Sebastien, our winter learner, met Jacques Rio, the first owner and creator of Le Parc de la Greve campground near Saint Gilles Croix de Vie
This is what Jacques told to Sébastien.
At the end of the 1950s, many young Vendeans went to work in the Paris aera. All these people returned to the Vendée to spend their holidays, but without housing, they looked for a place to camp.
Coquineau, grandfather of Jacques Rio owned several acres of woods and meadows, then granted the right to settle there for the holidays. As time passed, and the number of campers increased, the idea of creating a campground came as a matter of course.
There were very few campsites near Saint Gilles Croix de Vie at the time and 2 campsites only in Brétignolles sur mer.
Jacque Rio remembers:
"I was working on the layout and construction of a sanitary block during my free time, with an opening expected in 1968, but under the impetus of Mr de Hillerin, (owner of the Dunes campsite in Brétignolles and president of the campsite owner syndicate) during a visit in May 1967, and with the help of friends, the campsite was able to open on July 28th, 1967, with the last shovel on the day of opening! "
At the time, there were only tents, undisclosed pitches and a permit for 180 people. On July 30th, the campsite was full!
Of course, before, it was necessary to decide for a name for the campsite and to make the direction indications (validated by the governement services).
"It was the great era of a particular comics" Asterix and Obelix ", and for the parade of the « Mi-Careme » (in Coêx), we made a giant Obelix mounted on wheels".
Obélix was then stored on the ground that would become the campsite, along the road D32. It was then that a mason craftsman nicknamed "the druid" (all the craftsmen of l'Aiguillon sur Vie had a nickname taken from the comics book) said over a drink:
«Why not call your campsite Le Village Gaulois? "
It was adopted!
The campsite has kept this name for 2 years, and has had to change its name following requests for copyrights ... The campsite was called "Le Gaulois".
The first caravans appeared in 1969, it was then necessary to pitches arrangment by bringing electricity and water. However, it was still not possible to make a sewage system connected to the main sewer (existing along the D32 but too high for the campground). Part of the land was sold for the creation of a subdivision below the campsite (rue du Marais), allowing the installation of sewerage mains to which the campsite could be connected.
The campsite and the toilet block could then be enlarged.
The campsite was very shady, with large cypresses, pine and holm oaks, but during the terrible storm of February 13th, 1972, some 300 trees were torn off!
It took a lot of work to be able to open for season 72 ...
At the end of the year, the pond was dug, thus raising the ground around. The south-facing grove has been cleaned, the stream has been channeled and the campsite has been enlarged (up to 150 pitches).
The first building (built entirely of wood with boards from trees destroyed by the storm) nicknamed the hut came into being in 1973. It included a bar, games, reception. There were balls, mechouis, and the population of the village came in this place, mixed with the campers.
Subsequently, it was necessary to rebuild it in "hard".
It was in 1981 that the campsite took the name of "La Grève", name of the place said (the cul de sac de la Greve borders the campsite to the south).
In 1994, the campsite was sold by Jacques Rio.
Today, Stéphane and Virginie Bonal, the fifth owners of the Le Parc de la Grève campsite, welcome you in this fabulous place.