Embrace Your Inner Joie de Vivre at Camp Château in France

Calling all francophiles! Let's get right to it. There is a unique 6-day summer camp for women by women in southwestern France, and it's in a castle dating back to the 13th century. And we're obsessed. It's called Camp Château, and it encompasses all of the best things we love about French culture plus the feel-good vibes of sleepaway camp with your besties.

Located in the charming village of Béduer, Camp Château offers an array of culinary delights and fun activities that will have you embracing your inner joie de vivre the moment you enter the Célé Valley and see the château towering above. From jam making to yoga sessions, from wine tasting with local experts to watercolor painting, this modern chic kind of camp has something to offer every kind of personality. And you better believe you will have your fill of baguettes and croissants.

With its captivating charm and distinctive concept, it's no wonder that Camp Château has quickly become a sought-after destination. If you're looking for a meaning-filled bachelorette experience to bond even closer with your besties or if you're a brave solo traveler seeking connection with kindred spirits, then you're in the right spot to learn more about this refreshing summertime getaway.

Camp Chateau in Beduer France

Personal Note from the Editor
While this editorial assignment was planned to report on a unique sleepaway camp experience for women in France, the real fact of the matter was that this camp experience became very unexpectedly subjective for me.

For someone who has grieved the loss of community and genuine connection for three years, my heart laid empty with a common issue immigrants face. When I moved to England to be with my husband, I thought everything would be nothing short of a fairy tale once things softened after the pandemic. Beyond the joy of marrying my soulmate, I told myself that I'd eventually find a community and just rebuild my circle like I have countless times in the past when moving from state to state. But it didn't turn out that way.

As my camp days filled with laughter and "you too?!" moments grew, I felt an emotional click that told me, "They accept me for me. I belong here." I questioned how I could feel belonging to a place I'd soon leave. And while the place itself is something out of a romantic gothic novel that I could read over and over, Camp Château transcends its physical idyllic location. At the heart, it's the people who are the soul of this conceptual summer camp -- the founders, the staff, and the campers. And that week in late July, I found a borderless community that was built on courage to do bold things, diverse stories of lived experiences, and women truly supporting women. I met my people.

These ladies celebrated their own things: big things, everyday things, new things, and life things. Because of those things, WhatsApp groups and meeting up with each other post-camp came into existence. New intentional friendships stitched together by shared memories and a sense of camaraderie rarely found as we get older.

As I turn 40 this year, I go into my next decade a little less lonely and a lot more grateful for unassuming trailblazers who make their dreams come true while inspiring others to do the same.

- Chelsea

Camp Chateau in Beduer France

Camp Chateau in Beduer France

What to Expect Upon Arrival

Once you pass the front gates at Camp Château, you're immediately greeted by camp staff at Aslan's Slab - a perfect name for a giant stone table guarded by the castle's lion statues - for champagne and a brief orientation of the early hours. You get your very own châtote, your first camp badge, a property map, and the activities' schedule for the week.

Depending on your arrival time, you may have a chance to explore the grounds, unpack your suitcase, meet your bunkmates, and just exhale from the travel before the more formal, but laid-back tour begins. (If you're beginning your European journey in Toulouse, then our Toulouse city guide will be quite helpful for you as you plan.)

You can expect trying to learn everyone's names and deciding on your top three activity must-dos to sign up for. And if you're an introvert like many of us funny enough were, this arrival time is a great opportunity to start to figure out what kind of week you want to have.

Accommodations and What to Bring

When it comes to accommodation, Camp Château sets the stage for a très chic adventure. At booking, you and your besties get to choose between two different types of accommodations: sleeping in the chateau or glamping in lovely emperor bell tents. If you're traveling in a group, the château might be a more ideal option as the bunk rooms can host more than two people during each session.

Each bunk room in the château shows off twin-sized beds styled in the room's color theme. (I stayed in the L'Écuyer bunk that boasted 4 beds and shades of pink with bursts of blue and yellow Portuguese tiles in the adjoining bathroom.) The zestful camp director Tegwen is very thoughtful with room assignments, and your group will be roomed together should you request it.

