A Week At Camping Sequoia Parc

My Complimentary Week At Camping Sequoia Parc

One of the most onerous tasks in my business is sifting through offers to stay at some of the camping parks I write about and review. Indeed, why shouldn’t I experience the same hardships as those choosing to spend their hard earned cash or savings on a holiday at one of these locations?

Joking aside, I couldn’t have been more delighted with my choice of Camping Sequoia Parc, near Marennes on the west coast of France, just a short drive from the lovely island of Oleron. My stay was organised by Al Fresco Holidays and although I arrived over an hour before the established check-in time of 4pm, their onsite reps Vic & Bren were quickly on hand to process my check-in.

One thing worth remembering with Al Fresco is that on arrival you must hand over £50 or 60 Euros as a returnable deposit in return for cleaning up after yourselves and leaving your accommodation in a clean and tidy condition on departure. Nothing too onerous is required, it’s mainly making sure all the crockery and cutlery is cleaned, that litter has been disposed of, the kitchen, bathroom and toilets are clean and the floors brushed and mopped, all of which can easily be done within about half an hour if the place has been kept clean throughout your stay.

To make things easier when it comes to cashflow it’s worth thinking about having a cheque for the deposit made out to Al Fresco on arrival as a cheque is acceptable as well as cash. It will be handed back to you on departure unless something has gone badly wrong.

Considering the bad weather in other parts of France, which had caused flooding in parts of Normandy and Paris and generally disappointing weather for much of the 2016 spring in North West Europe, the weather throughout my stay was very agreeable, the only day of persistent heavy rain being the Sunday of my departure from Camping Sequoia Parc. The previous Friday had about half a day of drizzle but all the other days were generally warm and sunny, certainly more than warm enough to end 5 of the 7 afternoons of my stay with an hour unwinding at Camping Sequoia Parc’s excellent water park complex.

Week At Camping Sequoia Parc

The pool complex at Camping Sequoia Parc, far more than a mere swimming pool, it’s good enough to rival a water park.

There are no less than 4 outdoor pools at Camping Sequoia Parc, of differing sizes and depths, all clustered in one compact area. Flumes and water slides add to the enjoyment of the water complex.

For food and drink there is a large bar, a restaurant and a takeaway pizza service. I used the restaurant on 2 occasions during my stay and enjoyed an excellent meal on both occasions. There is live entertainment for much of the season, though as I arrived during a quieter part of the season there was none during my stay. There were television screens to follow the French Open Tennis and European Football Championships.

Week At Camping Sequoia Parc

I enjoyed 2 excellent dinners in the restaurant at Camping Sequoia Parc during my stay.

There is also an onsite supermarket, open from 8AM, which had fresh bread and croissants available every day. Intermarche and Leclerc supermarkets are just a few minutes drive away in nearby Marennes.

Although Camping Sequoia Parc is a large site with over 600 pitches, I never got the impression that any of them were unduly far from the entertainment and other facilities areas.

Cycle hire is available onsite. There are also 2 tennis courts, 4 table tennis tables, as well as areas for playing football, basketball, volleyball and boules.

Camping Sequoia Parc was an excellent location for visiting the beautiful nearby island of Oleron. In my opinion Oleron loses nothing in comparison with it’s more glamourous and better known neighbouring island of Ile de Re. As the bridge to drive into and out of Oleron is entirely free, unlike the penal charges levied for driving onto Ile de Re, I visited Oleron on four occasions at differing times of the day. It has interesting historic settlements such as Le Citadel, some lovely sandy beaches, yachting marinas and charming restaurants.

Camping Sequoia Parc sunset.

The sun just beginning to set on another, deserted Oleron beach.

Marennes itself and the coast a few miles south of the town are worth a visit, as most certainly are Brouage with it’s extensive walled ramparts and the beautiful villages of Mornac-sur-Seudre and Talmont. If cities are your thing, Saintes is a very attractive city and La Rochelle is not much more than half an hour’s drive away. Fouras is another attractive setting, with a sandy beach, a promenade, some nice catering outlets and an historic fort, Fort Vauban.

From Fouras, you can travel by ferry to Ile d’Aix, where Napoleon surrendered to the Royal Navy after fleeing there after his defeat at Waterloo. As well as historic sights, there are also some very pleasant walks to enjoy. There are also plenty of other attractive villages within easy driving distance of Camping Sequoia Parc, too numerous to mention, though nearby St Just-Luzac should get one, as it is the closest one to Camping Sequoia Parc.

There were certainly plenty of options to keep me occupied for a week. Families with children might also enjoy La Palmyre Zoo, a highly rated attraction, though I didn’t visit it myself. The campsite itself also has it’s own animal farm where children can feed the animals under supervision from campsite staff.

Here is a list of the main companies offering holidays at Camping Sequoia Parc, with links:

Al Fresco Holidays
Canvas Holidays
Les Castels
Sequoia Parc

It is impossible to say which of the operators will have the most competitive offer at a particular time. That will depend on a number of factors including loyalty bonuses you may have accrued from previous bookings and time related special offers available at a particular time. Please note that KelAir are based in Ireland and Les Castels in France and that with Hoseasons you will be booking privately owned accommodation where you will need to liaise with the accommodation’s owner during your stay.

It is also possible to turn up with your own caravan, motorhome, trailer tent or tent to use a pitch but do note Sequoia Parc is a very popular destination so advance booking is recommended in peak periods.

If you are travelling from the Channel Ports, there is a drive of several hours so an overnight stay about halfway, perhaps in the Loire Valley might be a good idea, depending on your arrival time. The nearest ports are St Malo & Caen/Ouistreham, both of which are over four hours drive away if you have a clear run.

I often combine a camping holiday with a Brittany Ferries holiday. Provided you book a Brittany Ferries holiday location for a minimum of 3 nights you become eligible for a substantial reduction in your ferry price. It’s also a great way to get extra enjoyment from your holiday if you have the time. To find out more, please refer to “Holidays in France and Spain via ferry

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