Our next French adventure has been a few months in the making. Earlier this year I began squirrelling away vouchers from a British tabloid newspaper. Once I collected ten I could book a discounted stay at a campsite in the UK or France. The South-West coast of France harbours a certain magic. The natural beauty of the coastline and the tumbling waves combined with the cyle paths snaking through the Landes Forest and views towards the Pyrénées pull my son and I back year after year.
We usually make a campsite in Labenne Ocean our base but this year we decided to travel around the area. First off we are heading just south of Biarritz to Bidart in the Pays basque or French Basque Country. From here we plan to visit the beaches, spend some time amongst the faded glamour of Biarritz, visit the city’s aquarium and hopefully take the little train up to the summit of La Rhune.
From there we catch a bus to the beautiful waterside city of Bayonne. Situated at the confluence of the Nive and Adour rivers this ancient city is a good place to sample traditional Basque cuisine and hams. It’s relaxed atomosphere makes it the perfect place for a late afternoon/early evening amble. From Bayonne we are heading north, past the popular fishing port of Capbreton and trendy surf spot of Hossegor to Messanges. We have never travelled so far up the coast before. Checking the route via public transport earlier this week I discovered the bus service travels as far as Soustons and then we can catch another bus or taxi.
This year I saved up extra vouchers so we have a four night stay booked at a campsite in Messanges. It is close to the ocean and the forest, so we hope to be able to spend our days by the breakers and explore the area by bike.
From here we head back down the coast to Labenne Ocean. The place I first fell in love when I first brought my son to the region five years ago. Over the past few years we have seen the area become more and more popular with French and European holidaymakers. Some fifteen years ago I believe the area was quite wild, now new apartments are springing up and campsites are expanding to cater for the greater influxes of people wanting to enjoy the area’s natural beauty. We can’t wait to return, time to start brushing up on my French!
All photos: Miss Chipie 🙂