During the Spring, we took a family trip to South Brittany, on a review trip organised for us by Al Fresco Holidays, staying at the five star campsite, Le Grande Metairie, Carnac. Here’s what we got up to.
Our static caravan accommodation at Le Grande Metairie
When camping at Le Grande Metairie, you can pitch up a tent, or stay in one of the static caravans on site. We’ve always been more keen on glamping than camping, so we opted for a small but cosy static caravan, which proved to be a welcome base for our adventures.
Outside, we had our own sun loungers, space to park the car and a decked area with a table and chairs to enjoy relaxed outdoor meals. This was gorgeous at breakfast time, and good fun in the evenings too, as long as we topped up on mosquito repellant!
Inside, we had a double room for Mark and I, and a twin room for the kids, plus a toilet, shower room, and living room with a small kitchen.
In all honesty, things did prove a little cramped for the four of us from time to time, but with plenty to do on and offsite, it wasn’t too much of an issue, and in between adventures, the kids entertained themselves playing football on the small grassy area outside our plot.
Fun around the campsite at Le Grande Metairie
Facilities on the campsite include a laundrette, extra showers, lots of space for tents and mobile homes, a corner shop, a central office, and an office base for each of the holiday operators on site.
The paths between camping areas are winding, but we soon learned our way around and enjoyed our walks around the campsite in the mornings and evenings.
Food options at Le Grande Metairie
Given that Le Grande Metairie is a campsite rather than a full service resort, we were pleased to find somewhere onsite for snacks and meals.
Once or twice, we stopped into the campsite bar, which was suitable for kids during the day and sold ice creams and crisps. For more substantial meals, the Italian restaurant onsite served up tasty pizzas with a range of toppings, but was only open in the evening most days, and required booking, so it was best to plan in advance.
We self-catered for most of our trip, and for last minute supplies, we found the small corner shop onsite to be convenient although rather small and expensive. If you’re coming with your car, I’d recommend driving out towards Carnac and you’ll soon pass a decent sized supermarket stocking everything you’ll need to cook up tasty meals.
Generous swimming pools at Le Grande Metairie
The pools at at Le Grande Metairie are a key selling point for the campsite and they proved hugely popular with the kids. The outdoor pools were large and warm – perfect for fun swims during warm days.
On cooler days, and especially when it rained, we opted for the two smaller, covered pools, which was great fun although of course they also tended to be packed as everyone had the same idea.
Unfortunately, after the rain there was a lot of mud and dirt around the walkways and steps down to the pools, although a shower and foot bath section helped to keep things relatively hygienic.
Pony riding at Le Grande Metairie
A chance to ride the ponies was a big attraction for Miss J and she asked about it everyday. We were instructed to queue at opening time by the stables to book our place, but the first time we queued, no one appeared so we headed to the pool. Thankfully, the next time we tried, the team arrived on time and the children were introduced to two beautiful ponies.
The staff gave them a quick lesson and then we were allowed to lead them around the campsite. The only rule was that we made a note of if and where they pooped, so that the staff could come and clean it up! The kids loved it and it was a really special memory to take home with us.
The playground at Le Grande Metairie
We were really pleased to find a sandy playground onsite. The kids would have happily stayed in the pool all week long, but in between swims it was great to take the kids to burn off some steam on land! It’s only a small playground, but there was enough equipment to keep them happy.
An arcade in need of a fix up at Le Grande Metairie
The arcade at Le Grande Metairie was sadly in a bit of disrepair, with several machines out of service.
Nevertheless, we had fun running up and down and playing hand ping pong with a little ball while it was raining. We were only there a week, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s been fixed up since our visit, but you might like to phone ahead to find out.
A small farmyard of animals at Le Grande Metairie
Perhaps a little unusually, Le Grand Metairie is also home to a range of farm animals, with chickens, goats and pigs living happily at the centre of the campsite.
The animals added so much for the children, who adored stopping and chatting with them whenever they walked by.
Exploring the Carnac Stones
Carnac is most famous for its vast collection of4500 BCE megaliths standing proud around the grassy land that makes up the village, and we were delighted to find a large site right outside the site.
The Carnac Stones are an incredible sight – the sheer scale of them is breathtaking and we were so delighted to get the chance to experience them close up.
You can’t walk amongst the stones themselves as they’re fenced off, but you can take a path alongside them and between the fields.
We took a leisurely walk before climbing a watch tower, buying ice creams and later discovering a wood where the children played happily and collected huge pinecones.
A short drive to Carnac-Ville
Le Grand Metaire is just 5km from the centre of Carnac, so we ventured into town multiple times and enjoyed wandering around and soaking up its history.
Carnac-Ville is a lovely little town with a welcoming atmosphere and pretty streets, plenty of little trinket shops, and plenty of places to eat and drink.
Musee de Prehistoire, Carnac
Our favourite stop in Carnac-ville was the The Musee de Prehistoire, which boasts one of Europe’s finest collections of prehistoric objects.
We learned about the history of the area, the famous megaliths near our campsite and more.
Creperie La Potion Magique, Carnac
When the hunger pangs started to take hold, we sought out La Potion Magique because of the great reviews we saw on Trip Advisor and Google, and it didn’t disappoint, offering a range of sweet and savoury treats.
The children opted for sweet filled “galettes”, while Mark and I chose savoury options. All excellent.
Creperie de la Pompe, Carnac
More crepes were in order during our second visit to Carnac, so we stopped off at the inviting Creperie de la Pompe.
The manager was incredibly welcoming and very patient with the kids as they did their best to order their food and drink in French.
I opted for an utterly delicious caramel apple crepe. Oh gosh, it was so rich and so, so good.
Sandcastles and paddling on Carnac’s beaches
Carnac has five beaches including la Grande Plage, which was our beach of choice as it’s long and tourist friendly with fine, soft sand and plenty of bars and restaurants nearby.
The children absolutely adored their time on the beach during our visit to Brittany – second only to the pool back at the campsite.
We built sand castles, dug moats, paddled in the sea and generally had the time of our lives. I would definitely head there again, although I’d probably pack a parasol as even on cloudy days, there is little in the way of shade.
A full day of adventure at Zoo de Pont Scorff
On our penultimate day, we decided to venture a little further and drove 50km north-west to Zoo de Pont Scorff.
The zoo is really quite large and took the best part of the day to walk around with plenty to see and do. If you’re planning a stay at Le Grand Metairie I would say that it is absolutely worth the drive.
There are even a couple of playground areas dotted around the zoo – perfect for when the kids have energy to burn and the adults fancy a sit down!
Final thoughts on Carnac and Le Grand Metairie
We had a really lovely time on our holiday to Carnac.
As the kids are getting older, I’m not sure how much longer we’ll be able to squeeze them into a 2 bed caravan, so we’d probably need larger accommodation, but with such lovely pools and great adventures nearby, we’d certainly visit again for another adventure in the sun.
We travelled and stayed as guests of Al Fresco Holidays.