With 2018 summer planning about to start, you might just want to bookmark this little gem in the south west tip of France at Camping Sylvamar. Situated in the unspoilt region of Landes, it's one of the best we've seen in the south of France and a great option for all the family. So here's why we reckon it'll make it's way straight into our 'Top 50 Places to Stay in Europe' for 2018.
Although not a huge campsite (like Lanterna in Croatia or Union Lido in Venice), this natural campsite is tucked into the pine forests near Landes in south west France. Hosting a fantastic water park which is perfect for toddlers to teenagers. This area near Labenne also enjoys an immense beach stretching as far as the eye can see. And when you’ve had enough of the coast, explore inland or try Arcachon's Dune du Pilat to the north. The low-key seaside village of Labenne is only few minutes’ walk away and Biarritz, a resort which has shed its Victorian seaside skin and been reborn as a trendy surfing destination, is just under 30mins drive. Best of all is the ultra chic San Sebastián is only just over the border in Spain.
The Aqua Park is compact and well thought out at Camping Sylvamar. Perhaps not as big as other Leading Camping campsites like La Marina (Alicante, Spain), Camping Lanterna (Istria, Croatia) or Piani di Clodia (Lake Garda, Italy). But in truth, this is more than enough for most families. Children and grown-ups alike will enjoy this region's plentiful supply of sunshine and the well maintained, enjoyable Aqua Park facilities (like their lazy river, slides or indoor toddlers aqua park). Our girls loved spending the afternoon in the aqua park, whilst their mother enjoyed the more peaceful setting of the campsite spa in the morning (a worthwhile experience we're led to believe!)
But perhaps it's the well thought out plots that really mark this out as one of the best sites in France.. It came as no surprise as this campsite is part of the Yelloh brand of campsites. A brand that always strikes us as a company that focuses on the 'campers experience'. We'd seen this at Turiscampo (in Portugal) which is yet another that offers well thought out ideas that really help the camper. Just like this superb gazebos within the pitch that really provide a really useful outdoor space!
If you've headed to this side of the country, you might be like us. Irresistibly drawn to the coast, we love any opportunity to head out and catch some waves, body board or simply enjoy a day on the beach. And if that sounds like you, then you'll not be disappointed by Camping Sylvamar. Easily reached by foot or by bike, the beach in Labenne offers a little of the north beach at Nazarre but take it from us, it's absolutely perfect for families and patrolled by lifeguards too!
Perhaps our favourite part to this campsite is actually provided by the other campers. It's the type of campsite that simply hums with activity... from the constant chatter of the predominantly British, Spanish and French guests to the sounds of people having fun or playing outdoor sports. There's something for everyone as the below slideshow shows... so if you too have active kids who need to burn off some energy.... this place might just be perfect for you! Ours certainly took full advantage of the play areas, sports facilities and pony rides.
In terms of facilities, we have to be honest, they are clean, functional and designed in a pretty Spanish ochre style. Both effective and numerous, they won't disappoint, but neither will they excite you... For those of you reading this and raising an eyelid here, you'll just have to experience Croatia's 'Krk Resort' to see just what we mean... but if we left you with the thought that Krk designed the sanitary block with swivelling mirrors that allow you a blisteringly good seaview whilst you clean your teeth... I'm sure you get the idea!
For those who like to spend their week's holiday inside an all inclusive resort, this campsite won't disappoint. There's plenty to do, see and eat/drink here... but if you ventured outside the region, you can find amazing experiences like the one below at Dune du Pilat (near Arcachon some 2hrs north). Or the amazing array of horseback opportunities that are on offer in the Parc Naturel Regional des Landes de Gascoigne... (find more here)
There's a real mix of the French and the Spanish at this campsite. Which as it is so close to the Basque country, means there's sangria to go with your snails... a campsite that offers something for everyone and is well worth a place in our 'Top 50 Places to Stay across Europe'
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