2015 France Travelogue

French campervan travelogue 2015

Beautiful post-storm sunset at a France Passion site near Mont Brouilly in Beaujolais

Highlights of this amazing Grand Tour for me were (including the amazing number of miles we did) the long time away (although not always off work for me); the amazing transitions from region to region which in themselves bring such amazing variations in food, drink (wine of course but also aperitifs and soft drinks – sirops, Orangina, chocolate milk, etc.) and culture (Spanish eat later and sleep longer).

I love the van in a way that the Mrs & Lola will never understand. I guess it’s been an ambition of the last 2 decades to do a trip like this again and it’s been so nice to see parts of Europe we’ve not yet seen. Being in the van so long has had it’s bad moments too but only really because of the girls finding it hard to adjust to small spaces and moving around inside in a way that suits all occupants!

I’ve loved the combination of campsites (with very mixed results but always fascinating), wild camping (not enough in my opinion but sourcing each one comes with a dose of trepidation that is not always present in all parties(!)); France Passion sites (we cannot recommend France Passion enough …and it turns out that you don’t need an updated book each year to be welcomed with open arms!. You have to be ready to expect a real mixed variety here though); and the French system of camping car ‘aires’ which are simply an excellent idea that us Brits will never adopt (t’s something about the French pride, not only in their passion for travel (and particularly the campervan) but also their towns and villages that allows this system to exist. They are a little bit like Best Western hotels – always different, quirky and varied, but fulfil the purpose of a good nights sleep!)

The week in the Valras apartment was a great idea and our stop over with Anna & Charlie were also great, but for me being able to attend Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Festival in Sete with my good friends, and celebrating Jane’s 50th birthday really crowned it.

Recommendations for you my dear reader would definitely be the very west of the north coast of Galicia (the amazingly named Costa da Morte – Coast of Death – and the west coast below Finisterre – the Rias Biaxas. Remote and unspoilt but with great countryside, amazing coastlines and wonderful wine with nice towns to visit. We also loved Biarritz & the Luberon in Provence.


You can read part one of our 6 week Grand Tour here.

(Part Two – in reverse chronological order:)

Fri 31st – Dieppe ferry home at 18:00

We were delighted not to be doing the Calais-Dover crossing as we’d heard from home that the situation with immigrants had led to lashes and all sorts of nightmares at Calais and an amazing 2,000 lorries stuck queued up on the M20 on the Dover side! So after a stroll back down to the pretty front for pastries, bread, coffee and a spot of early shopping for someone’s birthday next week (ahem!) we drove the brief distance along the coast to Dieppe on some lovely straight coastal D roads.

Dieppe has a lovely fishing and leisure port with a nice harbour to stroll along and many dining options. I couldn’t resist the mixed sea food platter and a leisurely lunch ensued. It also has a good play area along the beach for kiddies so an after lunch play ensued for Lola.

We were first in the queue for the 6 pm sailing and had a pleasant cruise back home into the sunset.

What we liked:

  • missed the battle going on at Calais with the immigrants
  • avoided Rouen to get here
  • Dieppe is a nice town for a visit and Newhaven very easy to get home from

What we didn’t like:

  • ferry was basic with very poor facilities and eating options for kids

Campervanman Star Rating: stars-3.5 3.5/5 (but we’ll definitely be using this route again)

Thurs 30th – Aire de Falaises, Veules de Roses, Normandy – 5,757kms

We packed up the last bits in the sun and were off by 9.30 saying goodbye first to the Cher and then the Loire at Tours where we ground round through the industrial suburbs and up onto the A28 peage north. The roads were clear and good, but, as we didn’t leave the peage until Rouen, cost us €55! We avoided Rouen by heading over the Seine on the Pont de Bretonne which really is a recommended alternative route as Rouen can be such a nightmare. Circumnavigating Yvetot to get back to the motorway we found an enormous L’Eclerc where we decided to top and spot about £150 on ‘coming home provisions’! This is an annual tradition leaving France and we’re getting better at making what we buy pretty much last a whole year! I’m sure this shop is no different, but we did forget to get our favourite sparkling wine – Kritter. Maybe tomorrow!

Tonight we simply wanted to be as near to Dieppe for tomorrow’s evening sailing back to Newhaven, so we headed due north to the coast to check out a couple of free/cheap aires. The one at the pretty little town of St Valery en Caux would have been sufficient but it was very busy and cheek by jowl so despite the promise of crepes and ice cream in town we decided to drive on along the coast towards Dieppe and instead stopped in a free grassy car park overlooking the sea and the pretty little coastal village of Veules de Roses.

