Family camping in France is one of the budget family vacation ideas worth considering especially when you travel with kids in the summer. With many interesting and enjoyable things for the kids and the family, like Alexandre Duma’s hometown, an old medieval town and the three Musketeers, your French countryside trip can be quite fun, informative and even romantic all at the same time… Ok, ok, Romantic? Maybe not with the kids around! But at least there’s French wine and cheese.
Here’s a quick review in pictures of Flower Camping in the south of France, nestled in the countryside between the big cities of Lyon and Toulousse, between the land of the Three Musketeers and that of green lentils and gateway to the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage trail.
If you need more info, text follows at the of the pictures. Enjoy your trip!
With an average price of of €35 euros per night at a campground, you can have a slow-go summer vacation and or road trip with kids from one French countryside to another, it’s an affordable vacation.
One-stop to have breakfast in a French chateau… to live like nobilities, even just for just one day. Naaahhh, not for us commoners! But check it out! It’s quiet and calm in this countryside.
NOTE: In case you’re wondering. . . No, we have not received any form of compensation or freebies or anything at all for reviewing or mentioning this or any others on our blog. We do it because it may be helpful to you and it’s fun for us.
WHAT WE LIKE ABOUT THIS CAMPGROUND?
In a word, Flower Camping (aka the longer name: Flower Camping Le Lac de Bonnefon) was family-approved because of the many kid-friendly things to do here for a budget-friendly price and there were not many guests at the time of visit in late August. In fact we were the only family with kids there and we visited before all the Covid madness.
This is a good location to check out French countryside and the magnificent little curiosities to discover in unexpected places.
WHAT WE DON’T LIKE ABOUT THIS CAMPING SITE?
Nothing that particularly stood out. That means it’s all good.
Averagely priced at €32 euros (including tax) for a family of 4 (2 kids–1 under 5), 3-person tent with electricity during high summer season (late August).
Big play areas with an aire de jeux (playground) for children between 5 and 12 years old. Also has an inflatable giraffe for jumping around, a trampoline, a wooden house and several other play things.
There are two swimming pools: one, a decent-sized pool with a small JACUZZI (yes, a small one, but it had water jets and everything, and big enough for the 4 of us!) and another for young children!
The playground is catered more for younger children. It had 2 springers, a slide, a sandbox and a wooden house area.
Has a ping-pong/beach volley sand area; and infant club.
No problem finding the entrance to the camping site. You can clearly see the signs from a country road and the camping ground was clearly marked from the outside. It may be a little tricky at night though.
Plenty of shade from fully grown trees over your pitch and all around the camping site.
How’s the pitch? Soft pitch with no problem sinking tent pegs with a regular hammer/mallet. The size of the grassy pitch was a little smaller than average (or at least it felt like it because of the useful privacy hedges). Yet, it is big enough to fit a 3-person tent, an average-sized car and a bit more for your eating and lounging area.
Full-grown privacy hedges from all 3 sides.
Sufficiently basic, small and clean with toilet paper. 2 Places for washing dishes. All good as this place did not seem to get packed–which is a good thing for us or those of you who are avoiding overcrowded spots.
We are NOT sure if there is a refrigerator for campers’ access (this is NOT common to have it) or a freezer for that matter.
There’s of course washer and dryer but we did not get to use them.
There’s a bar/restaurant near the reception, with outdoor seating, and a few tables in case you get tired of your own camping food. We did not get to try it though.
You can also pre-order fresh bread for pick-up between 0830 and 10 a.m. at the reception (costs about €1.00 for 200 gram baguette, pain choc beurre, pain raisins; or €1.50 for a 400-g”flute” baguette.
There are challets for rent.
TIP FOR flower CAMPING
Come here to have a slow relaxing time. You know, to take a bit of a break from being on the road. Give it more than a day or two.
Apart from the Chateau du Bosc that we visited, there were a few other interesting to do and see here, like Castelmary and the town of Naucelle itself. There’s also riverside walks from three different waterways for a bucolic time in the French countryside.
If you want to use the swimming pools, make sure you bring proper swimsuits/swimming trunks. That is: NO BERMUDAS! You know, those long shorts-like swim trunks? That must be a French thing. While in Spain, it’s best to bring your headcover.
WHAT TO DO NEAR flower CAMPING naucelle
So, what is there to see or do nearby?
The main attraction here is the peace and the tranquility of the countryside, particularly in southern France, if you are passing bybetween Albi and Rodez. Come here with your hearts wide open.
