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Our camper trip of 3 weeks through France and Spain: a recommendation!

After 3 camper trips in teh USA and 1 in Australia, it’s finally happened: we have caught the camper virus. We caught it so bad, we decided to buy our own camper to spend our summer holidays in Europe. Super fun and super exciting! We do make the agreement of going on far travels every now and again because let’s face it, when you’re on this earth, you do need to try and see most of it. Anyway, our camper trip in Europe, where to go and what to do? After spending some time pondering, we decide to go to the south of France and to Spain. And because it was a terrific trip, we’d love to share our camper trip of 3 weeks through France and Spain with you!

Camper trip of 3 weeks through France and Spain: day 1–7

Day 1

 

Zandvoort – Sorel                                                   480 km, 4,5 hours

Camping Sorel                                                        31€ per night

 

A beautiful, quiet camp site: a cozy restaurant and playground for the kids, you don’t need anything else when you’re travelling through right? Oh, that’s right, we find out that we left the key of the bike we brought on the kitchen table back in Zandvoort …

Day 2

 

Sorel – Parc des Volcanes d’ Auverge                  535 km, 6,5 hours

Camping les Volcans                                             30 € per night

 

A nice camp site with a playground, a pool, restaurant and no Dutch people anywhere.

Day 3

 

Camping des Volcans                                           No driving

                                                                

Parc des Volcans D’AuvergneA beautiful green and impressive landscape with different volcanic mountains. You can take a little train up there and enjoy the view. A family pack cost 33€. Definitely worth the trouble!

Day 4

 

Camping des Volcans–Gorges de L’Ardeche      270km, 8 hours

Camping des Gorges                                            43 € per night

 

What a terrible day! You can read all about what went wrong here … We drove the whole route through the mountains with a 10% slope. This is not recommended with an old, heavy camper. There is a highway for this route too. Our tip: take that highway!

Day 5

 

Camping des Gorges

 

After yesterday’s treacherous trip we decided to not to ANYTHING today. So, we just relax at the pool side, read a book, have a good lunch, relax at the pool again and BBQ afterwards. We’re on holiday, right?

Day 6

 

Camping des Gorges

 

Gorges de l’Ardeche is so beautiful we decide to stay a little longer. We have the camper checked in the garage today, just to be sure, after the “challenges” we faced on the way over. We run a few laps along the river and enjoy this beautiful location!

Day 7

 

Camping des Gorges

 

Today, we pay a visit to “Grotte Saint Marcel”. These are beautiful caves at just a 20-minute drive from our camp site. We choose a Dutch guide, which is more fun for the kids, who tells us everything about this special place. It helps getting your tickets a day earlier, so you’re certain you can go inside, as the caves are rather popular.

Adults pay 11€ entrance fee, kids € 6,50 from 5 years old, any younger is no charge.

Camper trip of 3 weeks through France and Spain: day 8-14

We wanted to spend 2 days in Gorges de L’Ardeche, but we love the surroundings so much, we decide to stay 5 days.

Day 8

 

Camping des Gorges

 

This day, I go canoeing for 24km with a friend, through the Gorges de l’Ardeche.

 

So, I wake up early, water, bread-rolls, cap, sunscreen and after a little while were dropped off on top of the mountain to peddle 24km down this amazing landscape on our own. We even run into some currents and capsize! That was quite a thrill, but we don’t let it get us down! After peddling for 3,5 hours we finally reach our camp site. Floris really wants to get into the canoe, so we make a quick (and safe) short round with him.

 

Canoeing costs 25€ per person for the 24km route we took, and kids can join from 7 years old, if they can swim. To be honest, I wouldn’t let kids on this trip under the age of 10. Capsizing is rather impressive and with very young kids this could even be dangerous.

Day 9

 

Gorges de l’Ardeche – Camargue                115 km, 1:20 hour

Camping Bellevue and Camargue                  42€ per night

 

Today, we say goodbye to Gorges de l’Ardeche and drive on to the Camargue. A special nature reserve which is well-known for its flamingos and wild white horses.

Day 10

 

Camping Bellevue and Camargue

To Do                                                               4×4 Safari

 

Today, we trade our camper for a jeep that drives us through the Camargue. In 3,5 hours, we drive through this wondrous area and see flamingos, horses and the special landscape this area is well-known for. The safari costs 140€ for the whole family.

 

In the afternoon, we pay a short visit to the middle-aged village of Aigues Mortes. Through these gigantic city walls you find yourself wondering through the pages of a history book. A certain must-do!

Day 11

 

Camargue – Santa Christina D’Aro                 309 km, 4 hours

Yellow village mas san Josep                           55€ per night

 

We drive from the south of France to the North of Spain, the Costa Brava!  Because we will be spending a week at the same location, we rent a car at the airport of Girona to explore the area. Kev drives the camper to the camp site and I’m driving behind in the rental.

