Camping Europa was our first stop on our holiday in the French Alps, driving down from Calais the night before, we stayed overnight in the Novotel in Beaune and then made our way to the campsite by Lake Annecy straight after breakfast in a café by Beaune’s main square.
Lake Annecy has to be seen to be appreciated; its azure waters are set in stunning scenery, the town of Annecy is picturesque with the old part of town a huge attraction for many.
The campsite at St Jorioz is a little further on from Annecy, en route to Albertville, the road is very busy in the summer months and can take up to hour reach the campsite from Annecy. From here on this might begin to sound like a Trip Advisor review and you will be forgiven for believing it so, on arrival, our big smiles for having arrived at our first destination after a long journey were quickly wiped off our faces by the receptionist. Apparently, we would not be let into the site, without 20€ in cash as a deposit for having a keyfob that opens the site’s security barrier. At that moment in time we did not have enough cash on us and headed back into town to find a cashpoint.
Once we were allowed in, the pitches were so hard from that I had to go out and buy rock pegs and a steel hammer to secure our tent. Not a great start! But not to be disillusioned, we strolled to the magnificent looking pizzeria restaurant on site for lunch. Only to leave having felt ripped off for various reasons.
On a positive side, the site has exceptional facilities for its touring guests, and a great swimming pool for children. The majority of our fellow campers were Dutch, Danish and German, there were some British families but very few.
Our Dutch neighbours turned out to be our saviours one day, when we left for a trip to Mont Blanc and Chamonix we had wall-to-wall sunshine and decided to leave everything out, chairs, tables, clothes drying, etc. On our return that evening, an almighty storm had brewed up around Annecy, which had brought down a number of trees, including one atop several cars parked along the main route to St Jorioz and had closed the road for several hours.
Finally on our return to the site, fearing the worst, still with the rain lashing down, we were surprised to see the tent was still in place, but all our chairs, table, clothes, children’s games, etc had disappeared. Our neighbours, who came out in the rain to greet us, had taken our clothes into our tent to stay dry, tightened our guide ropes and placed all other equipment under his caravan for safety – we are to this day very grateful.
My daughter loves the kids clubs and went along to one the next morning, I went to see how she was getting on 30 minutes later only to find her sitting on table on her own colouring-in, after speaking to the rep, she had not included her in the club because she thought my daughter was Dutch, and she could not speak Dutch! Did you ask her where she was from in English or French? Came my response… No.
We enjoyed our stay around Lake Annecy, beautiful place with lots to do for the whole family. As for Camping Europa, family-friendly atmosphere, good facilities, only marred by the owners and staff!