We spent a week in a Eurocamp safari tent glamping it up in the Dordogne region of France, in a fantastic campground overlooked by a chateau.
The tents are kitted out with everything you could need, including a fridge, gas stove, charcoal BBQ, outdoor table and chairs, all crockery and cutlery, a double bed and 2 singles curtained off. Certainly not the roughing it camping we are used to in New Zealand!
Camping Le Capreyou was a wonderful little campsite that was well set up for kids. It had a good playground and the pool was fantastic, complete with toddler pool which was perfect for our two. By the end of the week S was swimming lengths in it.
Most of the time we self-catered on the charcoal BBQ and making al fresco lunches of delicious baguette, various cheeses, olives (our kids are massive fans) and beautiful fresh fruit. One night we ventured next door to the local restaurant for dinner. The Dordogne region of France is famous for duck, so the menu was heavily based on various parts of duck. It was delicious and so reasonably priced. Not many campgrounds in the world can boast of a restaurant that serves confit of duck right next door!
One of the highlights of our stay was the market at Sarlat-le-Caneda that takes place twice a week. We’d stayed near Sarlat in 2003 so we knew how good the market was and were excited to return. It was slightly different with kids in tow as we had to pace ourselves, but they really enjoyed looking around the different food stalls and trying little samples.
S in particular got very brave and insisted on purchasing some of the produce by herself and in French. Not bad for a 4 year old.
There’s a lot to do in this part of France, and we barely scratched the surface. We visited a couple of other local markets, did a day trip to the pretty villages of Domme, Vezac and La Roque-Gageac.
La Roque-Gageac is apparently the second most visited village in France. It’s a cute little town on the edge of the Dordogne River with typical Perigord houses made out of stone that sit into the cliffs. The Dordogne River is very beautiful and Mike and I canoed down it when we were here in 2003. As you turn each bend there’s a new chateau to look at it, it’s really quite spectacular. We debated doing this again, but figured that the kids were just that bit too little. So we took a boat trip on a gabare, which are the traditional boats that were used to ferry goods from village to village back in the day.
We also visited the amazing Les Jardins de Marqueyssac, which we all enjoyed. The gardens were a mixture of formal box hedging, rose lined promenades and over 150,000 box hedge plants – what a mission to maintain that. We walked to the viewing platform which had a panoramic view out over the Dordogne River. Next to that was a great playground that the kids had fun on.
The Dordogne region is high on the list for our favourite part of France. We loved going back there with our kids and trying out the camping. It was really easy thanks to the great set-up of the tent and fabulous facilities at the campground. We can’t wait to head back to this part of France again next year.