A stroll down to the beach ensued along with play in the kiddy-packed play area on the front and expensive demi-pressions at the Victor Hugo looking the bay. Poulet roti on the picnic table next to where we’d parked the van ensued, and we even caught the best sunset of the whole trip from here.

What we liked:

  • sea & sunset view
  • free!
  • lovely village to stroll down to

What we didn’t like:

  • lack of security (but this really wasn’t an issue)
  • no facilities apart from poubelles

Campervanman Star Rating: stars-4 4/5

Tues 28th > Wed 29th – Camping Le Moulin Fort, Chenonceau – 5,350kms

We left this great spot only disappointed with the weather.

Chenonceau is just a short hike through the Forest D’Amboise but meant the inevitable supermarche stop off. Then we were on down and passed the entrance to the Chateau Chenonceau, through the pretty little village and over the River Cher where we found the 3 star English-run Moulin Fort campsite.

Pitch 13 was lucky for us, that is until it started to rain. This was of course only after we’d set off on bikes for the chateau leaving the skylight open! It was lovely being back at Chenonceau. My 3rd or possibly 4th visit. It’s the 2nd most visited castle in France after Versailles so our late afternoon timing was well planned. Bringing our macs was also well planned, as, whilst we took our time strolling through the kitchen garden and pausing for delicious ice cream, the rain set in. It wasn’t a show-stopper but a disappointing, English-summer end to the trip.

We sat in the lovely, and bustling campsite bar-snack on our return to dry off and douse down with a ‘pression’. On our return to the van we discovered again that we had a drip, and despite me draping an emergency tarpaulin from the top box over the front of the van roof I had to sleep with an extra towel and saucepan just in case!

We had a lovely time here – a play area and lots of English kids for Lola; a swimming pool; a chance for daddy to get his canoe in the river and paddle right up and under the chateau which was excellent; and a lovely evening cycle along the tow path right up to the other side of the castle – something you surely can’t do for free anywhere else.

What we liked:

  • nice riverside location and pleasant bar & cafe
  • easy access to Chateau Chenonceau
  • lots of English families with kids for Lola

What we didn’t like:

  • limited shop
  • not much else to do in the area for cyclists and campervans
  • not cheap

Campervanman Star Rating: stars-4.5 4.5/5

Sat 25th > Mon 27th – Camping L’Ile D’Or, Amboise, Loire – 5,328kms

It was amazingly a quiet night on this busy aire so we had our usual leisurely start and carried on round the Loire on this final leg of the trip.

The eastern Loire is actually pretty boring unless you are touring chateau to chateau. The landscape is flat and the crops in the most part are corn. The odd castle graces the skyline and the road occaisonally borders the river but otherwise there is little to stop you jumping on the peage between attractions. However, having forgotten all this, we took D and N roads all the way to Amboise, pausing only briefly to marvel at Chaumont and it’s dominant castle.

The municipal campsite at Amboise is on the island, the Isle D’Or, that is connected by the main bridge over the Loire. The castle is directly across the river from here. It’s a simple but large campsite that now also has an aire adjoining (if you don’t want to stump up the extra few euros a night for the security of the campsite). It’s a great spot. I am convinced that I camped here with my family as a child as I have memories of walking one wet summer holiday from the tent across the bridge and up to the town.

We’re here for 3 nights so we requested a more shaded spot than the one given but quickly pulled onto firm level grassy ground and made our full camp. even though it was now cool enough to cook in the van we set up the outdoor cooking facilities too. Few other motorhomes in this, the designated motorhome area, had decided to do the same and as it turned out many were fairly transitory rather than using this as a permanent base.

The evening views across the river to the town and castle are a delight (see photos) and either the stroll or the cycle over to the little town are also quick and easy making this a really good based for a campervan visit. We strolled out on the 1st night and had decent gin and tonics at a busy little bar facing the castle across the river; strolled over to the decent market along the opposite side of the river bank before a trek up and around the wonderful castle; and cycled around the back of the town and into the little shopping streets and cafes below the castle wall.

As in France you always stumble upon some attraction, and here it turned out to be the 500th anniversary of King Francois 1st’s coronation! Throughout the town over the 2 days of our visit all manner of re-enactments (some pretty impressive sword fights included) occurred with many a procession and hundreds of people involved in full on old school regalia. Tres French.

