Both are on the eastern coast of this French island. But which is best for you and your family? We stayed at both with our two children over May half-term and compare them here to help you decide.
Our Eurocamp chalet at Marina d’Erba Rossa had three bedrooms but was small and basic.
Our Eurocamp mobile home at Marina d’Erba Rossa
The one at Sole di Sara was newer, more modern and a bit roomier, which made quite a difference. However this is a smaller site so book early to get your preferred type of mobile home. There were no three-bedroom versions available when we booked.
Our mobile home at Sole di Sari
Marina d’Erba Rossa is located on a lovely beach with access to the Med from next to the swimming pool. It also has an animal park within its spacious grounds. It is a bit tired looking in places.
The beach at Marina d’Erba Rossa holiday park in Corsica
Sole di Sari is more attractive and feels more salubrious, with its mountainous backdrop. Instead of the sea, this site has direct access to a river, which you can swim and paddle in.
Sole di Sari play area
The area surrounding Marina d’Erba Rossa, is the rather nondescript town of Ghisonaccia. There’s a nice drive into the mountains on the D344. Nearby beaches include Plage Pinia with a large pine forest beyond the sands.
The town of Solenzara is slightly nicer and has a marina. Sole di Sari is on the road to the mountain pass Col De Bavella. A winding (note for those who get travel sick) route with wonderful views. We met a rampaging wild bull on our way up! Nearby beaches include Scaffa Rossa, a five-minute drive away as well as Canella and Fautea just down the coast.
Marina d’Erba Rossa has a great selection of outdoor activities for children – a fabulous, big swimming pool, a nice playground/play park (climbing and slides, no swings), a raised enclosed netted play area with zip wire and trampolines, basketball court, tennis courts, crazy golf, outdoor gym, pool tables, table football, table tennis and a volleyball net on the beach. It also has an indoor gym and a children’s club.
Sole di Sari has a lovely playground, with a good variety of swings, fireman’s pole, seesaw etc. In the same area you can try French boules, basketball (bring your own ball) or table tennis (take your own bats and ball). There’s a river you can swim in, small swimming pool area and a seasonal children’s club.
We ate in the restaurants at both sites and really enjoyed the food. The menus were mainly pizza-based (Corsica is French but with Italian influence), but our children love pizzas, plus they were delicious. Prices were similar at both sites and each had indoor and outdoor areas to sit. The interior of Marina d’Erba Rossa was particularly nice. The exterior of Sole di Sari was peaceful with lovely views.
Both sites had a bar. The bar was open all day at Marina d’Erba Rossa.
Marina d’Erba Rossa’s swimming pool was much bigger and slightly warmer and well-suited for all ages.
The swimming pool at Marina d’Erba Rossa
The pool at Sole di Sari was small and there were also smaller pools and whirlpools around it.
Sole di Sari swimming pool
Shops and bakeries
There is a small shop at Marina d’Erba Rossa, selling essentials. There is also a Spar, 200 yards from the entrance of the camp and a larger supermarket three miles away.
There is no shop at Sole di Sari, the nearest bigger shop (a Spar) is the other end of the town, around two miles away.
Both holiday parks have a bakery service. Marina d’Erba Rossa’s was open 730am to 930am when we were there and sold just-cooked baguettes, croissants and pain au chocolat. Sole di Sari’s bakery was 8am to 9am and the food was not cooked on site.
There were two friendly Eurocamp representatives at each site. We received a text the day before each check-in from them, to welcome us and ask our arrival time. You can contact them during your stay via this number for help, extra pillows, queries etc, which is really handy.
There was a separate Eurocamp reception at both parks, they are not manned all the time and official check-in was not until 3pm so do let them know when you will be arriving.
We had a wonderful time at both holiday parks – they may only be half an hour apart but they are very different.
Marina d’Erba Rossa is very suited to active, older children. It benefits from the much larger pool and having the beach on its doorstep.
Sole di Sari feels much more peaceful and luxurious. The mobile home we stayed in was much nicer. It’s a hilly, attractive site with stunning mountain backdrops. The river is a lovely natural activity and the playground is great. But there is less for children, especially older children, to do and you have to drive to the beach.
So decide what your family’s priorities are or do what we did and visit both!
When to go
We visited at May and it was lovely and quiet. The weather was a good temperature, warm but not too hot although it rained twice.
Our Eurocamp Corsica tips
*Learn how to use the heating straight away. Though hot in the day, when we went the temperature really dropped at night and it was cold.
*You need to buy your own washing up liquid, washing up brush/sponge/cloth, toilet/kitchen rolls and all food and drink. Consider bringing small items you need in your suitcase.
