‘Arrive as a guest, leave as a friend.’ And with only ten pitches going at any one time the owners of La Brouquère haven’t set themselves too difficult a motto to aspire to. Here in Gers, midway between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, La Brouquère sits in a deliciously untouristy region of France. So, unless you become firm friends with a local farmer or spend dawn until dusk exploring the countryside, you’ll definitely leave having got to know Sonja and Wouter a whole lot better.
One thing sure to leave an impression is their passion. Relocating from Holland a few years ago, the couple restored an old winery using its original stone for the structure of their gorgeous home, with bright blue shutters, a view of rolling hills, and, from June, blossoming sunflowers. There’s a pleasant drive past vineyards to get here and an intimate camping vibe that greets you on arrival. All of La Brouquère’s USPs share equal pride of place: the little swimming pool (actually, it’s not much bigger than a hot tub, but it’ll cool you down on sunny days), the terraced patio, the views and the house are all vividly enchanting.
In medieval times, this part of France fell slap-bang in the middle of crossfire between English and French armies based west of here at Bordeaux and at Toulouse further east. Nowadays, Gers is an unspoilt, rural landscape peppered with green vineyards and yellow sunflower fields. Its remoteness enables workmen to travel freely about their daily business, which for many is the production of foie gras and Armagnac. Such low tourist traffic is a big plus for curious travellers, for whom La Brouquère makes an appealing, peaceful holiday choice.
Campers have the choice of pitching in the garden or on wilder land further back, with lots of space to lie on blankets whilst you peruse Sonja’s comprehensive bumper-packed folder of local activities. Where to go first? What to do? The shared facilities are excellent. Or, if you’re a product junkie who always ends up leaving your favourite shampoo in the shower, think about hiring the campsite’s private bathroom – but book well in advance, it’s a popular feature.
La Brouquère’s home-cooked food is also noted as a highlight by many a well-fed camper, with Indonesian, Indian, Greek, Italian and Swiss food all featuring, and vegetarians well catered for too. Pre-order bread and croissants at reception the day before and in the morning you can chow down on your breakfast in full view of uninterrupted Armagnac landscape. Vineyards are visible from your tent in one direction and, in the other, rolling hills separate you from the charming provincial town of Condom, a 10-minute drive away.
Biased or not, Sonja and Wouter believe that the Gers is the best region in all of France, that the locally produced wine is better than any Bordeaux, and that ‘don’t worry’ is your password to a happy stay at La Brouquère. And if, after a few days exploring or relaxing, you begin to agree with those opinions, you’ll have the perfect excuse to return – and visit your new-found friends.
3 bathrooms each with a big size shower, a toilet and a sink and 5 big private shower rooms with a toilet. 4 sinks for dishwashing (warm and cold water) and 2 washing machines. No fires are allowed. There's a boules pitch, WiFi available and a freezer for re-freezing cool blocks.
This is an adults-only campsite. Tents, campervans, caravans and dogs (on a leash) – yes. Children – no.
The tiny museum in Lupiac commemorates the birthplace of d’Artagnan, who fought alongside the three musketeers and is worth a look. The Thursday market at Eauze is also a must-see, while if you want to make like Formula One’s Lewis Hamilton, then the race circuit 30 minutes away at Nogaro might appeal (0033 562 090 249). One-day courses start at €340.
Food & Drink
Gondrin’s La Ferme du Cassou (0033 562 291 522) hosts four duck-tasting sessions a week. If you like brandy, and the best place to try it is Château de Cassaigne (0033 562 280 402), which offers free tours and tastings, then a decent bottle of Armagnac will set you back around €25.
The Owner Says
Camping La Brouquere is a small, quiet and charming adult only campsite near Gondrin in the departement Gers (Gascony) in the region Midi-Pyrénées in Southwest France.
The camping is idyllically situated right in the heart of the Armagnac vineyards with a beautifully wide view over the rolling Gascon hills with their abundant golden and yellow wheat and sunflower fields. It is the ideal campsite to unwind, relax and enjoy nature's tranquility in a lovely sunny and warm climate.
This small 'cool camping' offers very spacious camping pitches, luxurious and very clean toilets and showers, a swimming pool and modern facilities such as WiFi internet access and even a private bathroom.
Here in the native land of d'Artagnan, the most famous musketeer, you will find a wide selection of tourist sightseeing attractions such as majestic castles, medieval abbeys and authentic fortified villages (bastides).
Besides being 'duck country', the area is also well known for its tasteful and fruity white wines, the Floc de Gascogne (a delicious aperitif), and of course the golden Armagnac which is kept in oak barrels for years and years. All wonderful and mouthwatering local specialties which are ready to be tasted and discovered at the inviting Domaines surrounding the campsite.
The Gers is a great countryside summer holiday destination, far away from mass tourism, hardly discovered by tourists, where still the typical French sense of honoust hospitality lingers in every corner.
Remember: Arrive as a guest, leave as a friend!
The village of Gondrin is located on the D931 between Condom and Eauze (31 miles/ 50 km) from Auch and Agen.
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