The one thing people don’t tell you about a world tour travel, is how tiring it can be. When we came back to France, we had no desire to be on the move. After some time of staying put, we accept an invitation to go camping in Argeles Sur Mer, next the Mediterranean seaside. I love nature and camping, but I have yet to experience camping in France.
Upon our arrival in the “campground”, we are given plastic bracelets that allow us access to all the amenities in the park. No, not that kind of park with only green grass and trees, but instead a sauna, Jacuzzi, outdoor pool and even miniature golf. Outside the park is lots of restaurants and supermarkets (classic beach town) so there is no need to worry about starving. This reminds me of Great Family Holidays.
We drive up to our assigned campsite and in our spot is a two-bedroom prefab house with a large wooden deck. Inside the house is new interiors with decent size rooms, semi comfortable beds, and a full kitchen. Next on our itinerary, we go soak in the Jacuzzi and bake in the sauna for thirty slow minutes, not bad for three-star camping in France.
All in all, the French call this camping but in reality, it is an economic family vacation. It allows you to be by the beach, but have the comforts you are used to, which is easier for families with children.
The location of Argeles Sur Mer is terrific because you’re by the sea and sandy beaches, with view of the Pyrenees mountain range, and within close proximity to the Spanish border. We pack up our small backpacks and set out on foot for a day of hiking to the village of Collioure. The beginning of the trail is along the cliffs overlooking the infinite sea. There are many wildflowers and just the right amount of breeze and sun to make it an enjoyable hike.
Before we know it, we arrive in the attractive village of Collioure. Apparently Henry Matisse, a widely recognized French artist known for his use of color in his paintings, visited here and was inspired by the scenery. I really enjoy walking around this village, as it is full of artisan shops and restaurants. I guess we are lucky because the large crowds of tourists are not yet to be seen.
After a relaxing lunch break next to the church tower of Collioure in the quiet bay, we are ready to continue on with our hike. We make our way up to the top of the hill where the castle of Collioure stands and pass by a very nice windmill of Collioure along the way. From above, we can see all the wonderful colors of the village and the entire bay.
Since we are so close to the Spanish border, we can’t refuse a visit to a Spanish village. Once we cross the border, the language completely changes. Having spent some time in South America, we love hearing Spanish being spoken. However, it doesn’t feel like a typical Spanish village, but another seaside town.
Our trip to this region ends up being very nice as there are lots to do and see. The village of Collioure is absolutely wonderful, but the region also offers a lot of other activities like a free audio tour of the Castle of Valmy and wine tasting. The artisan shops in the village of Castelnou also make a nice stop.
Thank you to our friends, Brice and Sophie, for a fun first experience camping in France.