Camping du Brec
Le Brec, 04320 Entrevaux, France
A family-camping paradise in the Maritime Alps... with its own private lakeside beach!
If the French Alps boast some of Europe's most awe-inspiring scenery, then the Maritime Alps in the country's remote south-east corner are truly a sight to behold. The southernmost tip of this mighty mountain range, the Maritime Alps straddle the border between L'hexagone and the Italian regions of Piedmont and Liguria. This epic landscape is a stunning picture of lush, craggy mountains and vast gorges scything the valley in two, bejewelled with sparkling lakes. And surveying this breathtaking vista, beside one such lovely waterside scene, you will first lay eyes upon one of the region's most enviably-located campsites.
Managed by wonderful, English-speaking hosts Clare and Eric Rondeau, Camping du Brec is 7.5 acres of idyllic family-camping paradise. With a mixture of shady pitches catering to tents, campervans and caravans (as well as the obligatory French camping bungalows), it's big on facilities, though with a refreshingly uncommercial presentation.
Navigating the serpentine roads that snake their way round the meandering River Var, arrival at Camping du Brec is akin to finding an oasis (just... ahem... substitute undulating sand plains for verdant, pine-strewn mountainsides). For the jewel in du Brec's already resplendent crown is the gorgeous lake and beach. A hive of swimming, fishing, canoeing, and general aquatic escapades, the private lake is the focal point for campsite life – helped in no small measure by the lakeside bar.
As if this lakeside locale wasn't enough, Camping du Brec is also mere minutes from some of the best southern France has to offer. There's the sprawling Mercantour National Park (home to wild boar, golden eagles, and wolves); the heady vineyards and perfumed lavender fields of Provence; the picture-postcard town of Entrevaux – its citadel a marvel of medieval construction. It's also not too far from the glamorous Côte d’Azur (though a million miles away in terms of pretentiousness).
Natural wonders really show off here; Le Gorges de Daluis, Lac d’Allos – there's an epic scale to everything. And for those brave (or foolhardy) enough, there’s always cycling the Col de la Bonette, Europe’s highest road and the bane of the world’s greatest cyclists during the Tour de France.
However you choose to spend your break, just let the invigorating mountain air, a panacea for all the ills of modern living, do its thing. And as the sun descends over the surrounding mountains, and you kick back with a beer on the lakeside terrace as the glinting rays dance on the gently-lapping waves, you'll be glad you navigated those winding Alpine roads.
The Owner Says
We stayed in the pre-season in one of the small bungalows on the square and enjoyed their peace and the impressive nature very much. Everything was clean and in part we had the feeling to lie at our private lake. It was also great, that enough boats and surfboards were available for free use. As the holiday looks like we can not say unfortunately. We finally found a campsite, which really practiced the night rest from 22h. Super is that the others have the opportunity to enjoy the night by the lake. There is a bar area and a walkway to talk (according to laughter :), music and stars enjoy. However, there were also on the campsite people, who were quite cramped already 22h before hoping only to silent on comfort chairs before us ... That was us too much; ) But here too the increased presence of children will surely have a self-regulating effect in the holiday season and will have a little more joy in life. There is a playground on the campsite, a volleyball court and on the lake Boule (petanque) and table tennis. Entrevaux is a 25 minute walk, which leads through great nature. For shopping there is also very close to a supermarket. Excursions are endless: gorges, mountain villages, a steam train (even more fun than we thought !!), rafting (offers the campsite) and the Mediterranean Sea is just an hour away The location is topp, but you should adjust to the very long journey over national roads (were renewed in 2017)
A long drive from the UK this summer brought us to a hidden treasure of Camping du Brec.
Near the banks of the Var and with its own lake, is this beautifully uncommercialised and relaxing campsite. August means that our pitch ground was stony, pine coney and tent pegs hard to drive home but possible. The site was pretty full at this time of year with a mix of pitches, most having some kind of shade. The toilet and washing up facilities were basic, sometimes to more than capacity, but overall clean and more than adequate.
