This is a developing site, in a region with a developing tourist infrastructure and money from the Department of the Herault being spent in the area. There are older pitches and some newer pitches which have been developed between the older part of the site and the road, and to the side of the swimming pool. There may be some road noise in the newer areas. These pitches are very flat, but also very new, with little shade, and little to divide them from each other. The older pitches in the central area of the site are a good size, grassy, but not always flat. There are dividing hedges between, and some lovely mint which scents the pitches as you walk around. Those pitches in the ‘middle’ row are the flattest. We were on pitch number 1, which is the nearest to the Reception area, sanitary block, and pool entrance. It sloped, but we were able to get the van on with the help of the motor mover, and level front to back and side to side – some of the pitches have a steeper slope and levelling may be a bit of a trial especially for motorhomes!
Staff on reception were very friendly indeed, and we were very warmly welcomed. The site is run by a young couple, and their delightful baby who was very popular around the site, as was their dog. There is a good range of tourist information available, and ‘essentials’ are on sale in reception – as well as local wines! Newspapers (English included) are available from the take-away. There is a very good booklet giving information about the site – but they had been busy this year so we were given the 2009 version – which still applied. The swimming pool is new, and lovely – a sort of clover leaf, with a Jacuzzi area, and a toddler pool. The temperature was just right! There are loungers provided and plenty of space around the pool. I didn’t take note of whether shorts were allowed. The pool is adjacent to the take-away area which serves drinks, and has tables overlooking the pool. There is a small children's play area adjacent to the pool
The new take-away is around the back of the reception area – and the hard-working couple who run the site manage to run this as well as their reception duties – which does mean that sometimes you had a few minutes to wait at reception or at the take-away! The take-away served a reasonable range of foods, including some very tasty brochettes! Prices were not high. You can order pizzas, at a very good price, and the local pizza take-away delivers them to your pitch! Bread can be ordered for the following morning, and picked up at the take-away.
The sanitary block is part of the reception building – and has showers and washbasins in good sized cubicles together, as well as some additional shower cubicles and additional washbasins in cubicles. There is a washing machine (token from reception), an area to wash clothes, and an area for washing up. The facilities are perhaps just not quite enough for the newer extended site – and it’s one of the few sites we had to queue for a shower in low season when we visited. Toilet paper was provided. The sanitary block was very clean.
We were disappointed by the river which runs alongside the site – water levels were low and it was really just a small stream, overgrown in places, and with quite difficult access – not really what we expected from the website.
The site is adjacent to the Voie Verte cycle route along an old railway line - so easy cycling. This runs from Mazamet through various villages, including Olargues (which is like stepping back in time) to the Gorges of the Heric, and cycle hire is available – both to campers, and to other customers wanting to hire bikes. Bikes can also be hired from the Super you (smallish) in St Pons de Thomieres. The site runs a range of activities, most of which cost extra, but these are supervised by professionals. There are also free wine-tastings of the St Chinian area wines, with snacks provided by the couple who run the site.
At the top of the Voie Verte are the Gorges of the Heric – a fantastic river, with deep swimming holes set in a Gorge where you can find welcome shade! There is a walk alongside the river, right up to the hamlet at the top – where refeshments are available. It’s a popular area and parking has to be paid for at the bottom, but the cars are parked under shade, there is a buffet selling drinks, snacks, ice creams and meals, and clean toilets next to the parking area. The day we were there the site owner had organised an excursion from the site, so others were cycling there and their picnic lunches and bags had been transported by the site owner who was meeting them. We, of course, had done it independently, not realising, and had carried our own bags – on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year, at 39 degrees!
There are lots of other places to visit including the higher parts of the Haute Languedoc national park, with some lovely lakes, though temperatures are much cooler up there. There are marked walks around the hills of St Pons, one of them mysteriously displaying markers which showed a wild boar symbol. There are the villages, vineyards, and rivers of the Minervois/St Chinian area. You’re also only about forty minutes from the beaches of Narbonne Plage – or the Etang de Bages where this year the flamingos from the Camargue had settled – and we were fortunate to see them. There are markets in St Pons, St Chinian and other towns and villages, and the site booklet gives details of all these.
It's a site with a good mix of nationalities - mostly French families - all our neighbours were French, there were a few Dutch and Belgians, a Spanish couple, and three or four British couples. Everyone was very friendly indeed - one of the most friendly sites we've ever visited. The site was quiet at night, and the sky was dark so you could see all the stars. The moon rose over the hill opposite the site, and it was all rather lovely!
All in all a very pleasant site, in a developing area, and one that we would undoubtedly go back to. The site takes Camping Cheques (and I understand also the ACSI card) in low season.