Camp Chateau in Beduer France

Each glamping tent has two twin-sized beds with equally stylish bedding, a wardrobe rail for hanging your clothes, an electric fan, and a nightstand. The glamping tents are located near the main pool, so you'll find the glamping-dedicated bathroom and shower area there as well.

Every bunk room is different, but in every location, there are storage spots under the bed, in wardrobes and/or closets, and in the bathroom, so everyone has enough space for their belongings. While WiFi is restricted to the château's grand salon, USB charging stations are available in every room to keep everyone's devices going for taking photos of all the good times.

For linens, all bed linens, shower towel sets, and pool towels are provided, so you don't need to worry about packing those. (And if you need an idea of what to bring, we have you covered with our summer European vacation packing list to get you started!)

Camp Chateau in Beduer France

The accommodations at Camp Château are absolutely sleepaway summer camp, but all grownup. No awful creaky mattresses in sight! Whether you choose a charming historic room in the château or a nearby cozy glamping tent purpose-built on wooden platforms, each space is designed with your comfort and relaxation in mind. With stylish decor, plush beds, and all the basic toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, and body wash), you'll feel right at home during your stay as you live your best glamorous "lady of the manor" life for 6 days.

But what do you bring to make it the best experience? Bring a rechargable hand-held fan if you are a hot sleeper, bug spray as the mosquitos are out this time of year, notebook if you journal, and books to read and share (there's a badge for that!). Most of all, bring an open heart ready for new experiences.

It was the sense of togetherness and celebration that permeated every corner of this magical place.

Camp Chateau in Beduer France

Camp Chateau in Beduer France

Activities - A Range of Fun and Relaxation

When it comes to activities, Camp Château offers a range of electives to ensure that your chic French bacherolette vacay is filled with fun and relaxation. Whether you're seeking adventure or looking to unwind, there's something for everyone. Sign-up sheets for each activity decorate one of the chateau's nooks so you can see all of your options and at what times. It's even encouraged to plan your own if you'd like. Late night dance party in an olde-worlde castle, anyone?

For those craving outdoor excitement, guided hikes, foraging, kayaking, and horseback riding through the beautiful countryside are a must. Immerse yourself in nature as you explore the rolling hills and breathtaking landscapes of the Célé Valley. With experienced guides, you can discover your own hidden gems and picturesque views with a lot of laughs along the way.

Camp Chateau in Beduer France

If you prefer a more tranquil camp experience, indulge in morning yoga classes, learn some gardening techniques, take a meditative walk, or lounge by one of the pools while partaking in some delicious green smoothies. At the silent pool, you'll also find lush hammocks perfect for reading or napping -- there's even a badge to be earned that nearly everyone gets excited about! Rest is celebrated here.

... All of the best things we love about French culture plus the feel-good vibes of sleepaway camp with your besties.

If you love creative outlets, you can sign up to learn how to make candles, French lavender bags, and homemade jam (with fruit grown on the property), and even partake in Paint and Sip à la française. Love photography? There's even an elective for cyanotype prints or learning how to take better pictures!

And of course, if you want to catch up on lost sleep or wander aimlessly, you are encouraged to do just that, too.

But if you sign up for nothing else, definitely join the Saturday morning trip to the Figeac Market. The storybook charm of the village of Figeac will have you dreaming of a far-off place as you walk through the market stalls surrounded by half-timbered buildings from days gone by. Save room in your suitcase for a wicker basket, some comté, and other hand-crafted goods. It's one of the best authentic markets you'll go to while visiting France.

With a range of options that cater to different interests and desires, you can customize your bachelorette party's experience to make it truly unforgettable for everyone. There's no cookie cutter way to make memories!

