I didn’t know much about Eurocamp before booking our trip - but our family ended up having a perfect half-term holiday that we’re likely to repeat next year.
Eurocamp is a European self-catering specialist and so immediately appealed to me - I’ve got a very picky five-year-old and a less picky three-year-old, so there’s no point in us paying for all-inclusive or even half-board holidays. It’s also an outdoor holiday specialist, and it’s safe to say my children would rather be outside in any weather than have a roof over their heads.
When I started researching which Eurocamp to go to, I was rather overwhelmed. There are so many. I drew up a list of essentials and started with that. I knew I wanted somewhere with indoor and outdoor pools as the kids love being in the water - but I also wanted to be near a beach. Although I wanted to be able to cook our own meals, I wanted the back-up of a shop and restaurant or cafe on-site. Another essential on on my list was a kids’ club (because I wanted a holiday too!)
After hours of research (I had no idea there were so many Eurocamps all over Europe) we settled on Les Ecureuils in the Vendee region of France. This Eurocamp is about a three hour drive from the ferry port of St Malo or nearly four hours from Cherbourg. It had everything we wanted - plus the bonus of heated pools and being opposite the beach.
The kids would have loved to stay in a tent, but I made an executive decision and went for a three-bedroom mobile home. The Avant style of holiday home is Eurocamp’s newest - and it felt quite spacious and even luxurious. We had a double bedroom, a room with two single beds and a room with bunk beds. The kids opted to share the bunk beds which they’re still talking about as one of their holiday highlights. Thanks to clever storage in every room, we had plenty of space. The full-equipped kitchen was perfect and we cooked almost every meal there - extras like the filter coffee pot and dishwasher were also much appreciated.
We had amazing weather for May half-term too and so ate our meals on the large deck. Again - everything we needed was here - table and chairs, loungers, clothes horse, and a barbecue which we used to cook up fresh seafood from a local market.
Les Ecureuils was the perfect choice for us. It’s a relatively small Eurocamp parc, but there was still a shop on site (where we bought delicious fresh baguettes each morning and essential such as ice creams and wine each evening). There was also a restaurant which served up full meals as well as very good takeaway pizza, and a bar by the pool. We spent two fun nights here at the mini disco (the kids did most of the dancing, honestly) and there was also a small soft play in here - which meant the grown-ups could indulge in a beverage after a day at the pool which the kids continued to hang out with their new buddies.
My two went to the kids’ club three days and again, this was a hit. There were two sessions each day and themed along the lines of Animal Kingdom, Robot Wars, graffiti art and such. They also had bike riding lessons and spent a fair few hours at the playground which had something for all ages. The kids were, of course, in the pools every day. The baby splash pool featured slides and was still lots of fun for my five year old. There was an indoor big and baby pool, and outdoor big pool, and three more water slides and a very, very fun current pool. The worst bit about Eurocamp, I’ve decided, is getting the kids out of the pool. I lost count of how many ice creams I used as bribes.
And so - Les Ecureuils itself was lovely - our holiday home was very clean and in excellent condition, nothing was too much trouble for the staff, and they were brilliant with the kids. But part of what made this a wonderful family holiday was the bits aorund the outside two. We were ten minutes drive from St Jean De Monts and St Giles Croix de Vie. We visited both of these coastal towns and walked the kids around the markets, bought fresh seafood and pastires, and enjoyed coffees and people watching here as well as hours on the beach. The beaches along this stretch of coastline are truly beautiful. Across the road from Les Ecureiuls, after a short walk through the dunes, is a quiet, wavy bit of paradise. My children aren’t swimming alone yet, so they were happy enough splashing in the Atlantic waves, but I enjoyed a few swims and was surprised at how warm the water was at the end of May - and my husband even went out in the kayak a few times.
We were lucky enough to review Eurocamp for Mumsnet, but we thoroughly enjoyed it, and having looked into prices for next year already - it’s unbelievably good value. We’ll be doing it again.