5* Gorges du Verdon Camping with Kids at La Farigoulette
Les Gorges du Verdon is one of the most spectacular areas of France and it is where you’ll find one of the best family campsites in France. Tucked away down a hill on the banks of the Verdon River in the Verdon Gorge, Camping La Farigoulette is truly one of the best campsites in the South France for families. With so much going on in the surrounding area as well as on the campsite, you won’t be stuck for something to do during your Gorges du Verdon camping holiday, especially if you like watersports or lavender!
If you’re looking for a fantastic 5 star campsite in France, we highly recommend La Farigoulette. We loved this campsite because it was so much more natural than many of the larger sites we’ve been to and we’d say it’s one of the best small campsites in France.
Where is Camping La Farigoulette?
La Farigoulette campsite is located near the village of Saint Laurent du Verdon on the banks of the Verdon River in the Parc Natural Régional du Verdon. It’s about a 1 hour drive from Nice or a 90 minute drive from Marseille. The Verdon Gorge is the deepest gorge in France and the sheer cliffs either side of the turquoise river make for a really spectacular setting for your holiday.
A holiday to the Gorges du Verdon is not just about the gorge though. Coming here during the summer months, you’re likely to witness the lavender and sunflower fields at their peak and they are really spectacular.
La Farigoulette Accommodation
The campsite has a mixture of accommodation available. There are mobile homes, safari tents and pitches for tents and small campervans like the Mazda Bongo or VW Campervan. All the pitches are spaced out nicely. There isn’t a great deal of grass around but there are lots of pine trees offering shade giving it a lovely natural feel.
We opted for the safari tent (tente ciela nature lodge). We had 2 bedrooms (one double and one bunk bed), a decent kitchen with hob, microwave and fridge with freezer and a bathroom. There was a living area with a large dining table if you didn’t want to eat outside on the large decking area.
Facilities at La Farigoulette
Camping La Farigoulette is one of the best 5 star campsites in France. For such a small site, it has a lot to offer. It’s main selling point is that it is set on the banks of the Verdon River and so can offer a whole range of watersports.
Electric Boating – if we could pinpoint one thing in particular that made our Gorges du Verdon camping experience so special, it would be our day out on the electric boat we hired from the watersports centre. We hired the boat (at an additional cost) for half a day and set off down the river towards Lac Saint Croix with a picnic on board.
You can’t actually take the boat all the way to Lac Saint Croix because there is a barrier just before the lake but the scenery is simply stunning. The water is a beautiful turquoise colour and if you look closely at the cliffs either side of you, you’ll see caves and waterfalls.
There is nowhere to stop along this narrow section of the Verdon river so you’ll need to head a back to one of the lakes if you want to stop off. There are several small beaches where you can tie the boat up and get out for a picnic or a swim. Just be warned, the water is freezing! Also remember to pack a picnic rug as the beach areas are stony and it would be best to wear beach shoes.
Kayaking – we also gave kayaking a go. The water is very calm and easy to navigate and the kids loved it. They even had a go at paddling. We didn’t try SUP because they were a bit young but this would be a great place to do it.
One of our main criteria when searching for campsites in france with swimming pools is that they have a smaller children’s pool. The pool area at Camping La Farigoulette was great for our kids who were 3 and 5 when we visited. They loved the warmer, shallow water and the slides.
In peak season there is a kids’ animation programme for kids from 5 – 12 years old and for older kids, there are sportin tournaments on the mult-sport pitches. There are also evening events such as karaoke and theme nights.
There are facilities for a whole range of sports at La Farigoulette. As well as football pitches, there are basketball, volleyball and tennis courts and of course, the obligatory pétanque and table tennis. There’s an outdoor fitness area that doubled up as a playground for the kids.
The playground area is just opposite the restaurant and bar area and is in amongst the pine trees so there’s a decent amount of shade.
Restaurant and bar
There is a small restaurant and bar with a wood fired pizzeria where you can eat in or take away. We opted for take away a few nights. The pizzas were delicious and very reasonable.
There is a small on-site shop selling the essentials and you can get freshed baked bread and croissants in the morning.
Things to do and see in the Gorges du Verdon
Activities in the Gorges du Verdon
The Verdon Gorge is a famous French landmark, known for its range of adventurous activities making use of the incredible terrain. There are so many more activities for outdoor adventure lovers. They are not suitable for young children so we didn’t try them, but if you have older children, here are some of the activities you can try.
- Via Ferrata
- Bungee Jumping
- Aqua Trekking
Lac du Sainte Croix
The Lac du Sainte Croix is large man-made lake which was formed after the construction of a dam in the seventies. Its shoreline is dotted with stony beaches and there are lots of watersport rental companies where you can hire kayaks or boats to explore the lake or the gorge.
This small but beautifully picturesque village is situated in the UNESCO listed Verdon Natural Regional Park. It’s one of the most beautiful villages in France (Les Plus Beaux Villages de France) and is a must-see place in the Gorges du Verdon. Just be warned that the village gets incredibly busy in the summer months. If you show up looking for somewhere to eat lunch any time after 12 pm without a reservation, you will struggle to find somewhere. You will most likely struggle to find parking too. It’s best to plan your visit, arriving in the morning and taking a stroll around the village before heading to a restaurant.
Valensole lavender fields
There’s something mesmerising about the swathes of purple in this region of France. If you want to see the best lavender fields Provence is where you need to go. It’s particularly famous for its lavender and has been growing it since 600 BC. It’s used in cosmetics and even some local cuisine. You’ll find the L’Occitane factory shop just a few kilometers west of Valensole in Manosque if you’re interested in the production of their products and are looking for a keepsake to take home.
The best place to see lavender fields in Provence is the Valensole Plateau. Drive along the Route de Manosque and you’ll see lots of places where you can stop off on the side of the road for a photo. Just make sure you fully pull off on the side so as not to obstruct traffic.
The best time to see the lavender fields in Provence is late June/early July when they’re in full bloom. Going at this time will also avoid the crowds that descend on the region during the school holidays.
If you love lavender fields and want to see some closer to home, read our post on the best English Lavender farms. Our favourite is the Hitchin Lavender Farm in Hertfordshire and it’s not far from London if you’re looking for a day trip from London in the summer.
The Valensole sunflower fields are almost as popular as the lavender fields. In some places, you’ll see an incredible sea of yellow next to a sea of purple. It really is a beautiful sight. They’re in full bloom in June and are usually harvested mid to end of July. The best place to see them is the Valensole Plateau.
Other campsites in the Gorges du Verdon
Gorges du Verdon camping is very popular in the and sites get booked up quickly. If you can’t find any availability at La Farigoulette, there are a few other highly rated campsites nearby.