Having read the previous reviews we intended to head for a pitch on one of the higher terraces, but when the lady in reception saw our outfit she almost insisted we use the lowest level, as she said the pitches were larger there. We didn't want to get into an argument so went along with her suggestion. We were only staying for 3 nights so weren't too bothered about the traffic noise.
In fact, we didn't find the noise a problem. However, access to the sanitary block was up a series of irregular, narrow steps which would be impossible for anyone with the slightest mobility problem. This particular sanitary block was in fact only accessible by steps (down) even from the two higher levels. Not only that, but the lower level terrace had no lighting at all after dark, and the toilet block was also in complete darkness (when you got there you had to use a light switch) so a torch was absolutely essential. This seems to be a serious health and safety risk. The facilities themselves were fine.
The site claimed to have wifi cover but although we tried in various locations, it was very unreliable, going off all the time. As we'd paid 5 euros we complained. The first receptionist we saw was unhelpful to the point of grumpiness. A different one, on another day, was apologetic and gave us a different login to use in the internet room (actually, a small hut. ) Unfortunately this closed at 7 in the evening.
All in all, we weren't very impressed with the site. As another reviewer has said, the restaurant was expensive - and so was the bread and croissants available from reception!
We were on a huge pitch towards the top of this terraced site. There was almost room for two TTs on our pitch. We had lovely views over the site to the hills opposite. Superb sanitary block near us - unisex if that is important. Lots of lovely and varied trees for shade - though we got a bit of pollen on our canvas which a storm washed off. Washing machines and drier - buy a jeton from reception. Fresh bread etc every day - there is a bit of a shop, but it was too early in the season. Outdoor heated pool - 25 degrees. And fireflies in the evening.
We used our ACSI card so it was seriously cheap - 15 Euros a night.
But things are a bit different if you at the bottom of the site. There is road noise as has been mentioned, the sanitary block is older but still perfectly usable, but things seem a bit gloomy down there because the trees are thicker.
There is a restaurant by the entrance. We ate there once - the food was good and local, but not exactly cheap. It was well used by the locals - so the food must have been good. There is a small kids play area by the entrance and main road.
La Colle is an old village with a pedestrianised ancient centre. There is a little Casino supermarket for milk etc. Cagnes is about 10 minutes away with a Leclerc.
We did trips out to all the resorts and up to the Gorges de Verdun.
While on the whole I would endorse most of the comments in the first review, and while we had a good time, my words of warning concern the noise at night/early morning:-
1. We were on the first terrace from the entrance. The road noise was - surprisingly - intense from 5am each day until about 12 midnight.
2. The refuse lorry came regularly each morning to empty the bins around the site at times between 4.00am - 6.00am.
3. We did not experience the 10pm 'curfew' being enforced: karaoke from the Les Pinedes restaurant went on until 12.30/1.00am; at other times, there was noise and disturbance from Youths over several nights; we took this up with the owner who said he experienced problems for 1-2 weeks per year with kids who drank, got loud and silly.
So, great setting/location, good pool, friendly staff, but not as relaxing as we had anticipated. Try to get a pitch further up the site where it is quieter. I sleep very heavily but was woken repeatedly by the noise. I can cope with the hassle this caused. My wife and 2 kids couldn't.
This site was once a vineyard, and is arranged on tiers. The caravan pitches are hardstandings (probably too hot for grass!) and the incline is quite steep if you choose one of the pitches on the higher levels, but not a problem if your unit is properly matched. We have visited this site in both a tent and a caravan.
If you want a relatively small, peaceful and well-run site close to Nice, Cannes, Monaco etc then Les Pinèdes is an absolute treasure. Pitches aren't huge and all (inc tents) are more hardstanding than grassy, and there are some static units on site, but this truly is a family-run campsite and not a big commercial site.
The pool area is lovely and includes a relatively new pool and games area for young children,but you have to get there early in high season if you want a sunbed (probably not such a problem in June). I seem to recall we were charged for sunbeds last year, too, which was a bit of a pain as it means that folk try to hold onto them all day. The night swim (organised on Tuesdays, last year) is fun, and different.
There is a small shop selling basic provisions (including fresh, hot bread which is delicious) and it is within a short driving distance of good supermarkets as well as smaller, specialist shops. There is a restaurant at the entrance, not owned by the campsite, where you can also get takeaway food if you want. There is a bus stop by the entrance to the site and the service runs around every half hour, so it is not essential to use a car to get out and about.
There is a laundry room (2 washers plus ironing board - buy tokens at reception - cost includes a bag of wash powder) and a tv room, which also has a table tennis table. There are two sanitary blocks, each with separate areas for showers and toilets, as well as pot-washing and laundry sinks (these sinks are outside) and these were mostly updated a couple of years ago (just one row of older toilets remains) and are of a high standard (though they could potentially have been cleaned out a bit more regularly when we were there last year in high season, since they did get a bit pongy, but then the site was very full and the weather very hot). There is a block of fridges, for rental, which is especially useful for tenters.
They do organise some activities for children, as well as aqua aerobics for anyone who is interested but everything is quite low key. Be prepared to hear the braying of the donkey, who lives towards the top of the site near the volleyball area.
It is worth visiting nearby St Paul de Vence, with its quaint, narrow streets and lots of arts and crafts shops, and you are spoilt for choice regarding what to do in this area, or else you can just stay by the pool and relax in an idyllic location.
So, a big thumbs up from me regarding this site. They do insist on peace and quiet from 10pm, and enforce that in a friendly sort of way. We've been there for three years running now and we love it. Hmmm. I may live to regret posting this, when I can't get a pitch this year because it is over-subscribed by UKCS members!
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