Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The Dordogne

If you haven't chosen where to go in France for your holidays this year, then why not consider the Dordogne département, which is found within the Aquitaine region of the southwest corner of France. The region is often referred to as Périgord, a name used for the region before the French revolution

This lovely region is based around the River Dordogne which is popular for canoeing (visit Copeyre Canoe if you want to try this). The soft limestone rocks of the area has lead to some fantastic rock formations and cliffside villages as the river has eaten away at the soft rock. Water has also led to the creation of numerous limestone caverns and caves and in these you can view prehistoric cave paintings as well as stalactites and stalagmites !
The most famous of these - the Lascaux caves have now been closed to the public as damp was affecting the paintings. However a fantastic replica of the cave has been built as Lascaux II which is well worth a visit. And you can still visit original cave paintings in other caves, for example at  Grotte de Pech-Merle

If you want to see some animals which are similar to those featured in the paintings then you can visit at  Le Thot - Espace Cro Magnon near Montignac.

The buildings of the Dordogne are famed for being built in yellow limestone and grey roofs. 

The Dordogne also has chateau to visit :
Château de Marqueyssac - with its famous hanging gardens which  are some of the best kept gardens in France. There is a candlelit walk which takes place in July and August on Thursday evenings.
Château de Milandes - between Castelnaud & Berbiguiéres, which has Falconry displays several times per day and if you are brave there are night flights to observe the chateau from the house's own captive hot air balloon ! 

Château de Hautefort -one of the most prestigious châteaux in southwest france, classified as a historical monument.
Château de Monbazillac - with its vineyard and its fantastic views over the Dordogne Valley

There are also some lovely towns such as Sarlat, which is famous for its Saturday market, and Bergerac, famous for the character Cyrano de Bergerac. There is a culinary festival every July in Bergerac.

If you think the Dordogne sounds worth a visit then you will find some fabulous campsites with Keycamp and Eurocamp by clicking here :
Dordogne Campsites with Keycamp

Dordogne Campsites with Eurocamp

Or read our reviews of St Avit Loisirs and Les Peneyrals campsites in the Dordogne on

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Monday, 7 March 2011

Guide to the Eateries of France

Ever wondered about the differences between all the different types of restaurants, cafes and bars in France ?

Here's a nice little guide from Lonely Planet :

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Motorhoming with France Passion !

Excellent free one night stopovers with France Passion for self contained motorhomes and campervans. The location map shows stopovers in almost every part of France ! :

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Sunday, 6 March 2011

When is the best time to Book your Summer Camping holiday ?

If you are planning to go on a Eurocamp or Keycamp holiday then you might wonder "When is the best time to book your holiday ?"

There are usually early booking offers and late booking offers, but the particular campsite you have chosen may get booked up quickly. So the question is when is the best time to book ? 

If you are going in High Season of July and August you will really need to plan ahead if you want to go a particular site.

I have just scanned the holidays which are still available at the start of March 2011 for this summer 2011. I have found pretty good availability even for the peak of the High Season at the start of August. Only the most popular sites have limited availability.

If you are going to a very popular site you may need to book early. For example La Garangeoire in the Southern Vendee and Les Deux Fontaines in Southern Brittany at the beginning of March already nearly booked up for certain weeks of July.
The good news though is that you can reserve holidays with Eurocamp and Keycamp for as little at £100. So if you have a fairly good idea of where you want to go on holiday why not reserve it early on and then as it gets nearer the time to pay in full, you can see if you can afford to go ahead with the holiday. In these Credit Crunch times with lack of job security this is a good idea.

Two years ago we holidayed at Les Deux Fontaines in Brittany and we get to the site in late June/early July and wondered how was it so difficult to book two weeks holiday when many of the mobile homes seemed to be empty. We discovered that this is because they were maybe booked out for a holiday that started towards the end of our stay. So a holidaymaker only overlapped with us by 2 days but that meant that that particular mobile home was unavailalbe for the particular 13 night stretch that we were looking for.  However, if you are willing to move mobile home half way through your holiday or even to change site then you may find there are still options available to let you holiday in the sites or area that you have chosen.

If you are feeling adventurous and want to try "real camping" then the good news is that the Eurocamp or Keycamp tents are often the last things to book up on a site. Mobile homes seem to be more popular.

If you would like some more information to help you plan your holiday, we now have 20 different campsites in France which you can read about on our website

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