A family holiday at La Garangeoire, Vendée, France with Eurocamp

A family holiday at La Garangeoire, Vendée, France with Eurocamp

When I told people we’d been invited by Eurocamp to spend a week at La Garangeoire, a five-star holiday parc in the Vendée, France, a surprising number seemed to know about the place.

A good friend vividly remembered having first kiss there, from a family holiday in the 90s, when she was a teenager. A handful of people on Twitter told me La Garangeoire had been the best French holiday parc they’d been to. At La Garangeoire itself we met people who’d gone back three or four years in a row – and one woman who’d notched up an impressive 22 consecutive years at the medium-sized parc close to the village of Saint-Julien des Landes.

La Garangeoire

La Garangeoire

I’ve posted here about what I think makes La Garangeoire stand out: what brings people back over and over again to the camping and mobile home estate, set in the grounds of a 19th-Century manor house. One of the reasons is that La Garangeoire is particularly well-suited to family breaks. I’ve already posted about the Eurocamp’s kids’ club; and here are some of the activities families can enjoy together outside of the clubs.

 

Swimming pools and lagoon

La Garangeoire

poolside bar

La Garangeoire’s four swimming pools (five if you count the tiny toddler splash area) are all nestled together, next to the poolside bar. As well as luxury ice creams in zingy flavours like salted caramel, café au lait and cassis (see the picture at the top of this post) you can buy sandwiches and light meals there. Your food and drinks are accompanied by the sounds of swimming, splashing and shrieks as children hurtle down the slides, dip their heads under the cascades, or risk being scolded by older folk enforcing the adults-only rule in the covered pool. But by resort standards the pool area was a tranquil area, except on ‘pool party’ night when it went into Eurodisco mode, with flashing lights, a DJ and raucous swimming until 10pm.

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La Garangeoire’s freshwater lagoon is a new feature. Set the edge of the holiday park, it’s a man-made lake with hand-filtered  water and sand. Inflatables are forbidden in the pools; but if you want to float around on a lilo, the lagoon’s the place to do it.

La Garangeoire

La Garangeoire’s lagoon

Go-karting

Go-karting costs €5, and all the carts are pedal operated. The track doesn’t have any steep hills, but karting around can become a bit of a thigh-trembler towards the end of the 30 minute time slot – especially if you have a younger child riding tandem on one of the two-person carts.

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La Garangeoire

Play area and trampolines

The play area was next to the Eurocamp kids’ clubs area; handy when the children wanted to carry on the fun with new friends, after club had ended. The trampolines were staffed and only open at specific times. Although we missed out on trampolines sometimes (opening times were advertised at the welcome centre, but were rather confusingly different each day), having the staff there did mean that children had a fair amount of bouncing time each.

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Lakes and countryside

La Garangeoire’s estate covers 200 hectares of land, and there are marked walking trails, ranging in distance from three to five kilometres. The Vendée’s terrain is flat, with plenty of woodland. One morning D and I rambled through dappled tree tunnels, hopped across shallow brooks and spotted frogs, shrews, wild rabbits and even a rare cormorant. The mixture of deciduous and conifer trees meant that the scent of pine hung in the air even while we were crunching through acorns (they fall early in France).

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There are four lakes near La Garangeoire. Fishing enthusiasts can get a permit from reception, and novices can take part in one of the taster sessions. It’s all strictly regulated, with a no-kill policy and fishing forbidden at night. La Garangeoire Lake, surrounded by trees and where herons frequently compete with the fishermen, has a small jetty with canoes and pedaloes are available free to residents.

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Cycling and horse riding

Evenings at La Garangeoire saw groups of youngsters, roaming round the estate on bikes. We didn’t hire any this time – there was just so much to keep us occupied anyway, and our two were just a little too young to cycle round on their own. The country roads outside the estate didn’t have cycle paths, and cars whizzed along at whiplash speed, but the on-site cycling looked like a good way for tweens to have some independence in a safe environment. Fans of horse-riding could book a ride on one of the equestrian centre’s ponies, with children as young as three being led through the trees on a hack.

