We have jsut returned from a 2 week holiday, with 2 girls aged 13 and 14 years old. We were in our twin axle touring caravan.
Upon arrival at the campsite we were told where our pitch was no 116, we drove down to the pitch but would have struggled to get on it, so had to carry on and turn around, then my husband reversed onto the pitch. Our pitch was an all service pitch with water and drainage and electric, but we probably we had one of the smallest Grand Comfort all service pitches (w12x L15m2)with a narrow entrance, but had one of the largest units. All the Grand Comfort pitches were of a very good size, one behind us had two smaller caravans on one pitch, still with room between. Our Pitch had plenty of shade which was most welcome, some pitches didn't have have as much, but most had some shade and were separated by hedges, (standard)pitches by river had very little shade and maybe noisy as near river, but had lovely view. We looked at standard pitches and some were very small and different shapes and some were large, and some would be difficult to get on to, so check on map first or if you arrive and arent sure walk round and look first. Plenty of water taps and bins all round site, so no need to carry rubbish miles, though re-cycling near entrance.
The toilet block nearest out pitch we think had been refurbished but still seemed a bit dated, though kept clean all the time by the staff who seem to work all day in the toilet/shower blocks.
The shower blocks were the one thing that really let this site down, they were very tired and out of date and in need of refurbishment though generally clean, sometimes showering in the dark as the lights go out and the switch is in another toilet/shower cubicle, I think but don't really know. We started using our own shower, which proved to be a godsend (I highly recommend an end bathroom !)
The shop had a good selection of food, frozen, fruit, veg wine etc and their bread and croissants were some of the best we've had.
We had Pizza from the takeaway a couple of times which was nice and the girls ate in the Pizza restaurant one night with their new friends. There was also a takeaway selling Frites, sausage, Lasagne etc, we had chips on several occasions and they were lovely. No complaints about the takeaway. There was also a restaurant with a usual French menu, but we didn't actually eat there.
The entertainment was good usual french Animations, ranging from bands, disco's, beauty contest, karaoke, but probably best of all they had a Foam party on monday nights which young and
There are lots of Ping Pong tables a good play area volley ball court and an outside gym area, there's a small boating lake and fishing lake for under fourteens.
The swimming pool was adequate, we didn't really use it the girls went a couple of times, but mostly went by the river. The river was lovely, we'd take our chairs and sit in the water with our feet in it, though it was cold. You need a good supply of inflatables especially when the dam is released on Tuesdays and Fridays, then the river runs fast and lots of fun can be had going down the river, then walking back and starting all over again. We used a dingy and large rubber rings both can be purchased from Castellane, though the best way is to go with a ready supply.
When the dam is opened there is canoeing and white water rafting, both which can be booked each evening at the campsite (we didn't do either).
On the other days the river runs at a more sedate rate but is still fun and you can still ride the small rapids.
The area is quite the most stunning place we have been too! We travelled via Grenoble and it was quite breath taking if a bit hairy in places. We stopped twice on journey going we got a 12o/c train then drove 250miles to Langres, then stopped again north of grenoble in Les Abrets, we left plenty of time to do the last leg though the shortest distance it still took approx 6 hours!
Castellane is very pretty and has a market a couple of times a week, we went into Castellane a couple of times, to look round but quite small. There were quite a few restaurants but again we didn't eat out. There was one supermarket a Casino though adequate, I do like a choice of super markets, but the next nearest was approx 40 minutes away and a mountain climb. We sometimes struggled to park and it always seemed crowded and not always a huge choice and I thought expensive (Wines seemed usual Cheap Prices !)so stock up before you get to Castellane and campsite.
We probably sound boring as we didn't go out but the reason was:- Our girls just didn't want to go out they made loads of friends, english Dutch and French, they went off all day, along the river to part of the beach which attracted teenagers, they'd rush in for dinner then be off out again all congregating at the ping pong tables, there seemed to be hundreds of teenagers of various ages. At 11pm the lights to the ping pong/ play area are turned off, and they all go the the camp fire on the beach they loved it, coming in around 1am !
This is a superb site for teenagers, but be prepared to stay on site as they wont want to go out, take lots of good books (no english papers in site shop), we did manage a couple of rides out, one to Lake Castellane an amazing clear blue, there is a beach with pedalos and canoes for hire and you can drive along the lake and go and look at the dam. We also drove a few miles into the hills/mountains again stunning, but we teenagers just wanted to be on site.
The reason I rated this site 8/10 is because of the showers, they really did let it down and Id liked a choice of Super Markets in Castellane, but if you can put up with this then its set in a truly stunning location and well worth the journey and as I said our Teenagers had a fantastic time and want to go back! we will see!
We stayed at this campsite in one of their 'bungalows' which looks like a wooden upside down boat! Great for us though as we also had my mother with us so we had 1 x double and 1 x bunks and 1 x single (in the kitchen!). Quite small compared to other chalets we have stayed in but we knew this when we booked and it suited all our needs with the amount of people we had staying. We took 3 teenagers with us and our 2 year old son, the campsite let the eldest two pitch a small tent next to the bungalow which was great.
We booked direct with the campsite and found them to be very helpful and they all spoke English. Our toilet broke in the bungalow and within 10 minutes of reporting it a man in a buggy came whizzing over and fixed it.
This campsite was a godsend for us when it came to the teens - the campfire every night at 11 was fantastic, it was well away from the pitches and mobile homes so the teens didn't cause too much noise and it was supervised and finished at midnight. Our teens made lots of friends with both Dutch and English kids.Early evening the teens all gathered round just over the bridge from the bar area, in the (outside) table tennis area where big groups of them would be chatting and playing table tennis - nice atmosphere for them.
Lovely children's playground, which was near the bar area but not near enough so the kids could play whilst you watched (perhaps if they were older but certainly not with little ones).
