Val De Vie is a gem of a site tucked away in the small town of Mache.
So what makes people give it the good reviews it gets ? its not got the big water park style slides and it doesn't have a bar or even full on nighttime entertainment. What it does have is that personal touch and a great clientèle of like minded campers.
Its a mix of French, english, Dutch and even some from Belgium.
The location is superb if you want a good base for cycling or exploring by car. The village consists of a very good patisserrie, a mini mart, and two tabacs. One of the tabacs sells fishing gear too.
A very good hyperu is down the road about 10mins drive for cheap fuel and anything you could want in the store. A lidl is next door to it too.
The towns church sounds out the time on the hour and only one ring on the half hour.
On our first morning this came as a shock to us but for the rest of the holiday we didn't really hear it as we got used to it.
Our two kids loved the freedom of the site, roaming around on their bikes to play at the play area or with new found friends. Anyone driving around the site drove slowly as everyone was aware of the numerous children playing around it.
The toilet and shower block was spottless and cleaned many times a day. We never had to wait for a shower.
Our pitch allowed us to pitch our large Trailer tent but not quite enough room for our car as well. This wasn't a problem as Pascale just said to park on a nearby empty pitch.
The owners Pascale and Flo are very friendly and welcoming and really make it very homely staying there. They organise various things throughout the week like wine tasting or homemade crafts and even a food wagon.
Im sure abnyone who has been before will say the 'Boule' competition between the campers is a great evening. You get to meet other campers while playing boule and having a glass of vino. The atmosphere is so good and one guy was even playing an accordion.
Many of the campers on this site have been time and time again such is the quality of it.
Around the local area you have apremont with its chateaux and water tower. You can get a ticket at the chateaux which covers both for a small amount.
There are some excellent beaches within 25 mins plus depending what you like. Our kids loved Sauveterre as the bodyboarding surf was great but it also had rock pools with stacks of starfish when the tide went out.
There are also various local festivals that go on and different times in the year.
On our first night we were lucky enough to go to the local 'quail festival' We had a superb meal of fresh fruit, quail, harricot beans and a pastry all washed down with local vino while sitting on big tables and benches with the locals. We were made to feel very welcome by those around us, it was a magical slice of french life for us.
There was also an evening of entertainment for us to watch with a mix of english and french songs.
No entrance fee, no parking restrictions and no idiots just superb family entertainment with the locals.
Its shame we weren't still out there for the festival on the lake which sounded just as good.
Overall this site was excellent with the touches of modern life along with the nice traditional stuff too. Wifi is available and the entrance to the site has access control so no unwanted vehicles can get on it or come on the site late at night.
This was our 2nd stay on Val de Vie, and it was a complete success :) The lovely owners and their children were great hosts, and the cleanliness and very high standards on site were consistent with what we enjoyed last time.
The pool is cleaned daily, has great sunbeds around it, and is safe for children. The facilities are all kept perfectly hygienically and I really cannot say anything other than positive! I highly recommend this site.
The location is perfect for a base in the area. The local village is lovely, and I particularly recommend that you see as much as possible of this place. So much to do. Shopping facilities are more than adequate and bigger shops are just a short drive.
We can't wait to return, and without a doubt it will be this year because of everything above :)
I have just returned from a great 2 week holiday staying at Camping Val de Vie, it was my first time there and found it fantastic. The owners Pascal and Florence are so welcoming, the site isnt too big so has a personal touch and its great for children. We had a 9, 7 and toddler with us and all our needs catered for; great heated swimming pool (which is tended to on a daily basis), park (with toys for all ages), campsite bikes & trikes and even a bouncy castle!. Pascal and Florence host a weekly petanque competition which gets the campsite residents all together for the adults to meet and have fun. Personally I was impressed with their attention to cleanliness to the bathroom and washing facilities.
Thank you to Pascal and Florence for all your hard work and thought that has gone into making a successful campsite.
Second visit to this delightful site and it gets better each time. The French owners are the perfect hosts. With a mixture of static homes, touring caravans and tents, the site feels spacious and never cramped in. There's plenty of room around the pitches with low hedges and small trees that don't appear to deposit any sap from above. The facilities are spotless as is the pool area and there are plenty of activities to keep the younger visitors entertained. Because this site is located a little way inland from the busier tourist areas, it benefits from delivering a more authentic French feel with none of the sometimes tacky tourist trappings of the larger sites. The delightful village centre has a tabac/bar, small general store, great bakers, cash point and a small petrol station/garage. It's only about 5KM from the town of Aizenay which lies on several arterial roads that will quickly take you north, south or west to the coast, plus there is a huge HyperU supermarket that sells, well everything!
I can only echo the good comments made by the previous reviewers. We only stayed here for 2 nights enroute from the Dordogne to Brittany, but would have liked to stay longer.
Nothing is too much trouble for the owners & they keep the site immaculate. The facilities are shared by the sexes but there are plenty of toilets/showers/cubicles - even a special one for children/babies with a small bath and pictures on the walls.
Reception has fridges & bbqs for hire and a decent library of books in English to borrow. Wifi is charged in 24hr units and coverage is good. The pool is immaculate, with several loungers and there is a sandy play area for children.
Pitches are standard or large but all are big enough for a caravan & awning; large ones have 10amps (not 6) of electricity and their own water tap. There are also holiday homes for hire.
The small town of Mache has a bar, boulangerie, boucherie & small supermarket, and a very pleasant walk down to & round the lake (5 mins from the site). Large supermarkets are in Aizenay (8 mins drive) or Challans (15 mins). The coast is only 20 mins away, with all the expected facilities of holiday resorts.
For a peaceful, relaxing holiday, this site gets 10/10.
We have just returned from two weeks camping at Val de Vie, last week in July, first week in August. This was the first time we have camped abroad, but have camped lots around the UK. What an absolute gem this place is. We purposely chose a smaller campsite to avoid the on site entertainment, bars and huge water complexes that bigger sites offer.
The site owners could not be more friendly, welcoming and helpful if they tried and it is a real labour of love for them, they clearly love what they do and this shows.
The facilities are immaculate and I can echo the previous comments that they are cleaned umpteen times a day and there is always a plentiful supply of hot water. There are disabled and family bathing facilities and there was never a queue to use the showers.
Beautiful undercover dishwashing facilities and great clothes washing sinks and a washing machine provided too for a small fee. Again these facilities are immaculate.
There is a reasonably sized pool with sun beds, a great play area for children and bicycles and go karts are provided for use around the site. My boys enjoyed the table tennis and the table football. We had three teenage boys in our party and they never once complained of being bored.
The pitches are mostly level and divided by hedges with some having trees which was a godsend for us in the first week when temperatures reached 37 degrees! Many of the people staying at the campsite have returned year after year and I can totally see why. It means there is a very friendly, family atmosphere and my son commented it felt like home because everyone was so friendly.
The village of Mache is a great central location, being a 30-40 minute drive to some fantastic beaches, Sauveterre is definitely worth a visit, particularly if you are after surf. And the beautiful port of Les Sables D'Olonne is unmissable. The village has a well stocked shop (opening times vary depending on the owner!) and the boulangerie is open every day. There are two bars, one selling pizza. There are supermarkets close by with a huge Hyper you and Lidl at Aizenay.
The site is truly perfect if you are after a quiet, relaxing, family orientated holiday in peaceful, beautiful surroundings. I will most definitely be returning next year, something I have never, ever done, no matter how much I've enjoyed my holiday. A bientot, Val de Vie!
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