First week.

Last summer holidays we took our kids for the first time out camping, we wanted to visit family in Spain and rather to try to get there as quickly as possible we took our time with the kids and decided not to drive more than 3 hours by day.

I was confident after 2 nights sleeping in our back yard garden to see how the kids (two and five) would react that we would have a wonderful  travel.

First stop, a camping in the natural park of Vercors nearby Grenoble called Les 4 Saison. A fantastic basic camp site, peaceful and quiet located in the French Alps and a good place to get some real hands-on practice in building up camp, after all despite the fact that my wife and me had camped a lot before we met, this was the first time together. We spend a wonderful afternoon had a stroll in the little village and went back for a basic meal enjoying the beautiful evening views.

The next day we packed up and left around midday for our next 300 Km. to Loupian.

When camping in France I always look if there is a camping municipal because I think they are always good value for money. And the Camping Municipal of Loupian was a perfect choice.

We decided to stay for 4 days as Loupian and surroundings have some beautiful sites to visit like the Roman Villa or the Church of Ste-Cécile also for some good sea food its absolute paradise especially because of the Étang de Thau or Bassin de Thau which is famous for ostreiculture (oyster farming.)

Lake Thau is the largest and deepest of the Languedoc lakes. Of an intense blue, this “inland sea” extends over 20 km from Balaruc to Marseillan, passing through Mèze and Sète. Rather than the more known villages at the seaside of the bassin like Séte and Cap d’Agde here everything seemed to be more laid back. Villages where not over crowded with tourists and oyster bars where still all over the place. Nothing better than a quick stop for some fresh oysters with a glass of regional fresh white wine.

As the beaches are located on the border of the inland sea they are great for young children because the sea is very shallow and calm. The lake Provides a habitat for a variety of wild animals, notably birds (herons, pink flamingos) and a rich marine fauna (jellyfish, fish, algae). So if you are going to visit this place don’t forget your snorkelling/diving gear.

The Park of Dinosaurs in Mèze is something our kids really loved as well. And we spend our last evening with Moules Frites made by the little bistro of the camping in front of our tent enjoying the southern sunset and some jeux de boules.

Next day we where off to Barcelona.

Second Week.

We arrived in Sabadell where my wife’s family lives and spent some days in the comfort of their home. It was August and really hot in the City so we moved on to our next camping site in the natural park of Montseney. The Montseny massif is located within a triangle formed by the AP-7, C-17 and C-25 roads. It has the highest mountains in the area south of the Pyrenees and dominates the plains south of Girona.

UNESCO designated Montseny a biosphere reserve in 1978. The regional government designated it a natural park in 1987.

The highest peaks are Turó de l’Home (1,712 m), Les Agudes (1,703 m), El Matagalls (1,697 m) and Puig Drau (1,344 m). To the south is the plateau of La Calma. In between is the Valley of the Tordera.

The Park is home to a wide variety of fauna from Mediterranean to alpine. There are also a large number of megalithic structures in the park. We are visiting Montseney almost every time when we are in Spain and it’s absolutely beautiful, also easily reachable by tourists who are staying in Blanes and Lorret De Mar.

The camping we went is Can Cervera, a so-called wild camping site as there are really only the basic facilities: Electricity sockets on some threes (not everywhere) a must with children, showers and toilets, sinks for dish washing and no marked camping spots, so you had to decide wisely yourself where to put up the tent.

It turned out we choose a really nice spot as on the day we where leaving another family was waiting to take our spot.

They have however a snack/bar and swimming pool with free wifi so you’re not completely disconnected from the world. although mobile telephone signal was really poor and you had to go to the nearby village if you really would want to make long phone calls. As we where on holidays this was not the case so it didn’t bother.

In the park itself you can have wonderful hikes through the mountains and you can go to the highest peak Turo de l’Homme from where you have a beautiful view of the surroundings. There are plenty of restaurants of which most also have a limit number of rooms to sleep. When we didn’t have children yet we went several times to Can Barrina a hotel which I can recommend with an outstanding restaurant.

We did most of the cooking our selfs and the camping has two huge barbies which we used one day to make an enormous churrasco which was big enough for almost all the visitors of the camping.

My father in law is an expert in grilling meat and spend years in Brazil.

The time to go one more time back to Sabadell had come and we spend our last days on enjoying tapas and doing some shopping.

On the way back to Switzerland we stayed in one of those highway hotels just for one night which was actually funny because the children really liked it. The small rooms with outside door access where made like little ship cabins with a double bed down and a high sleeper (of course this is where or oldest slept) over it.