A visit to France’s Loire-Atlantique coast

A year ago, when Covid-19 was not part of the world’s consciousness, I was heading towards a five-star campsite on France’s Loire-Atlantique coast, also known as the Jade Coast. Sunelia le Fief campsite lies on the edge of the charming resort of Saint Brevin-les-Pins on the south bank of the Loire estuary.

The little town became a fashionable resort for the well-to-do during the 19th century; in the 20th century and the last awful world crisis of World War II, it was strategically important for the German navy, which had its submarine base at St Nazaire on the estuary’s opposite bank.

In the 21st century it is once again a popular resort; its beaches and sand dunes, safe cycle paths and roads open to everyone rather than the favoured few. For now though, a peek at the town’s webcam reveals the beaches, the sand dunes and roads are empty, while France waits for ‘lockdown’ to be lifted.
Sunelia le Fief lies to the south of the town. This is more than just a campsite; it is also a glamping village of luxury lodges with private terraces, plus a spa, indoor and outdoor pools with flumes and slides and a bar and restaurant. Its 90 pitches are thoughtfully set among trees for some privacy and shade.

During my visit we hired bikes; we had massages and were pummelled with jets of water in the well-equipped spa; we ate in the Punta Cana restaurant and watched family entertainment in the bar and fitness work-outs in the pool. Kids will love it here, too. There are organised children’s clubs, games pitches and play areas as well as the spectacular outside pool.

In short, it was the ideal base for a family week away in the ’van, and will be again when France is ready to welcome visitors from across the Channel and our wagons can roll once again onto the decks of ferries.