Arriving from the snow of Alsace to the spring sunshine of Luxembourg, we'd been a little surprised to see such a busy Europacamping Nommerlayen campsite. Full of Dutch caravans and motorhomes... But when we realised we had the opportunity to join in the campsite celebrations for the yearly celebration too mark King Willem Alexander's birthday ('KingsDay or Koningsdag'....). It just seemed the perfect time to add a new educational experience following recent visits to interesting places like Venice or Pula, Croatia.
So what else will you find in this ADAC, ANWEB award winning campsite? Well, there's plenty of things for active kids. Imagine 50m swimming pools that can be both covered and uncovered... so plenty warm enough for a lengthy swim in April... A separate themed indoor pool for toddlers or the brilliant outdoor 25m+ slide that matches anything we've seen across Europe...
Not forgetting the indoor areas that include a gigantic bouncy castle/trampoline next to toddlers play equipment... or the numerous zip wires and outdoor play equipment close to the full sized football pitch (they host football camps each year with Dutch coaches coming across to offer advice to budding Lionel Messi stars of the future!) When you add to that, the bowling, snooker, basketball, volleyball and table tennis... I'm sure you get the picture of a campsite full of activities to entertain kids...
But here's a thought... they also manage an innovative booking system that allocates pitches that suit their owner's interests. So if you're a couple seeking peace and quiet then there's an area in the campsite for you, or if you have young toddlers theres an area where they can fall over outside your motorhome without injuring themselves... a clever idea and one that we reckon all campsites should openly adopted and promote.
The campsite facilities are equally impressive and it's easy to see why some people come to enjoy the numerous hiking routes that encircle the campsite.. So imagine relaxed walks through fields of yellow or enjoying the spring flowers in the gladed woods before returning to the 'bathing temples' to enjoy the saunas, steam baths.... Perhaps even taking the time to enjoy the 'coach' styled bar area with it's fantastic sets of armchairs!! It's certainly a campsite surrounded by nature with a relaxed, happy feel about it. (Want more? This 360 panorama shows the location of the campsite and the nearby areas to explore)
So why did we choose to visit this campsite? Set only 20mins away from Luxembourg by train (4 euro per adult, kids under 12 are free), it's the perfect place to break up the journey towards the south of Europe... but we really hadn't expected to find somewhere we could happily spend a week in the summer holidays... From the morning 'Hi de Hi' performance by the animation team (high above the main reception on a crows nest) to the informal, relaxed feel of the main bar & skittle alley... it just seems to have that gift of making you relax.... whilst the kids fly repeatedly down that 'yellow slide'!!!
Waking up early the following day to a quieter campsite after the celebrations of last night.... we took a walk out on one of the trails (the one leaving near pitch 169 was brilliant, up past the rocks and woods) before grabbing fresh croissants, orange juice from the well stocked 'famers shop' on site.... it was so well stocked, we even picked up a pump to inflate the girl's volleyball that had been somewhat affected by our journey across the Alps!
Before we could even ask, the girls had bolted their breakfast and were running down to enjoy another morning with the animation team....this time making craft 'minions' models before getting the chance to learn more Dutch as part of a 'make your own pizza' experience!!!
With lunch sorted courtesy of the freshly basked pizza (made and cooked by the kids)... we sadly started the process of packing things away ready for the journey north towards Calais... We'll stay at Gravelines (useful aire near Calais) overnight before getting to the UK over the weekend.... Next week, sees us revisit 'Bluestone Wales' for another chance to discover Pembrokeshire's delights (we're horse riding, climbing and learning to surf).... before we head back into Europe to discover more of Central Europe (N. Italy, Austria, Switzerland).... but the kids loved Nommerlayen so much, we've booked in again to see them in mid June! It really was that good!
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