It's interesting for us to come here as it's quite a different, and more expensive site, than we would normally visit.
We ourselves have a very pleasant, large, shady touring pitch, but some of the others are far from ideal - not in shape, not in position (hemmed in between statics) and not in location. Some for instance are a long, long way from the single toilet block, and all are far too far from Reception, bottle bank and rubbish bins - you need a bike for that, or you go by car.
Some of the on site cabins and chalets are large and roomy, but others are small, mean, badly designed and poky. It's a very mixed bag once again.
There are good play areas for little children, and water slides in the pool, but most of the clientele at the moment (early July) are elderly British and Dutch - there are very few children here.
The restaurant is an attractive chunky rustic design, better than any camp site restaurant we have ever seen, and the teams of charming, attentive waitresses are delightful, but the huge helpings of poorly cooked food are frankly gross. A mixed grill was an enormous plate of over cooked beef, pork, duck, sausages, and everything else they could find. On a scale that would make an obese American blanch. The need to think of quality rather than sheer quantity. This is not French style. In fact the catering isn't style at all.
So we as first timers here find it all a very patchy operation in so many ways. We think it will appeal to the unadventurous traveller who is willing to pay big money for a camp site which is quiet, safe and secure, but it's not somewhere that will draw us back.
Good site with good sized shady pitches mixed in between the chalets/caravans. We stayed in late August- 2 adults and 1 10 year old girl, in a large family tent.
Not sure what makes it a 5* site compared to 4* Castel sites though.
Reception was polite and efficient, shop was useful for emergencies but very expensive so use the supermarkets which are only a short drive away.
Restaurant was also expensive but excellent quality food whilst the takeaway was standard French takeaway fayre.
Shower, toilets and washing facilities are of a good standard and always clean. Plenty of them too.
The 2 pools were great however the fact that there was a gate between them meant it was awkward and also too many people reserved the insufficient loungers and this wasn't controlled by staff, this might be a bit tricky if you have more than one child and have to keep swapping between pools. The one without the slide was much calmer
You can take the wine tour and buy wine but note this has to be booked in advance and is not actually on the site but across the road.
Sommieres is the closest town which is about a 25 min walk down the cycle path. Take a torch if going out at night as there are no lights.
Night time market was lovely and had a great atmosphere and there is a good selection of bars and restaurants.
Sete is fantastic particularly the water jousting at the end of August.
It seems like people come to this site year after year as you see people wandering around trying to look at your pitch/chalet to book for next year. Also although some people recommend a bike because it is a large pitch this really is not necessary and the amount of children biking around can be a bit irritating.
We have just returned from a 3 week stay here. It was very lovely. Very well kept and clean site. Regularly cleaned toilets and showers(which were plenty warm enough). Excellent playground facilities. Swimming pool and slides were very much enjoyed by my children and their father! The local town of sommieres is really quite beautiful and only 1. 4km away. The site attaches to the cycle route which is perfect. Lots of people cycling/roller skating/jogging or just walking no cars and no dog poo(although the occasional horse manure). There is so much to do on the surrounding area stunning towns to walk around/Kayaking and canoeing/horse riding/Go Ape(tree climbing)/lakes to swim in. A totally wonderful holiday many people return to this site year on year definitely need to book quite far in advance if you hope to stay here.
We enjoyed our stay here as there is so much to do in the surrounding area. We saw the local bull run, canoeing on the river the bike track runs past the site and you can go all the way to nimmes, 45 mins for the big sandy beaches etc.
We had a large pitch, but would recommend asking for a pitch away from the toiled blocks. The pool did get very busy which was a downside for us.
We went on the wine tour and were invited to pick the grapes for a new wine which involved getting up at 6am and picking till 12, but the children loved it! they rode in the tailor and got to see first hand how the wine was pressed. We had a lovely lunch with the family as a celebration which made our holiday. All in all I would recommend this site and the region, although we joined it with a week at the beach as I guess it would be too far to keep driving to the beaches and sitting in traffic jams!
Part of the Castels chain, Domaine de Massereau is a 5-star site situated in the Languedoc Roussillon region in the south of France midway between Nimes and Montpellier. It is a relatively easy (albeit rather long) journey from Calais as most of the travelling is on good motorways. For the final part of the journey take exit 26 on the A9 autoroute and follow the directions to Sommieres. The campsite will then be on your right about 2kms before the town.
DdM has an unusual layout in that it is split into two parts by a long distance cycling/walking path (the ďVoie VerteĒ) which runs for 22kms between Sommieres and Nimes. The two parts of the site are joined by a rather narrow stone bridge. The campsite is also part of a much larger estate, with an olive grove to the north and the familyís vineyard to the south.
The first building you will see on arrival is the site reception. Here you will receive a code for the barrier, a map showing your pitch, and a really informative booklet explaining all the facilities of the site and also giving ideas for trips out. On leaving reception you pass through the security barrier and into the first half of the site. On the left of the road here is the recycling area and general waste bins. To the right they have bikes for hire (apply at reception).
Follow the site road to the first T junction. In front of you is the Sports Field with various obstacles in a circuit for you to enjoy. The mini golf is also in this area. I have to say that in the 3 weeks that we were here we never saw either of these facilities being used (probably because they are on the opposite side of the site to the pitches). The mini golf was actually looking a little bit neglected. To the right of this junction at the far end is a building they use for the Childrenís Club. Again, it is a long way from the actual pitching area, but it does mean the kids can have some fun without disturbing anyone. To the left of the junction is the stone bridge that leads over the cycle path to the main part of the campsite.
