Huttopia Beaulieu sur Dordogne Huttopia
Boulevard Rodolphe de Turenne, 19120 Beaulieu sur Dordogne, Corrèze, France
Imagine your perfect camping island. Lost, perhaps, in a pearly blue sea with the sun basking down, coconut-rich palm trees and a yacht pulled up in the soft white sand. Alas, Camping des Îles is a rather more modern take on this dreamy fantasy but what it lacks in Caribbean mystique it makes up for with the typically charming surroundings of central France – rich in history, dotted with châteaux and sound-tracked by the uncorking of lip-smacking local vino. No, there may not be palm trees, but the surrounding waters of the Dordogne are as inviting as any ocean. If you want an island paradise on a shoestring, this campsite might just be it.
Beneath the medieval town of Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne, this seven-hectare campsite has a host of camping and glamping pitches, ranging from shrub-surrounded spots for tiny tents, to pre-pitched wood and canvas homes with everything you could need. There’s an informative reception area – where you can order fresh croissants and pick your way through local leaflets – a snack bar, a sun terrace, a heated outdoor swimming pool and a playground. It’s certainly geared at the family friendly audience but hop across the bridge into the town itself and it’s easy to find quieter couples hideaways. Typically French cafés speckle every street and tiny alleyways wind their way to and from the waterfront.
Down in the campsite itself there’s plenty to keep you busy and, though facilities like the swimming pool, table tennis and boules court, are designed to keep campers happy, it’s the river that’s the main attraction. Canoes and kayaks can be hired from the campsite and you can quite easily drift downstream for several hours without getting bored of it. Half days and full days are available and it’s a highly recommended way to enjoy lounging around on the river. After all, desert island or river island, whichever you dream of, soaking up the sunshine is always going to be included.