As far as family holidays are concerned mobile homes are the way forward.
OK, it’s a bold statement to make, given they’ve been around for decades and are traditionally associated with leaky roofs, Formica tables and cabin-fevered kids.
But forget your preconceptions.
Mobiles are now so luxuriously appointed they beat a cramped hotel room hands down.
That was certainly the conclusion of my wife and two kids after a fun-filled week at
Club Farret in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France.
This was our second trip to a camping village – this one courtesy of Al Fresco Holidays – and it won’t be our last.
The first reason was the quality of the accommodation.
We stayed in a Rossini Riviera Luxe. Air-conditioned with a fully-fitted kitchen, dining area, two bedrooms and en-suite shower room, this maison de trailer – as I liked to call it – had everything you could wish for.
Outside each property was a nicely-decked veranda with sun loungers, table and chairs and a barbeque.
It provided us with the opportunity to cook al fresco at lunch and dinner – something you just can’t do in a hotel.
On top of all that it was also furnished with a “baby pack” comprising travel cot, bath and high chair.
That meant we didn’t have to haul loads of gear from home, which, as every parent knows, is one of the biggest turn-offs to going on holiday with children.
On the shores of the Med, sandwiched between Montpellier and Perpignan, the site has space for almost 500 mobile homes and 233 caravans.
The main focal point for all the guests is the Pirates Bay aquatic area. It has a huge swimming pool, games room, restaurant and takeaway.
There is also a good-sized supermarket with its own bakery, butcher and off-licence, which sells half-decent local wine at a dangerous 1.80 euros a litre.
If you over-indulge there are opportunities aplenty to work off the excess calories.
Tennis, football, basketball, volleyball and aqua aerobics are just a small offering of the sports available if you can lug yourself off the sun loungers.
There is a gym and a spa as well, and another big swimming pool.
The other beauty of Club Farret is its setting. The site is just
10 minutes from Beziers airport, which itself is a two-and-a-half-hour flight from Edinburgh.
So as far as holidaying in the Med goes, the journey should be as stress free as it’s possible to get.
Off-site there is no shortage of places to go. On one side of the holiday village is a long, sandy beach while on the other is the seaside town of Vias Plage.
Truth be told, it’s about as French as the cast of ’Allo ’Allo. For culture vultures, though, there is a saving grace.
The old town of Vias, built two miles inland long before tourism made its mark, is a pleasant 30-minute walk away.
It’s well worth a poke around for its market, Gothic cathedral and volcanic rock fountain.
There’s a great buzz around the town square and we could not speak highly enough of Restaurant L’Amandine.
It’s owned by a French chef and his Irish wife and the food is a wonderful blend of both cultures.
There are plenty more towns to explore nearby, and for lovers of top quality wine, a plethora of world-renowned vineyards.
The nearest conurbations are the bustling seaside resort of Cap d’Agde and elegant Beziers, which is the wine capital of the region.
Both can be reached by car within 20-odd minutes.
Other day trip options include the huge fun fair a 10-minute walk from the camp site or a boat ride along the nearby Canal du Midi.
We ventured out most days but after each trip we couldn’t wait to get back to our maison de trailer.
Bijou it may have been but it really was a home from home for all the family.
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