We had rain here, and disappointingly we discovered a leak that I had never had the opportunity to address and it was bad enough to soak through the loft bedding, the bed cushions and through to the downstairs bed. Quelle horreur! It was bad enough to warrant the heating to be put on as we needed to dry everything out and sharpish. We actually quite enjoyed feeling the warmth that we’d left behind with the Rhone again but of course it was required for other reasons!

What we liked:

  • very convenient for town
  • cheap but peaceful despite the size
  • great views across the river to the castle

What we didn’t like:

  • poor security
  • poor facilities (to be expected on a municipal site)

Campervanman Star Rating: stars-3.5 3.5/5

Fri 24th – Briare Camping Car Aire – 5,145kms

It was a sluggish start after the home-brewed liquirs, Frangelico, and of course trying our best to defeat a 5 litre Vrac of Gigondas! However both parties had to head out, so after a lovely breakfast in the wonderful kitchen we turned the van around on the lawn and once again started our days’ slog.

And today it was along another river, one we’re perhaps more familiar with, and one which flows east to west rather than north to south – the Loire. The temperature dropped and dropped and the clouds rolled in. It was 10 degrees cooler than 2 days ago. We didn’t get too far before we decided to pull up on a camping car aire (for a free night) in a pretty little town called Briare-sur-Loire where the Loire canal goes over the river on a bridge. Lola couldn’t believe it!

It wasn’t exactly a pretty parking spot but we were beside trees on grass and near to the canal. Amazingly too it started to rain! Zut alors. It was less refreshing that the shower at beaujolais as with it came with a further drop in temperature.

What we liked:

  • convenient for the canal
  • pretty town
  • shaded and part grassy

What we didn’t like:

  • a little too far from town to stroll with Lola
  • more of a car park really
  • very expensive local cafes

Campervanman Star Rating: stars-3.5 3.5/5

Thurs 23rd – Chez Anna & Charlie, Champellement, Nievres – 5,020kms

The wine tasting was good too. However the Mrs realised that following the beaujolais with more red wine and then Frangelico was perhaps not the best way to prep for a wine tasting first thing this morning and so graciously had just a little sip. I however enjoyed a refreshing white beaujolais of which we bought 2 bottles along with 3 of the same red that we’d drunk the previous evening. Madame was a delight though and spoke very good English. She talked about the terroir and the weather. After a little tour of the premises we were off.

We were to finally turn our backs on the Rhone valley today, and with that came a distinct change in the weather. In fact it’s been a fascinating drive up this way in regards to the way the land, the wind and the sun change as you come north through this route. All the way from Galicia has been interesting for wine in fact. However it’s been dry all over southern France this year, and as madame told us it may be a poor vintage this year as they are harvesting early.

We turned west fairly soon after our drive started today and finally wound up in to the Nievres. Anna & Charlie’s place is tucked away into the hills here in a little hamlet. But first, to end our long drive today, we stopped at a lake called Etang du Merle, where amazingly we were approached by kids that turned out to be Anna and Charlie’s – Bea & Stan! It was refreshing but not as much as Anaa & Charlie’s wonderful welcome at Aux Trois Maronniers at Champellement in the hills of this rolling and remote part of central France.

We decanted wine & cheese and set to enjoying a lovely evening together, AND a real bed!

What we liked:

  • children to entertain eachother
  • impeccable hosts
  • great hospitality (and the use of the washing machine)

What we didn’t like:

  • leaving
  • jealousy of their situation
  • far too comfortable for what we’re used to on this trip

Campervanman Star Rating: stars-5 5/5… sod it, 6

Wed 22nd – France Passion, Vignerons Pegaz, Chartenay, Mont Brouilly, Beaujolais – 4,771kms

It was a pleasant evening with some nice neighbours and some more giant bubbles to keep the various kids at hand happy, but boy was it hot again through the night!. Even in my fan cooled loft bed I woke at 2 and realised that I just had to get out of the van. However on my exit I found temperature equilibrium so I couldn’t even do what I did on that previous night and sleep outdoors in my sleeping bag! I paced, had a naked outdoor shower (!) and eventually, when it finally started to feel like it might be dropping, crawled back into the loft.

We decided we’d had enough, and so the following morning – after madame had told us that it was 38 degrees yesterday – decided to head for my friend Anna’s place up in the Nivers.

