His real pride is the four brand new yurt-style eco-tents designed by local craftsmen and kitted with circular wooden floors, futons, pillows, chill-boxes for food, cooking sets, and camping chairs. Their fabric walls give a tent-like feel to what appears a very permanent structure and the roofs, soiled and seeded, are just beginning to green up. Soon they'll have long, shaggy, grass hair like an eco-yurt version of a rockstar, blending them into the tree-clad surroundings.
The secluded space for four tents is perfect if you plan to bring your own, though short-term tenting is preferred as a courtesy to passing cyclists and hikers who are the most frequent users of the spot. There’s a covered eating area for campers, with a BBQ grill and twin-burner stove; picnic tables are dotted around, and round the back you’ll find a nice stream that the kids can play in.
As well as being impressively eco-friendly (solar installation, water-consumption limiters, and discounts for guests arriving by public transport), L’Orri’s maison d’hôtes is one of the best places to eat in the area, by a long shot. The site works with around 30 local producers, who supply the place with everything from cheese and veal to honey and wine and you can buy their products from L’Orri’s shop, though, if you want to be more adventurous Arif will happily give you directions to the farms themselves. It's can be a good reason to spur you away from the delights of the campsite itself – never an easy thing here. With the GR10 Trans-Pyrénées walking trail, nearby hot springs, and a beautiful nature reserve within walking distance, as well as the entire Pyrénées region at your disposal, this is a great place to immerse yourself in nature as well as food!
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This summer I've been embarking on a six week adventure with my 4 year old son. I'd never done anything like this before and indeed had not really done any camping before! For the French leg of our tour we booked all of our campsites through 'Cool Camping' and L'Orri des Planes was our first stop.
The 'experience' starts before you actually arrive at L'Orri as the drive there is so breathtakingly beautiful. Set high in the Pyrenees you already feel like you're somewhere magical. L'Orri however exceeded all our expectations. Arif and his wife who built and own L'Orri call it an Ecological country house as an English translation. It consists of private rooms in the actual house, a 12 bed Gite/hostel a collection of Eco-tents complete with beds and an area for free camping. The site has a swimming pool, a kitchen area in the Gite that campers can use as well as an outside barbecue area. There is also a laundry room and of course the shower a d toilet area. Arif also runs a restaurant with locally sourced, organic produce and a varied and delicious menu on offer.
The whole site is immaculately presented. It is clean and modern yet characterful. Everywhere are signs reminding you to not be wasteful of water or electricity in line with the ethos of the site. The aim is to be as sustainable as possible living off the land and respecting the environment. It feels energising to be a part if such a worthy project while having such a luxurious and comfortable stay.
In addition there are some beautiful walks around the area of all levels depending on your fitness and if you have children with you. We climbed a mini mountain, followed a stream and paddled in a river. There is also the very sweet Petit Jaune Trsin close by which is an open top train that takes you on a picturesque journey around the mountains.
5 minutes walk away is a gorgeous tiny cafe next to an old church for a coffee and a snack but Arif's place is the best by far if you want a meal out.
We ended up staying in the Gite as my son was overtired from our Spain leg and Craig and his wife were accommodating and helpful. The prices of L'Orri are more than reasonable and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.
It's affordable and guilt-free luxury in a wonderful setting.
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