Camping La Sirène – A Review

It was our first time! We were camping holiday virgins. I didn’t know whether we would kill each other in a more enclosed space or whether the great outdoors would be our living room. Would we live our best lives in La Sirène in the South of France. Really, I needn’t have worried!

Collioure streets
A day out from La Sirène in Collioure

Due to a clashing event, hubby went out before me with the two youngest on Sunday while I stayed home with the teenager until Wednesday morning. This meant that check-in and all that jazz had been done by the time I landed and everyone was utterly chill.

The Accommodation

We stayed in a ‘Vista’ cabin. At the time of booking, we were not aware that there was an upgrade to an ‘Aspect’. The vista was great. It was warm, it had air conditioning and it was exactly what you would expect from a mobile home. We had a lovely deck at the front which we used continuously as a living area. Rather than take photos, I am going to advise you check out their website here as they have much better images of the facility than I got.

I spent most of my time in a bikini- even when cooking
BBQ at La Sirène

The down side was that as 2 near 6ft tall adults, the double bed was adequate, but not the super king we are used to. I had to crawl over himself to get to my side. I also had to stand on the bed to get clothes out of the wardrobe. So, if you are very tall, definitely go for the upgrade. Don’t pack a gazillion things to bring with you! I packed light and still there were so many things I just didn’t wear.

Indoor pool at La Sirène
Fun at the indoor pool at La Sirène

We booked our trip through Eurocamp.ie but as far as I know you can book directly with La Sirène too although I have no idea what the difference in price would be or whether the service you get is different.

Surrounding Areas on Foot

If you saw my stories while I was away, you will see that we had an absolute ball and a very active holiday. Myself and hubby ran every day bar 1 and it was absolutely beautiful. We had a 5km route that literally brought us from our front door and back in 4.98km (which meant we had to run our OCD legs past our front door for an extra 20m to bring it to 5km).

5km route
5km run at La Sirene

So, this route was beautiful. Go and ‘friend’ me on Strava and go through my routes there or you can read where I go through this route step by step in this instagram post. This brought my route to 5.3km but I was about 400 m to the back of the campsite adding nearly 1km to the overall route.

Alternative route
4.2km route

The second route is out the gate, left at the roundabout and right at the main roundabout. This brings you into Argeles Sur Mer and down to the Guidon Futé cycle shop which brings me nicely to my next topic – Bike Rental. By the way, I usually come back through the woods for that route too.

Running in the woods at the side entrance of La Sirène
Running in the woods

Bike Rental

Bike Rental in Argeles Sur Mer
Bike Rental

We rented our bikes here at Guidon Futé. Why did we rent here and not in La Siréne? Well, first of all, Guidon was recommended to us by other cyclists with reference to bike quality and safety. For no extra cost, this location also provides helmets and bike locks. NOBODY wears helmets around Argeles Sur Mer – I was so shocked. We were the few wearing them and the kids had no problem with that. They have a selection of city bikes (upright with a basket on the front) mountain bikes and road bikes (racers). They also rent those family pedal cars which are great to pass an afternoon.

Best Paella in Town
Best Paella in Town

Just next door is this spot with some amazing paella. Head down in the morning and order your portion for lunch. They also have an amazing selection of seafood to choose from.

Best Paella in Argeles Sur Mer
Paella

Cycle Routes

Cycle to St Cyprien
Cycle to St Cyprien
Cycling through the woods back to La Sirène
Cycling Home
safe cycle paths
Cycle Paths

In truth, you can turn left or right on any road and find the most amazing cycle routes. All are marked clearly and they are so safe, even for the youngest of cyclists. We always turned right out the gate of La Sirene and then cycled down to Argeles for dinner some evenings or turned left on the main road for a 16km return trip to St Cyprien. The kids loved the adventure. Remember though, pack a picnic if you are going to arrive later than 2.30pm as all restaurants close down between 2.30 and 4.30 – this means very hungry, very cranky children if you get your timing wrong.

Facilities at La Sirène

You really do have everything you need right there. In the mobiles themselves, you have a small kitchen, full bathroom and a BBQ. There are also communal shower rooms located throughout the park which are kept very clean – just remember to bring a cheap pair of flip flops for showering.

For the kids, there is a massive pool with lots of different sections – some shallow and just knee deep and others about 1m 40cm deep. There are a selection of slides for the adventurous kids and two indoor pools. One of the indoor pools is very shallow and ideal for small children, the other is about a meter deep and perfect for older kids or adults.

BBQ at every site
BBQ at every site booked with Eurocamp.ie

There is a zumba class, diving classes, archery, playgrounds, you name it, its there. Probably the best facility is the roads around the park. They are so safe and despite the fact that cars can drive through, they travel really slowly because there are so many pedestrians around. This was fantastic for us and our little cyclist!

