Having read many reviews were really looking forward to staying on the banks of the Ardeche.
Pros and cons:-
The not so good first, most pitches are too small, not hedged, giving feeling of being on top of your neighbours. During the time we were there the site was full, of very young children. Shower times in an evening were very very noisy with children crying, night times were often spoilt with the sound of crying, grizzling etc. As were the mornings.
Entertainment, so called, was below standard and took place directly outside the restaurant, if you were eating your meal, people seemed to grab tables, chairs and put them anywhere to watch the 'show' - even though they hadn't had a meal.
Beware to check your bill in the restaurant as they are prone to charge for another tables food/drink. We had this twice.
Restaurant staff slow and moody.
Doing the 32km canoe trip, not many places to stop nicely to enjoy a swim or picnic. Access from the site to the river is not easy, lots of slimey rocks to negotiate before getting to a decent depth.
Pool opening time 10am, closes at 8pm in July 7pm in August. No idea why.
. And the good bits.
Facilities always clean.
Sheltered pitches from the sun, although the sun was in short supply for our 2 weeks
Stayed 3 nights on way back from Cote d' Azure because we wanted to visit Pont D'Arc. A lovely site by any standards, with huge pitches. We were led to our pitch by one of staff who was actually waiting for us to arrive. He then advised best way to pitch caravan and then enlisted a couple of colleagues to help us push it into place. Serviced pitch and access to standpipe etc was excellent. Sanitation facilities as good as Ive seen anywhere. Pools, restaurants, bars very pleasant, though pool not the largest.
Canoeing down Ardeche was from the end of the site and the guys down there were just lovely, really helpful and accomodating. And the canoeing is the experience of a lifetime, truly stunning. Lots to see in area and the village of Vallon Pont D'Arc a mile away is gorgeous.
Overall, a brilliant site, though perhaps not for an extended stay as probably not enough variety of activities.
One word of warning; after leaving, we headed for Lyon and points beyond following the satnav. This led us to the D262 towards St Montan. Turns out that cars with caravans are prohibited from this route as it drops towards the village, but you are already on it without the possibilty of turning round when you see the first sign. It is a very challenging drive on a narrow, twisty, descending mountain road with several 1st gear hairpin bends. We got through unscathed but it was not the most relaxed 15 minutes of my towing career!
The campsite itself is lovely, it was extremely clean, and well looked after. My major complaint is that every time I went to the toilet block there was someone in there cleaning it! Not a problem each toilet block had two sets of ladies and gents toilets, you just had to walk round. If the worst niggle I have about a camp site is that the loos are always being cleaned it cannot be bad!
We liked the lay out of the camp site, they way that the pitches were all mixed, private tents were mixed in with mobile homes, caravans, cabins and Eurocamp Safari tents. There was none of the 'Eurocamp' cul-de-sacs you can often get in other campsites. Not that I have anything against Eurocamp I just feel that sometimes campsite owners can give them the best pitches leaving the left overs for everyone else. Not so in this campsite.
We stayed with two children (ages 7 & 9), the camp site was extremely child friendly with a lot of people with young families. Not just child friendly but dog friendly too - I had to suppress a chuckle at the dog showers available on site! Probably being cleaned as often as the human showers and toilet blocks!
Our children enjoyed the swimming pool but did feel that there were rather a lot of rules enforced by the life guards. One lifeguard got nicknamed the 'mean lady' by my 7 year old, when she was told that she was not allowed to use the rubber ring sold to her by the on site shop in the pool as it was too big. The shop did swap the rubber ring for a smaller size, but they probably should not have sold it to use for pool use in the first place. However the 'mean lady' did ensure that there was not running jumping and dive bombing going on in the pool so it was safe for younger children. If your children enjoy those sort of activities it may not be the right camp site for you.
The shop itself is fantastically stocked with most of the things camping holidays need, including items like tent pegs, camping gas and it stays open till 7. 30pm.
Yes the pitches are a little on the small (even the premium ones) but they are very shaded with mature trees, a god send in hot weather. Oh and the electric hook up is on a two pin plug system but the shop did stock extensions (although the cost 12 Euros so if you have one already remember to pack it).
This campsite has seemed to loose some of its Frenchness - to be honest it did feel more like were were in the Netherlands than France! It did seem that the clinetelle were 70% Dutch. All the entertainment was done in Dutch, then English and finally in French. I had hoped my children would pick up a couple of extra French words during the holiday, but now can fluently sing 'Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes' in Dutch. If you want to teach your kids Dutch in the glorious weather of Southern France, this is the place to go!
It is a little overpriced. We were happy to initially pay the costs because we envisaged our children using the kids club etc but unfortunately they did not want to. We did not feel that the entertainment staff were as inclusive as they could be - only finally getting all nationalities involved on the last day of our holidays.
The on site Restaurant 'Le 07 Lounge Gourmand' was very good food wise, the meals were tasty and the service good, if you have fussy children this may not be the place for you. They did not have a child's menu but do half portions of the adult menu, the problem being if you have a child who can read the menu they may not be excited by it ie chicken gujons au gratin - not appetising to a 9 year old, translated to chicken nuggets it suddenly becomes acceptable.