The pool was very busy as mentioned in a previous review, but we tended to head to the lake nearby which was bright turqoise in colour and had a van selling drinks and icecreams and sunbeds to rent. We rented a pedalo and it was lovely for the kids there. The site is also on the river, so there are rocky/pebbly beach areas to sit or fish.
Castellane is a small town nearby - there is a lovely back route that you can take from the campsite into the town avoiding the busy road, I'd go for a jog there early ish in the mornings sometimes and pass lots of other campers who were also mad enough to be out running, but our teens liked to walk that way to go to the shops. This back route gave them some freedom to walk into a town without us having to drive them. Nice market there too where we bought lovely scallops and cooked up some great meals. There is a supermarket just outside Castellane so you don't have to drive far to do a big shop.
The bar area at night was very busy but we quite liked this as at least there was a great atmosphere, usual French campsite 'animations' going on with kids performing and bands playing some nights - that was amusing! I'd usually run a mile from such entertainment in the UK but somehow in France I don't mind so much.
We flew with easyjet and used our air miles this time to pay for a hire car, so we drove up from Nice (take travel bands as the roads are v v v windy!). All in all this campsite suited us with the teens and we liked it - I probably wouldn't return but only because I feel I've 'done' that area now and would like to explore other areas in France. All in all though a great holiday - our teens are still in touch with kids they met 2 years ago!
The other reviews have pretty much covered all the details, but I thought that I'd give the touring tent camper's perspective. My buddy and I (both on our own motorcycles and with our own tents) stayed here for two nights only and, as it was relatively early in the season, the site wasn't too busy.
The extremely helpful (English-speaking) reception guy gave us a varied choice of pitches and we chose an individually hedged enclave where we were allowed to pitch both our tents, thus saving a good bit of (pension) money! We were riding the Route Napoleon and left our tents pitched here whilst we picked up the route back in Castellane and completed the ride down to the beach at Cannes where we enjoyed an hour of beautiful Mediterranean sunshine. On the way back from the coast, the heavens opened (again!) and two very wet bikers splashed their way back to find their enclave had turned into a mini-lake, such was the amount of rain!
We used the bar/take-away which was a nice meeting point but didn't use any of the other leisure facilities. The amenities block opposite was fine although I thought the shower stalls were a little on the cramped side. On the last night my buddy was joined in his shower by, as he so eloquently put it, 'a small but perfectly formed scorpion'!
I agree that the lane into town was very useful in avoiding the quite busy road. (All motorcycle parking in Castellane is free of charge, by the way. )
The site has direct access to the river, although when we went to look at it, it wasn't so much a river - more a raging torrent!
If I was ever in Castellane again, which is unlikely, I would quite happily stay there, although somewhere a little less low-lying would be preferable
Stayed at Camp du Verdon for 2 weeks in August 2007. I have to be perfectly honest I didn't really like this site at all. It's was really busy especially around the reception area, where the restaurant / fast food place and all other amenities was i.E. Stage for the evening entertainment, pool etc etc etc. I also found the campsite shop really expensive vs the local Casino. The pool area was small and therefore very busy, you couldn't sit down anywhere as there wasn't any sunbeds (they couldn't fit them in anyway).
We stayed in a mobile home and I have to say we struggled to park our car on the pitch.
On a positive note I would recommend the area as a whole, Castellane is fantastic and very lovely with good reataurants, visit the following places of interest:
1. The Rock in Castellane (30 min uphill walk, go in the evening before sundown and catch the sunset, bring your camera! Lovely little church on top)
2. Castellane lake lovely clear turtoise water due to the limestone - great place to swim, I swam right across the lake.
3. Try to go Canyoning, we used a company called Abroad Rafting in Castellane, they provided an excellent guide for our trip - make sure you do not have any plans the next day because canyoning will whack you out big time! Great fun though jumping into rock pools, abseiling and climbing, I loved every minute of this experience.
4. Experience the whole Grand Canyon du Verdon - it really is a fantastic area to visit.
5. Just don't stay at Camp du Verdon (In my opinion).
Stayed at this site for 3 nights on our way to Antibes and had a great time, its a large site but its split up in to smaller areas with plenty of trees and never felt to big, its situated about a 15/20 walk outside Castellane on the side of the river and theres an off road path that you can walk or cycle, the shop on site is very good with fresh bread daily and plenty of beer and wine and lots of other stuff.
Theres plenty of shower blocks, washing up sinks, laundry, 3 swimming pools, but they did get busy, we liked to go down to the beach at the side of the river instead where you also got a bit of a breeze, the river is very low most of the week and you can paddle in it, but on Tuesday and Friday they open the dam up river and thats when you can go Kayaking and rafting on it so its a lot more fast flowing, but older children were able to use a rubber ring in it as there was a shallow bit lower down where you could get out. We booked our sons kayaking with a company at www.Aquavivaest.Com who where based in castallane and spoke good english on the phone, and he had a brillient afternoon and they drop you back off at the campsite or in castallane.
Theres WiFi access near the bar area and also entertainment at night but we didn't go to that, my son was impressed with the suppervised campfires at 11.00pm on the beach near the river for the teenagers, there where mainly dutch people there and if you have a couple of teenagers it would be great for them, my son was on his own but got talking to some dutch lads.
Theres a motorhome service point and water and wc disposal point all together which would have been great if we could have figured out how to lift the cover, gave up but we didn't have much in the tanks anyway.
Castellane is a really nice small town with a square, if you go up the top end of the square theres a bank and small suppermarked also a really great narrow alleyway with shops and bars thats worth a visit, there was a market on the sataday but boy was it busy then! the rest of the week it was ok not to busy, also the kayaking place is next to the tabac on the main square. We would definatly use this site again.
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