This half-term we were invited to try a self-catering holiday in France with Al Fresco, at Yelloh! Village Lac de Biscarrosse.
Lac de Biscarrosse is the location for you if (like me) you have school-aged children who love water sports, surfing, beaches and adventure. This time, Flea brought along her bestie, Zara, for company.
Biscarrosse is in the South West of France, on the Atlantic coast. There are long, wide, sandy beaches with world-class surf.
But that’s not all. There are nature reserves with miles of woodland paths to explore, and lakes with sandy beaches and a host of water-based activities.
Oh and did I mention the beaches?
Lac de Biscarrosse: Campsite Arrival
Lac de Biscarrosse is best reached via Bordeaux. It’s a quick 90-minute flight from the North West of England. We hired a car for the 45-minute drive to the campsite.
We’re not novices to French campsites so we stopped at the local Super U en route to the campsite. This is essential to stock up on essentials for the first couple of days. Don’t forget lots of French stores will be closed on Sunday! In our case, we didn’t land at the campsite until after 7pm, and both reception and the camp shop were closed.
Our Al Fresco rep called in a favour from the restaurant manager and let us into the site. Ordinarily access is controlled by number-plate recognition technology.
The fabulous rep also settled us into our accommodation, and answered all our questions about the site. He also collected our 60 Euro security deposit, then left us to our own devices to explore.
The lovely thing about Flea having a friend with her was that the girls offered to go and do some in-depth research of the pool area. This left me to unpack the shopping and get the mobile home all settled. The girls made some important discoveries – the on-site restaurant serves take-away pizzas AND there’s free WiFi in the pool and restaurant area.
Lac de Biscarrosse Facilities
Job one the following morning was to go to the shop and pick up fresh bread and croissants. I also popped into reception to register our car, and pay 20 euros for a week’s WiFi. This gives you access on three devices at a time, and it was really decent. We even managed to download movies over WiFi.
Top of the girls’ list of facilities at Lac de Biscarrosse is the swimming pool complex. Flea and Zara spent many happy hours on the waterslides, swimming around the large pool, and ducking into the indoor pool. All the pools are heated. Although there’s no lifeguard early in the season, I understand they are provided when the site is busier.
Check out the video below for a quick overview of the Lac de Biscarrosse campsite:
We hired bikes to explore the local area from the on-site bike hire shop. The girls loved using the bike to go down to the Lake. Don’t stop there, though! There are loads of cycle paths locally. It’s a bit far to ride to the beach, but there are plenty of woodland and coastal paths to explore.
In terms of other facilities, Lac de Biscarrosse ticks a lot of boxes. There’s on-site bike hire, and a spa, along with a laundrette, games room, and a huge entertainment space where there are discos and games for the kids. We also saw a basketball court, but didn’t try it out.
Lakeside at Lac de Biscarrosse
A five-minute walk from our accommodation at the rear side of the parc is the lake that gives the campsite its name.
There’s a small beachfront, with clear, shallow water that’s ideal for younger children. You can splash and swim, or pay a few euros to hire a pedalo, paddle board or kayak.
During peak season there are banana boat rides and similar high-speed thrills. It’s a fabulous spot, and so convenient for guests at Lac de Biscarrosse.
We found opening hours of the facilities to be a bit – shall we say – unpredictable. Early in the season, some things are open only at the weekend, and plenty of things seem to close on a Monday or Friday (or both).
Accommodation: Al Fresco Vivaldi Riviera
The Al Fresco properties at Lac de Biscarrosse sit a couple of minutes walk from the pool area, and a five-minute stroll from the lake.
It’s far enough away from the main buildings to feel quiet. It’s worth noting that the mobile homes are reasonably close together, so you’ll be able to see and hear your neighbours. Thanks to our neighbours for that rousing chorus of Happy Birthday you sang on the dot of midnight…
We stayed in a Vivaldi Riviera mobile home. Here’s a quick video tour of our accommodation:
I’ve stayed in lots of these sorts of mobile homes over the years and this was one of my favourites. With a large outside deck, it’s perfect for alfresco meals, with a door opening directly into the kitchen.
The girls loved sitting out with a stack of bread and cheese, and a deck of cards. Zara taught Flea how to play 21 and Black Jack, and we all sat together after dinner playing Cheat. It was lovely to spend such relaxed time together, without the girls being glued to their devices.
The mobile home has a living area in the centre, with two twin bedrooms on one end, and a double on the other. This gives maximum privacy and meant I could watch a movie after the girls were in bed. They could enjoy a lie-in each morning without me disturbing them.
In general, I’ve found Al Fresco properties to be modern and well-maintained and this was no exception. The kitchen is well equipped with six of everything you’re likely to need, and a decent oven, plus a microwave.
My only complaint was the almost total absence of storage for food. Every drawer and cupboard is used for glasses, crockery or pans. The only space for food was inside the fridge/freezer, or squished alongside the microwave. It’s a bit of a squeeze but we managed.
Lac de Biscarrosse has a huge amount going for it as a family holiday destination. The campsite is modern and in excellent condition, with fabulous facilities and lots of thoughtful extras.
That’s important because this IS the Atlantic coast and the weather can be unpredictable. We were really lucky but if you’re here for a week, there’s an excellent chance you’re going to have the odd shower.
Beyond the facilities, we absolutely loved the location. Biscarrosse is where you come for a holiday where you’re still going to be washing the sand out of your hair a week after you get home.
Check out tomorrow’s post for details of activities to try in this area. Suffice to say, though, you’re spoiled for choice.
The girls surfed and paddle boarded. They tried a range of adrenaline activities, and spent many, many hours in the campsite pool.
The towns dotted along the coastline are small and surf-based – this isn’t where you come for five-star dining and glitzy shopping. But if that is your thing, it’s a few hours’ drive up the coast to Biarritz or down to San Sebastien.
Get 10% Off Your Al Fresco 2018 Holiday
If you’re feeling inspired, then simply use the code 18AF10P when booking your 2018 holiday with Al Fresco to receive 10% off your booking! Check out our previews reviews of Al Fresco holidays – we’ve visited Sanguli in Spain’s Costa Dorada, Sylvamar in Biarritz, and Lake Garda in Italy.
Details: A week’s accommodation at Lac de Biscarrosse with Al Fresco in a Vivaldi Riviera mobile home costs from £1,400 per week during August 2018. We were provided with complimentary travel and accommodation for the purposes for this review. For further information, please see the Al Fresco website.