What to Expect
The French star-rating system relates to the number of facilities available per camper. The number of stars is given by the individual local authorities and reflect the facilities provided, not necessarily the quality of the site or the installations. All French sites were re-rated in 1994.
In other countries the star rating systems also operate according to facilities and services offered and not the quality provided. The classification of the sites tends not to be as rigorous as in France.
Campsite Facilities - the practical stuff
All types of equipment are accepted on all sites except for Estérel Caravanning in the Riviera which does not accept tents. If you are travelling with a large motorhome or caravan then please telephone to discuss the suitability of sites.
Pitch size varies greatly from one site to another and sites do not always have uniform size plots. Please ensure that you indicate the size of your unit, including the awning, and whether you wish to put up any additional small tents (some size charge extra for additional tents, gazebos etc).
In the south of France and in the Alps pitch sizes tend to be smaller than in other areas of France. In other countries, particularly Spain & Italy, the pitch sizes are smaller than in France.
In Spain a specific pitch is not held in advance, just a booking for any pitch. It is therefore a good idea to arrive early in the afternoon to be sure of a better choice of pitches.
All sites provide hot showers which are usually free. However, in Germany, Austria and Switzerland there is usually a small charge. Camping du Letty and Camping Les Abers, both in Brittany in France, and Klein Strand in Belgium also make a small charge. Most 3 and 4 star sites provide wash basins in individual cubicles, and toilets are the sit down type rather than the squat type. Toilet paper is not supplied at all sites.
Under each site we have indicated the different power supplies available. If you are planning to run a fridge and lights only, then 2-3 amps is generally sufficient. If you have a 1Kw kettle then 6 amps will be required. If you are planning to take other electrical equipment or a more powerful kettle then add up the total wattage required at any one time and divide by 220 to give the amps needed. Please note that electrical supply is not always constant in some areas of France and other countries.
On sites where electricity is included in the price this is usually a 6 amp rating. If you require a higher amperage then a supplement is payable. All electricity prices are indicated for the currents available, please indicate clearly at the time of booking the amperage required.
Water and drainage
Many sites have fully serviced pitches with a water tap and a waste water drain. If you require a pitch with water and waste water drainage please indicate this to us. If you need to make a direct drainage connection please ensure that you request this at the time of booking. This service is available on many sites but the number of pitches with all these facilities is usually limited.
On most sites the charge for electricity has to be paid on pitches with water and drainage even if you do not require electricity.
Washing machines and dryers
All sites offer washing machines for use and the majority also offer tumble dryers. There is always an extra charge for this. Irons will be loaned if required.
Ice and hire of fridges
All sites have a service to freeze packs or sell ice blocks. Some sites hire out fridges or freezing compartments.
Facilites for those with physical disabilities
Most sites have facilities for those with disabilities. However it is essentail that you check with us that the site you have chosen will be suitable for your needs.
Shops, bars & restaurants
The size of the shops on the sites varies tremendously from stocking basic provisions like bread, milk and a few tinned foods to large supermarkets which cater for all your needs. It is the smaller sites which tend to stock only the bare essentials. Shops tend not to be open all day; usually they open for 2 or 3 hours in the morning, then a few hours from mid-afternoon.
Bars and restaurants are available on most sites. Restaurants vary greatly and most sites offer a limited menu with often the same selection as the take away meal service, although in some places you will find restauants with proper à la carte options.
Please note that facilities such as shops, bars and restaurants may not be operational outside the peak periods.
Not all sites allow barbecues, and many only allow gas or electric barbecues. Details are indicated in each site description where restrictions are in force.
Sites with Tour Operators
We are able to give you an idea of the proportion of fixed accommodation units on a site. We have indicated when there are no tour operators and when there is only one present which does not affect the ambiance on the site. An increasing number of sites have their own static accommodation available for hire. We are able to make reservations for several of these sites if you'd prefer a static caravan or mobile home, or if friends or family wish to join you on site who don't have their own tent or caravan.
Some sites do accept dogs; there is normally a charge per night. You also have to pay for the dog to travel on the ferry. Please make sure that your dog had the necessary certification and make arrangements for vaccinations and micro-chipping. Please contact us for further information.
A large number of sites now have automatic electronic barriers. These are usually opened by a magnetic card or key for which you have to pay a deposit at the reception. Most sites do not unlock these barriers before 07.00 - 08.00 in the morning, and close them again between 22.00 - 23.00. It is usually possible to leave your car in the car park overnight. However it is important to take these times into consideration when planning your journey.
Campsite Facilities - life on-site
Children's Play Area
Some sites offer a wide range of facilites including slides, climbing frames, swings and play houses for younger children. Other, smaller sites, may only have a slide.
Games room & T.V
All sites have some indoor games, including table football, pool, table tennis and often electronic games. Usually they are in a separate room or on smaller sites in the bar. All sites have a T.V, often in a separate television room. Some owners only allow it to be used if there is a special sporting occasion.
Most sites open their pool as soon as the site itself opens and remain open until the end of the season, although in some areas the dates may change according to the weather. If you are travelling at the beginning or end of the season and it is important for you that the swimming pool is open, please check with us. An increasing number of sites have installed indoor pools or have retractable covers so that they can extend the period they are open. Campsites with both indoor and outdoor pools sometimes only use the covered pool during the low season.
The majority of sites have banned the wearing of all bermuda-style shorts in their swimming pools. Men and boys therefore must wear swimming trunks.
The opening and closing times of the pools vary considerably and some close at lunchtime. Waterslides may only be operational at certain times during the day.
Tennis, Mini-golf etc
The cost of tennis and mini golf and other activities such as horse-riding is not normally included although, on many sites, tennis is often free outside July and August.
The French term for organised activities and entertainment is "Animation" - the programme varies from site to site. We have indicated the range of activities available and given brief details of any excursions organised by the sites. Most sites will organise sporting competitions - tennis, boules, ping-pong and some also organise games in the swimming pools. Evening entertainment varies from a weekly dance to nightly discos and theme evenings.
Sites with Children's Clubs
Many sites have thier own Children's Clubs which operate during the high season - usually from the first week of July until the last week of August dependent on demand. Details are set out in the list of facilities within each site description.