From a simple vineyard to a 4-star campsite,
retrace the incredible history of Le Californie Plage!
The year is 1966, and Georges and Pierrette, the parents of Marie-France (who is now the owner of the Californie Plage campsite), decide to get married. They are both originally from the Paris region, and at that time they are working in the markets, like so many members of their families.
A year after their marriage the two lovers take advantage of their paid leave and go on a wonderful honeymoon in the south of France.
That is when they discover Vias, the city in which they will then spend the best years of their lives…
Having fallen in love with the town, the couple take on a big challenge: to set up an outdoor accommodation facility on the shores of the Mediterranean! Equipped with their Citroën DS and a picnic table, they set off to explore Vias in search of their dream location.
A few months later, they acquire their first site. In 1968, the first infrastructures are built, at a time when there is no running water. The campsite, which for the moment is exclusively equipped with pitches for tents and vehicles, then opens two years later.
Being passionate about the world of outdoor accommodation, Georges and Pierrette start to ”multitask”! They run the reception for holidaymakers, operate the grocery shop and serve in the restaurant in the evening.
As the years pass, the family grows in size and 5 children are now an essential part of the journey! In the course of their childhood the youngsters will enjoy the outdoor life in the South of France and grow up together in the family campsite.
Being ambitious, but above all passionate, in February 1986 Georges and Pierrette decide to open the next chapter of their lives by acquiring a second establishment: Le Californie Plage.
Marie-France, the eldest of the children, who would help her parents on a daily basis at the first campsite, now decides to become fully involved in this new adventure and leaves behind her studies so that she can focus on this new site.
In 1987, the year following the purchase, she decides to have the first swimming pool built. This installation gives new impetus to this outdoor site, which will continue to invest in new facilities in order to ensure that visitors are as comfortable as possible.
In 1988, at age 21, Marie-France meets Alain, a cook at the campsite, and it’s love at first sight…
Five years later, the Californie Plage campsite continues to move upmarket with the installation of the first mobile homes. The customer base continues to diversify and develop, but the regular and loyal visitors still come to the site.
In March 1998, the first twelve years of the site’s activities are rewarded as the establishment now has a 4-star classification.
Over these past few years, Marie-France has been fully committed to the well-being of her holidaymakers. She has been able to count on the presence and support of Alain, who has swapped his cook’s apron to take care of all the technical aspects of the site! The couple have since married and the Durancel family has grown with the birth of their two children.
In 2010, they all get together and decide to give the site a new identity by creating a theme based on the world of pirates.
Many new arrangements are then put in place, including the creation of the imposing pirate ship three years later, as well as the revamping of certain facilities which going forward will be based around this theme. In 2014, new mobile homes, the “Cap’tain Crochet” and “Sparrow” with their breath-taking decor, also arrive on the site.
Everything is designed to immerse visitors in the pirate world! The bar undergoes major renovations and is transformed into a genuine pirate’s tavern. Particular care is also taken with the exterior decor, which is intended to be ever more immersive. Finally, in 2019, a last major project is undertaken with the creation of the new pirate-themed aqua park…