OPEN SWIMMING IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE

Do you ever have a day where you just know that you’ll treasure it for a long long time? Where for some reason everything just goes well and what you thought was just going to be an average but fun day, turns out to be a rather special one indeed? We recently had one of those on our holiday in France with Al Fresco Holidays. I have written about our trip here, but I wanted to dedicate a whole post to our special day because it was just one of those ones where the memories will stay with me for a very long time.

A few nights before we flew to France for our summer holiday, I spent a bit of time looking at things to do in the area we were in. We had already said that we wanted to use our holiday very much as a time to relax and not do much, whereas more often than not we like going on day trips or exploring. I already knew that open swimming or lake swimming was quite popular in France during the summer and it was something that I quite liked the idea of, so I had a quick look to see if there were any good spots nearby.  Just by chance I found a place called the Gorges du Gouleyrous and I bookmarked it thinking that we could go there if we fancied it during the week.

We decided to head there early on during our holiday. It was around 45 minutes from where our campsite La Brasilia was situated, but we had hired a car so it was really easy to get there. We weaved around corners and up towards mountains as the scenery became even more picturesque on our journey. We got there and it was really easy to find, plus there was a car park (which you have to pay for but it is not much) signposted with the Gorges du Goulerous. I had been a bit nervous previously that we would have to walk far to actually get there, which wouldn’t have been much fun with the buggy, all our things and 2 little girls as well. The car park is literally less than a five minute walk to the actual water though and you can bring a buggy down pretty easily too.

When we reached the water we were amazed by the sight before us. It was absolutely beautiful. Crystal clear green water surrounded by rocky mountains and lots of trees. It really was a sight to behold. We were quite early at this point and we were one of only about 3 other families there. It started to get really busy mid morning though and by the early afternoon it was packed full of French families enjoying themselves.

The water was actually quite warm and a delight to swim in. There were two rope swings which Maddie absolutely loved (she is a real dare devil) and you could also walk along the cliff edge or swim out to some smaller rocks that you could jump off into the water. It really was so lovely and peaceful down there and we instantly relaxed sitting there. It was lovely to people watch and watch lots of other families doing the same. We stayed a couple of hours but hadn’t come that prepared and we were getting hungry so we left with the promise of coming back another day. We loved it so much that we indeed did go back a little later on in the week and this time we had an even better day.

The sun was shining and when we arrived about 9am we were the only ones there bar two campers who had obviously slept there the night before. We had such a great time having the place to ourselves, before it started to get busy around lunch time again. It was just one of those perfect days where we relaxed, we spent so much time in the water and we had a little picnic lunch that we had prepared earlier. It sounds silly but it was one of my most favourite days I have had in such a long time.

I wanted to share some of the photos from our day, they bring back such happy memories.

           

I also did this day in the life video while we were out there too…

 

6 Comments

  • Jenny says:

    Love these I was just telling someone about how we use to rope swing into a lake/pond near our house. These just made me recall so many childhood memories. It’s such a fun experience. Love the Mads did it too. Brave girl!!!

  • Sarah says:

    As a child we used to rope swing into the river up at Ingram Valley and its one of my best memories!!
    What a fab pictures you got of a treasured memorable day
    S x x

  • This is definitely something we would love and how stunning is it?! When we were in France we had a night like this watching the sun set where everything just felt perfect for no real reason at all and I will remember that night forever, its sounds like your day here will be the same x

  • It looks so beautiful there Katie, and what brave girls- I used to love swimming as a kid but hated sea/lake swimming because I never knew what was in the bottom, haha!

  • Ah, you’re making me want to plan a lovely holiday here! It sounds like it was such a wonderful day – I can just imagine how special it was. Days like this are what summer holidays should be all about. Beautiful photos! <3

  • dad|THEORY says:

    Looks awesome!

    The French really have this stuff worked out, don’t they (the climate helps, obviously)!

    In the Southern Alps last year we camped and moved between three different locations and found outdoor swimming lakes – like yours, tucked in the folds of the mountains – that were perfect.

    Head there early, take a picnic, and the kids (3 and 6) couldn’t have been happier. Nearly all day, nearly every day!

    Highly recommended.

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