The Campsite Sunêlia L'Escale Saint-Gilles campsite in Bénodet is a large and lively French campsite of approximately 480 pitches on the west coast of Brittany. It is one of the best french campsites for kids as there is a great pool complex, lots of entertainment and activities as well as children's clubs.
With a great location across a quiet road from a pine-fringed sandy beach, it is only a fifteen minute walk along an easy coastal path from the seaside resort of Bénodet. There is a small sandy beach opposite the campsite which is fine for rockpooling and sun bathing and two others within walking distance. Bénodet's main beach is a long straight stretch of beach with watersports and there is also Le Letty beach within a 10 minutes walk from the campsite.
The coastal path from the campsite to Bénodet can also be cycled and some sections are on paths off the road.
Bénodet itself has a long wide beach with promenade to walk along, some shops, restaurants (although we self cater most of the time !), some lovely ice cream shops and a cinema as well as a small museum which has some interesting exhibitions. There is a very old church, St Thomas church and we went to a wonderful concert there.
The Sunêlia L'Escale Saint-Gilles campsite itself is one of the top French campsites as it has many attractions
The campsite play park is very good and will suit children over a range of ages. The Kid's clubs from the main tour operators such as Eurocamp and Canvas take place in the sports field which is a short walk along a quietish road from the campsite entrance. This is a great field with loads of space and other activities are also arranged by the campsite there. You can either arrange to leave older children at the onsite tour operators meeting point or if you have very young children you may want to accompany them along the road to the kids club field and this may mean a 15 minute walk if you are in a mobile home at the far end of the campsite. The campsite also run a Sunny Club to which all children are welcome. But please check for up to date details before booking.
Booking Your Holiday
- • Roscoff: 150km.
- • St Malo: 246km.
- • Caen: 419km.
- • Cherbourg: 425km.
- • Le Havre: 485km.
- • Brest airport: 97km.
- • Dinard airport: 230km.
- • Nantes airport: 229km.
- • Local Railway: Quimper, 16 Km
Services from Paris to Quimper
Things To Do In The Area
There is a Petit Train in Bénodet which has a stop at the campsite and is a good way to discover the town for the first time. It will also take you in and out to town, although beware on market day we found it was too busy to get the first Petit Train" back and we ended up waiting for ages. The markets take place in the square in the centre of Bénodet.
From the Vieux Port at the far end of Bénodet you can arrange to take a Boat Trip with Vedettes de l'Odet. They offer boat trips on the Odet river at Bénodet and these include gastronomique cruises ! Some of these trips can take you to Quimper and back. There are also boat trips to the beautiful îles Glénan, an archipelago of islands twelve miles out to sea. This trip can be made by glass bottomed boat which allows you to view the fish etc.
There is a Cinema in Benodet. If you want to watch a film in English then you need to look for films which were originally in English and which say VO for original version. Otherwise the films which are originally in English will say VF which means Version Francais. Watch out though as films which were originally in French and which are still in French will also be marked VO ! To access the website which shows you this week's films in Benodet, click here.
The far end of the town has a yacht harbour and views across to the village of Sainte Marine, which also has a lovely beach. Sainte Marine can be reached by ferry in high season or by road.
(pronounced "cam-per" -with a short pause in the middle!). This town has the magnificent St Corentin cathedral which is worth a visit. There is also a nice "old town" to walk around with many nice shops to visit. There are restaurants but we bought some lovely baguettes in the indoor covered market which had various food stalls. There are markets in most of the local towns and Quimper does have a particularly large market which takes place on certain days. There is also a nice toy shop if you can find it !
The Festival de Cornouaille takes place every July in Quimper. This is Brittany's biggest celebration of Breton culture. Concerts, street parades by proud locals in costumes and street musicians bring the perfectly preserved medieval town of Quimper to life. Music and dance take place outside the towering cathedral, along streets lined by half-timbered medieval buildings, on the quayside and in front of the Bishop's Palace. Every evening there are Fest Noz concerts.
At the port of Guilvinec, at half past four on Mondays to Fridays (please double check dates and times), you can watch from a panoramic terrace as the small fishing boats race to unload their catches of fish and crustaceans. They race in to grab a spot at the quayside, unload very quickly then leave to let the next boat in. All very exciting.
Guilvinec is one of the largest ports in France for landings of fresh fish and "fruits de mer", which are prawns and lobsters etc. These fishermen are described as "Pêcheurs Artisanale Français". The fishing boats or trawlers are called "chalutiers". Look out for GV on the boats which means their home port is Guilvinec. There are about 120 fishing boats which are based in Guilvinec. These include 65 deep-sea boats (which go out for 8 to 15 days) and 55 coasting ships and short fishing boats which go out for the day. These boats employ 523 fishermen.
In Guilvinec, after we visited the fish auction and bought some fish in the fish market shop, we enjoyed a fantastic meal in a small restaurant with a terrace, which from my memory was just opposite the fish market. We had a great piles of "frites" (chips !) which was just what we needed after all those fish !
Definitely worth a day out. There are lots of fantastic shops and restaurants to explore within its historic walls and there are often musicians playing etc. There is also a great ice cream shop !
Another town worth well worth visiting is Pont Aven, the famous capital of Crepes and famous also for being an artist's town ! This is a lovely town with many small galleries and craft shops to visit as well as cafes and restaurants. The artist Paul Gauguin lived and worked here. You can visit on market day and browse the stalls along the riverside. The town contains many mills, one of which is now a creperie. There is a fabulous glass blowing workshop "Un souffle de verre" where you can watch the glass blowers at work. Address : 23 Rue des Abbés Tanguy, 29930, PONT AVEN. Tel. 02 98 06 10 37. It may be an idea to check opening times when you can watch them at work. If you are impressed, which I am sure you will be, you can leave a contribution in the glass bottle. Or you may wish to purchase some of the beautiful original glasswork vases and lamps etc.
Lighthouses / Phares
Brittany is famous for its seafaring past and there are many lighthouses to warn ships of the treacherous rocky shoreline. You can visit various lighthouses, including one, Phare de Goulphar, which can be climbed if you are feeling like some exercise !We also visited the Phare d'Eckmühl which stands at the very end of the Pointe de Penmarch. It is open some days and you can climb the 307 steps to the gallery at the top of the tower where you will get a wonderful view :
Other days out from Bénodet :
- • Swimming Pool at Fouesnant Les Balnéides Aquatic Centre
- • Swimming Pool at Quimper: Piscines de Loisirs Aquarive (Remember that men have to wear proper swimmer style swimming trunks as they dont let you in with baggy shorts style swimsuits at all. The same applies in many swimming pools in France and often on campsites as well.
- • "Atout Fruit" Fruit and Vegetable Shop, 5 chemin de Kerambras, 29170 FOUESNANT at the roundabout in Fouesnant and adjacent to a supermarket - excellent fresh fruit and vegetables - well worth a visit! or two!
- • Douarnenez is a nice place for a day out.