Aire naturelle campsites appeal to anyone who rates personal space above fancy amenities and organised fun. Typically found in attractive back gardens of French family homes, only 25 pitches are permitted and they’re spacious. To find a peaceful, unspoilt aire naturelle site so near to beaches and lakes is as good as it gets for nature- loving campers en France.
Welcome to the home of affable hostess Aude Libante. Her garden is a pretty, asymetric field with a few trees at each end and a couple of barns in between. When the weather is so hot that only sea breezes will keep you from melting, the coast is just 3 miles (5 km) away. And when the Atlantic currents are too strong to swim in, you’re on the middle edge of the biggest natural lake in France, Lac d’Hourtin-Carcans. Hourtin beach, to the north, is a family favourite and further south lies Lac de Lacanau, famous for international surfing competitions every August. White, sandy beaches and still waters offer supervised swimming and water sports. The nearest is Maubuisson; turn right out of the campsite and follow the signs and you’ll be windsurfing in minutes.
Shower block with 3 showers, 3 toilets (1 disabled); Table tennis, 6 communal BBQs. Only covered BBQ's allowed (can be rented).
Tents, campervans, dogs, young groups (by pre-approval) – yes. Large groups, caravans – no.
Maubuisson Nautic (0033 556 03 47 49) operates out of a booth on the lake, renting canoes for €8 an hour, pedalos for €13 per hour, catamaran lessons from €35 and windsurfing from €12 per hour, lessons from €25. There is also a brand new cycle path just 500m from the site which will take you to the sandy beaches of Lacanau and Hourtin. Bikes can be hired upon booking.
Food & Drink
Bread and croissants are available every morning in July and August. A cluster of café-restaurants overlook the lake at Maubuisson. Pizza Marina (0033 556 03 39 39) is the spot for huge platefuls of seafood salad.
Mid April – mid October.
Contact La Prairie, 225a rte St Helena de l'Etang 33121 Carcans
D6 to Saint-Médard-en-Jalle, then D1215 to Sainte-Helene D104 and D207 to Carcans and right on the D3. The campsite is on the left, turn down the long drive, around a few bends, and look for the sign on the left.
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Rated ★★★★★ over 2 reviews
Good, simple camping!
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