The best thing about van holidays is that freedom and flexibility to change your plans day-to-day. The excitement of just heading in a certain direction with no concrete plans, no hotel reservations. The ability to drive through a town/village and think ‘I want to stick around this part a little longer’. The license to get out when the vibe of a place just isn’t you…
We did A LOT of (probably too much) moving around in the second week. Here is a map of our stays.
VITRAC → BEZIERS
After a wonderful but increasingly wet first week in the Dordogne region we had made the decision to head south. We wanted sunshine and the Mediterranean coast was the best way to secure that dream. We packed up and headed towards the Med and aimed for a campsite near Beziers…
Let’s just say it was a no from us! A pirate themed campsite…. Possibly a good idea for families with school-aged children, but for us it felt too much like a tourist trap – even with us camping as far away as possible from the rides as possible. To be fair the views of the med weren’t too shabby…
Anyway, we left the following morning and decided we would start heading west and inland again.
BEZIERS → ST PONS DE THORMIERES
We found a lovely little village called St Chinian (in the Herault departement of the Occitane region) and stopped by a lovely Saturday market…
After we meandered through St Chinian we then headed to wards our campsite. We had decided on a campsite near St Pons de Thomieres earlier in the day. It was was fairly high up in the mountains and in the heart of the Parc Naturel du Haut Languedoc.
Although remote and a lovely campsite, it was just a bit too close to the road for me and we would often hear the drone of cars and motorcycles through the day and evening. It was also the most expensive campsite costing €37.50 per night! So, needles to say our stay here was again brief and we departed the following day.
ST PONS DE THOMIERES → LE ROUQUIE DU LAC
We arose with no plans… We decided to continue heading west as our departure date was getting closer and closer. We stopped for a roam and a spot of lunch in a sleepy town called La Salvetat de Agout…
We camped up, not too far away, in this campsite which was delightful! Shame the weather wasn’t great for this stint of the journey…campsite was beautiful, peaceful, great value for money and overlooked the stunning Lac de la Rouquie.
LE ROUQUIE DU LAC → CARCASSONNE
Carcassonne had been on my list for this trip and it was where we headed next. It was also probably where we had the worst weather! We stayed in the windy Municipal campsite which was really close to the town and a very handy place to stay if you fancy exploring this historic town.
We spent a wet day looking around the Citadel, but declined the audio tour as they did not allow pushchairs.
When away camping, be prepared for all weather. We had highs of over 30 degrees Celsius an then storms and complete rain-outs. You will need:
- a canopy (with UV protection)
- a dry outdoor area for kids to roam (we didn’t do so well with this second part)
- a fan to keep cool
- some heating/warm clothes (our van has a fan-heater installed)
We used ALL of these during our 2 week ‘summer’ holiday – I kid you not!
CARCASSONNE → ST JEAN DE LUZ
Alas! Our time was running out. With just a few more days of holiday left we scooted West. We did a long drive (in the daytime of course) and headed for the Atlantic Coast to a town called St Jean de Luz…
And what a final destination!
We loved the clifftop campsite which was small, but was in the closest bay to town and offered views of the rugged and wild sea (a very cool surfing spot for anyone reading this who is keen). You could walk along the clifftop to the town of St Jean de Luz in about 20-40 minutes depending on which route you took and it was all pushchair friendly.
Rugged seas on our walk into town – I’m pretty sure this guy was okay!
The campsite had its own restaurant and bar at one end of the campsite with lots of cool-looking-young-types. Yes, I totally loved this vibe…
We will ABSOLUTELY be returning to this place! My only tip would be to book ahead in the hope of landing yourself one of the premier pitches closest to the sea.
ST JEAN DE LUZ → BILBAO → HOME
Departure day was uneventful. We made the short one-and-a-bit hour drive to Bilbao and then returned home on the overnight ferry to the UK.
A glorious, but busy trip with our son, with countless unforgettable moments to treasure… Bring on the next #ADVANTURE!