What was I expecting from Eurocamp? If I’m being brutally honest; damp cramped conditions, a long drive, a ferry, rubbish weather, second rate facilities. Not your obvious canvas-dweller then.

But my children were up for it, drawn by the imminent prospect of a week of swimming, cycling, climbing, hiking and exploring their way around the Jura district of France, while Mr Greedy was sold on eating French cheese, saucisson and drinking cold rose. The deal was done it seemed before I’d even located my hiking boots.

Dampening my fears with visions of wooden chalets, great lakes, wonderful food and relaxation, Lac De Chalain being famed for its beauty, remoteness, lush green landscape, proximity to caves and waterfalls, cycle paths, restaurants and markets. I finally acquiesced. What had I let myself in for?

It was a smooth if long journey; Dover to Calais, then a six hour drive to the plains outside Geneva where slowly the houses turned into chalets, the motorways into meadows. Two months before it had been covered in snow, reminding us of its proximity to the Alps.

Just near Jura we turned off at a sign depicting a man swimming, sweeping past a vast turquoise lake that shimmered in the distance. Crystal clear, framed by little white beaches and families playing in the sand, bathers, a cafe glimpsed at one end, Eurocamp at the other, we had arrived.

Not exclusively the preserve of Eurocamp, it shares the site with several other camping companies, but our cabin had a hot running shower, three bedrooms, a sitting room and a well stocked kitchen as well as decking outside. A nice surprise.

The one-site facilities were equally as impressive – a kids club, bike hire, a massive indoor swimming complex, an outdoor water park complete with slides and fountains, a bar, restaurant, bakery, shops, a gelateria, canoe, kayak and pedalo hire, basketball and football courts, crazy golf, in short enough to keep you occupied for the whole week, without ever leaving the campsite.

Instantly drawn to the lake we raced down to test out its cool waters, warmer than the sea, but still cold enough to make you squeal, its variety of beaches offering sanctuary to everyone from the elderly to the very young

Summer half term was the perfect time to visit we discovered as the French were still at school so it was remarkably uncrowded. And with temperatures at around 30°C, absolute heaven.

We tended to venture out in the mornings, first on a mountain bike ride around the lake, then driving to the famous Les Cascades du Herisson waterfalls. Taking around 90 minutes to climb, the rapids flow in various incarnations from river steps to impressive waterfalls, tiny cafes easing your ascent to the top.

A trip to the nearby food market at Lons-Le-Seunier was a wonder of local produce: our bags groaning with honeys, oils, vegetables and fruit, breads and olives. We ate out a few times, finding nowhere better than our own backyard where we marinaded meat, barbecued and ate the wonderful fresh produce we had procured, while the kids played with their newfound friends until nightfall.

On our last day we walked through thin tree-lined paths to the end of the lake where a tiny, much less populated beach awaited, swimming in the light blue freshwater.

Had we wanted to be more adventurous we could have ventured to Geneva or Dijon, to chateaux, vineyards or caves but instead we stayed close to home, relishing the peace and quiet and sheer beauty of our location.

What it’s like during peak season in August I wouldn’t know, but at the French market we were certainly the only English there, although the camp itself was full of French, Dutch, Belgians, Swiss and Brits and we returned looking like we’d spent two weeks in Greece, sun kissed and relaxed.

With 180 other sites to choose from in France alone and similar sites as far afield as Italy and Croatia, Eurocamp was a revelation. I for one can’t wait to explore them further.

The perfect introduction then for the reluctant camper.

Fact box:

Enjoy a holiday at Domaine de Chalain for £987 for 7 nights in a 2-bed Classic arriving in high season.

Using their Best Ferry Price Guarantee, Eurocamp can also offer exclusive rates on ferry crossings meaning customers always get the lowest price, with Dover-Calais from £50 return and Portsmouth-Caen from £166 return.

For more on Eurocamp, go to www.eurocamp.co.uk

For more on visiting France, go to uk.france.fr