This year was our third visit to Courte Vallee and we shall certainly holiday there again.
As a retired couple looking for good quality provision and service in a quiet and relaxed environment, it fits the bill perfectly.
Alistair, Joanna and their team could not be more welcoming and helpful (particularly so when Wendy had an infected leg wound).
The site is spotless in all its facilities (especially the toilet/shower block), with good sized pitches offering a mix of sun and shade. There is a well shaded, attractive bar and terrace. The restaurant serves good, reasonably priced, food - and the take-away chips facility offers a welcome change to the ubiquitous barbeque.
The pool is only small, but as there were never more than a handful of people in it at any time during our stay, that was not an issue.
Airvault is a lovely little town(15 mins walk away) and there is a large Intermarche on its outskirts. Highly recommended is a walk by the river through the parkland, easily accessed from the site. There is a good market at Parthenay - and Thuars, St Loup and other small local towns are well worth the drive to see them.
To sum up - restful, friendly and beautifully kept.
Jo and Alistair, the owners, have created a little bit of heaven in the heart of France. The facilities are all clean and functional. The site is pretty with good grassy areas and well thought out planting providing both sunny and more shady pitches as requested. But what sets this site apart from all the others we visited on our trip is the friendliness of the staff which, in turn, encourages the guests to mix and mingle.
The night after we arrived we attended a free wine tasting at the on-site garden bar. It was a great chance to chill out with fellow guests and learn about the local wines from a local producer. Later in the week we ate (twice) at the on-site restaurant which was reasonably priced and delicious. My husband was very impressed that he could purchase a pint of English bitter! I stuck with the good selection of wines and the occasional biere blonde.
The swimming pool is surrounded by sunbeds and the venue for more afternoon socialising for those who wanted it. Nothing loud and intrusive, just friendly chatter.
There is no on site shop but you can order bread etc daily and purchase fresh eggs from reception. The site is situated on the edge of the village of Airvault and that has a small selection of shops, a weekly market and, conveniently, a good sized Intermarche supermarket and the French equivalent of B&Q selling caravan supplies.
Our elderly Dalmation was delighted with the selection of scenic walks from the site, just 5 minutes to the river and plenty of ways to explore once you got there. The site staff made a real fuss of her and that made us feel that we were truly welcome. We had requested a quiet, shaded pitch and were very pleased with the large pitch we were allocated at the rear of the site.
I feel the site is excellent for couples who don't want discos etc and for those with young children who would enjoy the play area. To be fair, I don't think teenagers would find it the most 'happening' place. There is table tennis but no tennis or basket ball courts you find on larger sites and no TV lounge!
Jo and Alistair and the staff are British and the first language spoken on the site is English although French is spoken well, as I found out when Jo helped me make an appointment with the vet. Most of the guests were British and this may be off putting to those seeking the genuine French experience but I found it relaxing having come from a site where French was the only language and my (basic)command of the language was challenged. Guests from France, Holland and Germany were also staying so it's not exclusively English.
As for days out, there is plenty of information available at reception and the staff are happy to recommend destinations. This was our second stay at the site and we didn't repeat any of our previous excursions, not because they weren't great, just because we didn't need to. We will definitely be returning as soon as we can.
Stayed here for 11 nights. Site is well maintained. The site is British owned and all the staff are British. The site facilities are unisex but this didn't seem to cause any problems. The pitches are a good size with water either on the pitch or near by all with electric hook up.
The reception sells fresh bread and eggs daily, and there is a co-op in Airvault and a Supermarche about 5 minutes drive away.
The site has a bar which is open daily, and a bistro open Saturday to Wednesday. Also quiz nights and functions including guided walks are organised on a regular basis.
For people with dogs there is a country park within 5 mins walking distance where the dogs can run freely. Also the site has a small car for hire, which is handy if you are their in a motor home.
English owner site and mostly English campers. Site is situated within walking distance of the town, pitches are mostly level to slightly sloping. There is a marquee style restaurant on site with a man sat at an organ playing 70's music while people eat. The night we stayed was fish and chips on the menu so we gave it a miss, we didn't come all that way for english food.
Site very well kept, although the facilities were very busy even with a 75% full site. There is good dog walking to be had down the lane and into some fields or along the river, river is very deep and fast flowing.
The weather had been poor up to the day we had arrived hence the owners took the opportunity to cut the grass, all day long!.
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