We've just come back from 12 days at the BdV campsite in Argeles - our first experience of this type of holiday with our daughters, aged 5, 5 and 2.
Getting there - we flew from Glasgow to Barcelona with Jet2 (22kg bag allowance and best legroom of any airline) and hired a car with Sixt (no mini bus to your car - you're in the car within 15 mins of collecting your bags - godsend with three little ones) - take care with which rental company you use - some don't let you take the car out of Spain without charging a fortune.
The accommodaton - it is true that whilst most mobiles are well appointed, clean and a decent size, the location is critical - we were with Keycamp and got lucky with a van at the top of the hill next to the pool and not overlooked - ceratinly worth requesting a quiet location if you can beforehand. Some vans had less space around them and were quite shady, but none could be described as cramped - careful planting and screening helping a lot. Our two bed, one showerroom van was idea for the five of us - any more than family of five would become a bit cramped. Beds were comfy, linen was clean and kitchen and bathroom well equipped - aircon in the living room a bonus if the weather turns too hot. Gas barbeque was great too.
The site facilities - the pools are awesome for kids our age and up to 11 or 12 - despite some mixed weather, we couldn't drag them out.due to the fact the water is heated to 26 degrees - plenty of space to relax around the pool on loungers or the artificial turf (note no loungers at sister sites Hippocampe or Sirene). The whole site is kept absolutely spotless by the friendly staff and the atmosphere around the site is relaxed and friendly - our kids made lots of friends. The on site supermarket is fine for the basics, but a little bit pricey - the fresh baked bread and pastries are irressistible and good value though. Try the hypermarche on the north side of argeles if you are on a budget (need a car though) - there's also a cool epicerie in Le Racou, around 200 metres from the site for hams, cheese and fruit and veg. The site restaurant deserves special mention for the superb food - fish, chicken, tex mex, steaks, pizzas and a good range of kids meals (pizza, spag bol, etc) at reasonable prices. Drinks are cheap if you like wine (7 Euro for a litre carafe) and roughly normal Med prices for beer (5 Euro/pt) and spirits (5 Euro). The kids playparks are also good fun and well shaded if you want a break from the sun.
Entertainment - We arrived on 21 June when the campsite was still quite quiet and the evening shows weren't every night - the kids evening disco and fun clubs are on six days week and run by the frighteningly enthusiastic site animation team - our kids loved it, even though the songs are in a variety of languages - all part of the fun!! By the beginning of July, the site was very busy and there were some great evening shows - the magician was really good, with plenty of kids and adult participation. Jackaoke was hilarious and got all the kids and adults up dancing and singing.
The resort - Argeles is split into three distinct areas - Le Racou and port, Argeles plage and Argeles town - there's not much to report in the town - the beaches in Argeles are wide and very clean - the sand is coarse, but not so bad that you need to wear shoes and the sea clean and warm - the sea bed shelves quite steeply, and there is always a wind, so beware with little ones. Behind the beach is a long promenade with shops, restaurants and bouncy castle parks (around 3 euro per child per visit which can be as long as you like). There is a decent amusement park on the beach for under 10s. Can be hike to a public toilet. Parking can be a challenge when its busy, so worth making use of the yellow train bus in July and Aug!! Le Racou beach is only 2 mins from the campsite entrance and is great with little cafes behind - even when its busy,theres plenty of space for everyone.
Further afield - Collioure is a beautiful town just 10 mins up the coast - parking is impossible on market days though unless you get there early. The town's beach is set in a sheltered bay which is good when its windy and you can hire pedalos with chutes - the sand here is much softer than at Argeles and you can hire sunloungers and parasols (none in Argeles). We took a trip to the African safari park at Sigean - it is a good day out with lions, giraffes, elephants, crocs and monkeys but eye wateringly expensive (29Euro/adult, 22Euro/child, no family tickets) - take your own packed lunch
Worth mentioning that if you expect day after day of hot sunshine, you might be disappointed - the foothills of the Pyrenees generate a wind which can be incessant and quit strong, which is fine if you like to keep cool, but not so good for relaxing evenings on the patio for mum and dad after kids are sleeping!
All in all, we'd definitely go back
- Also Known As:
- Le Bois De Valmarie Hotel Argeles-Sur-Mer