La Grande Métairie at Carnac is a very popular campsite which is a member of the prestigious Castels chain of quality campsites. It is a large site set in stunning parkland in the countryside just a few miles inland from the coast. It is just outside the holiday town of Carnac with its interesting museums, churches, markets, shops and restaurants and numerous splendid beaches.
The site is also positioned adjacent to the famous Carnac Standing Stones, which can be accessed right next to the site. Thousands of large stones stretch for a mile, lined up towards the sun. Well worth a walk along to see them. There is also a museum of the stones and a creperie nearby.
The site has excellent facilities, although it can get busy in the high season of July and August. It is ideal for young families in early or late summer and lively enough for everyone in high summer. It’s the fantastic pool complex with its lazy river, waterslides and indoor pool that first catches your eye at La Grande Métairie. Children will also enjoy the camsite's "mini farm".
This campsite has some interesting types of accommodation - they have the typical mobile homes or tent and caravan pitches but also have tree houses, gypsy caravans and fisherman's huts ! So something to suit everyone!
If you are going to drive then here are the distances from the Channel Ports:
There is plenty to see and do in Carnac itself and in the surrounding villages.
La Trinite sur Mer is adjacent to Carnac and we have mentioned further information about this area under the campsite information for La Baie at Trinite Sur Mer which you can access from our menu on the right.
There are many fantastic beaches at Carnac, including la Grande Plage, and further to the east, Plage Men Dû and Beaumer right along the seafront. The Saint-Colomban beach located in Carnac-Plage is popular with wind surfers. There are also many shops to visit, including a supermarket. You will also find a great ice cream shop as well with all sorts of flavours (or parfums (pronounced "parfams") in French).
However one of the main attractions in Carnac is of course the site of the megaliths. Carnac has the biggest megalithic site in the world with over 3,000 large standing stones or menhirs as they are called, standing in a area which measures over a kilometre in length. The stones date from about 4,500 BC.
You can also see dolmens, which are single chambered megalithic tombs, such as this one which can be seen from the road near the Grande Metairie campsite:
There is a lovely creperie at the far end of the alignments called Creperie au Pressoir (see below):
In the centre of Carnac near the Tourist Information is the Saint-Cornély church, which is a very beautiful Renaissance building (built in the 17th Century) and well worth visiting particularly to see its interior (see below). St Cornely is the local patron saint of horned animals and you will see the figure of St Cornely framed by oxen above the pediment of the West Door. The painted frescoes in the nave also show scenes from his life.
Another very old church which is worth visiting is the Chapelle de Saint Colomban, which is situated just outside Carnac itself in the hamlet of Saint Colomban. St Columba (or St Colomban) himself is said to have visited here and this chapel was built to commemorate that visit. This gothic chapel was built in 1575. There is a blessing of animals that takes place every year and this is depicted on a picture on one of the walls of the church.
Below are some views from the Church of the typical stone building of a Breton village. In one of the photographs you can see an old farmhouse. The animals used to live below and the people above - accessing the loft via the stairs.
There is a very good museum The Musée de Préhistoire and also the Archeoscope visitor centre in Carnac which are both worth visiting :
There is a Petit Train in Carnac which will take you around many of these sites and is a great way to find out about the town when you have just arrived.
If you found the menhirs at Carnac to be of interest the you might like to visit some more of the prehistoric sites in the area. There are numerous sites in the area where you can see some more megalithic structures. We enjoyed visiting Locmariaquer, thirteen kilometers east of Carnac, at the tip of a peninsula, where you can find four significant megalithic sites including the Great Menhir or Grand Menhir Brise, also known as Mener-Hroec. When it was intact, this 340-ton granite stone stood 98 feet tall. It was broken by lightning and now lies in five pieces, the largest of which is almost 40 feet long.
Nearby is a very well-preserved dolmen known as the Table des Marchands or Merchants Table, with a 100-ton capstone covering a large chamber. The supporting stones are carved with stylized suns and ears of corn.
Also near Locmariaquer, on the sand dunes, is the "Dolmen des Pierres Plates" ("dolmen of the flat stones"). This tomb is filled with decorated stones with its entrance facing the sea. This tomb is free to visit although on the day we visited a helpful man was hiring out torches for 2Euros which was essential really to view the carvings on the stones inside ! Further information at : http://locmariaquer.monuments-nationaux.fr/en
You can get a Four Site Pass to visit four major megalithic sites including admission to the Table des Marchands, Great Menhir, Saint-Michel Tumulus in Carnac and Carnac Museum of Prehistory.
There is a very good online guide to the megaliths etc at : http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/arcnat/megalithes/index.html