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- Family site in a laidback woodland setting two miles from the beach
- Surfing, kayaking, cycling and more available at nearby seaside towns
- Bar and restaurant, grocery shop, barbecue and two lifeguarded pools
Ooh la la… just look at this site's setting. Camping Les Dunes de Contis is in the lush and vast Landes forest, the biggest maritime pinewood in Europe. (Yes, maritime: it's close to the beaches of Landes too, and within easy driving distance of the sands of the Côte d'Argent, the longest stretch of beach in Europe. Famed and rather fab Mimizan is less than 20 minutes' away.)
Hire a bike on site for an easy peasy way to explore this beaut forest from the site, on the shaded trail suitable for safe family cycles. A heated and lifeguarded pool and paddling pool os on site to keep all ages cool on hot summer days, and an array of other options such as archery, tennis and a multisports court can keep you as busy as you want.
July and August sees kids' clubs for all ages from toddlers to teens; grownups can take in a show indoors or at the outdoor stage from the varied programme of evening entertainment.
This is a big and well-appointed site to keep you sorted for most things, including a well-stocked grocery shop, a restaurant serving local and international food, a takeaway and a bar with free wifi. Off site, info and tickets to local attractions are available at reception.
The park's locale between forest and ocean is a few minutes' drive from the local town of Saint-Julien-en-Born, and under an hour from the spa town of Dax. If you're hiring a bike to take the cycle path from the site (you surely should), it's about 10 kilometres of scenic pedalling path to the beach at Contis.
Tourist board rating
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Leisure on park
Bar or club house
Indoor swimming pool
Outdoor swimming pool
Amenities on park
Ice pack freezing
Parent & baby washroom
Pick-up from public transport
Propane/gas cylinders available
Barbecue grills allowed
Commercial vehicles allowed
Dogs allowed all year
Surf school nearby
Single-sex groups welcome
Student groups welcome
Very large (over 200 sites)
It's less than 20 minutes to get to Contis beach by car, via the D652 and local town Saint-Julien-en-Born, or about 40 minutes by bike (depending of course on how fast your pedalling feet are and whether you indulge yourself in a pitstop or two along the way).
Either way, make a Contis Plage day one of your first stops, as it's a well-known and popular Landes beach spot with long lengths of sand to stroll and sunbathe on, and fine waters for swimming and surfing. A surf school is around if you need a bit of instruction or a few tips.
Another famed local beach spot is Mimizan, a place so pretty it has the moniker the Pearl of the Côte d'Argent.There are two parts to its resort: the more active Mimizan North Beach for watersports, and the South Beach for cycling trails, walking paths and seasonal markets. Explore the dunes too for a vast range of trees and shrubs including gorse, heather and oak, or forage around the woodland for strawberries, pine mushrooms and blackberries.
If you'd rather have a more peaceful vibe, there's spectacular wildlife watching in the forest leaving Mimizan in the direction of Saint-Paul-en-Born: you could see deer and foxes, badgers and squirrels, hares, owls and, with any luck, one or two of the forest's wild boar.
For much more species sighting, the Landes de Gascogne Regional Natural Park is about an hour inland, to the north-east.