Histoire camping Merko laccara
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Campsite Saint Jean de Luz » History of the Merko-Lacarra campsite (64)

History of the Saint-Jean-de-Luz Campsite

A family campsite in the heart of the Basque Country

The firm Merkadoenia is operated by Joséphine Arramburu and Jean Lacarra, parents of ten children.
The land then serves as vegetable land where vegetables and maize are grown.
In addition to farming, the family extracts sand and pebbles from Mayarco Beach for commercial purposes.
At their death, their last son Martin says “Mattin”, born on September 8 1897 , inherits the farm and his land.With his wife Marie Hirrigoyenbery, born November 11, 1897, they continue to exploit the land with dairy cows. Mattin carries pebbles and rubble to Bayonne using ox carts.
You will immediately be seduced by the charm and hospitality of our family campsite located on the Basque coast .

1930, Guéthary,

Living 1 km away, Jean-Baptiste Harguindeguy is the youngest of a family of three children. He then lived with his sister Denise and his brother J. Claude
called “Beltza”. Following a violent argument with his sister at the age of 4, J. Baptiste dit “Apatti” fled the family home and took refuge in a buzzard for long hours. That’s when Mattin Lacarra came through there.
Seeing this child in distress, Mattin took him on his plough for a walk that became the one-way ticket to a new life.

Basque country camping history

The Lacarra family, unable to have children, decided to adopt J. Baptiste with the consent of his mother. From then on, Apatti became the heir to the Merkadoenia farm.
1968, St Jean de Luz,
Following the death at sea of Lucio Manterola, Marie-Thérèse, his wife, is widowed with her daughter Marie-Hélène, whom she raises alone.

Camping Basque Country

Marie Thérèse meets J. Baptiste Harguindeguy. After their marriage, she decided to join Apatti in Merkadoenia where since 1965 the family has rented 30 campsites.
Indeed, the passage of more and more tourists makes it possible to exploit the land differently. These are the first steps towards a realcamping on the farm!


Marie and Martin, as they grew older, decided to leave the legacy to Marie Thérèse, who then worked at the Saint-Jean-de-Luz hospital as a caregiver. Little by little, Marie-Thérèse models the terrain for the
make a real campsite with the right structures and facilities. A first expansion from 30 to 75 locations will take place and a second from 75 to 150 locations

Family campsite merka laccara

The aunt and uncle died on 26 November 1978 and 8 May 1981 respectively. It is therefore naturally and in the footsteps of their predecessors that Marie-Thérèse, Jean-Baptiste and Marie-Hélène (who became his adopted daughter) exploit the land as a full-fledged campground.
Following their meeting in 1974, Marie-Hélène married Robert Ado, a native of Ciboure. From their union was born their son Anthony in 1984.

discover the history of merko laccara campsite

Marie-Hélène recovers the family business by leaving her job as a self-service employee in 1999, and in 2007 her husband Robert leaves her job as a mill to devote herself to the development of the establishment. since the transformation of the farm into a camping in 1965 and the allocation of a first star, the establishment will be granted two additional stars in 1978 and 1999.

History of camping in the Basque Country

It is in a concern of continuity, valorization of the inheritance and environmental respect that the establishment continues its development through the different generations.
Always with this original desire to welcome and to make discover this history and this country which are ours.

The Lacarra family

Learn more about our campsite in the Basque Country
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