Camping La Nouvelle Plage - Estavayer-le-Lac

Sometimes just getting away for a night or two is all you need. This idea is what drew me to campgrounds in the first place, you can be a little more spontaneous, check the weather and then go. And that’s exactly what SFT contributor Denise did this past weekend. 

In just under 2 hours she was ready to park her VW California Beach on the shore of lake Neuchatel on the outskirts of the French speaking village of Estavayer-le-Lac. 

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1. Tell us about your campground and the best way to get there.

The campground, La Nouvelle Plage is located in the town of Estavayer-le-Lac just under a 2 hour drive from Zurich. The small campground, open from the end of March through the end of October, is located directly on the lake of Neuchatel and offers families a chance to enjoy everything the lake has to offer. 

The drive to Estavayer is via the A1 through Bern, which is best avoided during peak times as it becomes rather congested, but otherwise it is an easy drive.

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2.  What types of accommodation are on offer?

The campground is smaller compared to most European sites and has just 30 rental pitches available in between the seasonal vans. The pitches are of standard sizing and have electricity. Tents are given priority in the 3 “free-pitch” areas.

If you come without accommodation built into your car, why not try out “The Pods” (seem to sleep 2), a modern wooden style hut which are dotted around, or rent a fixed family tent which sleeps up to 6. Dormitory style accommodation is also on offer. 

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3. What facilities does the campground offer?

For meals there is one restaurant on site that we didn’t get the chance to try out. For the daily essentials the onsite grocery store has just what you need including fresh bread. 

As to the bathrooms, they were clean but nothing to rave about, but clean is what matters. The washing up area was also kept clean and tidy.

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4. What actives does the campground offer?

The campground is located on a lovely sandy beach with direct access into the lake. There are plenty of water sports to try out including cable water skiing, paddle boarding and pedalos. Beach volleyball and ping pong will keep the active families busy. 

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5. Breakfast, lunch and dinner: what are your recommendations?

We enjoyed breakfast at our van with fresh bread and delicious croissants and crispy pain au chocolate from the campground shop. Camping tip: we love our coffee so we bring along our Moka stove top coffee pot for that early morning fix. 

Lunch we found an adorable local restaurant through trip advisor called “Frog and Roses.” They had three lunchtime menus on offer and everything was served with a welcoming smile. For dinner we used our lotus grill to barbecue sausages we picked up from the butcher in town. 

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6. What to see and do outside the campground?

Looking back we didn't even scratch the surface of things to do in and around Estavayer. Everything from mini golf to go karting and high ropes courses are on offer.

We started with walk through town which was reached by a lovely stroll along the lake towards the chateaux. Once in town we took a self-guided historical walking tour using the QR codes dotted around town, offered in English, German and of course French. 

The young restauranteur at Frog and Roses suggest we visit the quirky local history museum with its room filled with stuffed frogs in the most entertaining displays - something you have to see to believe. The frog must be the town’s mascot as frogs decorate the streets as well. 

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7. Any tips on what not to forget?

Don’t forget to bring along toys for the water, as you have direct access into the lake. Think  pool noodles, blow up boats or even your Stand Up Paddelboard.

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8. Best way to book? 

We rarely book, much preferring to just turn up and so we did. Make sure you arrive before they close. But if you will visit in high season, it’s always best to call ahead.

9. Anything to watch out for?

 Nothing, we really enjoyed it 

10. What sets this campground apart from the rest?

The campground’s sandy beach with direct lake access along with a friendly atmosphere made for a lovely visit. The quirky town was the cherry on the top.

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11. What type of campers are you?

We are a family of one adventure-seeker (dad), proper-mattress-seeker (me) and 2 children (10 and 12) who actually enjoy the adventure once we are in it. We have had 3 holidays in a camper - 4 weeks in France, 2 weeks in Italy and 2 weeks in Sweden and loved it so much that we needed to buy our very own mini camper, a VW California.  We’ve attempted tents but my resulting sore back gave us that final push to purchase our VW California. 

Do you have a favourite campground in Europe to recommend to the Simple Family Travel community? We would love to hear from you! No campground to small, no campground to luxurious!! 

This is apart of the series "Let's Go Camping" - discovering new campgrounds in and around Switzerland.