The Ecolodge Etoile d’Argens, catering to holidaymakers for over 50 years
Founded in 1968 near the seaside resort, the campsite formerly known as Etoile d’Argens became Ecolodge Etoile d’Argens following a redesign structure in the mid 2017’s. For over half a century, our campsite has worked and continues to work towards its top priority: making sure our holidays guests are happy. As a pioneer in this environmentally-responsible development strategy, our establishment aims to create a perfect harmony between comfort, pleasure, well-being and staying green. Located in an area categorised as a Natura 2000 site, read all about the rich history of our 5 star camping resort in Var down below…
Brothers Daniel and René Pérou take over the managing of an old farming property and decide to transform it into a campsite. In honour of this land located along the banks of the Argens river, they decide to name their campsite “L’Etoile d’Argens” (The Star of Argens). During the first season, 50 pitches for tents and caravans are created, and the first holidaymakers begin arriving in the summer of 1968. The management of the campsite is later passed onto the children of the Pérou brothers, cousins Jacques and Gilles Pérou.
The first expansion of the Etoile d’Argens. Thanks to the purchase of the neighbouring land, the campsite’s capacity goes from 50 to 150 pitches.
The second expansion. The Etoile d’Argens buys another parcel of land adjacent to the campsite, this would become the Pépinière (Nursery) Area.
The campsite builds its first swimming pool. A piece of equipment that was still a luxury in campsites at the time, the very first swimming pool in the ’Etoile d’Argens is highly appreciated by holidaymakers, who now have a secondary swimming spot available to them as well as the beaches of Fréjus next door. A second and third pool would be built much later.
The first water-bus shuttle is purchased by the campsite to permit their guests to travel between the campsite and the beach. Initially only made for 12 people, this shuttle would later be authorised to extend its passenger capacity up to 24. This shuttle would run all the way up to 2008, it was then replaced with a larger, more comfortable model.
The first mobile-homes start appearing in Etoile d’Argens. Though there may still be plenty of pitches for tents and caravans, the campsite is now mainly comprised of holiday rentals. These rentals offer the guests a much more comfortable and luxurious stay.
Another new expansion for the campsite, as they purchase another plot of land dotted with stone pine trees. This plot of land would later become the “Vignes” (Grapevine) Area.
The campsite becomes equipped with tennis courts, allowing any visitor wishing to keep up their tennis practice to lob tennis balls around the court to their heart’s content.
The Etoile d’Argens celebrates its 20th anniversary! To mark the occasion, during the summer, a giant méchoui meal is organised, where all the holidaymakers are invited to participate in the celebrations in a fun, friendly atmosphere!
The Courbet Marine shuttle casts off for the first time from the boarding point of the campsite. Michel, the captain at the time, was tasked with carrying eager passengers all the way to the embouchure de l’Argens nature site and the Esclamandes Beach several times a day for the entire season.
In June, the Var suffers a Mediterranean disaster. Cascades of water plunge over the department and cause the rivers to rise. The Argens could not escape the sudden rise of water levels and the campsite, located on the banks of the river, is flooded. This was the first of the two floods the ’Etoile d’Argens would experience during its history.
Michael Raffaelli buys up L’Etoile d’Argens. An entrepreneur from the open-air hospitality industry, Michael decides to transform the campsite into an eco-friendly rental resort. In just a few years, 14 million euros would be invested to help the campsite become top of the range and innovate its infrastructures.
The concept for the Ecolodge appears for the first time. The entrance to the campsite is given a full make-over, as is the reception. Many new accommodation options are installed. The name Etoile d’Argens disappears, and is replaced by Ecolodge Etoile d’Argens. The campsite’s top-of-the-range status becomes fully recognised as it is given its 5th star, a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, as well as a Green Key label and the is classified as a Qualité Tourisme brand.
The Barque campsite, adjacent to the Ecolodge Etoile d’Argens, is bought up by the campsite. That same year, this previous 3-star resort claims its 4th star. This campsite, also situated on the banks of the Argens river, is equipped with a water park, restaurant, and bar. Originally founded by a musician who would organise numerous concerts with his friends, the resort has managed to conserve its bohemian, family-friendly vibe. That same year, the Ecolodge Etoile d’Argens Campsite is classed as a sanctuary for the protection of birds by the LPO association. Inside the site, a natural park spanning 2.5 hectares, with 1.6 of this space dedicated to walking paths, is allocated as a sanctuary for animals.
In November and December, Var is once again struck by violent storms. The Argens awakens from its river bed and floods the campsite once more. In order to diminish the material impact, hoisting systems are put in place. After being completely renovated, the holiday rentals at the Ecolodge Etoile d’Argens are repositioned further up, to avoid being hit by any future floods. From 2019 onwards, the rest of the park has been increasingly adjusted to become more protected from this eventuality.
The campsite is currently in the middle of a new innovation, turning the campsite into a pedestrian-only resort. By making this change, the campsite is aiming to further its eco-friendly development goals, aiming towards a bright, serene future, while still offering their holiday guests the ultimate comfort and well-being experience.