Destinations Close By

We rented a car at the airport and used google maps to get around. We visited some beautiful spots with lots of hiking, swimming and cycling routes.

Plage de Paulilles

The first spot we visited was Plage de Paulilles. This was a spectacular series of hikes over headlands which were totally doable for the kids and it was a source of great excitement to discover each cove along the route. Start by navigating to Paulilles and search on the map for Sole Mio restaurant. The reason for this is that google maps will send you around the world otherwise. There is a very small car parking area here and you can start your trip at this point.

Plage de Paulilles
Plage de Paulilles
Hike to the beach
Hike to the beach
Final destination
Picnic Spot

Most of the beaches are stony so a pair of swim socks will be a saving grace for the kids. Alternatively, surf shoes are brilliant and they can be in and out of the water as much as they want without hurting their toes on stones.

Chilling on Plage de Paulilles
Plage de Paulilles
Dynamite factory at Paulilles
Dynamite Factory – Historical site
Strolling at Paulilles
My 1st Hike in a Skirt

The other great idea we had was to bring camping towels in our luggage and a cheap fleece blanket. This meant that we didn’t need to bring many heavy towels on our hikes. We could dry off with light towels which would be dry again in 5 minutes and we lay on blankets on the beach when we remembered to bring them.

Collioure

One of my new favourite places on this beautiful planet of ours is Collioure. It is one of those amazing towns that holds something magical down each and every side street. It is only about 10-15 minutes drive from Argeles Sur Mer and is about 5 minutes from Port Vendre which is close to Paulilles.

The square in Collioure
Collioure square
Collioure the castle
The view of the castle
The most colourful town
Colourful Collioure
Alternative eats
Beautiful restaurant in Collioure
Playing in the sand
Playing in the sand

Collioure has a fantastic castle that you can pay to tour around – it is very cheap, even for a large family. You can walk through the streets and buy bread or nougat – be careful not to get caught buying the €69 per kg nougat that we nearly got nabbed with.

At the bottom of the fort saiint elme hike
Fort Saint Elme Hike

For those of you looking for adventure and wanting to work off the pizza, there is the most exquisite hike up to Fort Saint Elme. It takes about 25 minutes from the bottom to the top. While it may look daunting from the bottom of the hill, the terrain is great fun to navigate. The kids absolutely loved it once the first 5 minutes of giving out was over. The fort itself features a little tour inside with all the weapons and chain mail that was used at the time. Be warned, there is a small shop with drinks and chocolate but not a drop of coffee or a sandwich – so either eat before or bring snacks for kids (and grown ups) in a back pack.

The windmill
10 minute hike to the Windmill – The fort in the background
Collioure from the fort
Collioure from the Fort Saint Elme
The Beach at Collioure
The beach at Collioure

Final Impressions of Our La Sirène Stay

We had an absolute ball on this holiday mostly because kids had so much freedom. We spent the first few days just heading to the pool and getting into relaxation mode. Once our ‘chill level’ got to 10, we began exploring. There are lots of beautiful towns to visit in very close proximity to Argeles. We rented a car and drove to Collioure. You can also get a ferry from Argeles so it is easy to plan a day trip without the rental.

The campsite was ideal for the kids. They didn’t use the ‘kids camp’ but it was there if they wanted it. The best thing about La Sirène was the space the kids had and the fact that we all felt so safe. It was not very busy when we were there but I imagine it gets very busy during high season.

I have a list of essential items below – this does not include the mosquito gel. When you go to France, go to your nearest pharmacy and buy the varnish to paint on insect bites. It is like magic and stops the horrible itching almost immediately.

list of essentials for camping at La Sirène
List of Essentials
Running in the woods next to La Sirène

Don’t forget to pack your run gear! Enjoy the heat, stay cool by maintaining camp next to the waters edge and let your hair down. If you need a bit of focus on your trip to stay moving, let me help! I have a FREE running programme here that even the kids can join in on. Pick a session and do it as a run/walk or get the kids to cycle alongside you. But it is totally your choice. You can choose to keep moving, or choose to have a total chill out on your holiday. I love running so this was no major effort – I really enjoyed it.

Fi xx

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2 Comments

  1. July 1, 2019 / 10:38 am

    Great review Fiona. You mentioned to bring a carbon monoxide alarm, was there none in the Eurocamp mobile home? Did you bring a sharp knife too?

    • westcorkfit
      Author
      July 1, 2019 / 12:49 pm

      Hey Debbie,
      If there was one there, I didn’t see it! And yes, we brought a small wooden chopping board and a sharp knife too! They were essential…I’ll add them to the post!

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