Apologies all for my absence last week! I went travelling on a much needed summer holiday to Chatelaillon de Plage but I’m back again now to tell you all about it.
Chatelaillon de Plage is a tiny town based by the Bay of Biscay on the west coast of France. As the name suggests, it’s a seaside town that has a long beach, stretching right along the coast. With only 6,000+ citizens, you would be right to assume it’s fairly relaxed however, as soon as spring hits, it becomes a popular tourist town with visitors arriving from all over Europe. The inhabitants of Chatelaillon have refined their technique and become consummate professionals at creating a friendly, fun and chilled environment for all.
When it came to arrival day, I literally ran from the car to the beautiful beach as I couldn’t wait to feel hot sand and warm water between my toes. Thankfully our hotel was right on the beach front so I literally lived on the beach for an entire week. We stayed at Le Rivage, a basic but incredibly friendly and comfortable two star hotel. The view from my room was stunning and the staff filled me with delicious pastries every morning so I was overjoyed! I know myself and plenty of other guests felt completely at home here and could trust all the staff so they are well worth a look if you are planning a visit.
For the first couple of days, I spent nearly the entire time relaxing, swimming and eating. It was a warm 30 degrees while we were there, which was just hot enough for me. The only thing that annoyed me about the beach at Chatelaillon is that the tide goes out a long way in the afternoon, meaning you have to time your swims really carefully.
There are a couple of really nice cafes on the beach itself, as well as plenty of restaurants nearby. I was obviously ecstatic as I didn’t have to move very far to find food. For prospective visitors, I would definitely recommend trying a fish dish in Chatelaillon de Plage, especially the Moulles Frites. As a seaside town, you can pretty much guarantee that every restaurant will cook incredible fish dishes and I was not disappointed by their delicious mussels.
Over the following days I started to explore Chatelaillon a little more. I found a mini golf course right next to our hotel which provided hours of fun for everyone. The golf course was also situated in the middle of a small park which hosts music nights once a week during the summer. There is also an aquatics centre further along the beach where I saw a host of people paddleboarding, jet skiing and surfing. I really wanted to go paddleboarding but I wasn’t 100% sure I would able to understand a safety briefing in French so I passed but I would definitely encourage others to try it out.
On our last day, we decided to take a ten minute drive north to the beautiful and historically rich city of La Rochelle. La Rochelle is much bigger than Chatelaillon and therefore has much more to see and do. The architecture is absolutely stunning, especially the Vieux Port, which makes walking the best form of travel. We only spent three hours here but I could’ve easily been here a day, even a week! The streets are lined with fish restaurants and quaint cafes whilst the centre is a vibrant shopping district. There are also plenty of attractions such as the aquarium and a myriad of museums to pick from. The best thing about La Rochelle is that it is a vibrant city with relaxed core. If you come to La Rochelle, the locals would expect you to explore and enjoy the rustic charm but strictly at your own pace.
On our final day we travelled back to Roscoff to catch the ferry. Luckily for me, we stayed overnight so I got to explore another French town for a short time. As Roscoff is about four hours north of Chatelaillon, it’s considerably cooler however I didn’t mind as it was nice to be able to wear my dungarees and not sweat profusely. Roscoff felt like a really romantic town and reminded me of the film ‘Chocolat’. That might possibly be due to the fact I found a delicious confectionary boutique or because the town just felt adorable.
My trip to France was the perfect relaxed vacation. If anything, it has made me want to explore the country even more as there is so much to see. If you’re thinking of venturing into France, I would recommend looking a bit further than Paris as the capital city is far from the only thing this country has to offer.
Next month, I’ll be heading to a country that has been on the top of my bucket list for years: Iceland! I can’t wait to go so keep a look out for upcoming posts and let me know if you have any recommendations whilst I’m there!