Why was Camping Le Vieux Port voted the number 1 campsite in the whole of France by Michelin Guide and why has it been awarded 5 Stars? Is it because it has direct access to a magnificent sandy beach? Or because of its superb swimming pool complex with 3 water chutes, 4 heated pools (1 indoor), jacuzzis and wave-pools?
Or its beautiful setting in the midst of a pine forest? Or the sea-water lake, 5 minutes away at Vieux Boucau, and the shops, pavement cafes and nightlife on its shores? Or the freshwater lakes a few minutes drive away at Leon, a must for watersports, with the tracks through the trees of the surrounding forest perfect for cyclists to follow?
Or is it the on-site entertainment and discos that make this site ideal for teenage children? Or is it the unrivalled number of activities available: tennis, football, horse riding, children’s go-karts and dedicated entertainments team?
Or perhaps it is the location? Nestling in the foothills of the Pyrenees near the elegant and fashionable resort of Biarritz, Messanges is so close to Spain that it benefits from the fascination of two different cultures.
Of course, it is the unique combination of all these things that make Camping Le Vieux Port the number 1 site for children of all ages, all under a Spanish style climate without the commercialisation of the Mediterranean.
*High season only #operates at weekends only until 09/06, then daily thereafter
Travelling to France, with the wide range of options and routes available, has never been so simple. So whether you’re looking at taking a ferry, Eurotunnel, flying or using public transport, we’re here to help.
Crossing the Channel by Ferry or Eurotunnel
We recommend a Portsmouth to Caen overnight crossing with Brittany Ferries returning on the 16:30 Caen to Portsmouth. This will leave a 7 ½ hour drive to and from Messanges site.
Ferry Ports Distance from Campsite (miles)
Caen – 450
St Malo – 410
Cherbourg – 475
Calais – 590
Airports Distance from Campsite (miles)
Biarritz – 42
Pau – 78
Bergerac – 170
Train Station Distance from Campsite (miles)
Dax – 22
With a number of ferry routes crossing the channel on a daily basis, there is sure to be an option to suit all families. For those who prefer a short crossing, why not hop on the Dover-Calais crossing or for those without “sea legs” can take the EuroTunnel. We can book these as part of your package, often with huge savings on booking direct. We can offer advice on recommended ferry routes and driving directions to our Messanges / le Vieux Port campsite.
St Malo and Caen are the closest ferry ports to the site. We would recommend catching the overnight Portsmouth to Caen sailing with Brittany Ferries (7hours). Getting you into France at 06:45, and leaving a 7 ½ hour drive to the site, meaning you’ll be able to arrive on site late afternoon. You can choose any route for your crossing, and other sailings are to and from Poole, Plymouth, Roscoff, Le Harve and Cherbourg.
A return sailing from Caen to Portsmouth is daily at 16:30, allowing a leisurely drive up and getting you back in the UK at 21:15, or you can take the overnight return sailing.
For those who would rather have a short channel crossing P&O from Dover to Calais can offer up to 20 sailings a day, taking just 90minutes. EuroTunnel also offers a wide choose and offers a journey time of just 35 minutes.
Which is best for me?
Whilst the drive time from Caen and St Malo to the campsite is around 2hours shorter than that of Calais, crossings to Calais can offer large savings on the supplement when compared to Brittany Ferries sailings. So it is purely down to personal choice, whether cost, driving time or travel time is the most important factor. We’d be happy to offer any advice on crossings.
– Check out update Driving Rules and Regulations in France (Link to a page on our site)
– Accommodation is ready from 4pm on day of arrival. If you’re early you’re welcome to use on site facilities until it’s ready
– Remember the time difference – France is 1 hour ahead of us.
– Heavy Duty Lorry’s are banned from the roads in France on Sunday
With more and more flights to France from the UK being added each year it’s easier than ever to reach your destination.
Messanges / Le Vieux Port, in the Gascony region, is within easy reach of Bergerac, Bordeaux, Biarritz and Toulouse, all have a number of UK & Irish airlines flying direct. We are unable to book your flights but are happy to hold your accommodation, without a deposit, whilst you book your tickets.
