Eurocamp in the Loire Valley - Le Château des Marais - First ImpressionsLast month we had the amazing opportunity to visit a Eurocamp site in the Loire Valley - Le Château des Marais. We stayed for a week and had a wonderful family holiday, our first outside the UK. We've stayed in a few caravans and I was looking forward to seeing how the caravan and touring holiday was offered in France.
Le Château des Marais is situated in the Loire Valley between Blois and Orleans Not far from the River Loire banks. It's a very rural location and so scenic, you drive through fields and fields of crops and vines, including some stunning fields of sunflowers.
Not for nothing is the Loire Valley known as the Garden of France. It's amazing to see the fields of wheat, sunflowers and leeks (that we could identify) being irrigated by complex sprinkler systems and worked by teams of agricultural workers. As it's situated deep in the heartland of France you aren't going to find a drive of less than 300km from any ferry port - the closest are Dieppe, Le Havre and Caen - we took the short hop from Dover to Calais (I don't like sailing so the best option for me) and faced a 450km drive on the French side. This took around six hours on the wonderful French toll roads, with a typical snarl up around Paris. I'd recommend, like us, an early ferry crossing then driving down to arrive in time for dinner.
The site is tucked away just outside the small town of Mer and the village of Muides-sur-Loire. Both are well stocked with small shops, boulangeries and the like and the site also has it's own mini supermarket, takeaway restaurant and bar. If you want a supermarket you will have to drive to a larger town. We tended to go to Blois or Mont Près Chambord to stock up on our way back from days out. If you're arriving late on a Saturday make sure you get to a supermarket before noon on the Sunday (try the Carrefour in Blois), or use the site shop.
We arrived in heavy rain, which was a feature of our first few days. The site is heavily wooded, you'll be able to hear the bird song as soon as you arrive and my two were out of the car collecting pine cones as soon as the doors opened. The site has an electronic barrier with a passcode so you will need to report to Eurocamp on arrival. Your courier will then give you the code and escort you to your accommodation. The site has a real mixture of places to stay from safari tents and treehouses through different types of static caravan and permanently pitched tents to the camper vans and tourers.
I liked that the accommodation was quite well mixed and you didn't feel like there was a huge block of any particular type. Our accommodation was a Classic Plus 3 Bedroom static caravan, but more of that tomorrow. It is a compact site and nowhere is much more than a five minute wander away. We loved that our caravan was on a road that didn't lead anywhere. apart from on foot to the Kids Club activity field. This meant that the children could play outside on their scooters with only cars returning to the other caravans to worry about.
The site centre has everything you will need including bicycle hire, an information office, the open air swimming pool, spa, arcade, playground outdoor gym, bar, takeaway and restaurant. One of my posts later this week will talk in depth about all of these. This area is dominated by the lovely 'Château', I was told that the owners of the site still live there and that they are very strict about noise levels. Everything closes at 10pm, perfect for families but definitely not for people looking to party. There are lots more playgrounds dotted around the site too. Very family friendly.
I hope that this has introduced Le Château des Marais. I'll be posting every day this week with more information about the site, our accommodation, facilities for children and the local area, including some of the places we loved visiting. Please check back to read more.
To view Eurocamp's wide range of sites across Europe check out their website www.eurocamp.co.uk/
Follow on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with all of their news, special offers and promotions.
We visited Le Château des Marais as the guests of Eurocamp. Our accommodation and return ferry crossing were supplied for us. All other costs incurred were met by ourselves.
To see my other Eurocamp posts please click on the badge below.