France: East or West?

Discussion in 'France' started by Mattyjwr, Jul 20, 2016.

  1. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    Our first world problem: We've had many lovely holidays to France and tend to end up in the SW, particularly around the Dordogne. We use a very basic campsite with easy access to a river to swim in and great views.

    Our excursions to the east have been more challenging; we've yet to find basic sites where we can river swim and the sites around Lake Anecy where we could meet up with family are huge, very expensive and full. Based on previous visits, there appear to be fewer sites around Orange and the Pont Du Gard than we expected and we found that we had to drive a lot more between tourist sites.

    Should we return to the usual SW or give the east another chance and hope that we can find cheap sites with swimming pools or access to rivers for swimming? Do you know of such sites? Are there any near Lake Anecy?

    We were thinks of the east as part of a tour of the Alps. If there aren't such sites in France, what about Germany, Austria or Italy?


    Ps. My version of cheap is €15 a night for the 4 of us. We don't need EHU or club houses.
     
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  2. Jo662

    Jo662 Funster

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    We are heading SW and are looking for ideas if you have any please.
    Going Sarlet and Bordeaux area ish!:)
     
  3. Hollyberry

    Hollyberry Funster

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    Why not try the Ardeche? Stunning scenery, There are always rivers and lakes in France.
    If anyone is in the Dordogne area and wants a lake Le Grand Etang de La Jamaye is brilliant. Great parking, ask at the Acquiel desk and you can camp overnight. Beach, lifeguards, free kayak hire. Lots of play areas if you have kids. Very family orientated with plenty of restaurants.

    In Dordogne follow the river To Bourdeilles ( lovely Aire next to the river, walking distance of village and castle) canoe and bike hire at the Aire, and further along ( few kms) Brantome, with canoe hire, boat trips ( recommended) market on Friday, shops ( including a glass blower) built into caves.

    Near Bordeaux head for Montalivet les Bains. Campsite Camaneole had a makeover about 4 years ago, new pool. ( on Avenue de Europe) There's an Aire next door, about €8-10 p.n. Including EHU and water. Forest opposite with cycle tracks to stunning beach. There's another Aire with no EHU by the beach. Aldi or Lidl within walking distance of site and local market daily, some great restaurants in the main street. Free wifi at the Tourist Bureau.

    There was a site with a lake not far from me do I'll look for it and post later if I find it. Can't find it but good choice of sites here in Perigord Vert, which can be lower price than rest of Petigord region. http://www.ukcampsite.co.uk/sites/results.asp?county=Aquitaine
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016
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  4. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    Thank you for the info. The more I look at the options, the more I look at heading West. I wonder if they have similar attractions in the East or whether we are spoilt when we go to the Dordogne area.
     
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  5. The Wino

    The Wino Funster

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    How about Alsace but don't know about the swimming
     
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  6. clanjones

    clanjones Funster

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    Just spent a month in the east of France - load's of sites in the Tarn valley, Sisteron, (Provence) has a municipal site with a pool which we can recommend and if you like cycling the area is just fabulous.
     
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  7. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    What do you like doing? The area around Sarlat is peppered with prehistoric sites, castles and gorgeous villages and the Dordogne is lovely to canoe down or swim in. The food is lovely, especially the confit de canard. To the south is the Lot valley which is also pretty. There are a number of large campsites around Sarlat but also a few basic ones (which we prefe). Canoe activities tend to be very busy between 10am and 4pm - go earlier or set off later if you can to have more tranquility.

    Bordeaux was an important trading port and the evidence of wealth and trade is common but as we did not stay in campsites there as we stay with a friend. Around the city are extensive vineyards with some particularly famous names near Libourne, to the north east. Years ago, we were taken on a tour of the glamorous vineyards (renowned estates in Pomerol, Saint Emilon etc) and then went to spend our money on the neighbouring producers; same microclimate, soil, grapes but not the high prices of the famous producers. Try Sauternes which is a delicious dessert wine but three times the price of Monbazillac which is an agreeable alternative. To the far west is the Atlanitc Coast with long beaches, forests and dunes leading on to resorts such as Biarritz, a couple of hours drive to the South.

    It is a lovely area and it is easy to find things to see and do. Our experiences in the east have been more hectic and expensive and I'm trying to avoid slipping into returning to an area that we know pretty well at the expense of exploring new places. Have fun :)
     
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  8. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Funster

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    Any chance you'd like to share this location ,it sounds lovely



    Vlad
     
  9. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    Will do when I'm on my pc. The site is one of 3 or 4 upstream from Beynac-et-Cazenac.
     
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  10. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    This is where we go (keeping fingers crossed that there will always be a pitch for us ;) )http://www.perigordnoir-valleedordogne.com/en/hebergements/campings/camping-le-pont-de-fayrac

    The Patron is very laid back and I've heard many people asking whether he had received their reservation or email query ... The Internet to his house and office is unreliable but as he can't do much about it, he isn't letting that stress him. The facilities are basic and if you use the end loo of 3, be prepared for a rocky experience and wet feet when it flushes - it has been wobbly for years. If you go there before us, could you weed the pétanque terrain - it probably won't have been touched since we were there 2 years ago. There are smarter and better provisioned campsites either side but this one meets our needs.
     
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  11. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    We prefer the East or South West for the mountains. Not interested in seaside as thats where we live. Why not use aires, most are much less than your €15 and many are free. Most towns/villages will have a swimming pool if thats what you want.
     
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  12. Abacist

    Abacist Funster

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    I'll second the Ardeche as well worth visiting if you like river swimming and canoeing.
     
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  13. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    We use aires but like to camp in some areas - chairs out, BBQ etc. we will investigate aires more throughly this year in the hope of finding places to stay that aren't full by lunchtime.
     
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  14. Lot lover

    Lot lover Funster

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    Why not try going straight down the middle? We live just a bit to the E of the A20 only 20 mins S of the Dordogne (river) which is swimmable when there is enough rain.

    Close to Rocamadour (though too many grockles at this time of year for our taste, oops shouldn't have typed that should I?) Cahors, Figeac and loads of places that are the real France, whatever that is. Plenty of aires, lay-bys and relatively inexpensive sites though we have never used them, too close to home.

    We have just returned from Montgailhard near Foix and Aire sur L'Adour which were both disturbingly quiet for this supposedly high season part of the year.
     
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  15. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    We have done this route - Rocamadour, Figeac etc happy to do them again.

    I seems that the SW is the best place to combine pretty villages, lovely scenery and swimable rivers. I am looking at sites in the Ardeche but am struggling to find cheap pitches right on the river.
     
  16. Jo662

    Jo662 Funster

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    Thank you for those great ideas,sounds a lovely area!(y)
    This time next week we will be there!:)
     
  17. snowdrops

    snowdrops Funster Life Member

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    Just plain South :)
     
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