Somewhat disappointingly (but after a very good innings trying to remind cool in the south) we plunged north. However, realising once again that France is bigger than we thought, we decided to try a France Passion stop in Beaujolais.

This seemed like a good idea first, but after we’d popped in to look at 5 different options that we rolled back exhaustedly into the 1st one we’d seen ready to flake out.

However this was definitely the best France Passion option in the area. We rolled round the back of the vigneron farmstead and lo and behold a grassy parking spot alongside the wines with a great view of Mont Brouilly appeared! To top this just as we pulled up monsieur ran out and greeted us with a bottle of chilled Beaujolais and the promise of a wine tasting with madame at 10 the next morning! And then the icing on the cake (actually there were a few) it rained and we had the most beautiful sunset after the storm cleared and the monument on top of Mont Brouilly lit up for us to stare at. A great night. Recommend this spot.

What we liked:

  • greeted by local host (with a free bottle of Beaujolais!)
  • rural location & good views of Mont Brouilly (parked amongst the vines!)
  • degustation (wine tasting) right there

What we didn’t like:

  • took a while to find a good one
  • rain (only joking it was great!)
  • very little to complain about really…

Campervanman Star Rating: stars-4.5 4.5/5

Tues 21st – Aire de Toronne, Clansayes, Drone

We’d had a Facebook tip for a better value wine region than Chateauneuf and so headed 30 mins north-east to Vacqueryas (pronounced Vak-eh-rahs). Here we fell into a lovely air conditioned degustacion really well geared up to sell to people just like us! They even had toys to keep Lola happy. Webrought some souvenirs and spent a good half hour working through 6 different reds at the smart stand-up bar. We walked away €200 euros worse off but with many pleasant evenings to look forward to quaffing all this lovely wine (thanks again Will!)

Not wanting to drive to far or to get too hot (especially after a wine tasting) we successfully negotiated some narrow lanes down to a little stream where we whiled away a lovely couple of hours over a picnic an then some splashing around in the lovely shallow pools catching fish and paddling.

There then followed a short cross-country route to the first of 4 aires that we had decided to try and stay on to recoup the cost of the lost night at the campsite. As it happened the first one was ace! We pulled into a lovely shaded grove with nice views down over the fields and were greeted by a very pleasant, if a little too chatty, madame. It was really hot now (again… same as every day for the last 3 weeks!) and we were amazed to see that there was a pool that it looked like we had access too. We did – it was €4 euros extra… she knew how to make money! – but we were then told it was broken. There was lots of apologising and discussion over the heat and how unusual it was and blah, blah, blah… So in the end we stayed at whipped out one of my favourite van mods – the outdoor shower head! Yup – right there on the back of Flo we can plug in a shower and bobs your uncle – a cooling refresher right there at your own back door!

What we liked:

  • greeted by local host
  • rural location & nice views (with swimming pool upgrade option)

What we didn’t like:

  • extra charges for perks
  • really hot that night again!

Campervanman Star Rating: stars-4 4/5

Sun 19th > Mon 20th – Camping Arte de Vivire, Chateauneuf du Pape – 4,491kms

But all good things have to come to an end and so on our penultimate day we started to break camp and pack up. But not before one last evening cycle up to Fontaine de Vaucluse where we again had a lovely ‘traditional’ French evening experience in the shade little square on the banks of the Sourge.

We were off early for a bit of a mission around the Luberon as we dearly wanted to see more of the region but knew we’d be fighting the intense heat that we’d been experiencing almost since Galicia. And indeed very soon the needle was back up into the early 30’s. But it didn’t stop us having the most wonderful French market experience (the best in my view) at the Sunday market at L’Isle sur la Sourge. This pretty little town has a farmers market every day but on Sundays is completely taken over by traders of every sort. Surprisingly we found a shaded parking spot for the van which was only about a 5 minute walk back in – we were early but others must have walked a lot further.

We did all the usual things and (I) staggered back in the heat to the van, only to decide that we also needed a Sunday morning supermarket for the rest of the essentials almost all of which had been depleted after our 5 days stop. We were lucky as we were virtually the last customers to leave before the shutters came down and the giant car park emptied!

After a snack in the shade we were off deeper into the Luberon and to Bonnieux, one of the village-perche in the area, and a focal point for the various excursions in the are that retell the story of the film A Good Year based on the Peter Mayle novel.

Bonnieux is beautiful. Lovely shaded narrow streets and long arches, all cooled by the breeze from the valley below. We had the most delicious sorbet experience before as much strolling as we could manage at this the height of the days heat.