Many families were Dutch with a smattering from the UK and overall a friendly atmosphere with kids of most ages rumbling around and pleasantly, but not too, quiet. A couple of free campsite freezers, for ice packs only, meant we could keep our own food cool. We could enjoy simple food and drink from the campsite cafe, watch the sunset over the lake and mountains.
The site hosts were friendly and generous and also run kayaking and canyoning trips that set out from here. I did one - and really enjoyed it despite myself!
We only had one quiet teenage daughter with us but she enjoyed spending hours in the lake with the free kayaks and boards and from the site there's plenty of amazing mountain scenery and small villages to enjoy walks and rivers. The city of Nice is possible to visit in a day and is a contrast to the rural life but favourite times were exploring the local area.
A supermarket is just down the road - we realised a privilege in this rural area with shoppers coming from miles around come to use this modestly sized shop. A Carrefour can be found at Puget Théniers also - and a steam train! Local markets and small shops, for locally produced food, were best. A successful and relaxing holiday - Wish I was there now.
This site is ideally suited for the Alps and travelling to the coast and even Italy. The lake is small but there is a little space to bring chairs and loungers so that you don't have to lie on the stones. The water isn't clear but is certainly fresh and the location is quite stunning with opportunities for walking, running and cycling. Entrevaux is a short and pleasant walk away and there is an Intermarche supermarket a short walk or bike ride away where you can get fresh food and camping essentials. As you drive down onto the site you do not get to fully apreciate the location as it is quite shady with tents covering the whole area. The pitches themselves are small and whichever way we moved our tent and sleeping area we were unable to find a flat spot. I perhaps naively imagined the site would be more spacious than it was; the small areas for hooking up are also used for late/short-stay bookings which further adds to the feeling of being crammed in. It is a site favoured by Dutch families predominantly and it was quite noisy and busy during the school holidays: we were unable to come any earlier or later as I'm a teacher. The 10pm noise curfew wasn't really observed by all but that happens when youngsters/teenagers are around. It did seem though that the facilities were a little tired and couldn't cope with the numbers at the site during peak season and you find yourself showering when it is quiet and not when you really want to. Updating the shower blocks to add a few more units and improve drainage and hygiene would make a difference, as would being able to moderate the shower temp. - it is cold when you want it to be hot and showering with little ones you sometimes need to cool it a little. The pc in the cafe wasn't much use so if you need internet access you can take your own devices and purchase the wifi code for 24hrs: we didn't do this so cannot comment on its speed or reliability. This site is certainly for families. Driving around there were plenty of sites in the region to choose from so you are spoilt for choice really if you'd like more space, privacy and relaxation. I would certainly recommend the area and perhaps visiting this site out of season would be a better experience.
For Lakeside Lovers!
We stayed in Du Brec in a mobile home for 5 days and had really a good time there. The camping site is impressively located amidst mountains and as other reviewer mentioned, the lake is an absolute highlight! As it is not very deep, it get's relative quick warm, so we enjoyed some nice hours just laying at the (stony) beach. Bring along your own chairs!
The tent pitches are not really big, but sufficient for most tents. Still don't expect to much privacy there. Our mobile home was a little bit old-fashioned, but it came for a really reasonable price! Good value for money. If your are looking for something more fancy, the wooden chalet for 6 people might be the better option for you.
We enjoyed the familiar atmosphere on the site, with owners and staff being perfect hosts. They were very willing to help and gave us excellent recommendations what to do. The small village of Entrevaux is lovely and just a 15 Minutes walk away. You can even go to Monaco within 1,5h.
Facilities were totally fine and well kept. So if you like mountains and lakes and are not deterred by the slightly limited privacy of the pitches, that's a perfect site for you!
