Arna celebrates its 50-year anniversary

If you practice naturism in France, you have certainly heard about the Arnaoutchot campsite in the Landes. Maybe you have even been lucky enough to have stayed there! In 2022, this well-known holiday village in the south-west of France is celebrating its 50-year anniversary and is offering many surprises on this occasion. Let’s take a look back at the history of a site that is 100% in tune with nature, just a short distance away from the waves of the Atlantic.

The beginning with a Robinson Crusoe feel

Arnaoutchot is nestled between a fine sandy beach and a pine forest on the Côte d’Argent, where this campsite has been attracting naturists since 1972. It was in this year that a small group of naturists, led by Paul Laret, chose to live as one with nature in the Landes de Gascogne, at a time when the site was still in its untamed state. Their motivation was to ‘seek a healthy and natural way of life (…), with tolerance (…), courtesy and respect for others’.

Today, the ‘first settlers’ smile when they remember this authentic era, where the showers were just simple barrels hung from trees and heated by the sun, where water from the drilled well was pumped by hand, and where they had to clear a space for their pitch among the ferns on arrival.

Respecting oneself and others, as well as the environment, will forever be a part of the root concepts of Arna. They are the real pillars of its vision of naturism – serenity, wellbeing and a family feel – along with the everyday values embodied by its teams.

Controlled expansion

The club, which had become a campsite, adapted to accommodate the growing popularity of naturist holidays in the 1980s and increased its reception capacity, while preserving both the environment and peace for holidaymakers. The coast and forest are infinitely precious treasures, looked after by the successive management bodies of the business, who saw it as their duty. In fact, the campsite cannot be seen from the dunes as it is hidden by the pine trees. Under their protective shade, Arnaoutchot has accommodated mobile homes, treehouses, small chalets, pools, a spa and various sporting and cultural facilities over the years, for the pleasure of its holidaymakers. The first naturist activity club in France was created here. Eventually, in the 1980s, a permaculture garden and a market garden were set up on the site, enabling some of the fruit and vegetables eaten in the restaurants at Arna to be produced on site.

Successful landscape integration

Arnaoutchot is eco-friendly and has always evolved in harmony with the natural surroundings. The campsite obtained the Clef Verte label in 2000, testifying to its environmental commitment and awareness while providing a quality guarantee for its customers. Successive managements have taken care to integrate any new facilities as tastefully as possible within the existing site. The Bassins d’Arna, created in 2018 to replace Arna Forme, perfectly demonstrates this aim for responsible tourism and modern comforts that respect the location. This spa is situated within 5,000 m2 of luxurious vegetation, surrounded by local plants and dune grasses. Arna also takes the utmost care of its existing infrastructures, to provide a welcome and holiday of the highest possible quality. For this reason, its pools were completely renovated in 2020, for the greater enjoyment of both adults and children.

New activities for summer 2022

To celebrate its 50-year anniversary in style, Arna is providing new facilities with the younger generations in mind. On the agenda for this new season are a treetop adventure park, a new area for water games and a renovated mini-club! Enough to make children and young parents want to continue the Arna adventure for the next 50 years.

50 years, an event to celebrate!

There will be many festivities to celebrate Arna’s success and longevity. In honour of the ‘70s and the campsite’s debut, along with the music festivals of that time, the summer will start with a series of five concerts. You will be able to discover groups influenced by various types of music, such as jazzy, Caribbean, gypsy, etc. while sitting comfortably on the restaurant’s terrace. Two birthday celebrations will be organised on the beach on 21 July and 11 August 2022, where you can dance under the stars without being worried that you’ll wake the neighbours!

Arnaoutchot pays daily homage to the pioneering spirit of the first group in 1972, of living a simple life, in respect of nature, oneself and other people. The gentle life in the Landes, the beautiful views of the surrounding countryside, together with clean and family-oriented naturism can be appreciated at any age.

We hope to be seeing you very soon!

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