Short trips in south west France

We've just had a long weekend away with our camper not travelling too far from home. Herself tripped recently and broke a bone in one foot (5th metatarsal apparently) so we couldn't go any where which necessitated long walks. First night at Labastide d'Armagnac, just an hour down the road. Simple, spacious aire with a vidange and water right on the edge of the village. Eight vans in for the night, room for many more. Couple of hundred metres to the "place", very pretty with a pizzeria, creperie and more high class restauarant. Nice village to wander around. Good food and well recommended stop for a night or so. Close to a "voie verte" on an old railway line which makes for easy cycling (another time definitely). Second night, Sunday, in Barbotan les thermes, only 14kms if you drive directly but nice to wander around the countryside a bit. In the town camper vans are welcome at one end of the main carpark. It is apparently "payant" at night but as the tourist office wasn't open...., how upsetting!

Again very handy for short walks in the town or local parks with plenty of cafes, etc. Also a casino which seemed to be popular with many of the camper vanists. Third night, again after a little wander around was at Fources. Only 28kms by direct road from Barbotan. Very pretty little bastide with a good "aire" for about a dozen vans just on the edge of the village. Two minutes walk to the centre. Again a couple of good eating places and nice scenery, many antique and craft shops.

This was a great weekend, apart from the weather, to stay local and enjoy short walks and easy access to villages and towns for those who can't manage distances. Total cost of overnights, zero. Food and drink, reasonably priced. Happy travelling this summer! Any more ideas, please post.

hi Michael,

sorry to hear about the injury to herself, we wish her a speedy recovery.

labastide d'armagnac is one of our favourites for normally a one night layover. plenty of space for us, the camping car and out two cats. the village is a welcomed roam around. spoke with a couple of locals who were extremely friendly. did you venture into the tea-room on the road from the centre of the village to the aire? we had a look-in but there was simply no one at home, even after many announcements of our arrival. just wondered if you tasted their wares? we live south of Mirande in the Gers region so this little gem is not to far away. we also looked at Barbotan but it was packed out as there was some sort of event on, we will return though.

happy motorhoming, look out for us in an Adria with two cats on the dashboard!,

Glenys and Fred

Hi Michael,

Yes, I realised my mistake when I got a 'Welcome to the Campervan Group' from Mike! We must have passed fairly close to you on the first step of our journey home on Thursday when we went up the A65 from Pau to Langon, en-route to an overnight stay in Tours? What a hot day in the car that was...!

I can imagine that Portugal is lovely around winter-time. It certainly can get a bit 'blowy' in the Pyrenees !

Kind regards, Mark

Hi Mark,

Mike Staubes is the man in charge of this group. We live further north in Vianne, just off the A62 autoroute from Bordeaux to Toulouse. That would be over 2hrs from Lourdes. France is such a great country for travelling that we rarely go out of the southwest with our camper. There is so much to see that I don't see the point in driving many hundreds of kilometres unless we're going to visit someone. The exception to this rule is our winter break. As we don't get much time off between March and October we try and head south in January to break the winter. Spain or Portugal can be very enjoyable at that time of year. The Algarve can be easily reached in two days.

However for short trips there are many lovely villages and towns from the Pyrenees to Perigueux and from the Atlantic to Toulouse which have free aires or basic services at a low price. This is roughly the area we concentrate on (at the moment). Enjoy your travelling. Regards, Michael.

Hi Michael,

How lovely to hear of your recent trip - Just the sort of thing that we want to be doing when we get sorted with a Motorhome, hopefully next year. Thanks so much for posting.

I assume that you are the 'monitor' of this group, as the Group 'Intro' page says that the writer is from Dax, and that is about an hour from I posted a 'topic' on the general discussion page about LHD Motorhomes that you kindly replied to, and then Steve Cox was good enough to suggest I join the Campervan Discussion Group, so I've done so.

Our French house is 20 mins south-east of Lourdes, in the mountains, so I don't think that we're so far away from each other. In fact, we were talking about Dax just the other day as I quite like Blues music, and a French musician friend said there was an annual Blues festival somewhere near Dax about this time of the year? Unfortunately, we're now back in the UK until October, but I'll look out for it next year...!

Kind regards, Mark