The on site Restaurant also runs the bar area - this the Restaurant owners are less interested in. Basically it has sporadic waiter service depending on how busy the restaurant is, I would recommend order the drinks from the bar. I nearly caused a fight by taking seat cushions from their storage area in bar to put on our bar seats after heavy rain. This was unacceptable to the owners as it might take a couple of days for the cushions to dry and they were taken back off of us (to be honest we were made to feel like naught school children), nothing was given to us in order to dry the chairs we intended to sit on! We were just expected to get wet backsides. In the end I managed to persuade the bar lady to give me a teatowel so I could wipe down our table and chairs - very poor customer service in the bar area! I did bring this up with the camp site but they informed me that the Restaurant was not owned by the camp site and as such are separate.
The main town is just 20 minute walk away so we were happy to go out of the camp site in the evening and found some lovely restaurants and bars.
The site was genuinely quite at night after 10. 30pm, everyone goes to bed after the entertainment finishes. Unfortunately the sound does carry down the gorge so you do hear faint disco noises from other nearby sites until midnight.
There does seem quite a lot of negative points listed above for a camp site which I consider to be generally very good, but I feel that I should mention them. It s truly a very good camp site, in a lovely area, that I would recommend to people.
My wife and I chose this site for its location and reviews. We reserved a premium pitch overlooking the river, so our morning view was amazing. Saturday the 14th was a bit noisy with the number of canoeists paddling down the river. This was not an issue as all were having fantastic fun as indeed we did. All the facilities are 5 * including the restaurant, swimming pools, small shop and staff. We were blessed with fantastic neighbours from Germany and UK who were incidentally were retiring from camping after 50 years of caravanning and they said this was the best site they have stayed at. Local area is beautiful and so many different attractions for all ages. Wish we lived here!.
Stayed in our folding camper for 5 nights second week on September.
The site is very easy to find and we were delt with efficiently and friendly at reception, we had not booked in advance and were told to just take a map and walk round to find a pitch we liked, it was clearly not even half full but very well kept with lots if trees and the site runs right down to the river, the coveted river pitches were unavailable even when it was nearly end of the season although we managed to get a pitch only 20 seconds walk to the river where there are lots of places to sit and watch the kayakers go by.
When we arrived we noticed there seemed to be a lot of teenagers around and when we queried this were told that a school group of 100 teenagers where camping I site for the week! It very nearly made us go elsewhere but due to the good reviews decided to stay and we were glad we did. We did feel however that when checking I the site should of informed people as there were couples staying with young children and 100 school kids were unlikely to be very quiet, although it turned out that Dutch school kids are very well behaved and were out all day until 5pm and we're contained to their camping area most of the time. The only problem with this huge amount of people it was clear that the site were running on minimum staff due to the time of year and the restaurant struggled in the evening.
The site is very picturesque and well shaded. The toilets and showers etc are undoubtedly the best we have eve used in a campsite, you can even rent your own private bathroom if you wish. There is a kayak company operating fro the site and we highly recommend using them, great fun and not too expensive. The site is silent by 11pm, but if you are pitched near the hedge bordering the neighbouring site you may hear a bit of neighbour noise but again, by 11 it was silent. Pool was lovely and kept clean. Small shop on site stocked all the usual basics but there is an intermarche supermarket about 10 minutes up the road. Overall we loved the site and would go back.
We are experienced campers in France, having stayed at 10 other comparable campsites in the summer holidays. This is a 5* campsite and although it is very good, quite honestly I would rate this 4* based on others that I have been to across France.
We travelled from Dieppe with a stop overnight but next time we would do it in one journey. The campsite is very easy to find and is well signposted. The local town and area is lovely and we cycled (although walking is no problem) on many occasions for lunch, dinner and to the Market. The prices in the pizzeria's are very reasonable.
The location is fabulous for the Ardeche. We did several river trips to the Pont D'arc and also used nearby climbing venues. We also booked a canyoning trip with a local firm nearby (there are lots) which was well organised and value for money.
The campsite is well laid out and pitches are large. You definitely need a grand confort, but most pitches were this rate with only a few standard pitches.
The canoeing hire is very convenient and seemed to be consistent with other prices in the region.
The showers/toilets are very clean and we were near a block which was convenient. They were cleaned regularly and the water was hot. We found some larger showers nearer the pool which we used.
The takeaway is nice and the shop is well stocked. We used the SuperU which was about 15 minutes drive for most of our food or the nearby Lidl was excellent.
The Restaurant was very expensive as was the bar. The drinks prices were so much we didn't want to stay there for very long and chose to relax on our pitch instead.
The evening entertainment is very poor and fell well short of other campsites we have visited.
The toilets don't have seats and I found sitting on the porcelain a bit disconcerting and uncomfortable. Other sites in France seem to manage fine with toilet seat so for a 5* this was disappointing.
The swimming pool is a let down. We used the river more than the pool. Firstly the attendant was too strict, calling people up for using any type of inflatable! The 'speedo' rule for the boys was rigidly enforced. I know this is a rule in France but at other campsites we have visited this is not applicable for outside holiday venues only indoor pools.
The pool is also very boring. For a 5* compared to other sites I would have expected slides and other activities in the pool. Also pool entertainment was lacking, in other holidays there have been water polo and children's games regularly organised.
So in summary, the site is in a great location for the ardeche, and is very well presented but I wouldn't give it 5* and we probably wouldn't return but would try other sites. I think we have been spoilt by other sites such as Soleil Plage and Ty Nadan which are better at only 4*. It is also at least a third more expensive than other sites we have visited.
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