When we were offered the opportunity to be hosted at Camping Les Fontaines a family friendly campsite in France we jumped at the chance! We had never been to France with the kids and we never say no to an adventure.
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Damien and Kayleigh from Camping Les Fontaines were quick to communicate all the details of our trip and even organised some complimentary activities and bed linen kits with towels. It would not have occurred to me to pack bed linen and we never take towels, as always travel very light with only hand luggage so this saved a lot of space. We decided to fly from our local airport, Norwich, via Schipol to Geneva. The idea was to make life simpler and cut out driving time. In reality, we missed our connecting flight due to a flight delay, and got stuck at Schipol for 5 hours. 50 euros of complimentary vouchers softened the blow and bought us 2 rounds of drinks. Large wines for grownups, obviously. Kids oblivious to waiting about and were quite happy reading their kindles and plane watching. I read a whole book from my charity shop splash out; Five thrillers for a fiver. We were advised to put a claim in for the 5 hour delay by the KLM desk but the email we received in return stated extreme weather was the cause of the delay. My idea of extreme weather being hurricanes or tsunamis, is clearly very different from their’s.
Why not PIN this post about our Week at Camping Les Fontaines
On arrival at Geneva we were faced with Craig’s refusal to ask for help/directions which led us being lost in the depths of a gigantic shopping centre, before locating the car hire desk. We booked thru RentalCars.Com in the UK and the boys selected a BMW 2 Series manual for £226.06. Despite communicating to the company via email from Schiphol about the delay and receiving reassurance that no changes would be made to our booking, we were provided with a different vehicle. Craig’s deep joy on realising this new car, an Opel estate, was an automatic , which he has never driven before, was priceless. My osteopath treatment ( massive treat) the Friday before departure, was ruined within 5 minutes of being the designated map reader/ Satnav translator/ passenger. I have never been more terrified IN MY LIFE. And btw, I have resuscitated dead people, done a bungee jump and given birth to twins. Toby thought this was THE most exciting adventure ever, despite taking 30 minutes to get onto the correct motorway, nearly hitting multiple bollards and going through tolls nowhere near our destination.
Thankfully, we were able to call Oliver from Camping Les Fontaines on our arrival who led us to our chalet while fellow campers laughed at our inability to negotiate the rental car thru the narrow tracks of the site. Our cabin at Camping Les Fontaines was perfect for a family of five with one double room and 2 twin rooms. There was a well organised kitchen/dining area and a decked area to enjoy the sunshine. We finished the day by downing a carafe of wine which helped ease the anxiety of our journey so we could get some sleep.
Sunday was spent finding provisions, swimming, drinking too much wine and losing all the tickets to the parascending and boat trips that somehow I agreed to. Clearly related to the wine. And more trauma from being driven by Craig in the automatic car.
On Monday we went for a lovely walk on a local nature reserve at the Bout-du-Lac nature reservefollowed by another supermarket stop at Doussard and had a surprising lunch at the Cafe Des 4 Chemins which was a delicious bargain at €65 for all five of us for a 3 course meal with wine. ( we have no idea what we ate, but it was delicious.)
We found that to eat a couple of courses gave us little change from 100 Euros so dined in more than out. Camping Les Fontaines has a little shop – cash only and open for a couple of hours a day, that you can reserve baguettes and pain au chocolate for the following morning which was a big hit with the kids.
Monday afternoon was spent trying out the second pool on the campsite and its multiple slides. There are three main pool areas – One with slides, one outdoor and a warmer indoor pool for younger children. Elise in reception helped us replace the tickets we lost previously.
We tried to be more responsible adults, drank less wine, and lost less stuff.
Our Tuesday was a rainy washout but this was no bad thing, as the kids enjoyed several hours swimming and sliding in the empty pools at Camping Les Fontaines. The following day the weather cleared and we made our way to Doussard to take the boat to Annecy. A beautiful trip with a commentary in French and English about the surrounding area. A wander around Annecy – the clearest cleanest water I have ever seen, lunch and an obligatory ice cream before we headed back for more pool action.
Without children we would have taken our time to stop off at each little village jetty’s from the boat for more wandering and exploring, but the pool was a huge draw and family holidays need to have happy tired children to work.
Now, the one activity I had said we wouldn’t partake in, was parascending And yet there we were standing on top of a mountain on a beautiful clear Thursday, about to leap off, courtesy of Les Fontaine’s and Delta Evasion. The staff from Delta Evasion did all they could to put us at ease. Lara was given the opportunity to go hand gliding but the rest of us took to the skies parascending. A leap of faith indeed as you run off into the clouds, but it was beautiful and heavenly and an experience we shall never forget. Obviously the kids each needed photographic evidence of their adventure to share with their friends which bumped up the cost considerably but how could we say no when they had just jumped off a cliff.
On our final day Camping Les Fontaines arranged for us to have bicycles which can be hired from their sister site. Although now four of us were poorly with a nasty virus, and James had such a high temperature he was hallucinating on waking, we dosed up on paracetamol and cycled 25 km to Annecy and back. The paths were perfect for anyone not very secure and confident in the saddle ( me) and the views beautiful. More ice cream in Annecy and an incredible lunch on the way home at Cote Plage Sevrier with tremendous food and views worth savouring.
On our final day at Camping Les Fontaines we packed up and cleaned up, as part of the responsibility of the guests staying at this campsite is to leave your accommodation as found. We had time to spare so made a second trip to the nature reserve and headed to the airport early. We managed to get there without too many issues as the driving problem had abated but got stung for 60 Euros for a quarter of a tank of Diesel as we had failed to locate a garage. All in all, despite wheezles and sneezles we thoroughly enjoyed our stay in France and would highly recommend Camping Les Fontaines to anyone wanting a reasonably priced family friendly campsite in France to explore the beautiful surrounding area from. We could easily have spent 2 weeks at Camping Les Fontaines there as there was so much available to see and do.