In 1967, 55 years ago, the lake of Esparron-de-Verdon was created.
It was on this occasion that Mr Dujardin and his wife decided to ask to the town for a plot of land in order to create a campsite on the banks of this lake.
Thus, the Dujardin inaugurated one of the first naturist campsites in the Verdon, the Verdon Provence campsite, which they opened at Easter 1967. Surprisingly, it was the first campsite to open in the commune, closely followed by Camping du Soleil.
In the early 1970s, the campsite expanded to over 100 pitches. We were even told that at the time, if you arrived and it was full, you were provided with a shovel and a pickaxe so that you could dig your place where you liked! There was only a cold shower next to the bar at first, and one or two toilets. Then the big toilet block was created in the 1980s, with cold showers too. The campsite has always had a small bar, then a pizzeria and a grocery shop.
It was taken over in 1982 by Lothar Heinemann, who had previously been employed by Mr Dujardin. He continued to improve the estate, surrounded by a good core of friendly regulars. But in 1999, a storm caused many trees to fall and the department intervened and removed many pitches from the campsite, including those closest to the lake. Then, in 2005, a fire destroyed the campsite and 2400 hectares of forest. Following this disaster, Lothar, already ill, died in the winter that followed and handed over the campsite to his son. Cleaning and maintaining the campsite requires a lot of energy and funds, and a large team of volunteers helps Yohann to get the campsite back on its feet. Some of them are still there at certain times of the year, you will surely come across them: Claude and Christiane, Sandra, Thibaut, Bernard and Monique, Jean-Claude and Françoise, Christiane, Popo and her son Jean-Pierre, Uli and Suzanne… And many others! But, despite all their efforts, the campsite went bankrupt in 2012 due to lack of funds.
This is how we were able to take over the campsite. “We” are Mélanie and my parents Bertrand and Sophie. In 2013, we took over the campsite and invested to get it back on its feet. My parents already had a campsite in the village (Le Flower Camping la Beaume, textile campsite). The town council supports us in our modernisation of the site. There is only one condition: to leave it naturist! I must admit that it was difficult for us at first! It was so strange to see all these people naked everywhere… But now we wouldn’t want to manage another textile! Naturism has conquered us! Anthony joined us in 2018 after meeting me. He was already almost a naturist so his integration was very easy. My parents rarely come during the opening period because they already have their own campsite to manage. But in winter, we work as a family to do the maintenance and embellishment work on both establishments. This winter, we are working a little less with the birth of Victor, our little 2 month old son.
This is the story of Verdon Provence, in 55 years of naturism. A beautiful story of love, friendship, passion and the pleasure of being naked.
We love this heavenly place, we hope you will too!
See you soon
Mélanie and Anthony