Mini golf and table tennis

La Garangeoire

The mini-golf area was set in a shady nook opposite the pool area; except when a tournament was being staged, it was usually quiet. Clubs were free to loan at the reception bar, and you could either buy golf balls from reception, or borrow one from the Eurocamp welcome cabin (on the left in the picture below). The cabin also had bats and balls for table tennis, which you could play in one of the two court areas, or in the teen’s hangout (which I poked my nose into, and emerged quickly with the distinct impression it was a teens-only space….)

La Garangeoire

Nearby attractions

The holiday parc is close to several of the Vendée’s renowned beaches, including Les Sables d’Olonne. The nearest are at Bretignolles sur Mer (12 km away), a small town where you can choose between rocky beaches with surfer-friendly waves, or fine sandy stretches where families can learn to sail, cycle along the dunes, or just build sandcastles and snooze.

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Other nearby attractions included Le Grand Defi, treetop trails in  Saint Julien Des Landes; O’Gliss, a newly opened six-hectare water park which another La Garangeoire guest highly recommended; and Puy du Fou, a theme park with no rides, only shows. I’ve posted about our day at Puy du Fou here.

Here’s a video of our week at La Garangeoire. Do hit ‘like’ if you enjoy it.

What activities do you look for when choosing a family holiday?

Like many others, we would go back to La Garangeoire. Thanks to Eurocamp for hosting our trip.

You might also like to read our other posts on this trip to the Vendée:

Six reasons for families to visit the Vendée

Eurocamp kids’ clubs at La Garangeoire

What brings people back to La Garangeoire?

A tour of a Eurocamp Avant

What to expect at Puy du Fou theme park

  • La Garangeoire
    A family holiday at La Garangeoire, Vendée, France with Eurocamp

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Linking up with Monday Escapes, which this fortnight is hosted by Tin Box Traveller.

Suitcases and Sandcastles

 

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56 Comments

  1. October 13, 2016 / 7:32 pm

    Oh my goodness, that ice cream is massive! No wonder your daughter’s got such a delighted smile on her face! La Garangeoire looks seriously impressive, Nell. How lovely that your family got to spend a holiday here – so many different things to do and lots for different ages by the sound of it. I like the look of the lakes, the countryside and the beach. Thanks so much for linking up with #FarawayFiles

    • Nell
      Author
      October 14, 2016 / 9:32 am

      Yes we had daily requests for those ice creams! Seriously yummy. La Garangeoire really was ‘our’ kind of place. Such a beautiful setting.

  2. October 13, 2016 / 8:56 pm

    Oh Nell that beach is amazing! Not to mention the icecream and 5 swimming pools. It is not hard to see why your kids have the widest grins on their faces. La Garangeoire really seems like a family holiday paradise. Really appreciate you joining us on #FarawayFiles

    • Nell
      Author
      October 14, 2016 / 9:33 am

      Yes, I can really see why people go back there over and over again….

  3. October 14, 2016 / 11:41 am

    From your images the overall impression i got was ‘clean and bright’! Not a bad impression to have! The place looks really nice and I loved the look of the manor house. The swimming pool would be a hit with my family – great post.

    • Nell
      Author
      October 18, 2016 / 6:35 pm

      Yes Nadine the place was spotless – including our chalet (I’m going to post separately about the accommodation)

  4. October 14, 2016 / 2:44 pm

    It looks perfect all round for families. It’s lovely that you can be in the woodlands one day and then head out to the beach the next.

    • Nell
      Author
      October 18, 2016 / 6:36 pm

      Yes, the countryside was beautiful.

  5. October 14, 2016 / 2:59 pm

    Oh Nell it really does have everything doesn’t it? I can see why so many people have fond memories. I loved you long long break and its inspired me to escape for longer next summer. Lovely pics too, smiles and beauty all round!

    • Nell
      Author
      October 18, 2016 / 6:37 pm

      Penny we loved it. You definitely should have a long break if you get the chance. We literally came back older and wiser!

