Le Soleil Camping in Argelès-sur-Mer

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The local beach in Argelès-sur-Mer boasts a wide strip of soft sand.

There’s something so freeing about camping. It must be the simplicity of it all, and the proximity to nature – things we often take for granted in this day and age! So, if you’re looking to embrace the great outdoors, but still want a balance of cultural activities and time spent on the beach, you can’t really go wrong with this campsite.

Le Soleil Camping

Where in France: Argelès-sur-Mer, Pyrénées-Orientales
Drive from Calais: 1,161km / 10h 45m

When it comes to locations, it’s hard to beat Le Soleil campsite. Situated right next to the beach in attractive ‘garden’ surrounds, this 10-hectare plot has 830 pitches and 136 mobile homes, all of a good size, so there’s plenty of room for the whole family, including the dog! There are all the usual amenities on site, such as laundry facilities, wifi, power supplies, and some little shops and places to get food and snacks.

For fun, there is a large 1500m² pool complex with slides, water games, and a paddling area for the little ones. There are also loads of outdoor activities to keep everyone entertained, from boules to badminton and volleyball, and there’s even a climbing wall! For kids, there’s a playground, bouncy castles and trampolines, and teenagers will love the beach bar parties and discos.

Argelès-sur-Mer

The closest town to Le Soleil campsite is Argelès-sur-Mer at about 4km away, which is even close enough to walk to if you fancy stretching your legs after a long drive. However, if you think you might want to do a bit of shopping, definitely take your car as that will feel like a very long walk home with heavy bags!

The bell tower of the 14th century Notre Dame del Prat church
The bell tower of the 14th century Notre Dame del Prat church.

The main point of interest in the town is the lovely little 14th century church, the Notre Dame del Prat. Inside, there are some pretty stained-glass windows, religious icons, and a beautiful high altar, and if you have the chance, the views from the bell tower are stunning. Also, on Saturdays, there’s a local market that pops up and surrounds the church.

Just to the south of the town, you’ll find Parc de Valmy. Set in six hectares of landscaped gardens, at the heart of the park there is a lovely château, somewhat reminiscent of the castles you read about in fairy tales. You can take tours around Parc de Valmy, and your guide will tell you a little more about the history of the place, as well as pointing out some of the more unusual flowers and plants found in the grounds.

On a sunny day, the gardens surrounding the château make the perfect setting for a picnic and there’s also a playground at Parc de Valmy to keep the kids occupied. If you plan your day right, you could visit the local market in town on a Saturday morning, and take your delicious treats with you for an al fresco feast for lunch.

The château at the heart of Parc de Valmy is reminiscent of fairy tale castles
The château at the heart of Parc de Valmy is reminiscent of fairy tale castles.

Afterwards, perhaps you could pop next door to visit Les Aigles de Valmy, or the Valmy Eagles Park. You can learn more about the beautiful birds of prey they have in residence, as well as see them in flight at one of the falconry displays that they put on throughout the day. And if you’re feeling brave enough, you can even undergo some falconry training yourself at one of their workshops!

National Park Day Trips

If you fancy a day trip away from the campsite, there are a couple of great national parks in the area that are great for hikes, picnics and cycling. A little over an hour’s drive north of Le Soleil is the Natural Regional Park of Narbonnaise in the Mediterranean. Home to all manner of species of mammals, insects, and birds – including flamingos! There are organised trips and tours that you can take, or there are plenty of well signposted hiking trails to follow.

Enjoy the peaceful beauty of the Natural Regional Park of Narbonnaise
Enjoy the peaceful beauty of the Natural Regional Park of Narbonnaise.

There is also a rather unique attraction in the form of the ‘shipyard of marine carpentry’, where you can meet a team of experts who restore maritime vessels such as old schooners, and reconstruct ancient Roman boats. All their projects are carried out using traditional marine carpentry techniques, keeping the heritage and culture of the area alive. Even if you aren’t actively into boats, the work that they do will easily leave you impressed.

Alternatively, you can take the slightly longer 1h25m drive to the Regional Natural Park of the Catalan Pyrenees. Similarly, there are numerous stunning hiking trails to conquer, and incredible wild animals to look out for, but there are also several other attractions that are completely unique to the area.

The region has been known for its natural thermal springs since Roman times. There are five local establishments where you can enjoy the waters and their individually unique properties, some of which are famous for curing skin complaints, others for rheumatism or respiratory ailments.

A stroll around the walled town of Villefranche-de-Conflent is like taking a step back in time
A stroll around the walled town of Villefranche-de-Conflent is like taking a step back in time.

There are also two Fortifications of Vauban in the area, which are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Mont-Louis and Villefranche-de-Conflent, the latter of which used to be considered Spanish territory. Around the borders of France, there are actually 12 of these sites, but nowhere else are there two so close together. For anyone interested in history, these picturesque fortified towns are a must-visit.

If you’re feeling inspired to pack up the car and hit the road in search of adventure, you won’t find much better than a camping holiday in Argelès-sur-Mer. Just remember to book your tickets with us early to take advantage of the best fares!