Arrived at the campsite for a week of idleness, the first instinct of many holidaymakers is to take a look at the entertainment program. In the establishment of La Rochelambert, in Saint-Paulien, the table displays a jogging on Monday morning, an initiation to meditation and another to yoga, a local meal and a petanque competition in pairs. No mention, on the other hand, of “Fiesta boom-boom”, election of miss camping or foam party. Here, the atmosphere is more sober.
Zen atmosphere and relaxation
At daybreak, on the banks of the Borne, Marika, originally from the Netherlands, has put her mat on the ground and is waiting for her teacher, Pauline Roche. With a dozen campers, they made an appointment for the nature yoga class. An activity offered free of charge by the Rochelambert campsite, which therefore calls on this ponote teacher.
The idea is great! Yoga fits perfectly into my philosophy of life on vacation, smiles the Dutchwoman. And then the setting is exceptional, we are outdoors with incredible weather…
For more than an hour, the small group alternated breathing exercises and stretching in a zen, relaxed, even idyllic atmosphere. The only sounds being those of the river, the birds and the Tibetan singing bowl of Pauline Roche. As the sun rose, the positions became more complicated, until vacationers literally pitched in trying to crow. A few cardiac coherence exercises later, it was already time to end this suspended moment. “That’s really what I came for, breath, totally relaxed, Marika. I was so afraid of finding myself in a swimming pool with loud music… And yet, I wanted to combine tranquility and activities. »In Saint-Paulien, campers appreciate the calm of the banks of La Borne to take the time to wake up gently, with a coffee, a book or simply by resting on a fouta.
An association that Les Murmures du Lignon campsite, in Tence, has also succeeded in combining. There, holidaymakers can book an otter observation workshop, a botanical outing, events around well-being and essential oils… While at Cosycamp, in Chamalières-sur-Loire, tourists spend a lot of time time to observe the gardens and the permaculture vegetable garden, in particular thanks to the presence of an ethnobotanist. And canoe trips or swimming in the Loire are very popular, as are evenings at the guinguette and the wellness area.
A new holiday philosophy
For several years, the Haute-Loire has stood out as a “slow tourism” destination.
, “green and respectful” tourism. Holidaymakers thus come to the region to treat themselves to a return to nature, where they can take the time to discover, meet the locals and quite simply live in the present moment. These are people looking for disconnection, simplicity and authenticity, for whom this type of activity is in perfect harmony with their values. It is no longer a question of having an overloaded program and a precise timetable, simply of finding a state of general well-being.
“The only thing is that we feel that this year, tourists have less money for extras. They went on vacation with a limited budget and are doing their best to stick to it”. Cathy Billamboz
(responsible for Les Murmures du Lignon)
The most popular activity for summer visitors therefore comes down to strolling in nature, contemplating its wonders and savoring the freedom offered to them. Thus, as soon as the sun rises, many holidaymakers come to rest on the hammocks installed on the banks of La Borne, at La Rochelambert, to drink a coffee, read a book or simply relax.
On the other hand, this search for authenticity is not done at the expense of comfort. These vacationers want this return to nature to take place in the best possible conditions. “People come to us for the four stars, our unusual accommodations and our top-of-the-range services”, underlines Richard Masson, of Cosycamp. As proof, the number of overnight stays in accommodation has exceeded that on bare pitches for four years and the gap continues to widen. In the same way, the two pitches rented bare with an individual toilet block and a small kitchen in Rochelambert are the most popular on the campsite. And they are not only used by campers in tents or vans, but also by motorhome owners who already have luxury equipment on board.
By combining comfort and zenitude, the campsites of Haute-Loire manage to position themselves as pioneers of this slow tourism, whose philosophy is attracting more and more followers, in a society in full upheaval and where the expression “enjoy thoroughly from his vacation” becomes somewhat old-fashioned.
Jeanne Le Borgne
Slow life is an English expression that could be translated as “a calm and quiet life”. It is a philosophy of life based on the fact of taking one’s time, thus the quest for authenticity and simplicity.
“We are experiencing an exceptional summer with record bookings”In the campsites of Haute-Loire, the month of July was exceptional in terms of reservations and August already promises to break records.
“We are living an exceptional summer! I’m already up 20% on my forecast compared to last year, which was already a record”, immediately announces Cathy Billamboz, manager of Les Murmures du Lignon campsite, in Tence. For the month of August, the establishment has a reservation rate of 95%. “We are going to reach our maximum capacity. »
The Haute-Loire attracts many families for the holidays
A few kilometers away, in Saint-Paulien, the La Rochelambert campsite posted an occupancy rate of 90% for its 30 rentals and 60% for the entire holiday village, in July. “Before that, we also had a phenomenal low season,” adds his colleague from Cosycamp, in Chamalières-sur-Loire, Richard Masson.
Quite strikingly, a large number of these vacationers are people who have already stayed in these Altiligerian establishments and who wish to return. They are generally “local” tourists, ie people coming from the neighboring departments, Ardèche, Loire and more generally from the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. But also Southerners, in particular from Hérault, who suffer too much from the heat. “I also have more and more people coming from Yssingelais, even Retournac”, adds the owner of Cosycamp.
This year is also marked by a massive return of foreign tourists, after two years of pandemic. There are in particular the Swiss, who after becoming ecologically aware, no longer wish to fly, as well as the Dutch, Belgians, Germans and English.Motorhome owners seduced by the landscapes of Haute-Loire
Aboard their motorhome, Sabine and Dominique have been criss-crossing France for more than ten years. This summer, this couple from Nancy set their sights on Haute-Loire.
This couple from Nancy was impressed by the Beaume waterfall.
Roll of toilet paper in hand, Sabine crosses the Aiguilhe motorhome area with a smile. “It’s still a pleasant sight to wake up to! she exclaims, her eyes turned towards the Saint-Michel rock. After a week in Avignon, Lorraine and her husband, Dominique, decided to visit Haute-Loire.
Going up through the Ardèche, the couple first stopped at Lac du Bouchet. “There, we were advised to go to Arlempdes and the Beaume waterfall. We did both and it was really beautiful! “, they point out. Then, after a one-day stopover in Le Puy, the couple decided to hit the road again with no specific objective, except to do a few hikes. “We only take the departmental roads and we stop according to the landscapes, as soon as something pleases us. And even during our stopovers, we really take the time to look at things. “So, visiting the streets of Le Puy for the first time, the couple was served. “There are marvels to be seen everywhere, on the ground, in the air… It’s impressive! »
“What we like with the motorhome is that we are not constrained by anything, they slip. Especially here in Haute-Loire, we have noticed that motorhomes are welcome everywhere. We can stop very easily, there is enough parking for free and in rather very nice corners! The department has in fact around forty municipal and intermunicipal reception or parking areas. Enough to delight motorhome owners looking for greenery and wide open spaces.
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Tourism – The campsites of Haute-Loire always attract more tourists in search of nature
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