Ranc Davaine is a large campsite, with a mixture of touring pitches and mobile homes. It accepts Touring Cheques, and used to accept Camping Cheques. Pitches are ‘irregular’ and set amongst the oak woodlands, usually with a tree forming the boundaries between pitches. The road used to run through the site, so there are two distinct areas. Below the road is an area dedicated to touring pitches, and a mixed area with some touring pitches and some mobiles. There is a sanitary block serving this section, and this is kept immaculately clean – but it is ‘unisex’. There is always hot water, and the showers are powerful. There is a washing up area, washing machine, showers, toilets and urinals, and washbasins in cubicles, in this block. A hairdryer is supplied, but it not very powerful. This section of the site is adjacent to the Chassezac river, and there is river access at two or three points down steps. There is a boat launching ramp at one end of this area.
Across the road is a much larger camping area, again with a mix of touring pitches and mobile homes. These are also irregular and the boundaries are usually trees, or occasionally a stone wall. There are several toilet blocks serving this area, all immaculately clean and modern. Pitches in both areas have little grass, because this is a southern site, but are generally sandy type soil, which drains well and doesn’t seem to become waterlogged even in heavy rain.
The site has a huge pool complex, with an indoor poor, paddling pool, waterslides, jaccuzzi area, whirlpool, and waterfalls, and a more formal squareish pool for serious swimming. There is a sauna and gymnasium adjacent to the pool, and a toilet block for pool users. In May/early June we have, however, been the only ones in this pool – though some days it can get quite busy. Next to the pool is the bar, restaurant and take-away – all excellent, and the restaurant offers some lovely food but not at bargain prices. Temperatures in this part of the southern Ardeche can reach almost 40 degrees, even in May / June, but the bar / restaurant outside area has a ‘misting’ device which sprays cooled water over the whole area, and can be a welcome relief. Take-away food is good, and reasonably priced.
There is a small supermarket on site, selling a good range of products, including fresh bread and milk. Reception is opposite this, and on two levels – reception staff are friendly and speak good English. Reception closes over lunchtimes – and this can be a couple of hours. Don’t arrive around this time as it can be very hot waiting around!
We’ve been there in May/June and at the beginning of September – and though I understand there is organised entertainment in high-season this has not been a feature when we've been there, so I can’t comment. This is, however, a big site, with big site facilities!
There are absolutely masses of things to do in the area – the river being prominent – but you’re near to the main Ardeche river which is fantastic for canoeing, and the there are some sandy beaches near the Pont d’Arc with lots of other lovely spots along the river. La Beaume is in a nice situation on a bend in anothe river, and worth a visit. Ruoms and Vallon Pont d’Arc are both tourist towns with great markets, and both within easy driving distance. There are plenty of walks around the area, Dolmens just up the road, and natural sites are everywhere. Birds of prey fly over the site, and there are coypu in the river. There's fishing, too, on the river.
We’ve visited this site several times over the years, and always enjoy it. However, many more of the touring pitches are being taken over for mobile home use, and some of the better pitches have already gone. One year we had a lovely pitch, absolutely adjacent to the pool – but there is now a mobile home there. However, it is still somewhere we’d go back to.
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