*The mobile homes have kettles which can be boiled on the hob. Bring a travel kettle if you want a quicker morning cuppa.
*Bedding and towels need to be booked in advance if you want them and cost extra.
*You will need a hire car.
*Take your own balls, bats and rackets for basketball, table tennis and tennis.
In the small town of Solenzara, two thirds of the way down the east coast of Corsica on the Côte des Nacres (Coast of Pearls).
What is it?
Sole di Sari is a small, eco-friendly holiday park with a stunning, mountainous backdrop. This hilly site opened in 2012 and has nearly 140 mobile homes – 22 of them run by Eurocamp when we stayed (May half-term 2019).
Is it family friendly?
This is a peaceful, quiet site. There is less for children to do here than the other Eurocamp site in Corsica (Marina D-Erba Rossa, read our review of that here) – but it is more modern and beautiful.
There’s an outdoor play area, with climbing frames and swings, a basketball court, boules court and swimming pool. Plus there’s the added excitement of having a real river to paddle and swim in. And lots of nearby beaches to enjoy.
The holiday homes
The Eurocamp holiday homes here are modern and equipped with a hob (no oven), microwave and fridge freezer.
The Vista 3 bedroom sleeps eight (maximum six adults).
The Vista 2 Bedroom, which we stayed in, has a double room and a twin room and sleeps up to six.
There is an open plan kitchen/diner area. There are no televisions, no toaster or dishwasher. The kettle is heated on the hob. There is a microwave and plates, cutlery, saucepans etc.
It is more salubrious than the lodge we had at Marina D’Erba Rosa – although that site has plenty going for it.
Food and drink
As well as the self-catering option, there is a bar and restaurant on site. Pizza, pasta and salads are included on the menu and we enjoyed two meals there, one outside, enjoying the view over the swimming pool. You can also order takeaway.
There’s a bakery on site from 8 to 9am, but no shop. The nearest supermarket, a Spar, is five minutes drive away.
There is an ice cream parlour over the peak summer period.
The Alta Rocca mountains are a short drive away.
There are several beaches nearby. We tried Canella beach (five miles south). We really liked this beach although we got rained on after about 20 minutes!
Our children also enjoyed Scaffa Rossa beach, about a mile away, which had bigger, rougher waves and rocks on one side.
Scaffa Rossa Beach
We also went to Palombaggia (an hour’s drive), after visiting the town of Porto Vecchio. This is a popular beach and was the busiest we tried. It was a bit of a walk from the car park but nice with beautiful turquoise water.
*The modern holiday home/lodge/chalet.
*The stunning location. Even swinging on a swing seems more special when you are looking at mountains.
*The pool area has beautiful views – the main pool is small so may not be enough for older children and although meant to be heated, it was cold when we were there. It never got too busy though.
*The site is on a river, which you can swim and paddle in. The river bank is a rocky sun trap with sun beds tastefully placed here and there. (You can’t see the river from the sun beds).
*The lovely outdoor playground, basketball court and French boules area below the swimming pool.
*The site runs its own kids’ clubs during most of July and August.
*You have to pay for WiFi.
*There is no oven (just a hob and microwave), no dishwasher, no washing up liquid/brush/cloth, soap or tea towels provided.
*You hire bed linen and towels. The beds are not made up ready for you but are quick to do – just two sheets and a pillowcase.
*The nearest airport Bastia is 89km away.
*The nearest beach, Scaffa Rossa, is 1.5km away.
Sole di Sari Campsite, Route de Bavella – RD 268, Lieu dit Pianu, 20145, Solenzara, Corsica.
Marina D’Erba Rossa is on a beach on the quiet eastern coast of Corsica, halfway down the island, five minutes from the town of Ghisonaccia.
The beach at Marina d’Erba Rossa
What is it?
A fairly big holiday park with mobile homes and camping pitches.
Is it family friendly?
Yes, family holidays are the key market here. There is a good new playground, nice swimming pool, table tennis, mini golf and pool tables (for an extra charge). It is on a lovely big beach, which has a volleyball net. There is even a small animal ‘zoo’ with ostriches and llamas.
There’s also a children’s club and other entertainment.
The mobile homes
Our Esprit mobile home was compact and a little dated but really well positioned in the corner of the park next to the animals.
Our Eurocamp mobile home
It had three bedrooms (one double, two twins) which was great for our family of four, having six people in here would have been a squeeze.
The kitchen had a hob, microwave, fridge-freezer, plates, cutlery etc. There was no oven or dishwasher.
There’s a shower room and separate toilet, no television, decking and a gas barbecue outside.
Food and drink
As well as the self-catering option, this site has a lovely restaurant with outdoor seating too. The menu is dominated by pizzas, luckily they were delicious. There’s also a takeaway option.
