A series of limestone cliffs loom 150ft high above the village of Merry-sur-Yonne, hugging a row of houses against the River Yonne. On summer weekends they’re pimpled with the tiny bodies of rock climbers, suspended from ropes as they clamber around on the impressively irregular face. From the top the view is stunning. The river sweeps in a wide meander, a thick wodge of trees skirts its edge and, below, in the inside of the river’s bend, sits a tent-speckled, family field – Camping Merry-sur-Yonne.
Climbing the famous ‘Roches du Saussois’ is just a small part of the attraction here. Though the cliffs may be a mere five-minute walk from your tent it’s easy to get side-tracked by something else along the way – a giant outdoor chess set covers a section of the camping meadow, there’s an excellent playground for kids and the pair of onsite tennis courts even come with raised umpire's chairs, so you can authoritatively wag your finger and yell the words “out!” from up on high.
The main field itself is populated by the full variety of camping types. Tents, campervans and caravans are all welcome, with electricity on just over half the pitches, while modern glamping pods and a gîte are also available to hire, if you fancy slightly plusher accommodation. Pets are welcome (there’s even a dog washing point) and the English owners speak the full range of French, German, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese and Tagalog. Everyone is made to feel welcome.
When you venture out there’s plenty to be found nearby. The Bourgogne region is famous for its wine and there are several vineyards in the vicinity that offer tours and tastings – just flick through the ideas and information sheets in reception. Historic Auxerre, a 35 minute drive away, is also an excellent starting point. It’s grand cathedral with famously expansive stained-glass windows and the Benedictine abbey, now a museum, both stand tall over the waterfront. Magnificent canal boats chug upstream in the direction of the campsite – it’s considered one of the most beautiful inland boating areas in all of France – and you can even hire your own for a morning, afternoon or day-long excursion.
The campsite owner saysNestled at the foot of the famous Roches du Saussois rocks and on the banks of the River Yonne, this riverside family campsite in Bourgogne with excellent modern facilities, is the perfect base to explore the Burgundy region.
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