 

Our camper is wonderful but not suitable for exploring the little Spanish villages and narrow streets. So, it’s perfect having a rental car! This way we can leave the camper at the camp site and take the car to do shopping and visiting the fun little Spanish villages.

Day 12

 

Yellow village mas san Josep  

 

After driving the whole day yesterday, today is meant for chilling! This is easily done on this camp site. They have a large pool, a separate toddler pool with a slide and other water adventures for kids. This is what our day looks like: breakfast, chilling at the pool, lunch, BBQ and playing in one of the playgrounds.

Day 13

 

Yellow village mas san Josep

 

Today, we grab the rental and head on down to the beautiful Costa Brava. In the morning we dwell through the streets of Callela de Palafrugell. Such a beautiful place: the white houses are set against a mountain at a beautiful blue bay! Definitely worth a visit. 

 

After a delicious lunch in Callela de Palafrugell we drive on to Tossa de Mar.

We take a special route through the mountains along the coast line. The views are breathtaking: an azure blue sea, bright green vegetation and the most beautiful of little Spanish villages.

 

Tossa de Mar has a beautiful old center with an old castle. You think your in the middle-ages and when you close your eyes you can almost hear the knights galloping past on their horses! Standing on top of the castle will give you a spectacular view of the city and the sea.

 

In the evening we dine in Tossa in a restaurant at the beach. The kids enjoy themselves in the sand and we enjoy the Spanish cuisine and a good glass of Spanish red wine.

Day 14

 

Yellow village mas san Josep

 

Today we discover Santa Cristina D’Aro at just a 5-minute drive from the camp site. This is a middle-aged market. I have my doubts before we go but it turns out to be a lot of fun! The kids can participate in all kinds of old-fashioned games, watch Spanish theater and the best of the day: dress up as a knight and go horse riding and ring collecting with a lance.

Camper trip of 3 weeks through France and Spain: day 15–21

Travelling around with the camper pleases us a lot! But we must admit, you don’t really get to rest when your travelling all day. For this reason, we decide to stay on a camp site on the Costa Brava for a week. This way we can relax a little and go for short trips with the rental.

Day 15

 

Yellow village mas san Josep

 

Today we take the train to Barcelona!

We take the train from the station in Caldes de Malavella. 4 People back and forth to Barcelona costs 55€ and it takes about an hour and 15 minutes. How do you explore Barcelona easily with 2 little kids? You take the ultimate tourist hop on- hop off bus off course! And you know what? This is great! We see all the sights and Lotte even takes a little nap on the bus. We visit the Sagrada Familia of course, Placa de Catalunya and Pac

Day 16

 

Yellow village mas san Josep

 

After a beautiful and busy day in Barcelona we decide to stay on the camp site today. The kids are enjoying themselves tremendously in the pool and the playground and so do we ;).

Day 17

 

Yellow village mas san Josep

 

Tomorrow we begin our way back to the Netherlands. Today, we make sure we have a stacked fridge, so we don’t have to look for a supermarket every time we spend the night somewhere. Of course, we HAVE to enjoy the pool and the Spanish sun on our last day.

Dag 18

 

Yelloh village mas san Joseph – Orange               380 km, 5 hours

Camping Manon                                                       27 €

 

After a long day’s drive, we take a dip in the pool of camp site Manon. As soon as Lotte puts her foot in the water, I hear her crying out loud. What’s wrong? A wasp has stung her. It turns out to be full of wasps at the pool, poor Lotte! Aside from the sting, this camp site is really a good place for a stopover on your way home.

Day 19

 

Camping Manon – Nancy                                          600 km, 7,5 hours

Campeole Le Brabois                                                 23,50 €

 

This camp site is a real treat after a long day of driving: under the pine trees, multiple playgrounds, clean sanitary and a great restaurant. We dine with the for of us: food, drinks, dessert, a wine and a couple of beers for only 45€. Recommended!

Day 20

 

Camping Le Brabois – Oirschot                                 400 km, 5 hours

Camping de Steenuil                                                   40 €

 

The last camp site of our trip is our kids’ favorite! The Steenuil is a large farm complex with play sets inside and outside and lots of animals. We have out spot behind the farm on a field with a trampoline, looking out over the fields.

Floris and Lotte ride around on their bikes and help feed the cows, hug the young kittens and pet the rabbits. If you’re lucky you can even go for a ride on the pony. The kids loved ending our travels here.

Dag 21

 

Camping de Steenuil – Zandvoort                              130 km, 2 hours

 

On the last day of our holiday we head on back to Zandvoort. It feels lovely to come back home relaxed and without jetlag! Lotte falls asleep on our way back and doesn’t wake up until we have cleared out the camper completely.

When we’re back home we bring our trusted old camper to the storage for the winter. It was such a great holiday we had and Europe is so beautiful! We really recommend this amper trip of 3 weeks through France and Spain!

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