2_4_DiscoverBenelux_13_Januar_2014_MADS_Scan Magazine 1 17/12/2014 15:21 Page 26
Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Summer Destinations
The local area around camping Marius offers a spectacular seafood cuisine, as well as a magnificent nature rich environment.
Sharing a dream TEXT: MARTIN PILKINGTON | PHOTOS: KARIM SAARI
Half a century ago a young couple started their Provençal campsite almost by accident – people kept asking to stay on their land. Two generations later the location remains equally captivating – though the facilities have changed beyond measure.
added a wellness area, and now along with the tent and caravan pitches have some high-end chalets and fullyequipped tents,” says Cavalier. “And the restaurant now focuses on great local produce, especially fish and shellfish delivered here fresh daily.”
Marius and Paulette Susini found their seaside heaven in 1961 when the sailor and his wife, who was a chef, spent their carefully amassed savings on a field 200 metres from the shore at La Couronne near Martigues. Every weekend would be spent building their little house on the land, a tent pitched beside it. And every weekend holiday campers would ask to put their tents and caravans nearby. After two years of hard work they had a new home – and a new campsite.
Frédéric says their Belgian clientele – about 10 per cent of the total – is particularly appreciative of that local seafood cuisine, though the biggest draw for many of them is getting near to the creatures in their natural environment rather than at the table. “It’s a great spot for divers,” he explains: “With the wrecks at Carro to be explored, and lots of fish like bass, John Dory, and even conger seen in the waters here.”
Today Marius and Paulette’s grandchildren Frédéric Cavalier and Joelle Susini are running the site, and they’ve incorporated their own touches: “We’ve
26 | Issue 13 | January 2015
The facilities have changed hugely over the years, but there are plenty of constants too, not least the location. A short walk from beautiful beaches and little stony creeks, and with Martigues – called the Venice of Provence for its famous
canals – plus the wild Camargue on the doorstep, it’s a place for nature lovers and travellers looking for some peaceful moments. That’s what attracted those first campers who shared Marius and Paulette’s dream of tranquillity: “We’re continually improving the services we provide and the welcome for our guests,” says Cavalier: “But we’ve consciously chosen to keep our activities few and simple – for example there’s a boule pitch, and we rent out cycles. Our campsite is above all calm and restful, a recipe that brings people back time after time.” www.camping-marius.com