With its Atlantic coastline, azure waters and attractive resorts the south-west edge of France is a storehouse of wonders. It’s worth travelling that little bit further to uncover its salty charms. So let’s go…
A heady combination of bustling, chic resorts, idyllic ports, secluded beaches and historic towns – with plenty of amazing restaurants, bars and cafes thrown – means Gascony and Gironde is an ideal place to get out and explore too. We’ve pulled together some of the region’s must-do adventures – all within easy reach of our Eurocamp parcs.
Follow in Picasso’s footsteps – with an art tour in glitzy Biarritz
It’s famous for its stunning beaches and striped beach tents but there is much more to Biarritz (main pic) than just sea and sand.This is the place where Picasso chose to spend his honeymoon and which is now home to the wonderful Musee Asiatica. Packed to the rafters with visual pieces from all over Asia, it’s a must for anyone looking to learn more about Franco-Asian relations and non-Western art. Open all year round (with some earlier closing in winter), it’s a relatively cheap 10 Euros admission for adults, eight for concessions. Under-eights go free.
Nearest parc: Le Ruisseau
Hop on your bike for wine tasting with a difference
No visit to the region would be complete without a wine tasting – and a day sampling the area’s vin will be a day well spent. The scenery’s pretty special too – so if you’re feeling active why not enjoy a visit to historic St Emilion by bike? Explore the area’s ancient streets and en route to a full tasting and sumptuous local lunch at the local chateau, then cycle home through the vineyards. You’ll need to be fairly fit – the final ride is 15km – but it will be worth it! Trips can be arranged for up to eight people so round up your friends and take to the road.
Nearest parc: La Rive
Throw back some seriously fresh oysters in Hossegor
This town – and region – is famous for its seafood and oysters are a particular favourite. Taking a stroll into the pretty seaside town of Hossegor is a great starting point if you’re looking for fresh and seasonal cuisine and drink. There are lots of happy hour deals in the local cafes that pepper the main streets, and Chez Jerome is one of the best places to order oysters.
Nearest parc: Sylvamar
Pick up tips from the pros…at a World Surfing Championship battle
With its vast sandy breaches and laid-back feel, Lacanau is an Atlantic Resort with wide-ranging appeal. After a busy day at the beach, wander through nearby pine forests, around a scenic lake or just explore the pretty town. One of the best times to visit is in August when it’s home to Lacanau Pro – a top-flight surfing contest. Sit back and enjoy the show as some of France – and Europe’s – top talents do their best to ride the waves.
Nearest parc: Le Village Western Campsite
Enjoy the architectural delights of photogenic Royan
Perched on the coast, along the Gironde Estuary, Royan is more than just another seaside town. With its eclectic mix of building styles and shares it’s a great place to enjoy an afternoon stroll and take a few snaps along the way. Walk through the park and along the waterfront to see streets of brightly-coloured Bello Epoque villas, take a peek at charming fishermen’s huts and marvel at the concrete splendour of Royan’s modernist, Art Deco, Notre Dame church.
Nearest parc: Cote D’Argent Campsite
Take to the seas for a whale-watching and tapas extravaganza in Capbreton
The Atlantic coast is home to plentiful marine wildlife – whales included – and a sunset boat trip is one of the best ways to try and spot some of these wonderful creatures.Look out for the range of companies in and around central Capbreton offering great value expeditions, many including an evening meal (seafood and tapas) and views to die for.
Most last two hours and can be booked 24 hours in advance.
Nearest parc: Le Vieux Port Campsite
Friends Electric! Hop on an electric tandem for a buzz around Biarritz
If you’re wilting in the heat or just fancy some sight-seeing a deux, then Biarritz has a boggling array of electric bikes and vehicles to help you explore in style. There’s everything from traditional scooters and mopeds to electric bikes, tandems and beach cruisers. Pootle around town or tackle a tough stretch of The Vélodyssée – a 1,400-km cycle route along the Atlantic Coast. Just 25 Euros will bag you and a friend a tandem for the day (10am – 6pm). So what are you waiting for?
Nearest parc: Le Ruisseau Campsite