Once across the stone bridge you are now in the main part of the campsite. This area is also split into two distinct parts with the pitches situated to your right and the main campsite buildings to your left.
There are around 120 pitches on DdM. Approximately half of these are being used for chalets and static vans (12 are owned by Eurocamp/Keycamp). The rest are used for touring units. There are three types of touring pitch. Firstly Premium which, in addition to electricity and water, have features like patio furniture, a fridge and free wifi (there are only 2 or 3 of these).
The rest of the pitches are classed either as caravan pitches or camping pitches. Both types have electricity and a water point. Iím not really sure what the difference is as all units seem to be able to use all pitch types. Possibly the caravan pitches have better access but, if that is the case, it is not obvious. We have a caravan and we managed to pitch on one of their camping pitches quite easily (with a motor mover).
Most of the pitches are a good size Ė some are enormous Ė but some do have trees in awkward places. These, of course, add plenty of shade to the pitch but will be more difficult to access. They also give the site a bit of character.
There is one toilet block placed just off centre towards the back of the site where most of the touring pitches are situated. It is a reasonable size for the size of the site. All facilities are unisex. Cubicles containing sinks are along one side, toilets on another side, showers and showers with sinks are on a third side.
The showers work by push button but the temperature can also be adjusted. Washing up sinks and the launderette are also at this point. All facilities are kept clean. The main disappointment here is with the toilets which do not have seats. They are clean and do have a sanitizer spray dispenser in each one for cleaning the rim but I think a 5-star site really should have toilets with seats.
If I had to be really picky, then I would also say that the paths around the block have been designed to look good rather than be functional as there are places where they are not wide enough and donít follow the natural route that most users would want to follow.
All the other buildings are located together away from the pitches. The restaurant, bar/takeaway, shop and games room are in fact one building. The shop is air conditioned and stocks basic essentials. It is quite small but DdM is quite a small site so it is adequate.
Unfortunately it shares staff with the bar and when there is only one person working waiting to pay can be a problem. The best thing is that it sells the DdM wine. We really enjoyed the Cazelet White while we were here. If you buy it in the 3l bags it works out at about half price Ė great value. The site does a free tour of their wine cave 2 or 3 times a week so if you fancy trying all their wines its worth booking a place on one (at reception).
Apart from drinks and takeaway food, the bar/takeaway is also the place to get your bread in the morning (you have to pre-order it the day before). You can also buy access to the wifi here (as well as from reception). The wifi is supposed to be site wide. We were on one of the pitches at the far end of the site. We always got a signal but some days it would work ok, and others it was a real pain. Wifi reception at the bar, though, always worked perfectly.
The restaurant is outside but under cover. It serves pizzas and other meals. Beware, the portions are enormous. The melon starter (usually a safe option) has to be seen to be believed: a family of four would struggle to finish it. Iím all for value for money but the restaurant would be much better if the portions were considerably smaller.
Next to the restaurant is the play area which includes trampolines, table tennis and other items to play on. The swimming pools are also here. One of them is rectangular and heated to 28 degrees. The other (the fun pool with slides) isnít heated but is still a good temperature. The pools do not look as large in real life as they do in the brochure but they are more than adequate for the size of the site.
There is plenty to do in the area. If you enjoy walking you can buy a map from reception for 5 euros which shows a selection of local walks. If you like history then Nimes and the Pont du Gard are reasonably close. The walled town of Aigues-Mortes is also worth a visit.
The closest beach is probably La Grande Motte which is about 35 minutes away Ė an unusual place with odd looking buildings. If you fancy visiting a cave then La Grotte Demoiselles is a good day out (beware the route using sat nav is not for the faint hearted as it goes up some small mountain roads).
Another good day out is Sete which is a very picturesque town. There is a great park here at the top of Mont St. Clair which has fantastic views over the town and the Thau Bassin. It is the perfect place for a picnic.
Prior to coming to DdM I was a bit concerned that I may have made a big mistake Ė the reviews on here are quite a mixed bag. Some people think that its the best site theyíve ever been to while others really seem to hate the place saying its barely worth 3 stars.
We were here for three weeks and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Itís not without its faults but these are all pretty minor. I think it should be remembered that this is still a relatively new enterprise Ė eight years ago it didnít even exist. Iím sure that it can only get better in the future.
If you fancy a holiday in this area then I would say give DdM a chance. I have no doubt that it meets all the criteria of a 5-star site. Is it any better than a 4-star site? Probably not, but thatís not the siteís fault, thatís more a problem with the French rating system which (in my opinion) didnít need to add a 5-star category.
'Emplacement grand confort' we were promised as we parted with almost 24 euros for the night in September. Very disappointing pitch, but it wasn't the only one, as we had a good look around the site. Lucky we have only a small campervan because with a bit of jigging about, we managed to get level, despite large tree roots everywhere which made even walking in flipflops a bit of a challenge! Indeed, with trees very close together, each pitch was 'divided' into two. Tricky with a car and caravan or a larger motorhome. Shop. Basic & unattended, restaurant. Not bad, but not great either. We were overcharged, our own fault for not checking the bill. The worst aspect however was the toilet/shower block. The bins which are situated between the toilets and showers (small flaps behind toilets to put paper, etc. in) cannot have been emptied for over a week as some cubicles had sanitary waste overflowing on the floors and in the showers and/or sticking out of the flap itself! It has been marketed as a 5* site. It doesn't merit more than 3* in my opinion.
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