50 years of happiness at Sérignan Plage Nature

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.

1965: the foundations

Sérignan beach is bordered by vines. Etienne therefore went to meet all the wine-growers and proposed to make their business more profitable by renting/selling their land to him, or by becoming a shareholder in a company. The objective was to combine living in harmony with nature, gastronomy and the new practice of camping. However, a campsite meant free services that were available to everyone, but the site did not have a tarmacked road, or water or electricity! Etienne and Henriette therefore launched into a colossal project, with a reception building, wash blocks, well drilling, etc. Etienne even drew up an ingenious technique to treat waste water, as the campsite was far from a water treatment plant. This innovative process would actually be selected by the European Commission in 2000 and it obtained an award during the World Water Forum in Kyoto. In addition to treating water, it enabled the development of luxurious vegetation at Sérignan Plage Nature. The dunes have also been protected, notably by a system of wooden fencing. Even today, they are the among the highest in the Mediterranean.

After much work, the campsite was ready to open in 1965 – even if the campers sometimes had to pull up vines before setting up their tent. A shopping centre was also created in 1968.

Summer 1972: creating a naturist campsite

The idea of a naturist campsite was suggested to Etienne and Henriette by campers at Agde, who wanted to purchase the business. Etienne, who was always ready to meet challenges, declined the offer and decided to expand his campsite himself, devoting an area to the practice of clean and family-oriented naturism. To do this, he first had to convince the Mayor and the Council, as well as the parish priest, which did not prove easy! After a few epic debates, authorisation was granted for 1972, with the option of renewal; and authorisation was indeed renewed in the following years. So, two neighbouring and twin campsites have existed and evolved together since 1972.

1975: Naturist World Congress at Sérignan Plage Nature

It was during this event that the official definition of naturism was drawn up, which is still in force today: “Naturism is a way of life in harmony with nature. It is characterised by the practice of common nudity, with the intention of encouraging respect for oneself, respect for others and respect for the environment.”

1992: family succession

Following formidable work, Etienne and Henriette handed over the reins of their business to their son Jean-Guy Amat, who became the manager of Sérignan Plage Nature along with his wife, Catherine. They will now ensure customer satisfaction and anticipate all their needs, while maintaining the spirit of innovation and respect for the environment that characterises the campsite.

2004: an immense outdoor balneotherapy centre was opened

After creating one of the first lagoon pools in France in 1996, Sérignan Plage Nature now offered its customers a balneotherapy centre that was unique in Europe. They were provided with 2,800m² of aquatic pleasure in the magnificent surroundings of a roofless antique villa with 200 columns and 4 theme pools. It was a true haven of peace for the wellbeing of the mind and body, with free access for campers.

2016: the pool and the ‘Le Clos des Oliviers’ restaurant were created

The incredible aquatic area at Sérignan Plage Nature was expanded in 2016 by adding a large pool of 500m² with a whirlpool feature and many sun loungers.

A place for friendly exchange that is so essential for the campsite also came into being the same year: Le Clos des Oliviers. This is both a bar-restaurant and a musical stage, located just 100 metres from the beach; it is an area for sharing, enjoyment and culinary delights. What could better than taking advantage of the gentle lifestyle of southern France, in the shade of the centuries-old trees…

Today, Sérignan Plage Nature is a wonderfully active campsite that guarantees both the respect of its customers and the preservation of nature. We would like to wish it a wonderful birthday and many more great years to come!

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