  6. October 14, 2016 / 7:07 pm

    Looks like a lovely place to stay with great play areas and pool, and fantastic location being so close to the beach. We’ve always had a good time with Eurocamp. You had good weather for it!

    • Nell
      Author
      October 18, 2016 / 6:38 pm

      I know, we were lucky given it was right at the end of the season. The Vendee’s a pretty sunny place though!

  7. October 14, 2016 / 8:14 pm

    That ice cream looks Fab. The whole holiday sounds amazing! Definitely a family holiday with so much to do!

    • Nell
      Author
      October 18, 2016 / 6:39 pm

      The ice cream was FAR too tempting! Delicious.

  8. October 14, 2016 / 10:51 pm

    This looks so perfect, just our sort of thing. We’re definitely going to try a Eurocamp holiday during the coming years. I used to live in Nantes in France so heading back to France soon is high on my agenda and this looks like the perfect place.
    Nat.x

    • Nell
      Author
      October 18, 2016 / 6:41 pm

      Ooh I’d love to visit Nantes – I’ve been close by but never into the city itself. It looks like a really cool place.

  9. October 16, 2016 / 6:00 pm

    It looks like the perfect place to stay. I have very fond memories of holidays in France and I hope that my boys grow up with them too. We are trying out Holland in October though. Duinrell here we come!

    • Nell
      Author
      October 18, 2016 / 6:42 pm

      We loved Duinrell when we visited for the day! Have a great time Jen, I bet you’ll love it.

  10. October 17, 2016 / 7:26 am

    Oh wow! What a fantastic place to be invited to! I’ve never really seen much of France (just a five day trip to Paris last year) and it’s a place I’d love to explore more. Gorgeous photos in this post! Love that little toad!

    • Nell
      Author
      October 18, 2016 / 6:44 pm

      He was a cute little fellow! You should definitely go back to France – it has so much going for it.

  11. October 17, 2016 / 10:26 am

    I’ll admit whenever I’ve heard the word “Eurocamp”, I always just think of a campsite and that’s it. all these facilities look so amazing and like you’ve all had a really brilliant time!!

    • Nell
      Author
      October 18, 2016 / 6:45 pm

      Yes, it really was a 5 star experience. But you still had that outdoorsy feeling – perfect.

  12. October 17, 2016 / 11:50 am

    Looks like it was a great trip, looks like the facilities are brilliant for the kids. Mine would head for the pedalos straight away!

    • Nell
      Author
      October 18, 2016 / 6:49 pm

      There was so much to do we only managed to get to them on the penultimate day! We did regret that – they were so much fun.

  13. October 17, 2016 / 1:04 pm

    This is just the type of holiday we loved when our son was little. A French holiday park, near the beach, with a great pool and facilities. We had a few Eurocamp holidays and always loved them.
    #mondayescapes

    • Nell
      Author
      October 18, 2016 / 6:51 pm

      Trish it was perfect for our little family. I’m sure like you we’ll look back with great fondness on these sorts of breaks.

  14. October 17, 2016 / 1:16 pm

    You won’t be surprised to hear that we’ve been there too and I’d happily consider returning. I’m in the process of choosing a Eurocamp break for next year so thank you for refreshing my memory so well!

    • Nell
      Author
      October 18, 2016 / 6:53 pm

      Jane I’m staggered at the number of people who say they’ve been! And everyone seemed to enjoy it. Good luck with picking your Eurocamp – that’s always a really fun job.

    • Nell
      Author
      October 18, 2016 / 6:53 pm

      It really was!

  15. October 17, 2016 / 3:48 pm

    Wow, there’s so much to do, I can imagine the kids went nuts! Love the story about your friend’s first kiss, we all have those summer vacation romantic memories!:) #FarawayFiles

    • Nell
      Author
      October 18, 2016 / 6:54 pm

      I know – holidays are a big part of growing up, aren’t they?

  16. October 17, 2016 / 8:32 pm

    It looks so amazing I have loved following your trip, it really has looked so incredible and not what I though eurocamp would be at all, Joe would love the Horse Riding and I think I may well brave it again x

    • Nell
      Author
      October 18, 2016 / 6:58 pm

      Sarah it looked as though they had horses for all different levels there. And an equestrian show on the first evening, with acrobatics on horseback!

