I’m sure many of you have noticed the FEFI symbol on our books these past few editions, I’m going to explain a bit more about what FEFI is, and how it all started.
It was actually set up a few years ago in 2015, the abbreviation stands for Fédération Européenne de la Formule Invitations. The short story is that it’s a body of schemes similar to Brit Stops that all share information and good practice, as well as cross promoting each other.
Right now there are six schemes taking part;
- France Passion
- Brit Stops
- Landvergnügen (Germany)
- España Discovery (Spain)
- Swiss Terroir (Switzerland)
The benefits of FEFI go beyond just the sharing of information, it also actively encourages people to travel between neighbouring countries and experience other cultures – all from the comfort of your motorhome! It even helps to support the local economy, and brings smaller shops such as vineyards or farm shops (that might be rural and a bit out of the way) some customers that they wouldn’t usually get.
The original Brit Stops
All these schemes took inspiration from France Passion and set up the same system in their own country. Thanks to the wealth of vineyards in France, it was the perfect place to set it up. The abundance of aires also makes France one of the easier countries in which to find a stopover.
For those of you who don’t know; aires are sites set up specifically for motorhomes to stop at over night, they often offer the basics such as hook up and water dump and are usually in walking distance of a town or popular tourist spot. The combination of an abundance of aires and the popularity of France Passion amongst local businesses keeps France ahead of the curve when it comes to motorhome travel in Europe – I highly recommend taking a trip over there if you haven’t already!
Where it all started
France Passion was actually the idea of a wine magazine editor who realised that many of the motorhomers coming to visit France didn’t have anywhere safe to stay in more rural areas. In 1993 (which also happens to be the year I was born by the way) he planned to unite vineyard owners across the country and encourage motorhomers to stay on their premises. Now France Passion has almost 2000 hosts and is still growing every year!
A night out on the town
Ok so maybe it’s more of a day out, but the founders of FEFI have been meeting up once a year to try produce from their own hosts and show each other around their home country. Last year the FEFI team were the guests of us at Brit Stops and explored Cambridge, this gave us the opportunity of plying them with plenty of real ale and some pimms while punting on the river!
As always, if anyone has any questions about FEFI or Brit Stops just leave a comment and if you haven’t taken a look at the FEFI website yet, here’s a link. Cheers everyone!