Had a lovely 5 night stay at this campsite. The location is great, easy to find, close to a big supermarket and a walkable distance to the beautiful nearby medieval town entrevaux. The campsite is based on a beautiful lake backed by mountains. You can sit by the lake (although I would recommend bringing chairs or lilos to sit on as it is gravelly) and they have canoes, sups, and kayaks you can use for free if camping here!!
The staff here were all extremely friendly and gave us great recommendations on where to go/ how to get places and even detailed info about nearby hikes. Whilst here we also made trips Into Monaco and Cannes quite easily. There's a cafe at the campsite with reasonable priced food and drinks .
The pitches were reasonably sized - toilets never ran out of loo roll and the showers were hot! I would love to return to this beautiful campsite very soon and can't recommend it enough!
- Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
- Instant booking confirmation
- Trusted for 10 years
- Chance to win Vango camping goodies!
We had such a lovely, laidback holiday at Camping du Brec this summer: the setting was perfect for my 2 boys who swam and kayaked (for free!) In the lake on the site all day everyday. It has a friendly atmosphere with a mix of English, French and Dutch mostly: the owners were helpful without being bossy. It was clean and organised and eco-friendly in a beautiful region we hadn't been to before. There were pretty towns nearby and loads of walks and bike rides to stop us getting bored. And it was very good value. I wouldn't stay there with a beach holiday in mind though: bit of a drag to Nice and was no need really; there was so much to do nearby. Loved it, would definitely recommend it as a perfect, relaxing quite active family holiday :-)
off the beaten path
du brec is really off the beaten path, but if you're into mountains you'll get fast everywhere (if you don't mind curves...), there's climbing in Annot, the very beautiful walking path to Entrevaux, some nice hikes around the camp site (check info at the counter), a Via ferrata in Punet, the Verdon-River... and each time you come back you have a swim in the cold lake. The free canoes are fantastic, especially for the kids, and the owners are very nice. There are better and worse pitches, some have nice trees for hamrocks and nice ground, others have stones on the ground an no trees, and on the eastern end you sometimes smell the sewage. The good thing is that they tell you which pitches are free and you can choose on your own. The price is not very cheap in high season, but what's really nice is the back-packers athmosphere at the bar, with games for the kids, book-exchange, free internet, lot's of informations and the mix of locals and visitors. And be aware of the last 70 Kilometers between Digne and Du Brec...
Brought home a kayak fanatic!
We have just spent two weeks in the beautiful maritime alpes staying at Camping du Brec. Clare and Eric were great at communicating, not just during the booking process but also before our trip when I emailed through several questions.
The campsite is quiet and well kept, the shower/toilet blocks are cleaned very regularly and have both soap and toilet paper provided. The snack bar serves a small selection of salads/sandwiches/chips and wine/beer and also has a bread ordering service for the mornings, freezers for iceblocks and toys for toddlers.
The highlight of the site is the beautiful lake, reflecting the surrounding scenery, and particularly enjoyed by my 8 year old - the free use of kayaks and canoes - he has definitely returned with a love of kayaking!
If there were any down sides to the campsite, they were only minor - the 'beach' at the lake was very stony and uncomfortable if you want to sunbathe (!), and the lake is not clear water which got deep fairly quickly, so I didn't feel I could relax with my 4 year old there.
The pitch we were given was of good size, but unfortunately contained a large tree root and a lot of rocks/pebbles in one half and mud on the other which made for several stubbed toes during our stay!
Also of note is that the campsite is mainly utilised by and very popular with the Dutch teenagers and their families who return year after year, and who were pretty noisy returning to their tents at 1am on several occasions.
I would love to return, but will probably wait until my youngest is a little older.
Just spent almost a week at Camping du Brec with our ten year old twins. Beautiful campsite with well kept facilities and it is completely away from it all. The lake is lovely and the fact the kids can help themselves to kayaks was a bonus. There was a 10pm curfew which everyone followed so it is not for those looking for busy entertainment filled evenings. It is quite a way into The Alps but well worth the extra hours of travel....well deserves to be on the Cool Camping website.