Camp Chateau in Beduer France

Dining at Camp Chateau

If you're especially into French wine and cuisine, then your taste buds will be greatly indulged at Camp Château, where dining is a feast for the senses. We're not talking hot dogs and baked beans in the mess hall. We're celebrating dinners of beef bourguignon and lentils provençal with eggplant caviar served family style in a grand room with exposed beam ceilings, a mezzanine, and a giant carved stone fireplace that echoes a time when communal dining was an event.

Leading the charge for happy tummies, Head Chef Jérémy puts his own modern twist on French classics, and most importantly, he has a special passion for catering to all food allergies and dietary requirements, including gluten-free and vegan. At camp, no one will feel left out of the authentic French food experience.
One evening, Jérémy even made a gluten-free tarte tatin for dessert which is practically unheard of for us foodies with Celiac Disease! Hello, French caramel apple pie! And yes, there was vanilla ice cream to go with it.

Summer Camp for Women

Each morning, continental breakfast is served for campers to enjoy at their own leisure before their chosen electives or hours of relaxation begin. Hard-boiled eggs fresh from Gardener Emily, breads, pastries (of course, croissants), fruits, juices, and yogurts are available, buffet style.

Lunch is a picnic affair where every bunk gets a dedicated basket filled with goodies to tote wherever they wish on the property. Each day's menu is different with a focus on picnic-friendly foods like quiche, cheese, dry-cured meat, pickled veggies, and artisan breads accompanied by the wine du jour and a non-alcoholic option. Water and ice are also always available in the meeting spot outside the kitchen. And like the quintessential camp experience, if you bring tasty snacks to share, you instantly make friends.

Camp Chateau in Beduer France

Just before dinner, you'll enjoy aperitifs and sometimes live music in the courtyard as the camp staff prepare the dining room for the main meal event of the day. And it's at dinner why most people come to live out nostalgic summer camp dreams. Beyond the thoughtfully made dishes, mealtimes at Camp Château are more than just nourishment; they are an opportunity to connect and create memories with your familiar or new friends.

Camp Chateau in Beduer France

Booking Your Stay

Booking your stay at Camp Château is simple and straightforward. With its recent viral popularity as a unique summer experience for women, it's important to secure your reservation early to ensure availability for your desired dates, especially as spots are limited for each session.

To book your stay, visit the Camp Château website and navigate to the Booking Info page. Here, you will find a booking form that asks for your preferred dates, what type of accommodations you'd like, and the required deposit.

The rates for your stay at Camp Château may vary depending on the year you're booking, if pickup/drop-off transportation is needed, and if you would like any on-site massages during your stay. Other than that, everything is included: food, wine, accommodations, amenities, and so much more.

Camp Château is now booking for their 2024 season and offers group discounts for six or more women.

Summer camp for women in France

At Camp Château, memories are made. As your bachelorette getaway comes to a close, you'll find yourself reflecting on the incredible experiences you shared with your closest friends. From the moment you arrived at this enchanting summer camp in southwestern France, you knew it would be special. And it truly was.

Whether it was kayaking or a quiet session making lavender bags, every moment brought you closer to the people around you. The laughs and conversations shared over delicious meals created a bond that will last a lifetime (or at least until your camp reunion because we know that's happening). It was the personal discoveries echoing through the castle halls as you and your friends learned new things about each other. It was the feeling of tranquility and excitement that washed over you as you just stared out over the valley at sunset. It was the sense of togetherness and celebration that permeated every corner of this magical place.


Chelsea Barton

Founder & Editor-in-Chief

As a retired wedding photographer obsessed with the wedding industry, Chelsea has always had a passion in helping couples find their wedding ideas for over 14 years. Marry that with her sea-loving personality, and you have Tidewater and Tulle in a nutshell.

Photography and video by Chelsea LaVere Barton at Camp Château in Béduer, France.

Looking for Travel Style Ideas? Shop Our Current Faves!

Disclosure: All love and opinions for what's been mentioned in this feature are our own. Some of the above product links are affiliate-linked and purchasing through these links helps support Tidewater and Tulle and its wonderful partners! You can find our full disclosure policy here.