We has a most enjoyable stay at this site during the last week of July, although fully booked we were the only British on site, about seventy percent NL with the remainder F, B, DK. It never felt crowded and the Jura area as a whole was fairly quiet. The site is about five miles west of Clairvaux les Lacs and made an excellent base for exploring.
The site is on the bank of the lovely River Ain, although none of the emplacements have direct river access. There’s a grassy area for sunbathing where you can enter the river, its very clean, fairly deep in the middle and slow moving but an easy swim across to the other side where there’s a stony beach accessible from the village. A hundred yards upstream the river turns shallow and rocky, with characteristic ‘potholes’ and rapids – I never found out how to access that bit though ( see photo in my profile).
You can rent pitches ‘Comfort’ which are well defined, approx ten by ten metres with EHU and plenty of taps, or you can pay a bit less for a pitch ‘Nature’ with no EHU, and a slightly longer walk to the taps. I’d recommend the latter as they’re bigger pitches and less defined. Plenty of shade everywhere – we certainly need it as it was very hot for the duration of our stay. Toilet blocks spacious and clean.
There’s a bar, takeaway and small shop selling essentials, they’ll also freeze ice packs for you. It’s a half km walk over the bridge into the village of Patornay which has a small Spar supermarket, an interesting Epicerie, a bakers, small butchers, restaurant and a couple of gift shops. I did see a mobile pizza van complete with inbuilt brick pizza oven one night, and there was a tiny market on one occasion. Tips: the bakery sells out fairly early in the day. The Epicerie/Greengrocers sells litre bottles of frozen water, they keep cool longer that icepacks and cost less.
There’s a swimming pool, a paddling pool and a couple of slides with their own plunge pool, a large open building providing welcome shade for kids activities. There was entertainment on most nights, the ubiquitous Euro disco, a live music another night. The Saturday ‘fun’ didn’t stop until midnight though. Weekly visits from vendors of jewellery, henna tattoos, local wine and produce.
The ‘stage’ was in front of the toilet block one night, so the audience was treated to a full view of male campers using the open style urinals, which made us laugh.
The River Ain opens out into Lac de Vouglans- we found a lovely quiet bit of grassy lakeside there for swimming and sunbathing at the tiny settlement of la Gringalet, six miles south of the camp.
Clairvaux les Lacs is a ten minute drive away, there’s a small supermarket and a Netto which wasn’t very good. Several restaurants including a pizzeria that does takeaways. Clairvaux has a beautiful blue lake with beach and diving platform, plus a snack bar for salads, steak frites etc.
Head west for wilder scenery the rocks of Pic d’Aigle, loads of waterfalls including the Cascades de Herrison – further west takes you to Switzerland, Nyons on the shore of Lac Geneva. Geneva makes a good day trip, especially if the weather isn’t at its best, onwards for proper Alps.
A short drive to the north takes you to the popular Lac de Chalain, east to the nearest large town of Lons le Saunier. Also worth visiting is the spectacular cirque at Baume-les-Messieurs, walk down from the viewpoint at the top and visit the cave.
I’d recommend this site and the Jura as well – a less well known part of France with some lovely scenery, although statistically it gets more rain than most. We drove from Southampton to Dover for a lunchtime crossing to Dunkirk, stayed overnight near Douai then drove for another five hours to the site.