Near this camping site there are castles and villas and chateaus to visit, such as the curious and pleasantly unexpected, French historic heritage site: Château Du Bosc for the painter Henri De Toulouse Lautrec enthusiasts.
This is the ancestral castle of Bosque, where the artist was born and raised. A visit to this chateau is rich in history on the life of the artist and the history of the whole and old noble family.
Who is H. T. Lautrec ? A painter from an old noble family, apparently, who was able to transform his suffering into painting genius though he did not live long. We are not artists. So, that’s all we can say about that.
But first… What in the world is a chateau? According to Oxford online dictionary a chateau is “a large French country house or castle, often giving its name to wine made in its neighbourhood.”
This castle is part of the family of beautiful castles of the lords of Rouergue. A visit that complements the Toulouse Lautrec museum in Albi. This castle is worth a detour.
A must-do therefore for lovers, both of French heritage, and of art as a whole.
From the outside it is a beautiful castle nestled in the countryside with rustic and fortified appearance.
The gardens soften the look of the buildings and the spacious grounds and nearby fields provide an atmosphere of calm and quiet.
A charming castle-home very well maintained by Toulouse Lautrec’s elderly aunt to remember him by with a tea room that is very rich in decoration. The castle from the 12th century was modified by the family. There’s a beautiful fireplace upstairs. Well worth the effort for a one-of-a-kind visit.
Guided tour. Yes, there are guided tours for your visit in French or English provided by extremely passionate volunteer guide who knows her subject well and, while focusing on the life of the painter himself, also touches on life in France at that time. In addition there are documentations in French, English, Italian, German, Spanish and Dutch.
The one-hour guided tour will take you through the life of Toulouse Lautrec, rich in anecdotes about the artist and the whole family. The Toulouse Lautrec family home contains a thousand secrets unknown to the general public.
You will discover the family’s crockery, its authentic furniture and many other things like beautiful works by the painter and several objects that belonged to him, drawings, engravings, posters and the like. There are even children’s toys and the first drawings of Lautrec.
Photos of the interior are prohibited. But things like this one are best discovered in person. Unfortunately there are no visits to the chapel.
Price of admission is €8 (for adults), €5 (for children under 16 years). Children under 7 years old can come in for FREE.
CHILDREN: This is more suitable and likely more pleasant and informative for family visits with children above 7. But, if you have younger children, you can still have a good time checking out the very nice exterior. You can walk around the castle grounds for FREE, in the garden with beautiful views of the countryside. It’s almost like a park with lots of greenery and flowers. You can also have some coffee and snacks outdoor. Wonderful place to rest for a moment over a coffee. The building is steeped in history and embellished with a shaded and flowered garden and a 200-year old tree.
Of course, you can buy souvenirs, albums with the artist’s works, postcards are available at the end of the tour.
Pleasant staff. Very informative and enjoyable!
FAMILY CAMPING ROAD TRIP SUMMER 2
So far on the return trip of our 39-day family camping road trip in Europe, from Spain to Poland and back this summer, it looks like we we’re on an unexpected pilgrimage route.
Between Rodez and Albi, on the road to Lourdes, France, we stopped by Le Puy–a gateway to the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage trail and the land known for its green lentils. Hmmmmm…
Somewhere in between the big cities of Lyon and Toulousse, these self-styled modern gypsies had to land our iron horse-buggy. After all, we are a slow-go travelling family with young kids.
After an unexpectedly wonderful stop at the medieval town of Perouges, France we had a planned drive of about 4 to 5 hours to find a camping site. No more than that unless we wanna take the fun out of our travel with kids–a little lesson learned from our first road trip.
We take roads where you don’t have to pay tolls, you know, to take in the beautiful scenery of the countryside and, of course, to save money. And in France, trust us, it can be quite substantial!
On day 33 of our trip, home was where we pitched our tent at Flower Camping near Naucelle, France.
There is not much of well-known travel destinations in this area, especially if you are just staying overnight. But, like anywhere else, there’s always something fascinating, interesting (even if not jaw-dropping) to discover anywhere you are. Like the curious little story of the artist of the red countryside castle in this post.
So, the next time you’re planning your vacation, try something different. GO CAMPING! It’s much more affordable than the usual alternative, specially if you are just going from one main destination to the next. Your kids would love the adventure too!
Onwards, southwards. . . to the land of D’Artagnan and the Three Musketeers and 2,361 kilometers to go! ; )
Thanks for checking us out!