Tuesday 28 August 2012

Eurocamp Self-Catering Holidays: Carnac, France

While I was growing up we always holidayed in France. Looking back I think there was a combination of factors, aside from the obvious fact that we just like it there: it’s relatively close and easy to travel to and its temperate, warm but not too warm for small children. It’s probably no surprise then that now that Blondie Boy is old enough to holiday we’ve travelled to France on holiday twice, last year in Pyrénées-Orientales, this year in Carnac, in Bretagne.

As a child we stayed in lots of different types of places, gites, villas, hotels, motels, Holiday Inns, but we never tried a holiday parc or stayed in a mobile home before. This year we did with Eurocamp, the UK’s leading European camping holiday operator. As an American, Blondie didn’t have any preconceived notions as to how this would be. You don't really get holiday parcs in America or if you do she'd never heard of any. I did, I think I thought that holiday parcs were a little passé, somewhat 1970s with cheesy entertainment and cramped accommodation, somewhat Hi-de-Di, thankfully Eurocamp is nothing like this.

From the moment we booked the staff couldn’t have been more helpful. Our travel plans changed, a lot, first we changed the dates, next we changed the entire way we were getting there (about a week before I crapped out of the possible 17 hour drive from Scotland to Bretagne with an antsy toddler and picked up some cheap flights). All the way along the Eurocamp staff were friendly and helpful. Our new travel arrangements left us with a really late arrival time, no problem, they called the parc and let them know. Before we left we were given a UK mobile number to contact our couriers, who are on site and available 24 hours. Due to some huge road works on the way we arrived even later than we expected, this just wasn’t an issue, we text our courier who communicated to the parc when we were likely to arrive, no problem.

Our parc was La Grande Métairie in Carnac, Bretagne Sud. We chose the parc for a variety of reasons; the area it is based has lots to see and too and pleasant sheltered beaches; possibly more importantly however we picked based on what the parc itself had to offer. Eurocamp described the parc as “the perfect destination for young families – set in stunning parkland and with an array of on parc facilities to entertain all ages. “ It is also one of Eurocamp’s Mini Fun Station parcs, which means toddlers can enjoy an array of supervised fun activities – including art and craft, nature trails, treasure hunts, face painting and imaginary play. The parc also has an amazing pool complex, complete with waterslides and indoor pool. Perfect if the weather wasn’t going to be up to scratch.

There were also horses, ponies and an array of goats, ducks and a llama at a mini animal farm, too. When you have a toddler that is a pretty big deal. Blondie Boy loved seeing the animals every day and would sing to the ponies and little horses as we walked past.
My other preconception about holiday parc vacations is that the accommodation would be somewhat lacking, probably shabby and definitely small. Thankfully, this was not even close to the truth. We stayed in a two bedroom Horizon mobile home which had a double bedroom for us, a single bedroom with bunk-beds for BB and a central lounge and kitchen. The seating in the lounge also easily converted into an extra bed. There was a shower room and toilet, plus fully-equipped kitchen including a microwave, fridge-freezer and oven.

There were also some other nice little touches include a stereo iPod dock, a hairdryer and a welcome pack which contained some little essentials such as washing up liquid, toilet paper and tea bags. Where we found the accommodation really shone though was outdoors.  There was a large decked terrace with a good sized patio table and chairs, sun loungers and a drying area, plus a charcoal barbecue. We used the barbecue often and ate outside every evening. It was a really pleasant way to spend the end of an evening, sitting outside with a glass of nice wine. The parc itself was quiet at night, we had no problems with noise at all. As a family parc during the day there were obviously kids playing but at night no cars are allowed on site after 11pm, so we had no problem getting BB to sleep and having a little peace and quiet!

Carnac itself is home to Europe's largest collection of standing stones (think Stonehenge but thousands of stones) which are directly across from the parc. The area also has lots of lovely little beaches and a quaint old town centre. We drove around checking out different beaches and towns and one afternoon walked out a massive sandbar into the middle of the ocean, which while with a toddler was tiring, but super cool.

The holiday surprised me. Before we went I would have been unlikely to consider Eurocamp as a holiday option but now I guess I can be considered a convert. The negative stereotypes of a holiday parc as a 1970s throwback couldn’t be further from the truth. The facilities at our Parc were second to none, with great leisure facilities particularly the pool, and the accommodation was modern, comfortable and spacious. Given how fond we are of holidaying in Europe, Eurocamp will definitely be something we consider when we start to consider next year’s holiday.

Of course someone's opinion matters more so here is what Blondie Boy thought about his holiday!

Want to book your own holiday? seven night break from 20th May 2012 at Eurocamp’s La Grande Métairie parc, staying in a 2 Bedroom Horizon mobile home (sleeps 7, maximum 4 adults), costs from just £377 for the whole family, accommodation only.

Eurocamp offers the widest selection of outdoor family holidays on parcs throughout Europe; with a range of activities and age-specific kids’ clubs. Plus, there’s a fantastic choice of accommodation, including stylish mobile homes, lodges, modern chalets, bungalows, and fully equipped ‘Classic’ and ‘Safari’ tents.

For further information on Eurocamp, the UK’s leading European self-catering holiday operator, please call 0844 406 0552 or visit www.eurocamp.co.uk

Transatlantic Blonde's accommodation was provided for the purpose of this review but all travel and other costs on holiday were met by ourselves. All opinions are our own--do you think I could get a toddler to lie?


Melaina25 said...

We have just got back from France too! We stayed with Mathews Holidays - it was also tres fab! Great pics! x

Melaina25 said...

I've always wanted to see the stones at Carnac... hopefully now the twins are that little bit older we will venture to France soon... it's been too long!

Melaina25 said...

Amazing collection a beautiful pics and video. i think it's very enjoy full trip for yours. Thanks for sharing a beautiful moment. luxury chalet france

Melaina25 said...

This looks ideal for us for the future, I shall check if they have disabled access but what great value

Melaina25 said...

I looked it up and it says:

This Parc has facilities for disabled people. Please contact our Customer Sales Staff for more information.

Melaina25 said...

They were pretty cool. The twins would LOVE it. The stones maybe not but the parc, yes :)

Melaina25 said...

It is so nice having France so near by. Now why does bread taste SOOO much better there? :)

Melaina25 said...

We went with my daughter and her 2 (now 3) little ones to a site not far down the west coast of France 2 years ago. Although the weather was a little chilly for the first week the place was perfect, not busy, enough facilities, beach was a short walk and supermarket was a short drive. In my opinion it is so much better than staying in a hotel.