There is a shop selling essentials and a bakery, which was open from 7.30am to 9.30am, selling freshly cooked baguettes, croissants and pain au chocolat.
Ghisonaccia is a quiet town a few miles from the site but has all the shops you need including a large supermarket. There is also a Spar store near to the site.
There are beaches along the coast including one with a huge pine forest.
It is an hour’s drove to the bigger cities of Bastia and Porto Vecchio.
The historic roman site of Aleria is a 20-minute drive.
*The swimming pool – not too cold and big enough to have plenty of fun.
*The beach and its location, accessed from next to the pool. It is a big, sandy beach.
*The outdoor play park/playground has new equipment which our two loved.
*There’s a raised netted area in another part of the park with trampolines and a zip wire.
*There is an indoor games/arcade room and gym.
*The restaurant is lovely, although didn’t open until 7pm.
*Having a small animal park/zoo on site was a nice touch although the peacock was a bit noisy, waking us up in the morning!
Marina D’Erba Rossa, Route de la Mer, 20240 Ghisonaccia, France
Is Port du Crouesty holiday village, in France, family friendly?
Where is it?
Port du Crouesty holiday village is in a quiet location in south west Brittany – about two hours drive from St Malo. It is sandwiched between a busy marina and a sandy beach at the end of the Rhuys Peninsula.
What is it?
It’s a large holiday village with apartments set between a port and a beach. The resort has hundreds of apartments, two swimming pools, playgrounds, a shop and restaurant. It is run by Pierre & Vacances.
Is it family friendly?
Yes, the resort is geared around family holidays. Our room overlooked the harbour and had a grassy area outside for playing games. There is plenty of space, a lovely beach with sailing facilities, bike hire and a children’s club. It is a very French area so English is not widely spoken.
Our family room was on the small side but it was nicely furnished in a dark blue nautical theme.
We had a double bedroom and two sofa beds in the lounge/kitchen area, which was fairly well equipped.
The apartment had a nice balcony with dining table for four. French rooms tend to be smaller than English so consider moving up a grade in your accommodation to get extra space.
Food and drink
There is a cafe open in high season in the centre of the resort and the marina area has at least a dozen options ranging from fancy restaurants to bakeries and takeaway pizza stalls.
The beach and marina are the two nearest attractions but it is a 20-minute drive to Vannes, a beautiful walled town with a bustling market. There are lots of beaches to explore within a short drive, and you can catch ferries to nearby islands too.
*Beach. The lovely sandy beach, Plage du Fogeo, borders the holiday village with a bustling sailing club. It boasts golden sands and relatively shallow waters, ideal for family time.
Playing on the beach at our resort
*Harbour. The busy harbour is good for a stroll and has plenty of cafes and restaurants. There are stalls selling crepes and Breton biscuits too. Our favourite restaurant of the bunch was Le Cap Horn on the quayside.
*The balcony. Our apartment had a great view over the marina in the evening and was a lovely spot to eat.
*The space. This is a large holiday village with plenty of green space, two small playgrounds and two pools.
*Walks. A short walk away is the Carin Petit Mont ancient site which was some lovely walks around the headland, a good fun way to burn off a big dinner.
Pierre & Vacances Port du Crouesty, 56640, Arzon, France.
We review a family holiday to St Malo in Brittany and try out Brittany Ferries for the first time
I can’t spell it. I can’t even pronounce it, but the Breton delicacy Kouign Amann may just be the best thing I have ever eaten – it’s buttery, sweet, melt-in-your-mouth heaven.
I buy a whole cake, warm from the oven and it quickly diminishes as I sit on the harbour-side in Port du Crouesty – on the southern tip of Brittany.
Getting to this lesser visited area of the region was part of our adventure as we crossed the Channel by ferry from Portsmouth to St Malo.
The Brittany Ferries ship feels huge, with lots to see and do. Once you’ve stood on deck and waved goodbye to England, there are children’s discos and shows, a small soft play area, games room, restaurants and even a cinema.
It’s like a mini-cruise and we make the most of everything on our way back but the outward journey was overnight. So after a magic show we were all excited to get to our cabin and sleep onboard.
The disco onboard
The nine-hour crossing soon passed and we woke up ready for Brittany. (For a detailed review of our crossing with Brittany Ferries click here).
Many people know and love this most westerly corner of France, returning year after year.
We were stopping on the Rhuys peninsular between the Atlantic and the Gulf of Morbihan. This is French holiday country – there’s barely an English accent.
And not many speak much English so I was glad my husband’s French is better than mine.
Port du Crouesty is a modern harbour development. We stayed at Pierre & Vacances resort, which is in a winning location.