Take a look at our guide to showing who flies where to give you an idea of what to look at.
We do recommend hiring a car as it gives you greater flexibility when on holiday, for day trips, as well making transfers a more stress-free enjoyable experience. Take a look at our preferred partner who can offer a wide range of vehicles to suit all budgets.
However, public transport; trains, buses & taxis are available and for further details please click below.
There are no direct services from the airports to the site, but you can use a combination of train and bus to get to Messanges / Camping le Vieux Port. You can plan your route using google maps or Voyages-sncf.com. The closest train is Dax, which is around 20 miles from the campsite. From there you can hire a taxi to the campsite.
Alternatively you could hire a taxi from the airport, which we would recommend booking in advance.
Fantastic sandy beaches make this fascinating town a popular place to visit. The town was modelled on the four seasons, winter, spring, summer, or autumn. The Winter Town: A mosaic of mansions from the dating back to the Second Empire. Examples of Swiss chalets, Moorish cottages, gothic mansions and colonial residences can be found here. In the centre of the winter town is La Place des Palmiers (palm tree square). You can take a journey, using the lift, up the hill to Park Mauresque. It offers stunning gardens which includes exotic plants and wonderful views over Arcachon. The Spring Town: A residential area in the heart of a fragrant pine forest. This area is to preserve nature and its greenery. Here you’ll find both stylish homes mingling with the natural surroundings. One of the best examples of this area is Parc Pereire, perfect for a long, relaxing stroll. The forest stretches right up to the coast, creating the Pereire Beach. Spring town is home to Moulleau village. The main road passes through the church Notre Dame des Passes. It is a very popular pedestrian street mainly due to its varying activities. The Summer Town: The centre of town and of course the beachfront. Arcachon does not resist its summer resort tradition and take on the colours of summer: White and blue tents stand out on the sand, children's clubs on the beach and the traditional boat tours. Whilst the centre of town the street come to life with markets stools and street entertainers. The Autumn Town: A small old fashioned fishing village called L’Aiguillon Saint Ferdinand. A typical neighbourhood with low, red tiled roofed houses and brightly painted shutters. The town and its fishermen are said to be protected by The Sacred Heart Statue of St Ferdinand Church.
Dune de Pyla: The highest sand dune in Europe. At a height of 114 m this is a popular tourist attraction. You have to pay approximately €2 to park but the view from the top is stunning. The best time of day to visit is when the sun is setting over the Bay of Arcachon. For the energetic the dune is a great big sandy slide which is great fun to slide down however less fun to walk back up again.
The Born Farm: 4 hectares of trees and flowers, lakes, animals and birds. The untamed lake has many species of ducks, geese and hens. The deer hide in the undergrowth and there is a mini farm for the children. There is also a play area for the children and a picnic area. Open Sun to Fri during July and Aug from 10.00am to 7.30pm. In June and Sept open Weds, Sat and Sun from 10.00am to 6.30pm and in May: Weds and Sun from 2.30pm to 6.30pm.
A little village in the heart of a large pine forest on the banks of a lake. With some great cycle paths and walks and some pretty beaches this is a great place to relax. For the more energetic there are plenty of water sports - sailing schools, catamarans, dinghies, windsurfing. Sanguinet also has a lively local market, shops, and many organized activities: dances, traditional Landes evenings, village lunches, local exhibitions.
A busy little town with shops and markets, cafes and restaurants. The town has all you need, from Patisseries, Shoe shops and even a Casino. Relax and enjoy the café culture, visit the Museums of Biscarrosse Traditions and History or one of the Art Galleries.
The lakes at Biscarrosse are linked by a picturesque canal, with clear calm waters and white sandy beaches. Cazaux-Sanguinet Lake: (also called 'lac nord'), where you can enjoy swimming and water sports. Petit lac', wilder and less developed. Parentis-Biscarrosse Lake, one of the rare French seaplane bases, also a favourite place for hunters and fishermen.