The van struggled and stalled a little as we left but thankfully she found her feet despite the heat and pulled us reassuringly around for the rest of the day. We drove back via the Chateau (La Conorgue) where the main house in the film still stands but it was all gated and barred with both angry dogs and owners on view!

We rounded Avignon and (disappointingly) turned North soon turning off the RN towards Chateauneuf du Pape continuing our trip through the vines. What lovely views greeted us as we neared the town before we turned away down towards the Rhone to our tall plain tree-shaded campsite about 2 mies out of town.

We’d booked 3 nights based on what we’d read online (there aren’t too many options when you need a campsite with a pool) and although the site was peaceful and the pool looked cool when we jumped out it was arse-achingly hot! No breeze at all – very hard to breath – and even after a dip (the pool was almost too warm!) we were left gasping and settled in for a very uncomfortable evening.

We did however manage a ride up to Chateauneuf du Pape the next morning before it got too hot, and what a pretty little town it is. A village really. Perched on the hill with some wonderful views from the little bar that we stopped for coffee in juices in as soon as we’d locked the bikes. We had a stroll, did some degustation (although we didn’t buy anything this visit to the mad madame at La Petit Serre today); Lola even had a paddle in the refreshing font in the square. We decided we’d prefer to stay up here for lunch too and sat and whiled away an hour in the shade of a restaurant on the other side of the square before our return to the 2nd very uncomfortable night.

It was 30 degrees in the van when we settled down to bed at 11.30. Really on the cusp of unbearable even with everything that had an insect screen on it open and the 2 little (now essential) computer fans that I’d mounted in the high top side windows whirring all day and night. We decided to leave and head north to cooler climes in the morning – a day short of our booking here.

What we liked:

  • pool
  • bar area
  • the village of Chateauneuf du Pape

What we didn’t like:

  • not much else to do in the area by bike or in a camper
  • poor facilities
  • the cicadas were their loudest and longest here (9am to 10pm) & the heat was crippling

Campervanman Star Rating: stars-1 1/5

Tues 14th > Sat 18th July – Camping La Coultiere, Lagnes, Luberon – 4,414kms

We had 2 good but very hot nights in Ballaruc. The heatwave that started down in Portugal had spread right up into France and it really would have been unbearable without the scirocco/mistral/insert-wind-name-here that blew calmly all through the night to help make sleep possible. The site was fine but the pool was the only real feature with shops, restaurants and attractions all a drive away.

Today though we were off on our 2 hour drive to Provence – something we’d been looking forward to since trip planning. And we managed to get off early deciding to stop an an enorme geant L’Eclerc on the outskirts of Avignon. We shopped for 5 days worth of eating testing even my ability to pack the van’s fridge! We sailed round the beautiful walled city of Avignon and south east towards Cavaillon and Apt turning north around Isle Sur la Sourge and towards Fontaine de Vaucluse. We followed signposts to Camping la Coultiere and easily found a lovely shaded pitch right along the river bank in this really pretty typical deep French campsite.

We had a proper 5 days rest here. Either chucking ourselves in one of the 2 (albeit small) swimming pools, or, my choice, into the river Sourge. This was a complete delight as there were lovely deep pools of the most refreshing water you’ll ever jump in – just a few miles down from the source (the fifth strongest source in the world I have read). We loved the shade and the breeze, enjoyed relatively decent wifi so that I could put in a couple of hours work a day (yes someone had to pay for the trip!) and even took a kayak excursion along the river on Lola’s request – bliss!

What we liked:

  • the river
  • shower blocks clean
  • lots to do right there and in the area (kids club, canoeing, easy cycle to Fontaine de Vaucluse

What we didn’t like:

  • 2 very crowded small pools and noisey kids
  • the heat
  • the cicadas (and the way they kept getting eaten by wasps!)

Campervanman Star Rating: stars-4.5 4.5/5

Sun 12th & Mon 13th July – Camping Mas du Padre, Ballaruc Les Bains, Herault – 4,296kms

On the Saturday (yes I was still compus-mentis) the girls and Frank came up to join us. We ate in this beautiful town and it’s sheltered streets admiring the river jousting competition in the harbour that forms the centre of the town momentarily. It was however too hot and too busy for them to join us on the beach so we parted for one last night as they headed to the next village of Balarruc and their air conditioned Ibis with swimming pool.

