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2_3_DiscoverBenelux_Issue14_January2015_Scan Magazine 1 26/01/2015 19:16 Page 33

Discover Benelux |  Special Theme |  Summer Holiday Escapes

Thanks to the pleasant microclimate at the Ile de Ré, a stay at Camping Essi will give you about as many sunny days as a campsite in southern France would.

Marvellous microclimate for maximum fun The Ile de Ré off La Rochelle enjoys as much sun as the South of France, but for visitors from Benelux it’s an awful lot closer. No wonder some Belgian families make their corner of Camping Essi a little bit of Belgium every August. TEXT: MARTIN PILKINGTON  |  PHOTOS: CAMPING ESSI

Carol Courpron, Camping Essi’s manager, encapsulates  the  family-friendly  and  relaxing  atmosphere  of  the  site  with  three simple words: “No Karaoke here!”  The  loyal  clientele  of  the  site,  that  was founded in 1961, are drawn back by rather different  attractions:  “Young  families  like having direct access to the beach as well as being just 800 metres from the lovely village of Ars en Ré, while having facilities on site like the heated nursery area for babies and toddlers – young mums love that – the paddling  pool  by  the  heated  swimming pool, and a kids’ club,” says Carol.  For  those  after  a  more  strenuous  holiday there are lots of things to do close to the site: a sailing school, horse-riding, tennis courts and  an  18-hole  golf  course  and  mini-golf

are just five of the activities within easy reach.  The  island  as  a  whole  has  a  lot  to  offer too: “The microclimate here is well-known for having just about the same number of hours of sunshine as the South of France gets,” adds Carol: “And even though the Ile  de  Ré  is  just  30  kilometres  long,  we have  over  100  kilometres  of  safe  cycle tracks so visitors can bring or rent a bike to tour the island, see the wild salt flats and their birdlife, visit the lovely beaches that are all around us, and explore the villages, two of them listed among the most beautiful  in  France  and  one  a  UNESCO World  Heritage  Site.  And  most  visitors like to try the wines made here and our famous Pineau aperitif.”

every August. They eat meals together and enjoy the sun and cycling, and have been doing so for about ten years. We love them, they’re  very  ‘sympa’  –  sometimes  they bring Belgian flags and their little area becomes a Belgian colony!” she says. www.campingessi.com

Among the most loyal fans of the site are 14 Belgian families: “They meet up at the site

Issue 14 |  February 2015 |  33

Profile for Scan Client Publishing

Discover Benelux, Issue 14, February 2015  

Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and France.

Discover Benelux, Issue 14, February 2015  

Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and France.