  17. October 17, 2016 / 8:47 pm

    Looks like you had a fabulous holiday and mine would love the variety of activities to do. Have always wanted to go on a eurocamp holiday!

    • Nell
      Author
      October 18, 2016 / 6:58 pm

      Kara you should. I think you and your family would love it.

  18. October 17, 2016 / 9:15 pm

    This looks amazing. And feels similar to a place we go in Oregon in the summer called Black Butte Ranch. Everything in one place, with options to explore if you want more. What else could you ask for. Looks perfect – thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles – can’t wait to see what you post this week, cheers from Copenhagen, Erin

    • Nell
      Author
      October 18, 2016 / 6:59 pm

      Ah yes, a few people have told me there are very similar places in the states. I’d love to try one out some time!

  19. October 17, 2016 / 9:42 pm

    What a lot there is to do. I love to stay at places that have plenty of activities onsite and close by. The beach looks fantastic. Thanks for sharing with #MondayEscapes!

    • Nell
      Author
      October 18, 2016 / 7:01 pm

      Claire we could have stayed another week there – it was fabulous. We only managed to get to one of the many beaches nearby!

  20. October 17, 2016 / 9:44 pm

    Looks like a great place. When choosing a family campsite, we look for a balance between size and facilities. If the campsite is too big, then we don’t feel comfortable letting our kids have the freedom that they crave. But if it is too small, then it may not have the facilities (e.g. kids’ activities) that make holidays special.

    • Nell
      Author
      October 18, 2016 / 7:02 pm

      That’s a really good point. I think La Garangeoire was a good balance – lots of children just a little older than ours were allowed to roam there.

  21. October 18, 2016 / 5:03 am

    Wow!. There really looks as if there is something for everyone to do! #mondayescapes

    • Nell
      Author
      October 18, 2016 / 7:02 pm

      Yes, we were all catered for so well.

  22. October 18, 2016 / 10:22 pm

    I love Eurocamps! They are SO good for family holidays and such good value too. We are going to Duinrell in The Netherlands on Friday but I’d love to go to La Garangeoire too. #MondayEscapes

    • Nell
      Author
      October 19, 2016 / 11:14 am

      Duinrell is a fabulous place! We just went for the day, during our spring trip to Holland, but we decided it would make a great base for a family holiday some time. Enjoy!

  23. October 19, 2016 / 8:37 am

    Hey, I really enjoyed your post, quite interesting and helpful. Thank You for providing all the details like where to go, what to do,hotels, food, flights, what to wear etc. This will give an idea to everyone.

  24. October 19, 2016 / 2:16 pm

    Oh it looks absolutely amazing there! We’ve been on holiday to Eurocamps in Spain a couple of times with the kids and they adored it, it’s such a family friendly place to stay!

    • Nell
      Author
      October 31, 2016 / 11:52 am

      I know – it’s a company I’d definitely book another holiday through. We still need to try one in Spain!

  25. October 21, 2016 / 10:41 am

    Wow I bet they slept really really well. My boys wouldn’t want to leave the pools or the trampoline area. I think you’re converting me to euro camps!

    • Nell
      Author
      October 31, 2016 / 12:10 pm

      You should give them a try!

  26. November 15, 2016 / 12:59 pm

    La Garangeoire does seems to be a perfect holiday destination. The opportunity of different kinds of activities like swimming, karting, cycling and horse riding, etc for kids and young ones are exciting.

  27. June 24, 2017 / 4:09 pm

    This looks great – I’m kind of regretting not sorting out a holiday camp for this summer, but I’m pre-plotting for next! Excuse my sad lack of French geography – but can you fly in to some where close by?

    • Nell
      Author
      June 26, 2017 / 8:17 pm

      I feel the same. We’ve done European holiday parks for the last couple of summers, and I have fond memories. Somehow it won’t be the same without it! For La Garangeoire, Nantes is the closest airport. An hour’s drive away, as the place is blissfully rural!

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