Sandwiched between a busy marina and pretty beach, there are two outdoor swimming pools and plenty of good restaurants at the harbour, all within walking distance of our apartment.
Playing on the beach at our resort
If you are feeling active, you can hire bikes and there is also a sailing club.
Depending on when you stay, there’s also a children’s club and activities.
Our one-bedroom apartment had two comfortable sofa beds in the lounge. It was on the small side for the four of us but the view over the marina from the balcony made up for it.
The apartment overlooked the marina
Other rooms look over a great grassy area and lovely playground. For a more detailed review of Port du Crouesty, click here.
If the weather is good you don’t need to go far but we made the most of our wheels to explore the area.
We drove 20 miles to the historic walled town of Vannes. After getting stuck into its bustling market – and more French food – we headed for Vannes Aquarium.
The highlights were some of the biggest turtles we’ve ever seen and a crocodile which seemed to have been found after it ended up in the Paris sewer system.
More four-legged creatures delighted Josh and Jess on another day out, to Branféré Animal park.
This is more of a lovely parkland stroll with added wildlife than a traditional zoo. Wallabies wander freely around, giraffes and rhinos enjoy huge enclosures and birds of all shapes and sizes fly overhead.
In the middle of it all was a series of amazing nets placed among the treetops to run across. A high-level walkway with more than 17,000 square metres of netting. Great fun all round. If you don’t look down.
The Parcabout high-level walkway in the trees
The Rhuys peninsular is blessed with beaches. We visited four in all.
Our favourite was one we had all to ourselves – Plage du Goh Velin was a five-minute drive from our apartment.
Armed with nets and buckets, we looked for crabs, collected shells, climbed rocks and even found a cave.
A day at Plage du Goh Velin
And every day we sampled more of the area’s amazing food – delicious sweet and savoury crêpes, baguettes, cheeses, pastries and seafood.
Our trip was during half-term but outside French holidays, which really made a difference, everywhere was quiet.
As we left St Malo in glorious sunshine on the aptly named ship Bretagne, we were lucky there was plenty of fun on the ferry to keep the holiday spirit going.
The ferry Bretagne leaving St Malo
And there was one more surprise to remind us of the region. The chunk of Kouign Amann that I’d sneaked home.
The icing on the cake of our trip to beautiful Brittany.
Accommodation: We stayed as guests of Pierre & Vacances resort in Port du Crouesty, Brittany, France for the purposes of this review. All opinions are our own. For a more detailed review of the accommodation click here.
Travel: We travelled courtesy of Brittany Ferries. See our detailed review of Brittany Ferries here.
Read our report on a Brittany Ferries trip to France
A ferry can be a great way to travel with children – it breaks up a long journey, is (fairly) relaxing, you get to keep your own car on holiday plus you can pack loads into it.
The four of us have used ferries to cross the Channel for holidays to France and Denmark.
Here we review a crossing with Brittany Ferries, which operates between the UK and France, the UK and Spain and Ireland and France. We travelled between Portsmouth and St Malo.
Boarding was smooth and quick at both ports. Yes there are a lot of cars on board – our ship, the Bretagne holds 2,000 passengers and 580 cars – but it didn’t take more than 20 minutes to disembark in a well drilled operation.
One word or warning, there can be a lot of steps to climb up from the car park to the higher decks if you have small children.
A four-berth cabin on board Brittany Ferries
We booked a four-berth club cabin and our children loved it, it was a real adventure for them.
There were bunk beds on either side (the top one folds back when not in use to give more space), a small television on the wall and an en-suite with shower and toilet.
We found it cosy and very well soundproofed and both children slept well.
Cabins are not just for night times though, it is also worth booking a cabin for a day trip if you have small children. It is good to have a base and somewhere to relax (for parents as well if you have been chasing them around the ferry). Plus they are great if your child still naps.
There was plenty of choice for all budgets. There is an à la carte restaurant, self-service restaurant, cafe, and a bar.
We ate at the self-service La Baule – breakfast on the outward leg and a dinner coming home to England.
The price is reasonable and drinks at the bar aren’t bad value either.
The ferry has children’s entertainment
Early evening shows for children kept ours entertained. There was a children’s entertainer with a good line in balloon animals, a mini disco and in high season they put on a panto.
There are also two cinema screens showing family films. The screens aren’t full size but it’s a nice way to while away a couple of hours.
There is also a video games room and soft play area.
We were fortunate to enjoy good weather in both directions and it was fantastic to go out on the sundeck and watch Portsmouth harbour disappearing into the distance.
Our children loved seeing the wake caused by the huge engines, spotting the Channel Islands as we motored past and walking around the outside of the ferry.
The whole trip felt like an adventure for them and a memorable part of the holiday.