Our third visit to this site, I can't recommend it enough, stunning location, clean, well kept, we stayed on a large ( 18x12 ) pitch with electricity,
it is a large site with a bakery, a well stocked shop which sells everything you could possibly need at very reasonable prices, fresh bread on a morning at 80 cents a loaf, still warm, gorgeous with local honey.
It has a gift shop, leatherwork shop, newsagents, pub, restaurant and takeaway which does amazing omlettes and large frites for 6 euros, great value and tastes amazing!
The site is surrounded by woodland and forest, in a natural quarry on the far side of glacial lac de chalain.
The lake is the absolute highlight of this site, is wonderful for water sports of every kind, crystal clear tourquise blue water, excellent for swimming, it is actually warmer than the site pool complex.
Nearby in Clairvaux is an Aldi which is comparative with the Uk and a atac supermarket which is great to have a look round. The Jura area of France is beautiful forests, mountains and lakes, if you have good weather, (we stayed july into aug and average temp was 30 degrees) you can't beat it.
Domaine de Chalain is not overly commercial which we love although it is a large site it doesn't seem so and because of the natural environment you are in, it seems like you are part of the surroundings, not in a man made site.
As I've said before, I would highly highly recommend this site to uk campers, hence we have been back 3 times, it ticks all the boxes for us 2 adults and 3 kids ( 9, 10, 12) they love it,
It is fantastic value for money, and I have absolutely no doubt we will return there again.
Had a wonderful eight days at Chalain and found the site excellent. Very friendly staff, both French staff employed by Chalain and Keycamp/Eurocp/Canvas employees. Lots of outdoor activities - high ropes course - playgrounds etc etc. Indoor pool really warm and sauna/steam room great. Outdoor pool was a bit cold - but not too cold to keep you away! Outdoor pool varied and large - but as Others have stated is not as big as brochure Makes out (as normal - brochures are adverts). Lake calm and peaceful and great for dingy's - lots of fun for older children/young teens. La Cure to Nyon train a must for the scenery.
We have just returned from 7 days here. As previous reviewers have said, sat nav does not get it right you need to follow the signs for the lac de chalain instead. It was about a 5 hour drive down from calais - we stopped in reims overnight (novotel and ibis are just off the toll road) to break the journey up as we were travelling with a 3 year old.
Check in was straightforward and we were allocated a pitch right by the restaurant and lake. Made for beautiful sunsets and easy access to everything however it was a congregating section for teenagers in the evening, they were moved on at 11pm every night and it went quiet then.
Excellent facilities on site, decent shops and supermarket, also a butchers and cheesery, bakers, newsagent - all match the hypermarket prices nearby. In fact for the first 4 days we didn't leave the campsite as there was so much for a 3 year old to do! The swimming pool is very cold so we left it until the afternoon to go, it is a lot smaller than the pictures suggest, great for children but probably not so exciting for teenagers. The indoor pool was warmer and attracted everyone, at times I felt it was too busy and would say they were over their safe numbers in there.
Play areas are everywhere and although suggest age 4-10 my 3 year old was happy enough on them.
The beach area is safe and since we were camping so close we took the chairs down with us to relax on.
The one downside for us was that the main lakeside camping area was serviced by one wash area (8 showers and a few more toilets) so there was often a big queue - however if you went further up the campsite to the mobile home area there was another bigger washarea which housed many more showers/toilets and more often than not having walked past a queue of 5 people waiting for a shower at the first area the other one would be empty.
Amazing location, it took us awhile to find the site as our satnav took us to a very close village of Fontenu which has no access to the site. Lots of great facilities very clean toilet blocks. Some great bike rides, good mountain biking and some very good family routes. A loop around Le Frasnoise being very nice.
Downsides - our kids were disappointed with the water park which was not very good and they rarely used it.
Hoards of Dutch who seem to be roaming about shouting very loud between 9pm and 2am. Every night large groups headed for the lake lighting fires and shouted/ chanted very loud, occasionally they were moved off the lake, they then passed our tent shouting as they went. On the last night at about 1am after about the tenth group of what I thought was shouting kids I went out to find they were mainly 40 yr olds with a few kids.
All the entertainment was in Dutch such as dutch Karaoke in an open air area.
We've just returned from 12 days on site, we being my wife and 2 teenage sons 14 & 16 and here are our thoughts¡K
The site was relatively easy to get to from Calais, however beware that your sat nav. May want to take you on some pretty narrow but scenic roads once you're about 20 miles away. Not too much of an issue if your only in a car but if you're towing a van with 2 mates following on behind who are also towing vans, then expect to buy the first beer when you get to site. My Tom-Tom has a lot to answer for although it did take us right to the door eventually!
We had pitches right down by the lake - alley Vivaldi - they were ok but quite small on our side of the road - we had been warned and didn't mind because we were all together but you would certainly need to make friends with your neighbours if you were on your own!
The toilet block and showers near us were fairly old and could benefit from an upgrade, but they were cleaned at least twice a day and there was always plenty of hot water in the showers, although a lack of hot water in the washing up sinks was a bit of an issue from time to time.
The lake was superb and the approach to the campsite took our breath away as we glimpsed it out of the trees - we had a mixed bag of weather with a couple of cloudy days; a spot of rain and only 2 really sunny days but we were able to go in the lake without any worries every day, a little cold to plunge into but very nice after you¡¦d swam around a little.