The next morning I said goodbye to my weary festival buddies. A great crew with such ace memories of such a wonderful town and great festival. I started up the van and drove out of my miracle free parking space right on the harbour front and navigated my way to the Ibis where I promptly jumped in the pool and the shower, just 5 minutes before check out time.

Tonight we’d decided to keep it local, both to avoid the driving in the intense heat of the south of France and also to allow us to reacclimatise to the van interior again. The campsite was actually in Balarruc – Camping Mas Padre – so it was an easy drive. We found nice shaded pitch in this convenient but rural-feeling site and set up for 2 nights before heading over to the pool. Before Frank left us we had one last shop and lunch in the local Geant Casino.

What we liked:

  • local host greeted us and was very personable
  • pool & play area
  • quiet, convenient & clean

What we didn’t like:

  • it was very hot… not something related to the place we can complain about but it was very hot
  • mosquitos
  • distance to anything – shops, beach, town, etc

Campervanman Star Rating: stars-4 4/5

Wed 8th > Sat 11th July – Sete, Herault

In 1994 on a 5 month trip around Europe in my then camper van (a Merecedes/Hanomag 508 that you can read all about here) with my then girlfriend (you can read all about our trip here) we culminated our trip by picking up 9 friends from Athens airport and driving them down to the Peloponnese for 2 weeks of fun. It was such fun to do the same again an provide bubbly en route for the start of the birthday celebrations.

They’re a spiritual bunch this lot and the angels were on our shoulder as we pulled up outside the Hotel D’Ocre right on the harbour at Sete, finding a free parking space almost directly opposite for the van where it stayed for the duration. Equally amazing was the fact that the 2nd of the 2 hotel rooms booked was a family room and that a spare bed was in the offing! Double result! So whether or not I was to sleep in the van on the quay (on the shaded side too) it was such a result to be able to spend so much time together rather than the potential alternative of cycling miles to and from the town to the nearest campsite or aire.

The festival was ace – days grooving on the beach and in the sea and late, late nights dining and dancing in the port. We vowed to be back and share a villa with a pool!

Sete was just amazing. 100% recommend. Sitting in that little corner cafe on one of the main bridges across the estuary was such a French treat. On my last morning I sat there alone with a grand creme and watched leathery old French boys taking selfies whilst 2 tables away les jeunes gens had clearly not yet been to bed but must have been back on the pression since opening time. My third 72 Summer moment of this 6 week break 🙂

What I liked:

  • beautiful town with great eating and drinking options
  • integration of the town with the Worldwide Festival
  • everything easy to get to

What I didn’t like:

  • a lot of walking despite convenience

Campervanman Star Rating: stars-4.5 4.5/5

Sat 4th > Tues 7th July – Valras Plage apartment – 4,139kms

The end of the first leg of this trip brought us to the Med coast of France. We are still very much on the 43rd parallel north in western Europe. It was here that we had to be at 4pm prompt, after more than 2,000 miles driving in just under 2 weeks, to pick up the keys from madame. We were also to meet up with the Mrs dad, Frank who had flown in 2 nights earlier to Montpelier to acclimatise!

And we made it! At 4pm prompt, amazingly we pulled up outside the gated compound having followed very specific directions through this rather faceless semi-grid system coastal resort. We punched in the number and hey-presto the gates opened. It was narrow but I drove straight in and up to the swimming poll which sat in the centre of the smart, compact and very neighbourly apartments! And the the staring and the complaining started! Before I even knew it monsieur from both sides started complaining about the van as I backed it into the narrow drive that was the width of the apartment. I say apartment but it was effectively a semi, but much smaller than ours back home.

It was however perfect for our needs. Frank eventually found us and we set about drinking and eating like there was no tomorrow! Our lunches and dinners here were to be the typical stuff of the great French holidays that both the Hancocks and the Aldisses love. We even ventured into the town, but it was pretty much what you’d expect a low key French Great Yarmouth to be like, and nothing at all like Betty Blue!

At this point our paths are to diverge. As at the start I was off on my own for 3 nights again, this time to meet up with friends and celebrate a 50th birthday at the 10th anniversary year of Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Festival in Sete about an hour up the coast from Valras. I kissed the girls goodbye and went to collect my friends from the airport as a surprise.

What we liked:

  • the pool
  • the gated complex
  • not being in too confined a space!

What we didn’t like:

  • mosquitos
  • the looks of the locals when we drove the van in!
  • the town was a bit too ‘resorty’

Campervanman Star Rating: stars-3 3/5

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