooms, and an open terrace.  

Soft beds (for 4 people in one bedroom, and for 3 people in the other), several chairs and tables, you can leave your car in the area provided, and you will be just a few meters away from the toilet blocks. 

grande_metairie_sanitairesIMG_4264I brought my own caravan with me so I had a pitch with water, electric, and an outside fridge, which was extremely useful. I also had a patio set as well. My site was spacious and located close to the shower block and on-site store.

See www.camping-castels.co.uk

 loadImage.phpLe Manoir de Ker An Poul

After three days of fun, I then headed further south to try out Le Manoir de Ker An Poul near Sarzeau. This was a 4 star Les Castel site about an hour and a half further down the Brittany coast and situated about 800m from the beach. Covering three-quarters of the Rhuys Peninsula, Sarzeau is lined with fine sandy beaches.

You can also enjoy the charm of the Damgan seaside resort and the picturesque town of Arzon.

IMG_4399My accommodation this time was a charming little chalet in the style of what the French call a Gypsy Caravan.

This chalet had all the facilities one would require for a comfortable stay on the Brittany Coast.  Two bedrooms and a living area, gas cooker, fridge coffee machine shower and toilet, outside eating tables and chairs BBQ and parasol these chalets are the ideal themed holiday chalet. 

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Le Manoir de Ker An Poul is a beautiful little site with about 300 pitches covering Caravans, mobile homes, and tents. The Manoir de Ker An Poul is a typical Breton architecture. It was probably built in the fifteenth century, although it is difficult to make a precise dating of the building.

loadImage.phpThe building adjacent to the tower entrance was probably built around the same time and has often been altered over the centuries.

Little is known about the use of the building but the house belonged to belonged to De Francheville and CILLART families (called “Kerampoul”).

It is now owned by the Marquis de Gouvello Keriaval. The building has been listed as a historical monument since 1968.

The campsite offers mobile homes with 2 and 3 bedrooms and it boasts a large fully heated waterpark with an indoor pool, an outdoor pool and a third pool with three slides. 

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The campground also offers many activities such as bowls tournaments, sports tournaments on the sports ground, water aerobics, water polo. And for the evening, musical entertainment, theme nights, karaoke … are offered in high season!

This is a slightly more grown up campsite than the one above but no less amazing.

Situated amongst pine trees is it close to a superb windsurfing center just 800m away.

The little village a few feet away offers a great pizzeria and local bar and tabac.

Facilities again were superb and this is a must visit site if you want to feel the breeze and see the ocean.

 colours for guidelines

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