No power boats make it very tranquil and you can launch your own inflatable without charge, you can also hire pedalos etc. Which seemed like fun - be warned that the beach is more akin to fine gravel and you need flip-flops or windsurfing style shoes to be able to walkabout comfortably on it - take something to sit or lie on in addition to a towel or you'll soon get uncomfortable.
We saw a few fish but my friend and my son spent at least 3 hours without even a nibble, probably best to hire a boat as I did see some guys having success further out from the bank!
My two friend's 7 year old boys really enjoyed the water park but beware that it is only really suitable for under 10's, anyone older than this will be disappointed as the photos on the website give a bit of a false impression, it's not as big as it looks and the slides are very small.
Whilst we were there we went to see the waterfalls just down the road - the first fall was stunning, it went downhill the further uphill you went if you get what I mean , but it was worth the 4 euros to park anyway. We also visited Switzerland which was about 90 minutes away via the most beautiful mountain roads you can imagine, stunning.
But and it is a big but our best experience outside of the camp was to fly in a micro-light around the lake - the airfield is only 1KM from the village and the pilot spoke brilliant English and even put up with my dreadful French! Both of my lads and I had an 8 minute taster flight costing 35 euros each, but it was worth every cent, fantastic!
Back at the campsite there was lots of facilities which were all reasonably priced, we didn't feel as though we were paying over the odds for anything especially as you are a bit of a captive audience given the location of the site itself - the shop and bakers were very reasonable and the bread and pastries were lovely and freshly baked each day on site - sometimes the bread was still warm and we had eaten it by the time we got back to our pitch and had to go back again! Don¡¦t let the big queue put you off they are very efficient and whiz through it so you hardly wait at all.
The weather was a bit hit and miss but was always very comfortable and we were able to sit out in shorts and t-shirts until quite late, then once the fire-pit was alight and you had a sweatshirt on you could stay up until at least 2 in the morning drinking wine and beer quite easily!
There was actually very little noise on the site and whilst you could hear the teenagers in the special place around midnight it was too bad, there was never any trouble and we all felt very safe at all times.
Would we go back again? Absolutely without a doubt, we would ask for pitches on the other side of the road and we would make sure we had some padding for the beach but other than that there wasn't anything else that needed changing.
All in all a great campsite, fair value for money and on the most beautiful lake - superb!
You first glimpse Chalain is on the drive up to the campsite through the trees, the view is simply breathtaking, we had never seen a lake so beautiful, the colour is the brightest turquoise you will ever see. It looks tropical!
The lake has a lovely beach which stretches out around the lake making room for everyone, its not sandy though and I would recommend beach or pool shoes especially for littlies, but you could manage without, its gritty rather than pebbly.
The site itself is first class, facilities excellent, staff friendly and helpful, toilets cleaned thouroughly twice a day (jet washed and disinfectanted) no toilet seats mind, but I think that just makes them cleaner to be honest, lots of hot water in the showers and plenty of washing up spots too. Toilet blocks are dotted all round the site, so you are never far away. We travelled with another family and had 2 decent sized pitches side by side, plenty of room for our cars too.
The site has a wide range of shops from butchers, grocers, cheesery? and the best of all a bread shop, selling fresh warm croissants and baguettes every morning, you might have to cue but they are to die for! There is also an ice cream parlor, gift shop which is lovely, a small amusement arcade, a leather workshop, a paper shop selling papers of all languages and a great beach shop selling everything you could ever need for the lake. There is also 2 restaurants and a takeaway selling fries, burgers, hotdogs etc. Things are very reasonable and we bought most things direct from the site.
The site pool complex although looks fantastic was FREEZING! even in August, our kids could only manage about 20 minutes, I couldn't even get a toe wet! It does have an indoor pool mind which is heated, but gets very busy. The lake is much better for swimming and suprisingly warm (once you are in!) The lake is absolutely the highlight of this campsite, we were there every day bar one, the kids loved it and we had to drag them away on an evening and for food, you don't have to worry about them, there is no current and its relatively shallow, we had a dinghy, lilos, buckets and spades and inflatables and that was literally all we spent on entertaining the kids for the 2 weeks stay. They did not want to leave the site!
In near by Clairvaux (about 15 min drive away) there is an Aldi, shop there you will save a small fortune, prices even cheaper than at home, they sell a wide range of produce, fresh stuff, wine, cheese and have a frozen section, we loved it in there! For the guys, lager 19p a can and I was told, very nice too! There is also a large supermarket (with petrol station) over the road which sells an even wider range but is a little more expensive but has a huge fresh produce section.
Is there any negatives for Domaine De Chalain?, its a canny drive ( about 6 hours from Calais direct to get to it), the weather can be a bit hit and miss shower wise, but its never cold, if you go prepared you will be fine, lakeside can get a little noisy at night, but soon quietens down, during cleaning times, the toilet blocks are closed off for about 20 mins which can be a pain as they all get cleaned together, so just go after all the jetting has stopped, but that's really nit picking!
All in all I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this site, we always said we would never go to the same place twice, but we are booking to come again this year. Fantastic site for families, fantastic value, stunning location, I really think it would be hard to beat it. First Class
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